Clearly lacking anything resembling a job or significant relationship, Star Wars fanatics began their vigil outside of the Chinese Theater in Hollywood, six weeks prior to the movie's premiere. Variety reports that approximately half a dozen fans are already in line, guaranteeing them tickets to the initial public screening of Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. These unwashed Star Wars faithful say they plan to pass the time talking about the sci-fi movie series with passers-by and talking to the media--from a distance, one hopes.
Well, shut my mouth and call me Sally: Apparently the tabloids are wrong! According to the Associated Press, Spider-Man co-stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst are NOT an item. Vanity Fair, though, quotes the charismatic pair as being professionally in love with each other. Dunst praises Maguire's ability to cry on cue, and Maguire says that there's "no vanity" in Dunst's acting.
Looks like Russell Crowe may end up in court--but not for something the easily irritated Aussie was charged for. Rather, the Oscar-winning actor may be called to testify against three men accused of blackmailing him with a videotape that allegedly involves the thespian in a street fight, the BBC reports.
New mom Liz Hurley got more good news yesterday. Mere hours after giving birth, a man who has been accused of stalking the international beauty was remanded into custody, the BBC reports.
In the Biz
As if times for the beleaguered John Travolta couldn't get worse. Variety reports that a rumor is floating around that the Battlefield Earth and Domestic Disturbance star (duds, both) will split with his manger of 17 years, Jonathan Krane.
Miramax Films has grabbed the rights to the waning Pokemon film series away from Warner Bros. Although the first installment grossed more than $85 million, the third episode (and latest) brought in just $17 million. Still, according to a source quoted in the Los Angeles Times, Miramax shelled out a cool $1 million for the rights to the next two sequels in the continuing saga of the pocket monsters.
E.T. was a sonic boom the first time it was released, but mere signal noise this time around. Re-released 20 years after its debut--and after it grossed more than £500 million worldwide--Steven Spielberg's opus grossed a miniscule £4.6 million over Easter weekend (26 countries), Britain's Screen Daily reports.
John Malkovich (Being John Malkovich) has signed on to play the villain in the latest Rowan Atkinson comedy, Johnny English, a parody of spy films. Pop singer Natalie Imbruglia will join the boys in the film as a seductive temptress.
CBS is going back to the past one more time. Following last November's successful Carol Burnett Show special, next month the eye network will air a one-hour reunion with the cast from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Other networks are following CBS' lead: ABC is planning a Laverne & Shirley retrospective, Fox is looking into a Three's Company tribute and NBC is devoting the entire month of May to reunions and highlight shows as part of its 75th anniversary celebration.
Whew! R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck was acquitted of all charges stemming from an alleged fit of rage while drunk on an airplane last April. Buck's successful defense was comprised almost wholly by the claims "It wasn't me" and "Free tickets for any juror who finds me innocent."
How cute: Kelly Osbourne is following in daddy's shoes, sort of. The daughter of shock-rocker Ozzy Osbourne is covering Madonna's hit song "Papa Don't Preach" with the help of Incubus band members Mike Einziger and Jose Pasillas II, the AP reports. Kelly told MTV News she's worried about the single's success "because I don't think I'm a very good singer." Ah, like father, like daughter.
The spy business is dangerous, very dangerous. The AP reports that a stuntman on the set of Vin Diesel's latest movie, XXX, died while doing a parasailing stunt when he hit a bridge in Prague. XXX isn't the salacious movie described by its title; it's an urban spy thriller revolving around extreme-sports athletes.
While the dark side will almost certainly grow stronger in Star Wars: Episode II - The Attack of the Clones, the film itself will still be a vehicle for good. Eleven sneak previews (in 11 different cities nationwide) for Episode II have been announced, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting local children's charities. The previews will be held May 12, four days before the official release of Episode II. A Lucasfilm/20th Century Fox release quoted a pleased Chewbacca as saying "MMMRRAAAAHHHM." We couldn't agree more.
Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient) is set to star in the romantic comedy The Chambermaid opposite super-sexy Jennifer Lopez. (To quote famous philosopher Homer Simpson, "Mmm, Jennifer Lopez.") Ms. Lopez will play the titular chambermaid who becomes romantically involved with Fiennes' politician character. (As if Jennifer would clean her own bathroom, much less someone else's.)
New Jersey's Bergen County Prosecutor William Schmidt, head of the victims' family advisory board for his county, has requested that CBS not show graphic footage from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in its planned March 10 documentary on the subject. Writing on behalf of the United Way, American Red Cross and other groups, Schmidt said it would disrupt the healing process. In related news, scientists have observed that the ostrich's penchant for sticking its head in sand in times of danger really doesn't help.
During her routine at an Ovarian Cancer Research benefit, soon-to-be ex-talk show host Rosie O'Donnell proudly proclaimed, "I'm a dyke!" the USA Today reports. Wanting to shed her "nice" label, O'Donnell later ripped on Anne Heche at Carolines Comedy Club in NYC. Lampooning Heche's interview with Barbara Walters, in which Heche admitted she was "possessed," O'Donnell attacked with "She couldn't just say, 'I was a lesbian for two years, it didn't work out for me'?" We bow to the master.
Not-so-nice Jewish boy Al Goldstein, publisher of lurid Screw magazine, was convicted of six counts (and acquitted of six more counts) of aggravated harassment for graphically tongue-lashing with expletives an employee who had just quit. Our New York City correspondent, covering the trial in Brooklyn, filed this report: "I can't f***ing believe they f***ing convicted his a** for some s****y curses. This is f***ing NYC, after all!"
Five former Screen Actors Guild presidents have publicly excoriated current SAG CEO Bob Pisano for jettisoning Lance Simmens, the now former government relations director. Ed Asner, William Daniels, Charlton Heston, Howard Keel and Dennis Weaver sent an open letter to all SAG members complaining that "Mr. Pisano and [SAG president] Melissa Gilbert have put their own agenda forward." Pisano and Gilbert were unavailable for comment, other than to say they really enjoyed Dennis Weaver's recent turn as a guest voice on The Simpsons.
Despite a U.S. Senate threat to impose government legislation, the computer industry is asking the government to allow private negotiations to continue on how best to safeguard movies with the advent of digital TV. Senator Fritz Hollings, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and other legislators are frustrated with the stalled transition to digital TV. (Methinks they shouldn't have bought those high-priced, new-fangled HDTV sets from Circuit City just yet. No wonder they're frustrated.)