TROUBLE CITY

STEVE MINER: STILL EMPLOYABLE

Movie NewsJeremy SmithComment

http://chud.com/nextraimages/jessicasimpsonyeah.jpgWhat's your favorite Steve Miner movie? Is it Friday the 13th Part II or Part III? House or Warlock? Lake Placid or Texas Rangers?

All joking aside (my apologies if you're actually pondering the above query), Miner did direct one minor classic: the first season Christmas episode of The Wonder Years in which Jason Hervey obnoxiously lobbies his father for a color television. That's more than Sheldon Lettich, Mark L. Lester or Dwight H. Little can claim (he says as he girds himself for indignant emails from fans of Lionheart, Showdown in Little Tokyo and Murder at 1600: The Address That Changes All the Rules). So I'll cut Miner a little bit of slack for carving out an otherwise forgettable career bellowing action on bad sequels, worse Young Guns retreads and I'm Dying Now!?!?

And, frankly, I'd give anything to be Steve Miner over the next few months as he preps and shoots Major Movie Star, a Private Benjamin retread starring the buxom Jessica Simpson. Simpson will play a bratty starlet who enlists in the Marines to curry favor with a studio that considers her too fresh-scrubbed for a gritty military flick. Why a round of blow jobs wouldn't suffice will hopefully be explained in April Blair's screenplay.

This project has apparently been kicking around quite a bit, because there are now over a dozen producers overseeing the picture. Millennium Films Avi Lerner appears to be the top dog right now, but he'll have that colossal pain in the ass Joe Simpson looking over his shoulder, while Chris Bender, J.C. Spink and Denise DiNovi (among many others) will exec produce. The film will begin shooting in Louisiana next month.