Benicio Del Toro, who currently has three films in theaters — including Traffic, which earned him a Golden Globe Award — is staying busy. He's negotiating to join Tommy Lee Jones and Connie Nielsen in The Hunted, a Paramount thriller to be directed by William Friedkin. He'd play one of those villains the movies are so fond of — one who kills just to kick off a cat-and-mouse style manhunt. Besides his role as a conflicted Mexican cop in Traffic, Del Toro is in theaters as a dimwitted murder suspect in The Pledge and as a jewel robber in Snatch.
¡Viva Banderas! Latin American revolutionaries seem to be en vogue: Robert Redford recently announced plans to develop a biopic of Ché Guevara, and now Antonio Banderas will portray Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata for Disney.
Gregory Nava, who helmed the biopic of another slain Latino icon, Selena, will direct Zapata. He tells Daily Variety, "This is one of the great heroic dramas of our time. He was a warrior who was also a man of peace." The real-life Zapata, who was assassinated in 1919, was previously portrayed by Marlon Brando in the 1952 film Viva Zapata!.
Téa Time for Woody The Family Man's Téa Leoni is joining Woody Allen's next film. Although the plot is, as usual, a closely guarded secret, we already have the title: The Curse of the Jade Scorpion. The ensemble comedy cast includes Dan Aykroyd, Helen Hunt, Elizabeth Berkley, Charlize Theron, John Schuck, Wallace Shawn, David Ogden Stiers, and Allen himself.
Richards Goes Undercover Denise Richards, whose slasher film, Valentine, opens this Friday, is lining up her next pic. The former Bond girl is negotiating to join Double Take's Eddie Griffin in the comedy Undercover Brother. The premise finds Griffin working undercover as, in the words of the producers, a "mayonnaise-loving, Gap-wearing, Friends-watching black man" to infiltrate and overthrow the establishment. Richards recently wrapped the indie Good Advice, in which she starred opposite Charlie Sheen and Law & Order's Angie Harmon, and the drama Empire, with John Leguizamo. She is currently filming You Stupid Man, which also stars Milla Jovovich.
Manson Not the Candy Man And last, but not least, here's one casting catastrophe we've all been spared. The British tabloid The Sun reported Tuesday that shock-rocker Marilyn Manson would be starring as quirky candy man Willy Wonka in a remake of the 1970s children's classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. "It is absolutely not true," a spokesman for Manson's band told various outlets, including Britain's New Musical Express and New York's Daily News. The British tab also erred in naming Tim Burton as the director of the remake. It's Pleasantville helmer Gary Ross who's attached to the flick.