FILM

Jonathan Duggan

Steven Soderbergh, the recluse: The former king of all things indie, now slightly washed-up studio filmmaker, will devote his next couple of years to back-to-back projects chronicling the life of Ernesto “Che” Guevara (“The Motorcycle Diaries” be damned). The two films, “The Argentine” and “Guerilla,” will begin in 1956 with the beginnings of the Cuban revolution and span to his assassination more than a decade later. With Benico Del Toro in the lead and major supporting roles in talks, the two films are set for production starting in May in Mexico and South America.

In a move that surely has to do with the film’s artistic integrity and absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the “Superman Returns” DVD is set to hit stores the same day, Warner Bros. will release a new director’s cut of “Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut,” on Nov. 28. The new cut will feature early Donner footage before he was replaced by director Richard Lester during the 1979 production. Early reports indicate that the cut is messy and disjointed, the fault of Warner Bros., which required Donner to work only with the footage on hand, including early screen tests, to craft the new version.

Australian actress Abbie Cornish (yeah, we’ve never heard of her either) has released statements through her publicists denying rumors that she is romantically involved with Ryan Phillippe and was not responsible for Phillipe’s recent split with his wife, Reese Witherspoon. Cornish, who is on set with Phillippe filming “Stop Loss” in Texas, is just 24 years old. Not that we’re suggesting Phillippe, 32, left his Academy Award-winning wife, 30, for a nubile no-name.

Brad Pitt and Vanity Fair
Brad Pitt? Waterguns? Wait, what?

For a 42-year-old, Brad Pitt still looks pretty good clad only in boxers and tube socks. Vanity Fair certainly thinks so: The glossy monthly features a portrait of the actor on its December cover (on newsstands Nov. 7), a still taken from part of a video/photo project by artist Robert Wilson.

Wilson will reveal the production in its entirety next year, but its looming debut has been overshadowed because of some major Brad Pitt rage. Like, majorly pissed off. Pitt and his lawyers claim VF never obtained permission to run the photo.

Anyway, at least you can still access the video of Pitt at the shoot, available on www.voom.tv. See Brad in his underwear. See Brad getting rained on. Oh, and see Brad shoot a water pistol with astounding seriousness as the narrator coos in a monotone, “I’ll find you, anywhere you go / I’m gonna look, high and low.” Yeah, we wouldn’t want that shit online either.

MUSIC

As if he hasn’t offended the public enough with his “album,” denim cut-offs and prolific tendency to propagate his genetic material, Kevin Federline recently told the New York Post that he is planning on writing an autobiography. The trophy-husband-cum-recording-artist has said his sure-to-be-award-winning literary gem “will be a biography of my life until I met my wife, so people will better understand who I am.” Thank God he also divulged his plans to hire a ghostwriter, who we’d guess will do less “ghosting” than the job description implies.

It’s official: “Tonight’s the night / We’re gonna celebrate . ” Or, at least, Ricky Martin is. The musician was honored yesterday with the “Person of the Year” award by the Latin Recording Academy in a ceremony, which took place in New York. Martin, in addition to his dance-heavy pop singles and tight leather pants, is also known widely for his humanitarian efforts. The musician is a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador, joining the fabled ranks of stars like Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kidman, and runs his own charity, the Ricky Martin Foundation, which concentrates efforts on putting a stop to human trafficking. He will also release a concert performance, “Ricky Martin: MTV Unplugged,” set to come out on CD and DVD Nov. 7.

TELEVISION

Overtly obsessive fans of “The O.C.” – and we know you’re out there – needn’t worry: The show is back tonight for the premiere of its for-high school teenagers are finally back in a season that is reportedly less melodramatic than last year’s scandal-ridden episodes. And as for the question all viewers are burning to have answered: Yes, Marissa really is dead, and no, it was not all a dream. According to statements given by the show’s creators and stars, Mischa Barton’s character will not be returning to the show to sleep with any more gardeners. But as a consolation prize, you’ve got Benjamin McKenzie’s character channeling his grief through cage fighting. Because that’s totally plausible.

– Compiled by Bernie Nguyen and Jeffrey Bloomer.

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