Film: Rushes

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The Independent Culture
THE BLOODLETTING at Universal goes on. Joel Silver, the chairman of Universal Pictures, has resigned, just a couple of weeks after Universal Studios chairman, Frank Biondi Jr, got the boot. It's believed that poor US takings from Babe: Pig In The City forced Silver to hang up his trotters.

The sequel to the porcine smash hit of 1995 opens here tomorrow but the film, which finally cost $90m (pounds 56m) once all the marketing had been added to production costs, hasn't had audiences squealing with delight, taking just $8.5m in the first five days after its release. Universal had been hoping that the world's favourite piglet would bring the bacon home following the sluggish box-office performance of Brad Pitt's three-hour marathon, Meet Joe Black.

What's more, Universal's trough looks set to continue with the shot-for- shot remake of Psycho. The buzz is that Gus Van Sant's homage to Hitchcock falls way short of the original.


WE HERE in the UK may only know Adam Sandler for his charming turn in The Wedding Singer but the US comic has just become the latest actor to knock on the door of the $20m club, occupied by the likes of Jim Carrey, Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson.

His current film in the States, The Waterboy, took a whopping $80 million in the first 10 days. Sandler plays the college football team gopher who, it's discovered, has the meanest tackle this side of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With this surprise success under his belt, Sandler has signed a two-picture deal with New Line Cinema, for which he'll be paid just under the magic $20m for a forthcoming film called Little Nicky, and even more moolah for a further comedy to come.


ELTON JOHN is making a movie. Rocket Pictures, his production company, is believed to have secured Helena Bonham Carter for Women Talking Dirty. Elton is expected to do the soundtrack, as well as executive produce the film, which charts the unlikely friendship between two Scottish women. So now we know why he's flogging his paintings.