Jessica Simpson: A recent article over at MTV has actress Jessica Simpson talking about her possible upcoming slate and production status of the films she's screen testing for. It seems after her hit show, "Newlyweds", on MTV finishes it's run, Simspon could be one busy starlet.

Simpson had previously expressed interest in filling Barbara Eden's harem pants in an upcoming "I Dream of Jeannie" movie (see "Jessica Simpson Dreams Of Jeannie Role, But Sitcom Comes First"), but that project has stalled as it looks for a director. So now Simpson is seeing if she can squeeze into Catherine Bach's hot pants in the movie remake of another classic television series, "The Dukes of Hazzard." Ashton Kutcher and Paul Walker are currently favorites to play Bo and Luke Duke.

"I would love to be Daisy Duke," Simpson said. "I think that would be so much fun, just to wear the shorts. I would get to have my own car. I think it would be a blast."

Simpson recently met with producer Bill Gerber to discuss taking a part in the TV show adaptation, which, like the CBS show that aired from 1979 to 1985, would focus on the adventures of two Southern cousins who race around Hazzard County in an orange Charger named the General Lee. Gerber sang the singer's praises when he described the meeting to People magazine, saying Simpson is "young, moral, bright, gorgeous and Southern — everything that Daisy is."

"The meeting just went really, really great," Simpson said, "so we'll see. 'I Dream of Jeannie' is a little further behind, so the 'Dukes' will be first to go. I honestly don't know when I'll find out, but they start shooting in May or June, so let's keep our fingers crossed."

Simpson's also keeping her fingers crossed for a long-hinted-about Marvel Comics movie, the details of which she'd been keeping quiet about. Now, however, she's confirmed that she shot a screen test for "Mort the Dead Teenager," based on an adaptation of an obscure, out-of-print title that follows the ghost of a teen who is commanded by Death to haunt the friends he had during his life, including the girl of his dreams (the role the singer wants).

"It's an adorable script," Simpson said. "I would love to do it. It's the next 'Back to the Future,' it's that cool. I think it'll have a cult-type following. It's a clever, clever script, and the way it could be shot would be really cool."

One glitch — the film is languishing in development. Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis bought the books for adaptation, commissioned a script and enlisted Elijah Wood to play Mort. Then DreamWorks sold the rights to Artisan Entertainment. Then it was sold again, this time to Quentin Tarantino's A Band Apart and Madonna's Maverick Films for them to co-produce, with distribution by Dimension/Miramax. Now, a rep for Dimension says they're not involved, and a rep for Marvel says there's no director, leaving the project in limbo.

"I think it's just about placing it with the right studio," Simpson said. "And if they can still get Elijah, that would be perfect."

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Brian B.