Stephen M. Silverman
June 14, 2002 12:00 PM

There’s some high-profile casting news about – Will Smith and Hugh Jackman. Smith, soon to open in “Men in Black II,” is preparing to step into shoes previously filled by actors Fredric March, James Mason and Kris Kristofferson. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Smith, 33, is huddling with producer Jon Peters (“Batman”) and director Joel Schumacher (“Batman Forever”) to star in yet another remake of “A Star Is Born,” about a big leading man who has a substance-abuse problem and marries an up-and-coming movie star. March and Mason played drunks in the 1937 and 1954 versions, in which they married Janet Gaynor and Judy Garland, respectively. For the 1976 version, which Peters also produced — starring his then-girlfriend Barbra Streisand — the Kristofferson character had booze and drug addictions. As the trade paper notes, “It remains to be seen what Schumacher’s take on the material will be.” Also in Friday’s Hollywood Reporter comes news of Jackman, 31, who has temporarily put his Broadway debut in the Peter Allen musical “The Boy from Oz” on hold while he pursues a movie career. One project will be a movie called “Van Helsing.” Fans of “Dracula” know the name as that of the scholar who pursues and kills the blood-sucking nobleman. For this picture, which is slated to begin shooting Dec. 1 in Europe, Universal reportedly will also haul out its entire stable of monsters, including Frankenstein and the Wolf Man. Talk about all-star.

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