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Thrills! Chills! Pussycats!

Hollywood prepares for summer 2001


In this story:

Sequels, sequels, sequels

Artificial intelligence comes to life

'70s are back ... again

HOLLYWOOD, California (CNN) -- Now that the dog days of summer 2000 have slunk away from the box office, Hollywood is moving on and gearing up for next year.

The studios are pulling out all the stops with a slew of sequels and high-profile original movies, hoping to get what they didn't have this year -- a blockbuster.

At the top of the summer 2001 movie juggernaut is "Pearl Harbor," starring Ben Affleck. The war epic, which already has the coveted Memorial Day weekend opening, also stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Dan Aykroyd, Jon Voight and Josh Hartnett.


Roaring back for a third installment are the dinosaurs of "Jurassic Park." Sam Neill returns as Dr. Alan Parker and is joined this time by Tea Leoni and William H. Macy. DVD releases of the earlier "Jurassic Park" films will include a preview of the newest adventure.

Sequels, sequels, sequels

Many studios are depending on the tried-and-true "Part II" movies to rake in the profits they didn't see this summer.

"There are no guarantees in Hollywood, but if you want something that's close to a guarantee, come out with a sequel," says Marty Grove, box office analyst for The Hollywood Reporter.

And are they ever coming out! Here's a preview:

  • "Doctor Dolittle II." Eddie Murphy and his talking-animal friends are back for more hairy adventures.
  • "Rush Hour II." Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker reprise their roles as police detectives and partners in crime.
  • "The Mummy Returns." Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz return to save the day as the ancient Egyptian curse hits the streets of London.
  • "Scary Movie II." If you're asking yourself, "Didn't the first one just come out?" you're not far off. "Scary Movie" came out in July; all three Wayans brothers are back for the sequel.

Artificial intelligence comes to life

The high-tech types haven't been overlooked, either.

Steven Spielberg passed up directing "Jurassic Park III" to helm "A.I.," which he also co-wrote. The science-fiction drama, whose production is a top-secret affair, stars Jude Law, Haley Joel Osment, Robin Williams and Jason Robards.

The adventures of video-game goddess Lara Croft are coming to the big screen in "Tomb Raider," with Angelina Jolie bringing the cyber-heroine to life. Jolie's dad, Jon Voight, also stars.

Previews of Disney's newest animated adventure, "Atlantis: The Lost Empire," is available to Web surfers to download. The movie features the voices of Michael J. Fox, Leonard Nimoy and James Garner.

'70s are back ... again

A few '70s classics are getting a new look for next summer, too.

"Planet of the Apes" is being remade, this time with Tim Burton at the helm of the film that first wowed audiences in 1968. Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Roth and Michael Clarke Duncan star in the simian extravaganza this time around.

John McTiernan, who directed two of the three "Die Hard" movies, is directing a remake of "Rollerball," the 1975 thriller about a harsh time in the near future when a violent game replaces warfare. The new version stars Rebecca Romjin-Stamos, LL Cool J and Chris Klein.

Yet not all is mayhem revisited. Summer wouldn't be complete without a little singing and dancing, so get ready for the live-action version of the '70s cartoon series, "Josie and the Pussycats." Rachael Leigh Cook stars as Josie and Parker Posey plays an evil record executive.

So there you have it: apes that talk and dinosaurs that walk, a mummy released from the tomb and figures sprung from a cartoon. That, and more, is coming to a cineplex near you next summer.

CNN Correspondent Jim Moret contributed to this report.


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