Sean Combs  Tatum's Tale | 'Home of the Brave'

Puffy's Next Movie: 'Carlito II'

Sean Combs — aka P. Diddy — is about to make his next foray into films.

I hear he's made a deal to star in the prequel to "Carlito's Way," the 1993 Brian De Palma classic that starred Sean Penn and Al Pacino.

The new movie, "Carlito's Way: The Beginning," will begin production shortly and will be written and directed by Michael S. Bregman, son of producer Martin Bregman.

Bregman told me recently, "I think this one is going to be better than the first one."

It had better be, for Combs' sake. His Bad Boy Entertainment record company is suffering from poor sales on Mase's big return with "Welcome Back."

The CD has sold only 413,000 copies according to SoundScan, and from that you must deduct the royalty payment to John Sebastian for use of the song "Welcome Back."

Ouch! It might have been less expensive to not come back at all.

Otherwise, Bad Boy is a floundering enterprise over at Universal Music, which is still getting over paying off Combs' flank man, Shyne, $3 million in advance for an album that didn't sell and a record label no one cares about.

Then there are those stories of Mariah Carey (see Wednesday's column) and the crazy idea that rapper Jay-Z will soon be running Island/Def Jam Records.

Combs' new movie move adds to his repertoire after decent performances in "Monster's Ball" and "Made." Last summer he appeared in Broadway's "A Raisin in the Sun."

Clearly he wants to be a professional actor. At least there's less overhead than in running a record label.

And let's not forget his clothing line. While Sean John is said to be popular, so far the new retail shop on Fifth Avenue is said to be underperforming. Gray-hooded cashmere sweatshirts may not be as necessary this fall as we had thought!

Watch Tatum Bait 'Em

Tatum O'Neal has gone off to promote her book, "Paper Life," presumably a tell-all about her nasty childhood.

I doubt she'll be a guest on the "McEnroe" show on MSNBC, although that would be television for the ages.

Already Tatum is complaining that her dad Ryan O'Neal is a bad grandfather, etc. But what kind of father was he?

Many — and I do mean many — parts had to be cut out of Julia Phillips' famous "You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again" concerning Tatum and her father and their exploits, in particular about drug-taking.

I do not know if Tatum has 'fessed up to these hijinks or not. Michael Jackson would seem tame by comparison.

The great tragedy of Tatum, of course, is having seen her separated from her three children for most of their lives. I know from talking to her on and off that in all that time, she's had little to no support from her father.

Hopefully the book will settle a lot of questions and set the world straight on the long, tough life she's led.

'Brave' Opening at Last

Paola di Florio is finally going to see the premiere of her much-anticipated documentary "Home of the Brave."

It's tonight in New York followed by a limited run. Check local listings to see where it's playing.

"Home of the Brave" is an extraordinary documentary that should win, not just be nominated for, the Oscar, but I don't know if anyone will ever see it.

Di Florio weaves together the true-life story of civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo, a Detroit housewife who was murdered during the voter-rights marches of 1965 in Selma, Ala., and the sagas of the five children she left behind.

"Home of the Brave" is the most important documentary of the year, eclipsing those that have had more publicity.

Oprah, dear sweet thin Oprah, would do more good having the Liuzzo children and di Florio on her show than any more fawning promotions for new products. Liuzzo's story is the American story in red, white and blue Technicolor.