Top Story: Cameron Diaz Suit Begins
Charlie's Angels star Cameron Diaz is seeking an injunction to keep photos of her taken at a private modeling session over 10 years ago from being released. The Associated Press reports the actress claims in the suit that photographer John Rutter forged her signature on a release, and that she never gave permission for the photos to be publicized. AP reports Rutter told the news program Inside Edition he had contacted Diaz's lawyers to offer them the photos before he sold them to any media outlets, and that after the lawyers offered to buy them his Venice, Calif., apartment was raided. A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office confirms the investigation and claims to have seized "evidence" from Rutter's residence as part of the investigation. "In the lawsuit, Diaz claims she did not sign a photo release and that the release produced by the photographer is a forgery. A criminal investigation is pending," the spokesman informed Reuters, although the photographer has not yet been charged with a crime.
No Monkeyface for Douglas, Zeta-Jones
Director Stephen Frears told Reuters during an interview Tuesday that plans for his racetrack heist pic Monkeyface starring Hollywood couple Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas have collapsed. The pic had been scheduled to begin shooting in later this year but Frears said the stars couldn't do a deal. "I thought it was going to be a nice little treat, something to look forward to," Frears, who worked with Zeta-Jones on the 2000 film High Fidelity, added. "So this is sad."
Douglas, Zeta-Jones Return to Court Over Wedding Pics
In other Douglas and Zeta-Jones news, lawyers for the couple return to London's High Court today to seek damages from celebrity magazine Hello! for printing unauthorized photographs of their elaborate 2000 wedding, Reuters reports. In April, they won a legal battle against Hello! for publishing the pics three days before official shots appeared in rival magazine OK!, with which they had signed a $1.6 million exclusive deal.
Madonna To Star in Gap Campaign
In an attempt to lure shoppers in their 30s and early 40s, the Gap has recruited pop icon Madonna as the new face for their fall multimillion-dollar ad campaign. A spokeswoman for the Gap told AP the campaign also features rap star Missy Elliott--but refused to give further details. Madonna is also set to do some tie-ins with Gap to promote her children's book, The English Roses, due out Sept. 15. The campaign, set to break July 28.
"Mr. Ray" Sues Finding Nemo Makers
Children's entertainer Mr. Ray filed a lawsuit in New York's federal court against Walt Disney Co. and Pixar Animation Studios Inc., claiming a manta ray named "Mr. Ray" in the animated feature Finding Nemo is destroying his reputation. Mr. Ray, whose real name is Ray Yodlowsky, is known in parts of New Jersey for his songs "Kalien the Alien" and "Roy G Biv." He alleges the use of the "Mr. Ray" name would "obliterate and destroy Plaintiff's reputation" and the market for his products, Reuters reports. He is seeking $10 million from Disney and Pixar.
Zombie Signs Comic Book Deal
Rob Zombie has signed a deal with MVCreations and CrossGen Entertainment for the release of his new comic series, Rob Zombie's Spook Show International. According to Launch.com, the first story in the six-issue, horror-based comic miniseries begins with the evil Zombie freed from his eternal slumber. The second issue deals with several subplots from Zombie's recent movie House of 1,000 Corpses, and the third issue combines strip clubs, kidnapping, espionage and monsters. The first issue will be released October 29.
Rosanna Arquette Develops ABC Comedy
Rosanna Arquette has signed with ABC Family to develop a yet untitled half-hour scripted comedy based on her life. According to Variety, the show will star Arquette and her real-life best friend Kimberly Beck Clark as they try to balance their Hollywood lifestyles with motherhood. The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course scribe Holly Goldberg Sloan is set to write the series.
Roseanne Barr Makes Reality TV Debut
She's back! Installments of the 13-episode The Real Roseanne Show are set to debut at 9 p.m. Aug. 6 on ABC. According to the AP, the show chronicles Roseanne Barr's efforts to start a new cooking program called Domestic Goddess and features her munching doughnuts with celebrity friends, including Sandra Bernhard. Domestic Goddess will begin running on ABC's Family cable channel following the six-week series run.
Simon Cowell Signs $2 Million Book Deal
American Idol judge Simon Cowell has signed a $2 million deal with Random House for a book about the hit TV talent show. I Don't Mean to be Rude, But..., co-authored by his older brother, British journalist Tony Cowell, is set to be published Dec. 2 in the United States and Canada. According to Reuters, the book will provide an insider's view of American Idol and will chronicle Cowell's 25-year career as a manager and executive in the recording industry.
Role Call: Pirates Sequel Sets Sail, Brody Joins Shyamalan's Woods
Walt Disney Co. has made sequel arrangements with cast members Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski for a sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, which bowed in theaters last week. According to The Hollywood Reporter no specific story line has yet been set ... The star-studded cast of director M. Night Shyamalan's upcoming thriller The Woods just keeps growing. Osc
Steve and Terri Irwin are crocodile relocators in Far North Queensland Australia. They spend a lot of time well relocating crocs--saving a baby kangaroo and charming a few snakes along the way. But all that's about to change. A U.S. satellite has exploded in space and its black box has re-entered the atmosphere and ended up in the gut of a nasty 12-foot croc the Irwins are about to relocate. The FBI CIA and goodness knows what other agencies are out to find the box at any cost because it contains data that could change the world's power structure. When the agents cross paths with the Irwins they become convinced that the two croc hunters are actually spies mainly because as one agent says toward the end of the film "You don't make that kind of money in cable television." That's for sure and that's probably the reason the producers turned The Crocodile Hunter cable show into a movie. It definitely wasn't because the script was irresistible: The plot is as transparent as shed snakeskin and the acting (if it can be called that) is as stiff as the spikes on a croc's back. I'm sure this is the kind of movie that a critic shouldn't take seriously but from its lizard-pooh opening to its crocodile-pooh finish The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course really stinks.
Director/story writer/producer John Stainton was working with Irwin long before The Crocodile Hunter TV show became an international hit. In fact he wrote a movie script for Irwin in the mid-1990s that was scrapped because he didn't think Irwin should be acting. It's a shame he didn't take that thought process one step further; we'd all have been spared an agonizing guided tour of a good idea gone very very bad. The film's stars while appealing enough in the one-hour documentary format simply can't sustain a full-length motion picture and Mr. Irwin would have done well to heed his own advice--"Don't muck with it." Granted at least Stainton was smart enough to present the Irwins doing what they do best--enthusiastically working with wild animals while talking straight into the camera. The task of plot development is left to the other cast members--mainly Australian actors doing caricatures of Americans--who overdramatically play out the goofy spy plot in scenes that are completely separate from the Irwins' animal antics until the last 10 minutes of the film. The Irwin family dog Sui is probably the best actor of the bunch--and the smartest too. Most of the time she looks like she'd rather be just about anywhere else which is the most intelligent thing anybody in this film does.
As if anybody needed it The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course is proof that what works on TV doesn't necessarily make a good movie; the Crocodile Hunter documentary routine quickly grows frustrating in the film because the Irwin scenes do nothing to further what little plot the movie actually has. Plus the reason why the Irwins continually talk into the camera goes unexplained until the very end of the film--and when someone finally mentions the fact that the Irwins have been "filming" their show throughout the movie it's so offhand that it's easily missed. At the same time the spy storyline that drives the plot is trite and because of the movie's bizarre structure it's played out by actors the audience couldn't care less about rather than by the ones they came to see. The spy scenes separate the Irwin segments like commercials--and like commercials when they come on you just want to get up and go to the bathroom grab a snack or feed the dog. The best thing that can be said for Stainton's direction is that at least he's not afraid of the film's ridiculousness. Bad though the movie is in every way Stainton puts it all out there as enthusiastically as Steve Irwin wrestles crocs and that's saying something. The film also gets across the Irwins' admittedly important message about conservation loud and clear but that probably won't be enough to keep its audience from becoming extinct.