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Movie plans re-examined

By Percy Ednalino
Denver Post Staff Writer

Monday, September 17, 2001 - Several planned movies reportedly are being re-examined and may be revised because of unfortunate plot elements. They include "Nosebleed," in which Jackie Chan would have played a World Trade Center window washer who battles terrorists bent on blowing up the Statue of Liberty. Execs say the "Nosebleed" story will be altered.

A scene from the movie 'Spiderman.'
Other such movies are "The Alchemist," about an ex-CIA agent who investigates terrorist acts by high-ranking U.S. military personnel; "The Lion's Game," in which an ex-New York homicide detective investigates a vengeful Arab terrorist; and "Lockerbie," with Sean Connery investigating the terrorists behind the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

And Pendragon Pictures has announced that production on an upcoming "War of the Worlds" remake would be suspended because the film includes many similarities to the events of last week.

Movies aren't the only entertainment realm where ill-timed images of the World Trade Center have caused problems.

Girlie Action Media, a New York publicity agency, has pulled images off its website for an Oakland, Calif., rap group called the Coup. The cover of the duo's latest CD, "Party Music," features a picture of the twin towers being blown up that resembles actual photos of Tuesday's explosions. The CD-cover image reportedly was created a year ago.

And computer-game maker Electronic Arts has temporarily suspended distribution of its interactive game "Majestic." The company said that certain elements of the game, which involves an international conspiracy, may not be appropriate in light of the tragedy.

TV shows affected

Meanwhile, TV creators and executives are also considering changes to shows in the wake of the attacks.

Production on the NBC comedy "Friends" reportedly is being carefully monitored. The show is set in New York City, so shots with the World Trade Center in the background will reportedly either be removed or the towers will be digitally erased from view.

Last season's cliffhanger finale of NBC's White House drama, "The West Wing," involved an American embassy in Haiti placed under siege by that country's army. But a spokesman for series creator Aaron Sorkin said that this season's premiere is finished and won't be changed.

Networks also scrapped plans to air movies with terrorist themes or inappropriate material. Fox Family Channel will broadcast "A Walk in the Clouds" instead of "Earthquake in New York" on Tuesday.

Fox also dropped plans to air an "X-Files" movie (in which FBI agents fail to prevent a building from being blown up) last Friday, "Independence Day" (depicting the White House and Empire State Building as destroyed by aliens) last Sunday and an original movie slated for tonight, "The Rats" (about pandemonium from a Manhattan rodent onslaught).

ABC canceled a showing of "The Peacemaker," about nuclear terrorists, while WB called off "The Craft" and UPN "Under Siege 2."

NBC has also chucked plans for a five-hour miniseries subtitled "Terror" which would have included cast members from all three "Law and Order" shows.

Promos for three new shows that have Central Intelligence Agency officials battling terrorists - ABC's "Alias," CBS' "The Agency" and Fox's "24" - were pulled by their respective networks. Content for "24," set for a late October premiere, reportedly may be changed. The pilot for "24" includes a sequence where a terrorist blows up a plane.

In addition, most TV shows in production for the upcoming fall season reportedly were temporarily suspended after the attacks. Some sitcom episodes were filmed without studio audiences, with producers anticipating few laughs.

Even children's entertainment has been affected.

The Kids' WB has postponed the airing of the "Batman Beyond" series finale and the second-season premiere of "X-Men: Evolution," with a network representative citing its desire to be "particularly sensitive" to the events in New York and Washington.

On Broadway, the Roundabout Theatre Company has decided to postpone production of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's musical "Assassins" (see the related story on today's Arts & Entertainment page).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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