Top Story: Latifah and Zeta-Jones To Perform at Oscars
Queen Latifah and a very pregnant Catherine Zeta-Jones have agreed to perform a duet from their musical Chicago at Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony, The Associated Press reports. The melody, titled "I Move On," is nominated for best original song. Zeta-Jones performed the number in the film with co-star Renee Zellweger, who declined to reprise her performance for the Oscar telecast. Latifah and Zeta-Jones, whose second child with husband Michael Douglas is due in April, are both nominated in the supporting actress category for their roles in Chicago. The musical has 13 nominations, including a nod for Best Picture.
Odds Makers Pick "Chicago" for Best Picture
An informal survey of three Las Vegas Strip odds makers determined that Chicago is the favorite to win the Oscar for Best Picture at Sunday night's 75th annual Academy Awards. Although no money is being wagered on the ceremony, odds makers said their picks add to the entertainment tradition of the Oscars. "There is such a buzz of excitement and worldwide interest surrounding the Academy Awards that we wanted to create another outlet for spectators and movie buffs to enjoy the event," Doug Casteneda, race and sports book shift manager at Stardust, told the AP.
Angelina Jolie's Oscar Dress: Stolen!
The dress Angelina Jolie was to wear at Sunday's Oscar ceremony has been stolen from British designer Scott Henshall's car in London Wednesday evening, Reuters reports. "There is no way I can remake Angelina's or any other dresses in time," Henshall told the London Evening Standard Thursday. "There were 20 outfits in the collection and now the nine most glamorous have gone." Jolie's outfit was described as a body-hugging corset dress decorated with cherubs.
Monica Lewinsky To Host Fox Reality Show
Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky will host the hidden-identity dating show Mr. Personality, set to debut on Fox April 21. According to Variety, the show will follow a group of average-looking guys whose faces have been masked as they try to win one woman's affections. Their looks will be concealed throughout the dating process, as the woman eliminates a contestant each week until she narrows her choice to one man.
Kelly Ripa Heads to Primetime
Morning talk show host Kelly Ripa is finalizing a deal to play a former soap star in the ABC sitcom pilot Hope & Faith, Variety reports. If the pilot gets picked up, Ripa will stay on as co-host of Live! With Regis & Kelly, splitting her time between the talk show and the sitcom. In the pilot, Ripa's newly unemployed character Faith will move in with her non-pro fraternal twin sister Hope, who is married with kids.
Lawmakers Want Chicks To Give Free Concert
South Carolina House members think the Dixie Chicks should apologize for lead singer Natalie Maines' criticism of President Bush by performing a free concert for troops. According to the AP, Republican state Rep. Catherine Ceips introduced a resolution Wednesday, which passed the House on a 50-35 vote. "I think it's an olive branch to the Dixie Chicks," Ceips said. The group's publicist, Cindi Berger, had no comment on the resolution.
Ozzy Osbourne Gets New Bassist
Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted has joined Ozzy Osbourne's band and will hit the stage this summer on the Ozzfest tour, the AP reports. In a weird twist, Ozzy and Metallica have basically traded bass players: bassist Robert Trujillo left Ozzy's band to fill Newsted's spot in Metallica. Trujillo played his last show with Ozzy on Friday.
Role Call: Ratner Set for "Rush Hour 3," Freeman Joins Hip-Hop Musical
Director Brett Ratner will no longer direct Superman for Warner Bros. Pictures. Ratner will instead helm Rush Hour 3 starring Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, which he had previously agreed to make for New Line Cinema. The studio hopes to have a first draft from Bad Company scribe Jason Richman in eight weeks ... MGM is planning a contemporary hip-hop-themed musical titled Colors Straight Up, which is based on the Oscar-nominated documentary by Michele Ohayon. Morgan Freeman is expected to take one of the strong supporting roles in the film ... Cedric the Entertainer and Mike Epps are in talks to start in Paramount Pictures' The Honeymooners, based on the 1950s CBS television series.