Top Story: Mike Newell Directing Fourth Harry Potter Pic
British director Mike Newell is officially set to helm the fourth Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Warner Bros. Pictures announced Sunday. Newell, best known for his 1994 romantic comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral starring Hugh Grant, will begin work on Goblet of Fire in April, The Associated Press reports. According to the studio, production on Goblet of Fire will overlap with the third Harry Potter pic, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which is currently being filmed under the direction of Alfonso Cuaron (Y Tu Mama Tambien). The crossover made it impossible for Cuaron to direct both versions of J.K. Rowling's hit series on the boy wizard, but producer David Heyman said Newell, who also directed Donnie Brasco with Al Pacino, and recently completed Mona Lisa Smile with Julia Roberts, was the "perfect choice" for the new film. Chris Columbus directed the first two movies, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Terminator 4 Without Arnie?
The CEO of the Munich-based Internationalmedia, the German producers who backed Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, told Berlin's Welt am Sonntag newspaper in an interview released ahead of publication on Sunday there could be a fourth movie in the series even if star Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes the next governor of California. According to Reuters, executive producer Moritz Bormann had discussed Schwarzenegger's political ambitions with him during the filming of T3 and contemplated alternatives should Schwarzenegger win the election. "If we come up with a good story," he told the paper, "there will be a fourth Terminator--with or without Arnold."
Schwarzenegger Voted Against Illegal Immigrant Measure
Speaking of the Terminator, the AP reports Schwarzenegger, who has promoted himself as the Republican candidate in California's gubernatorial recall who can best appeal to the state's politically and ethnically diverse electorate, voted for a 1994 ballot measure to deny social services to illegal immigrants. The GOP-backed Proposition 187 to deny health care and public education to illegal immigrants was passed by a wide margin, but was eventually ruled unconstitutional. But Schwarzenegger campaign manager George Gorton said Schwarzenegger's vote for the measure would not prevent him from reaching out to all voters.
Accident Cancels Timberlake, Aguilera Show
A sold-out concert at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sunday by pop stars Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake was canceled when a large aluminum lighting grid collapsed. According to the AP, three stagehands were injured when the it fell down around 12:45 p.m. Saturday. Close to 30 people were working below the grid when it buckled and tilted downward before completely collapsing. The cause of the accident, the second in three years to happen at the 75-year-old landmark hall, has not been determined. Neither Aguilera nor Timberlake were in the building when the grid collapsed. There is no word on whether the show will be rescheduled.
Showtime Launches Rap Talent Show
Showtime has ordered six one-hour episodes of Interscope Presents 'The Next', described as an 8 Mile-inspired, American Idol-style contest for amateur rappers. According to Reuters, the show will mix performances from aspiring artists with documentary footage of such established stars as 50 Cent, Nate Dogg and Clipse. But unlike American Idol, The Next will not have judges or audience voting for one-on-one freestyle rhyme "battles." The victor will instead be determined by crowd reaction. The 10 semifinalists, who have already been selected from New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia and Atlanta, will compete for a yet-to-be-decided top prize.
Role Call: Lawrence Set for Momma 2, LaBeouf Eyed for Truth
Martin Lawrence is set to reprise his role as the DDD-cupped undercover matriarch in the sequel to Big Momma's House for Fox and Regency. Scribe Don Rhymer, who co-wrote the original pic, will pen the Momma 2 script … Director Christian Charles, who helmed the Jerry Seinfeld documentary Comedian, is in negotiations to helm Nothing but the Truth for New Line Cinema. The comedy revolves around a chronic liar who is forced to live out all his outrageous lies, including running a major corporation and being a homosexual. According to Variety, teen thesp Shia LaBeouf has been mentioned as possible topliner for the pic.