Spielberg: A Pinch Hitter?

Filmmaker Steven Spielberg might be the anointed one--the director of what would have been Stanley Kubrick's next film project. London's Sunday Times reports that Kubrick, who died in March just after completing "Eyes Wide Shut" with Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, was planning to make a futuristic film called "AI," about a young "robot" boy adopted by a childless woman.

The director's family and Warner Bros., where Kubrick worked for many years, appear enthusiastic about Spielberg possibly seeing the project through, the newspaper said.

The filmmaker, a close friend of Kubrick, confirmed that he has read "the very long treatment" as well as seen the storyboards for "AI." But the newspaper did not say whether he has agreed to take on the project.

Spielberg is working on the third "Jurassic Park" movie and an adaptation of the book "Memoirs of a Geisha."

Not-So-Secretive Kubrick

Christine Kubrick, 67, who was married to the director for 42 years, says her husband was not the recluse often portrayed in the media.

In an interview published on Saturday in Britain's Times newspaper, Kubrick said her husband was angry over his reputation as a "monstrous nerd" in the last two years of his life but couldn't decide what to do about it.

"He was a perfectionist in his films. He wasn't a compulsive, horrible workaholic. He was very gregarious," she said.

The American-born Kubrick had lived in England for years, and had not given an interview for two decades before he died. His wife said he didn't speak to reporters because he thought his films were more interesting than he was. Kubrick said her husband had said, "I'm treated nicely in other countries, in Italy, France. . . . What have I done to England?"

For the Love of Money

Princess Diana's former lover James Hewitt is still capitalizing on his liaison with her. His latest sale is a new memoir compiled after retrieving dozens of love letters.

Rival British newspapers over the weekend ran the headlines "Cruel Hewitt," "Cad in a Cravat" and "Lowest of Low," condemning his deal with the Mail, where the memoir will be serialized for $800,000.

Publication could start next week. The book is said to include notes from the late princess's two sons, William and Harry, when the boys were ages 8 and 5.

Included in the offering are 63 letters written by Diana, most between 1990 and 1991. In February, Hewitt successfully sued to recover the letters, which had been taken by another girlfriend.

End Note

And in the do-we-really-care category, American actor John Malkovich's new movie, "Being John Malkovich," showing at the Venice Film Festival, is aptly titled. First-time director Spike Jonze led the way in a film all about what takes place inside Malkovich's head.

The Reliable Source returns tomorrow.

CAPTION: Steven Spielberg, right, reportedly might pick up where Stanley Kubrick left off with "AI."