The third time was apparently not charming enough for Oliver Stone.
The filmmaker -- heretofore best known for blowing up stuff and shooting things in high-octane flicks like "Platoon," "JFK" and "Natural Born Killers" –- is looking to direct yet another version of the classic rags-to-riches/riches-to-rag Hollywood tale, "A Star Is Born," today's Hollywood Reporter says. So, what will make the fourth take on this romantic Tinseltown fable unique?
Well, um, take a look at the would-be star: Jamie Foxx.
Yes, the "In Living Color" comic, a relative no-name in the movies, is being talked up as the successor to Fredric March, James Mason and Kris Kristofferson -- the previous "Star Is Born" leading men. (All right, maybe the Kristofferson shoes won't be so hard to fill.)
Foxx is living his own "Star Is Born" story these days. The actor is said to be Stone's first choice to replace (get this) Will Smith in the new "Star" project. (Smith opted out of the film to make "Ali," that planned Muhammad Ali biopic.)
"A Star Is Born" would be the second time Stone has helped make Jamie Foxx a movie star. Last year, the director called on Foxx to replace wannabe actor Puff Daddy as the arrogant QB in Stone's "Any Given Sunday."
In the all-new "Star Is Born," Foxx would play a falling-star guy who falls in love with a rising-star girl. So, the next question mark in this curious project is: Who'll play opposite Foxx? According to the Reporter, candidates for the leading-lady slot include singers Lauryn Hill and Mariah Carey.
This new, hip-hop duet would tread a few footsteps over their old-fashioned predecessors. The first "Star," released in 1937, starred Janet Gaynor and Fredric March. George Cukor helmed a second (musical) version for Warner Bros. in 1954, with Judy Garland and James Mason. The latest remake, in 1976, featured Barbara Streisand and the aforementioned Mr. Kristofferson.
A source tells the Reporter that the latest film hopes to capitalize on Warner Bros.' music catalog. A diva all-star affair with tunes by Garland, Streisand and Mariah Carey? For pop aficionados everywhere, it's reason enough for a remake. Even a weird one.
FOR RICHER OR ROBBERS: Martin Lawrence and Danny DeVito could be swapping goods in the MGM caper comedy "What's the Worst that Could Happen." The Hollywood Reporter says that Lawrence has climbed aboard, and DeVito's in negotiations to star in the film, about a billionaire (DeVito) who swipes a good-luck ring from a con (Lawrence). The production's set to roll 'em in June.
HURRYING TO 'RUSH': Chris Penn's stuck in traffic again with Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan. Variety reports that the heavy from "Rush Hour" has signed up for another installment opposite the dynamic duo. "Rush Hour 2" starts production in the fall.
SEEING 'SPOT': After fending off masked serial killers, "Scream" vet David Arquette is ready for the dog pound. Variety reports that the actor's nabbed the lead role in the Warner comedy "See Spot Run," set to shoot this June. Arquette comes to the project after potential star Martin Lawrence decided not to go postal. Instead, Arquette will play a postman who takes in a stray dog -- make that a stray dog trained to fight crime. Ah, comedy.
French film controversy
Ricky on stage
"Weakest Link" video game
Sharon Stone drops restraining order
Sharon Stone (The Quick and The Dead, Basic Instinct, The Muse) has dropped her request for a permanent restraining order against Italian visitor Agostino P'omato, according to reports by People magazine.
Stone was granted a temporary restraining order on March 19 to keep P'omato at least 100 yards away from her, her husband and their son. P'omato allegedly arrived at Stone's house in the Los Angeles area saying that he wanted to "take her and marry her."
P'omato's family convinced him to return to Italy, which prompted Stone to drop the request for a permanent restraining order, said her lawyer.
Redgrave honored at GLAAD media awards
Vanessa Redgrave received the Excellence in Media Award at Monday's 12th Annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards in New York.
Redgrave's daughter, actress Natasha Richardson, made the presentation. In a report filed by People, Redgrave told the attendees, "If Anne Heche can play a lesbian, so can I. I think I have done my part for heterosexuality." The award honors a member of the entertainment community who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.
Also at the ceremony, Kathleen Turner presented Liz Smith the Vito Russo Award, which honors a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered member of the entertainment or media community for their outstanding contribution in combating homophobia.
Other guests and presenters included: host Mo Gaffney, Joan Collins, Gina Gershon, Sharon Gless, Florence Henderson, Jill Henessey, Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos), Susan Lucci and Eden Riegal (All My Children), Lou Reed, and John Ritter.
Splittsville for Gary Oldman
Gary Oldman's (Hannibal, The Fifth Element, Lost in Space) wife Donya Fiorentino filed papers to end their marriage due to irreconcilable differences. The AP reports that the couple of four years separated on Friday, the same day the papers were filed.
The Oscar-nominated Oldman (Best Supporting Actor for last year's The Contender) and Fiorentino have two sons together, Gulliver and Charlie. Oldman has had two prior marriages, with Lesley Manville and Uma Thurman (Gattaca, Pulp Fiction, The Avengers). Oldman has a third son with Manville.
Director Michael Ritchie dies
Director Michael Ritchie (Smile, Downhill Racer, The Golden Child) is dead of prostate cancer at the age of 62, says the New York Times.
Ritchie was often unconventional, as evidenced by the Holly Hunter feature The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom, which aired on HBO in 1993. Ritchie also directed major flops, including The Island.
The last film Ritchie completed was last year's The Fantasticks.
French rape film sparks controversy upon arrival in U.S.
The controversial French film Baise-Moi (Rape Me) is set for release in New York and Los Angeles this June, reports Variety.
The film features two stars of the French adult film world, Raffaela Anderson and Karen Bach, and tells the tale of a prostitute and a rape victim who embark on a bloody, violent road trip. The film portrays a violent rape and its effect on the victim, who is spurred to acts of violence.
Censors, according to Variety, banned the film from mainstream movie theaters in France. In England, the film was screened only after the distributor cut 10 seconds of particularly objectionable footage.
The film is based on the novel of the same name, written by Virginie Despentes.
News blackout blankets resumption of WGA talks
No reporters, no cameras, no statements, no photo opportunities.
That is the "cone of silence" surrounding the negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and the movie and TV alliance, as talks resumed at 2:30 p.m. yesterday.
Designed to keep negotiators focused on reaching an agreement, the blackout, according to Variety, allows for only a bare bones account at the end of the day. The arrangement takes the negotiations out of the public arena, where they have been since they began on January 22.
With the May 2 expiration of the current writers' deal, it is imperative that the two sides reach an accord as soon as possible. The last round of talks broke off on March 1, with the parties more than $100 million apart and a strike looming on the horizon.
Ricky's role call
It's curtains for singer Ricky Martin: the Latin heartthrob is in talks to star in Zorro, a stage production to premiere in London's West End, according to Britain's Sun tabloid. The musical, produced by Adam Kenwright, is also attracting singer Robbie Williams, who has expressed an interest in writing some of the show's lyrics.
Country crooners to wed
Two of Nashville's biggest stars--Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw --announced on Tuesday's Live with Regis and Kelly that they plan to get hitched. The couple has set a wedding date of Sept. 29. Morgan, 41, and Kershaw, 43, have both had previous marriages.
"Weakest Link" video game?
The latest game-show sensation to sweep America could invade stores later this year. According to Variety, British phenomenon The Weakest Link is being converted into a video game by Activision, Inc. The only catch: they're scrambling to get it produced before the hype surrounding the show dies down. Though typical video games take 18 months to produce, Activision is aiming for an October release.
NYPD Racial Profiling?
Monday Night Football
Comments made about
the Welsh by Anne Robinson, host of the new NBC game show The Weakest Link,
have not been deemed racist by Britain's Broadcasting Standards Commission, according
to the BBC News. By calling the Welsh "irritating and annoying," however, Robinson
"came close to the boundaries of acceptability," the BSC said.
Protests exploded when
Robinson called the Welsh one of her pet hates on the BBC show Room 101.
"I've never taken to them.
What are they for?" she reportedly said.
Parliament, Welsh MPs and
North Wales police criticized Robinson for inciting racial hatred.
The BSC ruled that "neither
the overall content nor the style of this programme was racist."
Robinson has since made
amends with the Welsh community by giving free services to a Welsh Tourist Board
Easter publicity campaign. She wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the message "Wales
Open for Easter."
Diddy in trouble again
After his months-long trial
on bribery and gun possession charges, of which he was acquitted, rapper Sean
Combs cannot seem to stay out of court.
He was pulled over Saturday
night for allegedly making an illegal lane change while driving a scooter along
Miami Beach's Ocean Drive. Police charged Combs
with driving without a suspended license. He had to sign "a promise to appear"
form for a court date, the police told Reuters. The date has yet to be set.
This was after he had been
stopped Tuesday for allegedly speeding in Golden Beach, Fla., where he was carrying
a suspended New York driver's license. Police did not arrest Combs
because he said he did not know he had a suspended license.
license had been suspended in February because of failure to pay a parking fine,
according to the Miami Herald.
told Miami Beach police that he thought his New York attorney had straightened
out his license problem.
"Because of the holiday
weekend, paperwork that was processed in New York regarding the license had yet
to reach the national system," Natalie Moar, Combs' spokeswoman, told the Miami
denies NYPD is gunning for rappers
Mayor Rudolph Guiliani
dismissed claims that the New York Police Department is looking to nail rappers
such as Jay-Z, who was arrested last week on a weapons charge after leaving a
"The NYPD targets people
who illegally possess [and use] guns, and they target people who kill each other.
They criminally profile. Every bit of evidence suggests that…Here's a way not
to get in trouble with the NYPD: Don't shoot anybody, don't rob anybody, don't
rape anybody and don't carry guns illegally." Guiliani told NYPost.com.
Police, who arrested Jay-Z
and three members of his crew early Friday, said they found a loaded Glock 23
.40-caliber semiautomatic handgun in Jay-Z's Chevy Suburban. They were released
Friday afternoon after their arraignment.
Jay-Z and his camp later
insinuated that the police may be "profiling" rappers - watching or pulling them
over to try and get some illegal activity, NYPost.com reported.
Knight happy to get out
Multimillionaire rap mogul
Marion "Suge" Knight will be released from prison this week after serving five
years of a nine-year sentence on assault-related charges.
"The first thing that I'm
gonna do when I get out of here is take an hour-long bath. I'm sick of showers,"
Knight, the co-founder of the rap label Death Row, told The Associated Press.
"Then, I'm going to get
me a double cheeseburger and some chili-cheese fries. I've been thinking about
them…for five years."
He is scheduled to spend
up to two months in a halfway house or work-release program and should be free
and clear by midsummer.
Knight produced several
platinum records by the late rap star Tupac
Shakur, whose just-released Until the End of the Time hit No. 1 its
first week in stores.
talks to the experts
A conference call between
the popular song-swapping Web site Napster and a court-appointed technical expert
was held Friday to resolve disputes over the injunction against Napster in the
trading of copyrighted songs on the service.
Reuters reported that both
sides declined comment and that the U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel ordered
the transcript of the call sealed.
Robert Frackman, attorney
for the recording industry, told Reuters on Thursday that the conference call
was to "set the protocol and parameters for the technical expert going forward."
Napster had come under
fire after the March 5 injunction, with the court complaining that it was not
working quickly and successfully enough to stop the trading of copyrighted songs
completely, as ordered.
Napster said it is doing
the best it could to comply but blamed record labels for not identifying songs
to be blocked in total compliance. Judge Patel hoped the call with the technical
expert would help Napster to understand alternatives available to them.
Alec Guinness' secret
Apparently, one of Britain's
best-loved actors, Sir Alec Guinness, was bisexual according to three new biographies
due out next year, the BBC News reported.
The actor, who died last
year at 86, was charged with a homosexual act in a public restroom in 1946, right
before he was to play his debut film role in Great Expectations.
Guinness was able to keep
it out of the press. Had the news been widely spread, it would have certainly
stifled a career that was just starting out.
His bisexuality was known
by his family and friends, according Garry O'Connor, whose biography is due out
"He escaped into his acting
and the church as comfort ... [it gave] him much needed security from the demons
of his sexuality" O'Connor told Britain's Sunday Times newspaper.
Guinness received a knighthood
in 1960. He had one child with his wife, Merula.
Wars" on display
The 34-foot Naboo starfighter
model used in the making of the 1999 film Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom
Menace will be on display from April 28 through June 24 at the Arts and Industries
Building of the Smithsonian Institution. The exhibit also will include an interactive
kiosk, showing the creative process of creating the starfighter and the film in
Records closes shop
Giant Records, the Nashville
record label home to the Wilkinsons and bluegrass great Johnny
Staats, has packed up and called it a day.
Current clients, including Clay
McCoy and Georgia
Middleman, will move to the Nashville office of Warner Bros., Music Row
magazine reported. About 15 Giant employees lost their jobs.
receive input from politicos
Leaders of the Writers
Guild of America aren't afraid of a little political interaction.
According to a report by
the Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan sat down Thursday
with top honchos from the to discuss what measures might be taken to avoid a writers'
The WGA met Friday with
California's director of the department of industrial relations Steve Smith to
talk about the potential work stoppage.
A study that quantifies
the negative fiscal impact of the looming writers' strike will likely be released
this week by Riordan's office.
"The mayor was great. He's
leaving office soon, but he is not overlooking his responsibility to the city
of Los Angeles," WGA spokeswoman Cheryl Rhoden told the Hollywood Reporter.
Talks between the guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers
have been stalled since March 1, but are scheduled to resume Tuesday. The current
agreement between the WGA and the AMPTA expires May 1.
producer loses his wings
Peters, producer of such box office hits as A Star Is Born, Caddyshack,
Batman, and The Witches of Eastwick, has lost his lucrative production
deal with the Warner Bros. Studio, Variety reports.
Currently producing Columbia
Pictures' Ali, starring Will
Smith and Jon Voight,
Peters' arrangement with Warner Bros. quietly ended on March 6. Peters
will continue to develop projects for Warners, including remakes of Superman,
A Star Is Born, and Around the World in 80 Days.
Peters' career as a producer
began in 1976 with the Barbra
Streisand vehicle, A Star Is Born. Peters,
partnered with Peter Guber,
produced Batman, The Witches of Eastwick, and Vision Quest
for Warner Bros.
and Guber tried to buy out MGM in 1988 and ran Sony Pictures from 1989 to 1994, but returned to Warner Bros. after each failed foray.
ratings gain, NBC's profits fall in Q1
The nation's economic slowdown
has reached the high-flying world of network television.
Despite being the top-rated
network, NBC's parent unit General Electric said Thursday that profits during
the first quarter of 2001 were $48 million less than the same quarter in 2000,
dropping from $394 million to $346 million. Revenues remained relatively stable
at $1.35 billion for the quarter.
According to Variety, NBC
has for the fourth straight year won the sweeps for the key demographic, adults
18-49. NBC has the five most popular comedies on telelvision (Friends,
Will & Grace, Just Shoot Me, Frasier, and The Weber Show),
the highest-rated drama (ER) and the newsmagazine that most people watch
In GE's report, NBC claimed
to be the only network with ratings growth over 2000.
Night Football" schedule remains rigid
ABC isn't complaining.
ABC, host of Monday
Night Football, will air three games featuring reigning Super Bowl Champion
Baltimore Ravens three times during the 2001-02 NFL season. The New York Giants
(NFC Champions), the Minnesota Vikings (AFC Central Champions) and the St. Louis
Rams (Super Bowl XXXIV Champs) also will each play three Monday night games. Three
times is the maximum number that a team can appear on Monday night in one season.
ABC had hoped for a more
flexible approach to the schedule, whereby the network could choose the matchup
in the waning weeks of the season, according to Variety. This would have
allowed ABC to choose games with playoff implications to keep ratings high.
While ABC wasn't granted
that option, it did receive ratings relief, with permission to broadcast the final
two games on their slate on Saturday night. The last two Monday nights of the
season fall out on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, when TV ratings traditionally
ABC also will broadcast
two wild-card games on Jan 3 and the Pro Bowl on Feb. 3.
*NSync frontman's hoop dreams If his girlfriend can do it, why not Justin? In the wake of girlfriend Britney Spears' success as an author (A Mother's Gift, co-written by Spears' mom), *NSync singer Justin Timberlake has signed a reported seven-figure deal with Ballantine Books to pen his own novel, according to Rolling Stone Magazine.
With the working title Crossover Dribble, Timberlake's tome centers around
a professional basketball star, Jason Windriver, trying to take his team to the
championship. Ballantine hasn't released any other details. There's no set date for the release of Timberlake's novel, according to the report.
Well, what was Auntie Mame but an overbearing, bull-headed force of nature? If a musical worked for her life, then why not Jesse "The Body" Ventura's? Why not, indeed, says producer Pierre Cossette who, according to today's Daily Variety, is planning an all-singing, all-dancing Broadway show about the ex-wrestler turned Minnesota governor turned (as of today) guest star on CBS soap "The Young & the Restless."
The Ventura show will "be a combination [of] 'Rocky' and 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,'" Cossette tells Variety's Army Archerd.
If you think Cossette's threats are idle, consider he's the man who last year backed Kathie Lee Gifford's theatrical foray ("Putting It Together").