Top Story: Man Charged With Stalking Sheryl Crow
A former Navy diver was charged Wednesday with three counts of stalking and harassing singer Sheryl Crow, Reuters reports. Ambrose Kappos, 37, of New York, was also charged with burglary for breaking into the Hammerstein Ballroom near New York's Herald Square on Monday when Crow was rehearsing for a benefit show. Bail was set at $15,000 cash or a $45,000 bond but Kappos' court-appointed lawyer said it was doubtful his client would be able to raise the money to be released. He is due back in court on Friday to learn if he has been indicted on the charges. If convicted, Kappos could face seven years in prison.
Shyamalan Boards Pi Project
Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan could make his first film outside the Walt Disney Co. banner since his supernatural thriller The Sixth Sense in 1999. According to Variety, Shyamalan is looking to adapt the survival-at-sea tale Life of Pi, the prizewinning novel by Yann Martel, for 20th Century Fox. Pi is about a deeply religious 16-year-old Indian boy en route to a new life in Canada with a Noah's Ark of animals from his father's zoo in Pondicherry when the freighter transporting him sinks. The boy escapes in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg and a hyena, and becomes convinced that his own survival hinges on the wild cat. Shyamalan reportedly connected with the project because the protagonist, Pi, hails from his birthplace--Pondicherry, Tamil-Nadu province, in India. Fox is hoping Shyamalan will make Pi his next pic after wrapping The Village (previously titled The Woods), set for release in August. The pact breaks Disney's hold on the director, whose The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs have grossed $1.3 billion worldwide for the studio.
Siegfried: Tiger Was Protecting Horn
Speaking of one whose life was affected by a tiger, Siegfried Fischbacher, half of the Las Vegas performance duo "Siegfried & Roy," said in an interview on CNN's Larry King Live Wednesday that the 600-pound white tiger was trying to help Roy Horn after the magician took a fall in the middle of a performance on Friday at the Mirage hotel-casino. "I just saw that the tiger grabbed him on the sleeve ... and Roy said, 'Let go,' and the tiger let go and Roy bent back and he slipped," Fischbacher said. "The tiger (grabbed) Roy in the neck and he pulled him back on stage." Fischbacher added that the tiger sensed heightened danger when he and an animal trainer ran to Horn's aid and suggested the animal took him backstage to protect him. Horn is in critical but stable condition at University Medical Center in Las Vegas.
Roger Moore Knighted
Former James Bond actor Roger Moore was knighted by Queen Elizabeth Thursday for his work as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nation Children's Fund, Reuters reports. Moore took over the role of secret agent 007 from Sean Connery in the 1973 film Live and Let Die. His last Bond film was 1985's A View to a Kill. The 75-year-old actor also had a word for fellow actor-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, who will become California's next governor. "If he does all the things that he says he will, then California will be an even better place to live in," Moore said.
Tribeca Announces Dates for Third Fest
The third annual Tribeca Film Festival will run from May 1-9, 2004 in Lower Manhattan. According to Variety, the festival announced a call for screenplay submissions to the Tribeca/Sloan development program for feature projects with a scientific or technological theme. The screenplay program, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, provides financial support and mentorship over a one-year period from an advisory panel of filmmakers and experts in science and technology. Submission information for both the festival and Tribeca/Sloan program is available at www.tribecafilminstitute.org.
McCartney, Starr Attend Premiere of Harrison Tribute Pic
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the two surviving members of the Beatles, joined family and friends of George Harrison for the British premiere Wednesday of Concert for George, a filmed tribute concert for their bandmate who died of cancer nearly two years ago. "It's a great film," McCartney told The Associated Press. "It was a great night and it was lovely to take part in it and to be here with all our friends." Other guests included Eric Clapton, Robbie Coltrane and former race driver Damon Hill. Concert for George, which was performed last year at Royal Albert Hall, will have a limited theatrical release Oct. 10, and will be available on DVD Nov. 17.
Napster 2.0 Debuts in Limited Release
A new pay version of Napster debuted today in limited release almost a year after the pioneer file-swapping service was salvaged from software maker Roxio Inc. The company shelved its former online music service, pressplay, and is moving subscribers to a beta version of Napster 2.0, the AP reports. Napster 2.0 will launch with more than a half-million songs from all the major music labels and offer individual song at $1 per song and album downloads for about $10. Monthly subscription services will also be available. Roxio is betting the Napster brand will help set its service apart from other digital music retailers, including Apple Computers' iTunes, Buy.com's BuyMusic.com, RealNetworks' Rhapsody, MusicNow and MusicNet.
ABC To Air Wife-Swapping Show
ABC has agreed to air a local version of the UK reality series Wife Swap for a six-week run next summer. The show follows women from different social backgrounds who switch families for two weeks. Wife Swap, which will be renamed Trading Moms in the United Sates, has been a hit on the UK's Channel 4, drawing 5 million viewers. According to The Hollywood Reporter, ABC had previously commissioned a pilot show from the show's producer, RDF Media, which declined to provide further details.
Group Opposes Embedded Product Placement
When judge Simon Cowell takes a sip from a red Coca-Cola cup right in th
Woody Allen's new comedy Hollywood Ending will open the Cannes Film Festival on May 15, and the veteran American director will be attending the festivities for the first time. Other Allen films, such as Manhattan and Hannah and Her Sisters, have been shown at the festival but the usually press-shy Allen has never made an appearance.
"Over the last few years, they have invited me so many times that I now want to offer them something in return: I will therefore come personally to present my film Hollywood Ending, which I think will be perfect for the event," Allen said in a statement, Reuters reported. The film stars Allen, Tea Leoni, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, George Hamilton and Treat Williams.
The employees of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno got a nice surprise before Monday's taping: $1,000 for each year he/she worked on the show, Variety reported. Leno just wanted them all to know how much he appreciated them. That's mighty nice of him. The show will celebrate its 10th anniversary May 23 and NBC is airing a special one-hour special April 30 at 10 p.m.
Want to know even more about "Ginger" Spice, aka Geri Halliwell? Yeah, well, neither do we, but apparently someone does. Britain's Mirror reported she has signed a deal to write a second autobiography for $719,000, detailing her life after leaving the Spice Girls. Her first book If Only, talked about her childhood and her years with the girl pop band.
Robin Wright Penn has joined Robert Downey Jr. in the film The Singing Detective, with producer Mel Gibson also taking a small role. The film, a remake of the popular BBC television mini-series, centers on a invalid (Downey) whose sickly hallucinations have him creating an alternative reality where he is fighting Nazis in the 1940s.
Matt Damon going on stage. The handsome actor be performing in the London West End production of This Is Our Youth, along with fellow actors Casey Affleck (what? No Ben?) and Summer Phoenix. This threesome will be taking over from Anna Paquin, Hayden Christensen and Jake Gyllenhaal on April 22.
The CBS Survivor team want to use Thailand's Tartutao Islands for the next series, despite some resistance from environmentalists, who claim TV production may further disrupt the region's ecological system. Several environmental groups blame the 1999 film The Beach, which filmed on a Thai island, for causing extensive damage there. The Thai government, however, has told Reuters they are in the final stages of approving CBS' request.
Michael Nader, who played the suave Count Dimitri on ABC's All My Children for nearly 10 years, is suing ABC for breach of contract. The actor has been off the show since February 2001, when he claims in his suit he became ill and needed medical treatment. His suit alleges that ABC refused to allow him to come back to work and would not let him out of his contract. Nader was also sentenced to three years probation for possession of a controlled substance in May 2001.
Heavy mental rocker Ozzy Osbourne and President George Bush will dine together. Apparently, the president has become a big fan of the MTV reality show The Osbournes, which follows the lives of Osbourne and his family, and wants to meet the singer. Ah, to be a fly on the wall at that meeting.
In the latest on the air rage trial of R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, prosecutor David Bate is claiming Buck is lying about what happened to save face. Hmmm. Is there any other reason to lie? Buck has maintained his innocence, blaming a bad reaction from a sleeping pill and several glasses of red wine. He does not recall his alleged actions.
French-Canadian superstar Celine Dion has still got it. Her newest album New Day Has Come sold more than half a million copies its first week in the stores, shooting it to No. 1 on the charts. Well done, Celine.
Country singer Garth Brooks and R&B king Stevie Wonder will be honored by the Songwriters Hall of Fame at their induction and awards ceremony June 13. Wonder will be receiving a lifetime achievement award, while Brooks will pick up the Hitmaker Award.
Remember Bob Newhart? The Kennedy Center hasn't forgotten the TV and film comedian; they've awarded him their fifth annual Mark Twain prize for American humor. Newhart told the Associated Press, "Mark Twain once said, 'It is strange the way the ignorant and inexperienced so often and so undeservedly succeed when the informed and the experienced fail,' which is certainly true in this case."
The irreverant Laugh-In hosts Dick Martin and the late Dan Rowan finally get their own stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The 80-year-old Martin accepted the honor Tuesday (Rowan died in 1987), and on hand were Laugh-In castmates Lily Tomlin, Henry Gibson, Arte Johnson, Ruth Buzzi, Gary Owens and Jo Anne Worley.
The Berlin International Film Festival, one of the top three festivals in Europe, kicked off Wednesday with a homegrown film by German director Tom Tykwer. Heaven stars Cate Blanchett as an English teacher who tries to kill a heroin dealer who has been selling drugs to schoolchildren by planting a bomb in his office, killing four innocent people. Filmed before the September 11, it received scant approval from the 1,000 journalists who saw the press screening, Reuters reports.
Despite leaving the show in December, Eriq La Salle may still be making the rounds in ER. The actor, who plays the role of Dr. Benton on the NBC medical drama, will reportedly appear in a late-season story line. No details about the episode content have been revealed, USA Today reports.
Influential writer Norman Mailer told Britain's Daily Telegraph Wednesday that patriotism can go too far, calling America "the real religion in this country." Mailer added that if anyone had benefited from the attacks on Sept. 11, it was America's right wing. "If I were still a conspiratorialist, I would believe they'd done it," he said.
Nicolas Cage, 38, and Lisa Marie Presley, 34, ended their 10-month relationship two weeks ago, USA Today reports. According to their reps, the two "hope to remain friendly."
In the Bedroom and Memento have been ruled ineligible for Writers Guild of America honors because the writers weren't members of the WGA at the time the films were made. The WGA contends that while it it's difficult to pass up wonderful screenwriting, their objective is to protect writers.
CBS will air a two-hour special March 10 featuring exclusive video shot inside the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. According to The Associated Press, the material was caught on tape by French filmmakers Gedeon and Jules Naudet, who were in lower Manhattan shooting a documentary on New York City firefighters.
As NBC begins its coverage of the Salt Lake City Olympics Friday, the red, white and blue on-air peacock--changed after the Sept. 11 attacks--will go back to its original clear hue, Variety reports. Network executives didn't want to keep such a visibly pro-USA symbol on the air during an international event that's meant to promote global unity.
Director Frank Oz (The Score) has signed to shoot his first TV pilot for ABC, Variety reports. The pilot for The Funkhausers, which revolves around an eccentric yet tight-knit family, was written by Emmy-winning writers/producers Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein (The Simpsons).
Nathan Lane, who is currently starring in the hit Broadway comedy The Producers, has signed on to a project at CBS. Party, a comedy about a passé TV star who wins a seat in Congress, is expected to get a pilot order from the network once it finalizes a deal with 20th Century Fox TV. Lane's contract with The Producers is up in March.
Singer James Brown testified Tuesday that he never touched a former employee who is suing him for alleged sexual harassment and wrongful termination, reports Reuters. The plaintiff, Lisa Agbalaya, 36, has accused Brown of making unwanted sexual advances and then firing her when she filed a complaint about his behavior. She is seeking $1 million in damages.
1980s pop idol Tiffany will appear in the April issue of Playboy. According to Reuters, the spread was designed to change her image from that of a 15-year-old performer to a 30-year-old wife and mother.
Singer Johnny Cash, who is currently in Jamaica working on a new album, turns 70 on Feb. 26. To commemorate his birthday, many album releases are in the works including, The Essential Johnny Cash, a retrospective look at his career, and the American Milestones series, which will release five classic Cash albums from 1959 to 1967.
Singer-songwriter Graham Nash celebrated his 60th birthday Saturday at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, CNN reports. More than 150 guests attended, including Stephen Stills, David Crosby and Bette Midler. Midler, along with a dozen other women, presented a musical tribute to Nash with "As Time Goes By." Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's three-month Tour of America is slated to begin Wednesday in Detroit.
Rock 'n' roll legend Little Richard will be inducted into the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Hall of Fame on Feb. 23, Reuters reports. The Hall of Fame Award is given to artists who have excelled throughout their careers and have been creative and innovative forces in their respective fields.
Cult sci-fi actor George Nader, best known for his starring role in the kitsch sci-fi classic Robot Monster, has died at the age of 80 from pneumonia at the Motion Picture Country Home, near Los Angeles. Nader was also well known as one of the inner circle of late actor Rock Hudson.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and AOL Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, to promote the launch of his new action drama Collateral Damage. The film opens nationwide Feb. 8.