"Dead Zone" star Anthony Michael Hall reports the plot of the latest Batman saga, "The Dark Knight," is so secret he's forbidden to even say what character he's portraying.

"I signed a confidentiality agreement, and I can't say which part I'm playing because it affects the story," says Hall. "I can't give away the suspense — it's a $200 million surprise, and I don't want to be the guy to ruin it."

He adds, "I'm excited about it — Christian Bale back as Batman. Heath Ledger is joining the cast as the Joker. Of course, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine return, and they're great."

Hall, who's in the midst of shooting the sixth season of "The Dead Zone," which returns to the USA Network June 17, says his TV series cast and crew bent over backward for him to be in London for the first day of "Dark Knight" production the weekend before last.

"My crew agreed to take a three-day weekend so I could fly Friday to go to London," says the actor, who's also one of the series' producers. "It was just a thrill. I felt like a rock star leaving the set, flying to London, going to shoot on a Saturday, you know?" He adds, "My crew really gave me a gift because they had to all vote union-wise to agree to not take a day's pay


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to help me out. I felt very honored that they did that for me."

He says he's not scheduled to rejoin "The Dark Knight" shooting till August, after "The Dead Zone" is wrapped. "They're shooting in London, Chicago and Hong Kong. My next dates are in Chicago, the third week of August with Morgan, then I get to go back to London." He adds he's never been a comic-book fan, but "I loved the 'Batman' series, so Batman has truly always meant something to me. It's really been one of my dreams as an actor to become Batman."

For now, he's just happy flying in the same airspace. "It's really a great role. I'm in throughout the whole movie, and I'm really looking forward to working with Christian and Morgan and all these real Hollywood heavy hitters."

'IDOL' WORSHIP: Hollywood is after hot "American Idol" name Katharine McPhee. The 23-year-old beauty tells us that she's been getting film offers, and "It's definitely something I'm investigating. I'm also developing some things for myself."

McPhee says her hope is to make her movie acting debut in "something that's not expected for me." As in, not singing? "Maybe not."

However, with her "Love Story" single just out — the second tune off her self-titled debut album — plus a lineup of performing dates ahead, McPhee notes, "It's all about the music right at the moment."

RANDOM ACTS OF GRACE: Ryan Gosling was all smiles the other day while shopping for groceries with a friend at Vons in Studio City. The Oscar-nominated actor, sans girlfriend Rachel McAdams, was a big hit with shoppers and grocery store employees alike. Dressed in jeans and a red T-shirt, the normally subdued Gosling happily chatted with the checkout attendees, shook hands with a grocery clerk, and waved to several fans as he returned his cart like a good shopper should. You'd a thought he was vying for votes on "Dancing With the Stars" or something, but, nope, he was just being nice. In young-Hollywood standards, that's always a welcome change!

THE VIDEOLAND VIEW: There'll be a shift in tone when the Sci Fi Channel series "Eureka" returns for its second season in July. "Last year, it was Big Science first, character second," says Colin Ferguson, who plays Jack Carter, the sheriff responsible for wrangling a government-owned town full of brilliant — read mad — scientists. "This year, it's character first, and they want the science to stem from the problems the characters are having."

Fans of the show will recall that the season finale found Ferguson's character and other members of Eureka inexplicably four years in the future. "That episode tees off our second season with all the ramifications and repercussions of going to the future. We've come back, and there are only two people who know about it, Henry (Joe Morton) and me. We have to figure out what we're going to do and how we're going to proceed But, Henry and I both have very different agendas with our information." And the plot thickens.

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With reports by Stephanie DuBois and Emily Feimster.