Date: 16th October 2000

Muhammad Ali Picture On The Ropes

WILL SMITH's movie role as MUHAMMAD ALI is on the ropes - SONY is on the verge of scrapping the flick under fears too much cash will be spent.

MICHAEL MANN's movie THE HURRICANE has hit turmoil because of a budget projected to surpass the studio's $105 million (70 million) cap. Studio executives will hold a final meeting today (15SEPT00) with Mann, to see if the cost can somehow be trimmed. While the studio is sticking to its budget cap, Mann is set to use Smith as his main negotiating tool. The actor is front and centre in one of Sony's most important films, the sequel to its highest grosser ever MEN IN BLACK.

Smith has been working out so strenuously for his role in The Hurricane that speculation is he may rethink the MIB 2 proposition if Mann and producer JON PETERS are unable to set up the Ali project elsewhere. (RGS/WNWCYA)

Source: WENN