Top Story: Star Pierce Says Frasier Nearing End
David Hyde Pierce, co-star of the hit NBC show Frasier, believes the series' next season will be its last. In an interview he gave at the Tribeca Film Festival, where he was promoting his upcoming film Down With Love, Reuters reports the actor said, "I think the indications are that it's going to end after this coming season. That's sort of what we've been told. We shoot one more season and that would be it. We all hate to see it go. We all love it. [But] we want it to go out classy." Pierce also admitted he was trying to move away from his TV alter ego, the anal-retentive Niles Crane. "I recognize the power of being the same character on television for a long time and I recognize that I can't just leap into something completely different and expect people to buy it," said Pierce, who wants to return to the New York stage. "I have to make that transition gradually, though the most frequent suggestion from friends is I should really play a psychotic serial killer."
Pacino's the Greatest Film Star
According to a poll of British film fans, The Godfather star Al Pacino was chosen as the greatest movie star of all time, Reuters reports, followed in order by Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks, Kevin Spacey, Harrison Ford and Jack Nicholson. The results were broadcast on England's Channel 4 Sunday and Monday.
Tina Fey Gets $2 Mil To Stay with SNL
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Saturday Night Live's Tina Fey has signed a two-year deal with the show, which will net her nearly $4 million. As SNL's head writer since 1999, Fey is the first woman to hold that post.
Oprah Continues To Talk the Talk
After making it clear last year she wanted to bow out at the end of the 2005-06 season, Oprah Winfrey apparently is changing her mind about wrapping her syndicated The Oprah Winfrey Show and is in negotiations to continue for two more seasons, sources told The Hollywood Reporter. Winfrey has met with King World and the seven ABC outlets that form the backbone of the talk show's affiliate station base.
Buttafuoco and Wife Divorce
Joey Buttafuoco and his wife, Mary Jo, who was shot in the face by 17-year-old "Long Island Lolita" Amy Fisher in 1990, have decided to officially split up after 26 years of marriage, The Associated Press reports. "It's OK. To move on you've got to get a divorce," Buttafuoco told AP.
Copies of New Harry Potter Found in Field
Advanced copies of the fifth Harry Potter installment, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, were found dumped near a printworks in the small town of Bungay, in Suffolk, eastern England. Bloomsbury Publishing told Reuters it suspected the first editions of author J.K Rowling's latest boy wizard saga had been stolen from a nearby printer. "The matter is currently under investigation, with the suspicion that theft is involved," Rowling's publisher and agent said in a statement.
Role Call, Part I: Honeymooners Gets Director, Knoxville Is One Hot Dog!
Like Mike director John Schultz has taken the helm of the Paramount feature The Honeymooners, based on the 1950s Jackie Gleason classic TV show. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cedric the Entertainer and Mike Epps will star in the Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton roles, respectively…meanwhile, Jackass star Johnny Knoxville will star in and produce an as-yet-untitled project about a war between two hot dog vendors in Los Angeles.
Role Call, Part II: Will & Grace Star To Direct Feature
Eric McCormack of Will & Grace fame will make his directorial debut on the Disney pic What You Wish For, which he'll also write and star in. "It's about a normal married Midwestern couple whose marriage is turned upside down because of a celebrity sex fantasy," McCormack told Variety. "The idea is, no matter how happy a person is with his partner, there's that one hot actress or athlete you'd allow them to sleep with, knowing it would never happen. Here, it happens."
Russell Crowe is a somber fellow, isn't he? I would think coming from fun-loving Australia, the guy would learn how to lighten up a bit, but alas, drama is his thing. Now he and Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment are teaming up to develop a dramatic big-screen version of the '60s TV sitcom "Hogan's Heroes" for Crowe to star in. That's right. Hogan and his wacky cohorts, who continually sabotaged German war efforts while in a Nazi POW camp on TV, are getting serious for the movies. Don't look to bumbling Sergeant Schultz and pansy Colonel Klink for comic relief in this one.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Hogan's Heroes a TV spin-off of the 1953 Oscar-winning film Stalag 17, which was a serious drama about a German POW camp? Wouldn't it make more sense to simply to remake Stalag 17? Sure--but that's not how those Hollywood types think. They'd rather take a silly sitcom and turn it into a "quality" movie--especially if they get Oscar-winning (and decidedly un-silly) Crowe in the lead role.
Fiennes may be a bad guy again
When thinking of British actor Ralph Fiennes, most of us picture him as the tortured lover in the Oscar-winning The English Patient. That's probably what he wants us to remember--but I will never forget his chilling, Oscar-nominated performance as the sadistic Nazi concentration camp officer in Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List. My lord, was he ever despicable. Now he's looking to play the villain again in Brett Ratner's Red Dragon, the retooling of Thomas Harris' novel with Anthony Hopkins reprising his role as Hannibal Lecter. Fiennes is in negotiations to play the serial killer Francis Dollarhyde, whom FBI agent Will Graham wants desperately to catch even if it takes soliciting the help of original psycho Lecter, who is locked up in a hospital for the criminally insane.
Even though the Michael Mann movie Manhunter was a great adaptation of Harris' novel, I'm really looking forward to this new adaptation for the cast alone. If Fiennes comes on board, he'll be joining not only Hopkins but also Emily Watson, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel and Philip Seymour Hoffman, working from a script by Ted Tally, who won the Oscar for writing The Silence of the Lambs. We could be looking at another Lambs landslide.
Scott and Chow "Monk"-eyin' around
Did you ever think you'd see Seann William Scott, the ultimate dumb guy who just wants to get laid in American Pie, star in the same movie with the Crouching Tiger himself, Chow Yun-Fat? Neither would I, but it's happening nonetheless. Scott is set to star opposite Chow in the MGM film Bulletproof Monk as a street kid who gets mentored by a Tibetan martial arts master. The story comes from a cult comic of the same name. This is somehow supposed to make it sound better? It seems like a skewed version of The Karate Kid to me.
Continuing on the same theme...
Adam Sandler and Zhang Ziyi are making a movie together. I don't know, maybe this is some kind of new trend in movie casting--geeky white guy and Asian martial arts expert (or anyone from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). But wait, there's more. Listen to the premise: called Good Cook, Likes Music, Sandler plays a likeable but jobless loser (big stretch) who lives with his mother. In a drunken stupor, he sends away for a mail-order bride (Zhang), who turns out to be a music prodigy. Of course, they end up changing each other's lives. Yikes. Double yikes.
You know what I think is the strangest thing about this stuff? The fact that Variety or The Hollywood Reporter reports these stories in all seriousness. I know, they have to. I'm just hoping the journalist writing the story turns to his buddy and says, "Who the hell thinks of this crap?" He wants to write how horrible it sounds but can't...so I'll do it for him.
Lawrence is da-"Bomb"!
After making 2000's comedy hit Big Momma's House and the recently released Black Knight, funnyman Martin Lawrence and screenwriter Darryl Quarles may join forces again for a third film, Warner Bros.' The Bomb. Third time's a charm? The film is being described as a black remake of the 1979 Blake Edwards' comedy 10, starring Dudley Moore and Bo Derek. OK, you've got me so far. The story revolves around a married record executive whose smack in the middle of a midlife crisis. He ends up chasing a model to the Caribbean and in the process he loses his wife, the respect of his peers and the one client who could save his ailing record company. This may work just so long as Lawrence plays it like Moore did--a hapless guy who really has no idea why he's doing what he's doing. No shtick, Martin.