News, Dec. 10: “Shrek 3” Postponed Until 2007, James Brown Has Cancer, Kidman Out of “Producers,” More…

Shrek 3 bumped another year

DreamWorks Animation Studios announced it was pushing the release date for its highly anticipated feature Shrek 3 from November 2006 to May 2007. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the move follows a trend that allows studios to capitalize on the hefty summer audience and the lucrative holiday DVD market that follows. DreamWorks’ first two Shrek movies, both released in early May of 2001 and 2004, went on to a combined domestic gross of more than $708 million. “The sheer magnitude of the Shrek franchise has led us to conclude that a May release date, with a DVD release around the holiday season, will enable us to best maximize performance and increase profitability, thereby generating enhanced asset value and better returns for our shareholders,” DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a statement.

James Brown has prostate cancer

James Brown announced he has prostate cancer and will undergo surgery for the ailment Dec. 15. The 71-year-old funk legend said in a statement released to The Associated Press Friday: “I have overcome a lot of things in my life. I will overcome this as well.” Brown, dubbed “Godfather of Soul,” is best known for hits including “I Feel Good,” “Please, Please, Please,” and “Cold Sweat.” The singer, who is also a diabetic, is expected to spend three weeks recovering from the procedure. But the illness hasn’t slowed him down. Brown just wrapped a two-week Canadian tour Thursday night and is due to release an autobiography next month.

Kidman drops out of Producers

Nicole Kidman has dropped out of Mel Brooks‘ big-screen adaptation of The Producers because she wouldn’t have enough time to rehearse the intricate song and dance routines before she heads into her next film, Eucalyptus. A rep for the actress told Variety Brooks‘ team was very understanding of Kidman‘s packed schedule, and the parting of ways was amicable. Kidman was slated to take the role of Ulla, the Swedish bombshell who works as a secretary for Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane) and Leo Bloom (Matthew Broderick). The film is scheduled to start shooting in February at Brooklyn’s new Steiner Studios.

Warner Bros. hits $2 billion mark overseas

Bolstered by hits such as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Last Samurai and Troy, Warner Bros. garner $2 billion in overseas grosses, Variety reports. The studio is the first to hit that benchmark, breaking industry records for any single year. “We see this as the result of a series of successful strategies and meticulous positioning of our films as well as tremendous teamwork and cooperation from everyone involved in our organization,” Warner Bros. Pictures Intl. prexy of distribution Veronika Kwan-Rubinek and marketing prexy Sue Kroll said in a joint statement. Warner was also the first studio to hit the $1 billion mark at overseas wickets, back in 1993; its closest international rival, Disney, performed the same feat in 1995.

Willis donates land for airport

Bruce Willis offered to donate a portion of land he owns in Camas County, Idaho so that officials could build a new airport, the AP reports. The offer was unexpected, airport authority Chairwoman Mary Ann Mix said. “Bruce is a fabulously decent man–always very concerned about what’s good for his community.” Willis‘ property along Highway 20 is part of one of three sites being considered.