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Same Old Story

Sequels, prequels and threequels headline Hollywood 2007

Also on the horizon and with some buzz is a spate of biopics, most of them set, peculiarly, in the 1970s. Nick Cassavetes wrote and directed Alpha Dog, which debuts in January and is based on the misadventures of Jesse James Hollywood, one of the youngest criminals ever to land on the FBI's Most Wanted List. Then there's David Fincher's Zodiac, a thriller about the notorious San Francisco serial killer starring Jake Gyllenhaal, and Lasse Hallström's The Hoax, starring Richard Gere as Clifford Irving, who was sort of the Jayson Blair of the 1970s, only sleazier, as if that's possible. Brad Pitt is the original Missouri good ol' boy outlaw in The Assassination of Jesse James, and J-Lo and hubby Marc Anthony bring salsa star Hector Lavoe's life to the screen in El Cantante.

If little else, it's clear that the problems plaguing Hollywood will only grow worse in 2007: piracy, which the movie industry says is stealing $1.3 billion from its U.S. revenues alone; new media, though no one at the studios has yet figured out how to make money online; young Hollywood, better known for their Page Six performances than memorable roles.

My prediction? Hollywood moguls will find ways to pay themselves bigger bonuses while cutting the pay and perks for everyone else. And that's certainly not an original idea.

Nikki Finke writes the "Deadline Hollywood" column forLA Weekly and covers the movie industry on her blog, deadlinehollywooddaily.com.

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