The so-easy-to-tease Richard Gere might have a few urban legends swirling about him, but he's also collected his share of leading ladies and co-stars. He was a talented escort dating Lauren Hutton in American Gigolo; he swept Debra Winger off her feet in An Officer and a Gentleman; he cleaned Julia Roberts up and made her a Pretty Woman; he faced everyone from Helen Hunt to Liv Tyler in Dr. T and the Women; and he more recently danced with J Lo and Susan Sarandon in Shall We Dance. Now, in the wake of his Indian kissing troubles and lip warrants, Gere is going to the dogs.

Variety has announced that the actor will star and produce Hachiko: A Dog's Story. Based on a true story and the 1987 Japanese film, the film will follow Gere playing a college prof who decides to share his home with an abandoned dog. "Both man and hound find their lives changed forever as they form an unbreakable bond." Sweet, ain't it? I can almost cut the melodramatic anticipation with a knife! There is no director attached to the feature yet, but one should be picked soon, before the film heads into production this September -- a production of Inferno Entertainment, in association with the Japan-based Shochiku. Have any of you seen the original? I'd be curious to know how it is, and whether you think Gere could pull it off. Personally, I'm not too thrilled by the current description, and hope there's some more depth to it -- and that it doesn't have any sort of sappy, tear at your heart, Old Yeller fate.