Ally McBeal Lawyer Upends Posh for Charlie's Angels

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After months of speculation that Spice Girl Victoria Adams would launch a career in Hollywood with a coveted role in the big-screen update of the blockbuster 1970s TV series ``Charlie's Angels,'' Columbia Pictures announced that the part would instead go to Lucy Liu.

The studio said Monday that Liu -- best known for her role as the icy lawyer Ling Woo on ``Ally McBeal'' -- would join Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore as the three beautiful crime-busters first made famous by Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith.

The film, which begins shooting next month in Los Angeles for release in November 2000, is billed by the studio as a ''sexy update'' of the original blockbuster series.

The ABC crime drama helped define the 1970s and made Fawcett a superstar -- her hairstyle was copied in American high schools and her skimpy swimsuit poster hung on teenage boys' bedroom walls. All this even though she left the show after one year and was replaced by Cheryl Ladd.

Columbia said Liu will star in ``Charlie's Angels'' as Alex, the ``class act,'' alongside Barrymore's Dylan, the ``tough girl,'' and Diaz's Natalie, ``the bookworm.''

In a description reminiscent of the voiceover at the opening of the original series, the studio said the three women would be ``as intelligent and multitalented as they are gorgeous and disarming.''

There was no word from the studio on who would play Bosley, the right-hand man to the Angels' elusive boss Charlie, who gave the Angels their marching orders by telephone and went to great lengths to remain unseen during the show's five-year run from 1976 to 1981.

According to reports in the British press, Adams, who is best known as ``Posh Spice'' in the best-selling all-girl pop group ``The Spice Girls,'' had sought the part as her entry into Hollywood.