Top Story: Moore May Sets Sights on Disney
As Michael Moore‘s controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11–a rant against President Bush’s handling of Iraq as well as a searing look at the war on terror–got a warm reception at the Cannes Film Festival over the weekend, the Oscar-winning filmmaker hinted he would “tell all” about his dealings with Walt Disney Co., especially over the hoopla regarding Fahrenheit‘s distribution. The Associated Press reports film critic Roger Ebert, who moderated a panel with Moore Saturday in Cannes, asked if he thought about making a movie called Michael and Me, about Disney chief executive Michael Eisner, referencing Moore‘s 1989 hit Roger & Me. “I have a lot to say about Disney, and a lot that hasn’t been reported,” said Moore. Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who run Miramax, have said they plan to buy Fahrenheit and find a different distributor.
Spector Brawls With Chauffeur
Music producer Phil Spector and his chauffeur made citizens’ arrests against each other Saturday after brawling at Spector‘s hilltop mansion, police told City News. According to broadcast reports, Spector, 63, and chauffeur Tobie Wheeler, 46, were arguing over money and employment when they got into a fistfight. When police arrived, both men invoked a citizen arrest against the other. Spector, according to police, suffered an injured right hand during the alleged dust-up, and Wheeler claimed pain to his jaw. Both were booked for misdemeanor assault and then released, Alhambra police Lt. Elliot Kase told City News.
“Raymond” Will Bid Adieu After Final Season
CBS has struck a deal with the producers of the hit sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond for a ninth and final season in the fall, Reuters reports. Following in the footsteps of Friends, Raymond will conclude its network run with fewer than the usual 22 episodes that make up a complete sitcom season, airing just 16 fresh shows for its final year, CBS said. “The decision about coming back was always about maintaining the quality, and not feeling like we’ve overstayed our welcome,” star Ray Romano said in a statement. “I look forward to being a hapless, sexless husband once again in year nine.”
NBC Looks To Fill Empty Slots
With two of its higher-profiled shows leaving the air this season, NBC has given the go-ahead to no fewer than a dozen new series for the 2004-05 season, Variety reports. As expected, comedies snagging greenlights include the Friends spin-off, Joey, which follows that character to L.A. as he tries to break into the biz; The Office, an American take on the hit BBC series; Men’s Room, which revolves around a multi-generational group of guys and their lives; and Crazy for You, about two eccentric New Yorkers who fall for one another. On the drama side, NBC has nabbed Hawaii, a cop drama set in the tropical state; LAX (formerly Hub), a drama set around the Los Angeles International Airport; and Medical Investigations (formerly The Cure), about a man who solves medical mysteries.
Stallone Sues MGM Over Real Rocky
Sylvester Stallone has sued MGM and other producers over the planned boxing reality TV show The Real Rocky, which he claims improperly associates the project with Stallone‘s Rocky character, Reuters reports. Stallone, who created and starred in five films about the fictional Philadelphia boxer, has sued MGM, its United Artists unit and Chartoff-Winkler Prods. for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, unfair competition and other claims.
Tarantino Wants To Do James Bond
Tarantino…Quentin Tarantino. In an interview with Reuters in Cannes, the eccentric Kill Bill director admitted he would love to direct a film for the James Bond series. “I’ve always wanted to do it. I bumped into Pierce Brosnan and we talked about it. He liked the idea,” Tarantino said. “I would like to do the original book Casino Royale and do it more or less the way the Ian Fleming book is.” Tarantino plans to approach the producers of the big-budget Bond series. “I don’t know if they’re going to go for it or not, but I’m letting them know I’m interested,” he said.
Veteran Film, TV Actress Dies
Anna Lee, whose nearly 70-year acting career in movies and television spanned from her breakthrough role in How Green Was My Valley to an extended run as Lila Quartermaine on the ABC soap opera General Hospital, died Friday in Los Angeles of pneumonia. She was 91.
Singer Dion Cancels Vegas Shows
Celine Dion had to cancel the weekend performances of her hit Caesars Palace show due to a sprained neck, AP reports. The singer had aggravated her neck while doing her show and on Friday Dion‘s doctor advised her that her recovery was not complete. Dion, 36, is expected to resume performances on Wednesday.
Role Call: Hunter, Hurt Go Downloading
Holly Hunter, William Hurt and Stellan Skarsgard are joining forces on the indie thriller Downloading Nancy. Hunter plays an unhappy wife who, instead of committing suicide, hires a man over the Internet (Hurt) to kill her. Problems arise when they form a relationship. Skarsgard will play the husband of Hunter’s character.