Be Cool: MGM is in talks with John Travolta to reprise his role of Chili Palmer in Be Cool, the follup to Get Shorty.

Variety reports that the follow-up begins after Palmer, the savvy Miami loan shark-turned-movie producer, hatches a hit film and then a bomb. He then becomes the promoter of a struggling singer who is being pursued by the Russian mafia.

The trade adds that the talks with Travolta coincide with growing expectations that Brett Ratner will come aboard as the film's director, after sparking to a script draft by Peter Steinfeld that emboldened the studio to move forward aggressively.

Ratner owes his next picture to New Line who are hoping he will helm Rush Hour 3, but it is far from clear that the sequel will be ready in the short term, in which case MGM would have to make a deal with New Line. Travolta, who is currently filming Ladder 49 with Joaquin Phoenix and Balthazar Getty and will next star in The Punisher, with Thomas Jane for Artisan Entertainment.

Stay tuned...

Brian B.