Nicole to Star into ‘Stepford Wives’
Nicole Kidman has signed on to star in a remake of the cult classic “The Stepford Wives,” about a newcomer to suburbia who notices something strange about the women there. They all love to do housework. In the 1975 movie, Katharine Ross (then still riding high from romancing Dustin Hoffman and Paul Newman and Robert Redford, respectively, in “The Graduate” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”), played “Stepford”’s main character, Joanna Eberhardt, which will now be Kidman’s role, Variety reports. Variety says the movie, to be directed by Frank Oz (“The Score”), will be updated, with SUVs and minivans replacing station wagons as the suburban vehicles of choice. Also, rather than a being a thriller, as the first movie purported to be, this new take on the story is by “In & Out” and “Addams Family” screenwriter Paul Rudnick, who is better known for generating laughs than screams.

Hurley’s Ex wins apology
Steve Bing, the father of Elizabeth Hurley’s baby received a full page apology from The British tabloid the Daily Mirror after it printed his Los Angeles phone number and urged readers to call up and insult him, according to published reports. The Mirror’s story appears under the banner headline, “We’re Sorry, Steve.” The 37-year-old multi-millionaire scion of an American real-estate family and a sometime movie producer, sued the Mirror for $40 million. That lawsuit has now been dropped, the BBC reports. Bing denied he was the father of Hurley’s baby but a paternity test eventually proved otherwise. The baby boy named Damian was born in April. In its apology, the Mirror stated, “We would like to take the opportunity to offer our sincere apologies to Mr. Bing for publishing disparaging untrue statements about him, and for inappropriately urging our readers to telephone Mr. Bing, and to disturb him with derogatory remarks based on our inaccurate reports.”

New Idol judges
Angie Martinez, a New York hip-hop artist and DJ at WQHT “Hot 97,” are expected to join Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson as the fourth judge on the second season of Fox’s “American Idol,” according to Variety. She recently released her second album, “Animal House,” which is getting major radio airplay. (Her first album was last year’s “Up Close and Personal.”) Meanwhile, auditions are being held around the country for new “Idol” contestants. They were recently in Atlanta and then moved on to Nashville where people stood in line for up to two days for a chance to audition.

Director passes away
Richard M. Helms, 89, who directed the Central Intelligence Agency during the late 1960s and early ‘70s, died last Wednesday in Washington, The New York Times reports. The Times described him as “an urbane and dashing spymaster (who) began his career with a reputation as a truth-teller and became a favorite of lawmakers.” After he left the CIA in 1973, Helms served for four years as the American ambassador to Iran under the Shah. He later became an international consultant who specialized in trade with the Middle East.

Writer’s search
Random House, which published late author Mario Puzo’s immortal “Godfather” trilogy, is looking for a new writer to revive and continue the Corleone family saga, the Associated Press reports. The deadline for authors to submit outlines is Nov. 4. No publishing date has been set. Puzo died in 1999. Paramount Pictures, which made the three “Godfather” movies (the first two of which are classics), is said to have first option on the film rights. Maybe you can be a famous writer!

‘N Sync relives
its unpretentious
early times
What started out as a boy band with Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, JC Chasez and Chris Kirkpatrick has now turned to “The Reel ‘N Sync.” The Orlando-based group has produced a 60-minute video shot edited by Fatone, 25. The footage will show a time when Bass, Fatone, Timberlake and their two colleagues, JC Chasez and Chris Kirkpatrick, lived and behaved modestly, traveling coach and staying in cheap motels. “Reel” will be released on DVD and VHS Nov. 5, a spokesman for distributor Trauma Records announced Wednesday. Fatone reportedly assembled the clips for the work from hundreds of hours of footage from his personal video archive. One highlight includes seeing all five boys being spray-painted gold for a German photography session marking their first gold record.

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