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Awaiting Word on Spider-Man, Josh Hutcherson Focuses on ‘Kids’

Josh Hutcherson seems to be taking in stride the fact that he's all over the Internet these days as one of the anointed few shortlisted to become the new Spider-Man in Sony's planned reboot of the film franchise. "It's weird to be talked about that much for a part and nobody knows who'll get it," he admits. But at least Hutcherson has more than enough to keep him occupied while he awaits word.

He takes off Sunday (6/27) for New York promotion chores and the East Coast premiere of "The Kids Are All Right." He plays the son of Annette Bening and Julianne Moore in Lisa Cholodenko's drama about a longtime lesbian couple's world getting shaken up when their teenage son and daughter contact their previously anonymous sperm donor dad (Mark Ruffalo). The film collected raves at the Sundance, Berlin, Sydney and L.A. Film Festivals. It opens July 9.

As far as potential controversy, he says, "I really hope people just see it for what it is without being political. It's a movie about a family. The sexuality takes a back seat to that, really. It focuses on a family, a marriage, and I personally feel you could exchange the two moms with any situation — two dads, a mom and dad — and the dynamic would be the same. We're not trying to go out of our way to make a political statement.

"When I first read this script, I knew it was going to make an incredible movie. Then when I found out the actors, I was blown away," adds the 17-year-old, who's been turning in first-rate performances ("Bridge to Terabithia," "Zathura," "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant," etc.) while he's been growing up.

He also has "Red Dawn" in the can. The remake of John Milius' 1984 flick has China invading the United States. "That's a really cool movie with a cool concept about a bunch of teens fighting back after this invasion. I loved it! It was so much fun to make," he says. "We did military training for it."

He'll head home to Kentucky for the Fourth of July holiday, then take to the road for a cross-country trip with a group including his mom and a cousin. After that, he has the sequel to his "Journey to the Center of the Earth" movie to prepare for. "Mysterious Island" goes into production this fall.

COME BACK AND COMEBACK: Darius Rucker reports he's about to make a video to go out in conjunction with his new "Come Back Song" single — which is about a guy who is miserable since his girl left, not about Rucker's transformation from hit-challenged Hootie and the Blowfish lead to hot country star over the past couple of years.

"Everything is happening soon," says Rucker. He is also part of the lineup for this year's "A Capitol Fourth" celebration.

"They just called me out of the blue, and I was really happy about it," he reports, speaking of the Fourth of July song and fireworks spectacular taking place on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. He'll be on a bill led by host Jimmy Smits and including David Archuleta, Gladys Knight and Reba McEntire. Though he doesn't know exactly what he'll be performing, he's looking forward to joining his stellar colleagues onstage. "Some people are going to jam together, and it's going to be fun."

Rucker's touring all summer, mostly with Brad Paisley. His second country album is coming out in the fall. "It's super busy, but the great thing about being in country music is you can tour on the weekends and be home three or four days a week." Besides, his two daughters and his son, as well as his wife, Beth, come out to see him on tour. "They're getting old," he says of his offspring, who range from 15 to 5. "They all say they're going to be in music." Time will tell.

COME AS YOU ARE: Joey Lawrence, who returns to series TV in August with "Melissa and Joey" — his ABC Family sitcom also starring Melissa Joan Hart — says he's grown to appreciate his TV fan base more and more as years have passed. The actor, who rose to fame as the teen heartthrob of "Gimme a Break!" and "Blossom," notes, "When you're on a show like that, you're sort of on TV forever, and that's a really cool thing. People have watched you while they're eating breakfast in the morning, or at night with their friends or sitting in their underwear. You get such a loyal following." Plus, one doesn't have to be pigeonholed. As Lawrence reminds, "Will Smith, Tom Hanks, John Travolta — they all started in TV." Lawrence is developing features for himself under his own production banner.

HERE AND THERE: Stefanie Powers, who'll play Norma Desmond in a stand of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Sunset Boulevard" in Maine this summer, is also taking on a role in a low-budget indie shooting in L.A., we hear. It's called "Three Days," and it has to do with actors in a radio play. The wild animal preservationist and one-time "Hart to Hart" heroine has just wrapped up work on her forthcoming memoir for Simon & Schuster.

To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2010 MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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