gambled 'til dawn at the casino in Las Vegas's Mirage hotel last weekend. Armed with a small plastic bag full of $100 chips, Barrymore won round after round playing blackjack. "She could not lose a hand if she tried," reports one impressed observer. In fact I hear that after nine hours of playing, Barrymore was up about $17,000. She appeared to be alone at the table, though while chatting with a fellow gambler she mentioned that her boyfriend was "somewhere in the building." Drew's publicist confirms that his client had "a great run" in Vegas and plans to donate her winnings to charity.
Forget what you've read about Leonardo DiCaprio
and Oliver Stone joining forces to make a movie about the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. DiCaprio, on his own, is "completely committed" to Slay the Dreamer, according to a source close to the film, in which he'll play a young attorney who stumbles on a witness who saw King's killer and refuses to identify him as James Earl Ray. "I know he's dedicated to this screenplay, which was tailor-made for him," says the source. "Oliver Stone has nothing to do with this picture." DiCaprio's spokeswoman confirms that he is attached to the film.
How badly does Antonio Banderas want to play the Phantom in the film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera? Well, last month he flew to London and sang two Lloyd Webber songs (including Phantom's "The Music of the Night") at the Royal Albert Hall for the composer's 50th-birthday celebration. Lunching with Lloyd Webber's publicist Peter Brown the day of the event, Banderas confided that he'd never sung live onstage before. "And you're starting tonight?" Brown asked. His audacity paid off: Banderas is Lloyd Webber's choice to play the Phantom, though nothing will be final until a director is selected.
Paper Moon fans will be happy to hear that Peter Bogdanovich, who directed the Academy Award-winning movie that made Tatum O'Neal the youngest Oscar owner ever at the age of 10, will reunite with the former child star later this year. O'Neal has agreed to play a wacky psychiatrist in a romantic comedy that Bogdanovich will direct called Squirrels to the Nuts. Also slated to star in the film, subject to his availability and the final script, is John Ritter.