Passion, Fahrenheit have some Globes trouble
Even though they were two of the most talked-about films of the year, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 have hit some snags regarding the eligibility for Golden Globes, Reuters reports. Fahrenheit will not be eligible in any Globes categories because it is a documentary, for which there is no separate category, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. does not allow docus to be considered in the top film award categories. Passion, in which much of the dialogue is spoken in Aramaic, also cannot compete for best drama because it is considered a foreign-language film, but can be considered for best foreign film. Nominations for the 62nd annual Golden Globe Awards will be announced Dec. 13, with the winners revealed in a Jan. 16 ceremony to be telecast live on NBC.
Farrell says no thanks to 007 role
You won't be calling Colin Farrell the next James Bond anytime soon. In an interview with Reuters on Sunday to discuss his soon to be released film Alexander, Farrell, 28, was asked about taking on the 007 role, endorsed by the former Bond, Pierce Brosnan, who last week said that Farrell should get the job because "he'll eat the head off them all." Farrell feigned outrage at the thought of becoming the sixth James Bond in the series, joking he was shocked by Brosnan's suggestion and if he got the job, he just might employ an Irish accent to confuse fans of the suave British agent. "The idea of me playing James Bond got into the press, but it is not true. I would not like to do it…they should find someone the audience has no history with," Farrell said. And the hunt is still on.
Pitt visits Ethiopia on AIDS mission
Actor Brad Pitt spent four days in Ethiopia to learn more about AIDS in Africa as part of a fund-raising campaign to combat the disease on the world's poorest continent, a spokesman told The Associated Press Tuesday. The trip was organized by DATA, a Washington-based lobby group co-founded by rock star Bono, which campaigns on Third World trade, debt and HIV/AIDS. Pitt began his first visit to the Horn of Africa country Friday and left late Monday night. "It was a listening and learning visit," DATA spokesman Jamie Drummond told AP.
Burt Reynolds accuses ex-girlfriend of extortion
Burt Reynolds sued his former girlfriend of 10 years, Pamela Seals, alleging she threatened to falsely accuse him of abuse unless he paid millions of dollars in extortion, AP reports. According to the lawsuit, filed Monday in West Palm Beach, Fla., Seals falsely accused Reynolds of yelling at her and stomping on her toes. Seals told the 68-year-old actor she would publicize her allegations if he didn't agree to a hefty settlement that included support for Seals and her mother, and half of Reynolds' Jupiter home. Reynolds' lawyer, Bob Montgomery, said the actor offered to settle the matter for $1 million but Seals refused. He added Seals is not entitled to anything under Florida law because the two were never married.
Ewan McGregor makes musical theater debut
Ewan McGregor, who stars as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, will make his musical theater debut as Sky Masterson in a remake of Guys and Dolls in London's West End, AP reports. Frank Loesser's original Guys and Dolls opened on Broadway in 1950, but next year's revival, which is set to debut in June, will be the first new London production in 23 years. The role of Masterson was made famous by Marlon Brando, who played the desperate gambler in the 1955 Hollywood film starring Jean Simmons and Frank Sinatra. The show will be McGregor's first on-stage singing role. He previously performed in theater and displayed his singing and dancing talents in the musical Moulin Rouge.
Trump's Apprentice has classroom appeal
Donald Trump's hit reality series The Apprentice is proving to be more than just good TV. AP reports professors from business schools around the nation are including Apprentice tips in their MBA programs. Denise Schoenbachler, chair of Northern Illinois University's marketing department, told The New York Post Monday students in her Marketing Apprentice class competed for scholarship money by selling football tickets and raising money for troops in Iraq, a concept inspired by the show. Trump himself has said he's impressed with his show's classroom appeal at schools such as Babson College in Massachusetts, Southern Methodist University in Dallas and Ohio State University in Columbus.
SAG announces dates
Submissions for the 11th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards close Thursday at 5 p.m., Variety reports.. To be considered, submissions must be made online at Sagawards.org or by calling the SAG Awards office. Actors, meanwhile, are nominated in five film and eight television categories. Nomination ballots will be mailed Dec. 10 and must be returned by Jan. 7. SAG members will receive their final ballots Jan. 11-the same day the nominations will be announced. The winners will be announced during the awards ceremony Feb. 5 at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center. TNT will broadcast the event.
Guylaine Cadorette contributed to this report.
Top Story: It's a Boy for Kate
Kate Hudson and husband Chris Robinson gave birth to their first child yesterday, making her mom Goldie Hawn a proud grandmother, Reuters reports. Ryder Russell Robinson weighed in at a healthy 8 pounds, 11 ounces. Hudson, who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Almost Famous, has been married to former Black Crowes frontman Robinson since 2000. This is the first child for both and Hawn's first grandchild.
Minnelli Begins First Leg of Divorce
Liza Minnelli and her lawyers attended the first pretrial hearing in her divorce case, but her soon-to-be ex, David Gest, was a no show, AP reports. According to Gest's lawyer, the producer and promoter is in Hawaii getting physical therapy treatments to resolve the injuries inflicted by Minnelli during their brief marriage. Gest is seeking $10 million in the civil assault case he has filed against her in addition to the petition for divorce. Minnelli is suing for $2 million in restitution, a financial accounting, legal fees and a court order requiring Gest to keep all financial records that may pertain to her. Minnelli is the daughter of Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli.
Ford Officially Divorced
Harrison Ford and his wife of nearly 20 years have officially divorced after living apart for more than three years, AP reports. Ford and his wife, screenwriter Melissa Mathison, met on the set of Apocalypse Now and married several years later. Ford's current relationship with Calista Flockhart has caused a few raised eyebrows due to their nearly 20 year age gap.
Carrey Makes Bank
Jim Carrey is the top moneymaker of 2003, according to Quigley Publishing Co., a company which polls theaters on which stars made them the most profit over the last year, Associated Press reports. The poll, which has been taken by the publishing company every year since 1932, also named Ashton Kutcher and Scarlett Johansson as future big earners for theaters. Other stars who found box office success in 2003 were Nicole Kidman, who finished second behind Carrey, followed by Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Johnny Depp, Russell Crowe, Tom Hanks, Will Ferrell and Renee Zellweger.
Paltrow Defends Choices
Gwyneth Paltrow is tired of all the scrutiny surrounding her life and career, AP reports. The 31-year-old actress, who won an Oscar for her role in Shakespeare in Love and recently married Brit rocker Chris Martin of Coldplay, tells Vanity Fair in the February issue it doesn't matter to her if she's not number one in Hollywood--her heart's in London. "I feel like in L.A. everyone is looking over their shoulder, and in London nobody does that," Paltrow says. "I'm really (expletive) good at my job, and people who are interesting and good know that, and that's all that matters."
In America Wins Top Producers Award
Jim Sheridan's semi-autobiographical story of Irish immigrants trying to make it in New York City has been tapped for the Producers Guild of America's Stanley Kramer Award for excellence in portraying relevant social issues, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film, which has also been nominated for six Independent Spirit Awards, was co-written by Sheridan's daughters Naomi and Kirsten. The award celebrates the late director, who created such seminal works as Guess Who's Coming To Dinner and Inherit the Wind. The Guild will present the award January 17 in Los Angeles, California.
Nemo Swims to Top of Annie Noms
Last year's record breaking hit Finding Nemo leads the pack at the 31st Annual Annie Awards presented by the International Animated Film Society with 12 nominations, AP reports. The awards, doled out annually, recognize accomplishments in feature-length film, television, commercials and short subjects. Awards will be given for best directing, character design, and voice acting as well as many other categories during the February 7 ceremony in Glendale, California.
Simmons Leads Voter Registration Charge
Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons will record public service announcements encouraging young people to register to vote as part of an effort to register 2 million new voters in 2004 and 18 million more over the next five years, AP reports. The announcements, which will feature a number of hip-hop stars and other celebrities, will air during syndicated radio personality Doug Banks' show as part of a deal with The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, founded by Simmons. The program, "One Mind. One Vote." will launch in Times Square January 19.
Role Call: Producers To Be Re-Reproduced
The Producers, which began as a Mel Brooks film in 1968, will return to the big screen in an adaptation based on the current Broadway hit, AP reports. The film will star Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, whose recent return to their Tony Award-winning roles to packed houses ends in April. Mel Brooks will produce the new film with the play's director Susan Stroman as director. The Producers is slated for a Christmas 2005 release.
Top Story: Chris Rock To Host MTV Awards
After a four-year hiatus, Chris Rock will return to host the 20th annual MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 28 at New York's Radio City Music Hall. Rock told The Associated Press that he is going on a cross-country club tour whet his stand-up skills but added that most of the show's comedy comes naturally as the evening progresses. "You watch people host these shows who change outfits eight times in the show. No--watch the show. That's the most important thing," Rock said. "Half the time the presenters don't read what's on the cue cards and you never know when Diana Ross is going to grab Lil' Kim's [breast], and you'd hate to miss that because you're putting on something from Banana Republic." Rock, however, won't announce his comedy show dates ahead of time and tickets will go on sale in each city just 24 hours in advance, the AP reports.
Eastwood's Mystic River Opens NYFF
Actor/director Clint Eastwood's psychological drama Mystic River, which was shown in competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival, will open the 41st New York Film Festival on Oct. 3, Reuters reports. Eastwood also served as a producer on the project, which is based on Dennis Lehane's best-selling novel and adapted by L.A. Confidential's Brian Helgeland, and composed the film's score. Mystic River, scheduled for release Oct. 10, stars Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden and Laura Linney. The NYFF runs Oct. 2 through Oct. 19.
Man Pleads Guilty to Bootlegging Hulk
A New Jersey man pleaded guilty Wednesday to bootlegging a copy of The Hulk and then making it available in a chat room used to post and trade unauthorized movie copies, the AP reports. Kerry Gonzalez, 24, pleaded guilty to a single count of copyright infringement and could faces six months to a year in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 26. According to court documents, Gonzalez obtained the tape from a friend of an employee at a Manhattan advertising agency that had been given an advance copy of the film.
Commission Investigates Russell Simmons
Hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons, who is part of a coalition that has been working to convince New York's state legislature to relax the so-called Rockefeller drug laws, is now under investigation for his aggressive lobbying efforts. According to Reuters, the state's lobbying commission is looking into whether Simmons spent more than $2,000 to influence state officials and to see if he gave an illegal gift of a free helicopter ride to Secretary of State Randy Daniels last week. Anyone spending over $2,000 to lobby the state government must register with the commission and make periodic financial disclosures and state officials are not allowed to accept gifts worth more than $75.
Timberlake Joins Rolling Stones' Toronto Concert
Justin Timberlake will join the Rolling Stones in a benefit concert for the city of Toronto on July 30, Launch.com reports. Hosts by actors Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi, the eight-hour Molson Canadian Rocks For Toronto concert is being staged to put a positive spotlight on Toronto, which was hard-hit earlier this year by the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic. Others acts on the bill include the Isley Brothers, AC/DC, the Flaming Lips, and the Mexican group La Chicane. Three hundred thousand tickets will go on sale Friday across North America.
UPN Orders Another Round of Top Model
UPN has ordered a second installment of the Tyra Banks-hosted modeling competition series America's Next Top Model, Reuters reports. The hour-long series, which revolves around the elimination-style competition among 12 women to survive a modeling "boot camp," has been a godsend to the network since it premiered May 20. UPN has ordered 10 episodes of the next installment of Top Model and will be a midseason entry during the upcoming 2003-04 season. There is no word yet from the network on a premiere date.
Buddy Ebson Hospitalized
Buddy Ebsen, who portrayed Jed Clampett on the 1960s TV series The Beverly Hillbillies, was admitted into Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Calif. for an undisclosed illness, the AP reports. A hospital spokeswoman said Thursday that the 95-year-old actor's "condition is good." Ebsen, who lives in nearby Palos Verdes Estates, began his TV nine-year career as Clampett in 1962 and later took the title role in the CBS detective drama Barnaby Jones, which ran from 1973 until 1980. He has also written two books, including an autobiography, The Other Side of Oz and Kelly's Quest.
Role Call: Miramax Acquires Pippen, Linney Joins Punisher Cast
On the heels of the acquisition of the film rights to Damn Yankees, Miramax Films announced today that it has acquired the rights to the hit Broadway musical Pippin for development into a feature film. Originally directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, the tuner debuted on Broadway in 1972 and ran for five years ... Laura Harring has joined the cast of the comic-book actioner The Punisher, starring Thomas Jane and John Travolta. The Artisan Entertainment/Marvel Studios project revolves around a vigilante hero who dispenses harsh justice to criminals after his wife and children are slain by the mob. Writer/director Jonathan Hensleigh will start shooting the film next month in Florida and is scheduled for release next summer.