News roundup: April 19

Top Story

Talk about your pulp fiction: Director Quentin Tarantino, already a force in the world of movies, is breaking into books. Tarantino‘s novel version of Kill Bill, a movie he’s shooting for Miramax, has had its publishing rights picked up by Talk Miramax Books, Reuters reports. The book will be released next spring, while the movie, starring Uma Thurman, Daryl Hannah, Lucy Liu and David Carradine, will be released in the fall of 2003.


A lawsuit concerning the death of country music star Tammy Wynette has ended in a secret out-of-court settlement. Wynette’s four daughters sued Wynette’s doctor for $50 million, claiming Dr. Wallis Marsh had mismanaged the case. Wynette died of heart failure at the age of 55 in 1998.

The Duchess is getting out of York–almost. Fergie, the former aforementioned Duchess of York, had been sharing a house with her ex-husband, Prince Andrew, because she was in debt. Not one to completely spread her wings and fly away, the WeightWatchers spokeswoman is moving just a few miles down the road from Randy Andy’s Sunninghill estate in southern England.

In the Biz

Max Payne is moving from the computer screen to the big screen. Shawn Ryan, creator of FX’s critically acclaimed show The Shield, has been signed by Dimension Films to adapt the popular video game into a feature-length film. The game revolves around an undercover DEA agent wanted for a crime he didn’t commit, which complicates his attempt to avenge the murders of his wife and child.

Elf, the Will Ferrell starrer about a human raised by elves at the North Pole, is about to get a present of its own. Jon Favreau, writer and director of Made, is in the final stages of signing to re-write and direct Elf.

Don’t blame Canada, blame the Screen Actors Guild. The Canadian Film & Television Production Association (CFTPA), in defense of its own nationals, states it will fight SAG’s attempt to enforce SAG rules on Canadian actors who belong to SAG but work in Canada. ACTRA, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, says it will not empower SAG productions outside the United States, The Associated Press reports.

Tube News

Celine. Shania. Garth. Barry? Following in the footsteps Celine Dion, Shania Twain and Garth Brooks, Barry Manilow will be taping a one-hour concert for CBS, to be aired during May sweeps. The special, titled Ultimate Manilow, shows that CBS isn’t above desperate measures.

Susan Dey and Harry Hamlin will be reunited for the first time since their L.A. Law days in Sunday’s Disappearance, which will air on TBS. Dey commented on how easy it was to work with Hamlin, saying, “The connection between the two of us was [still] there.”

Music News

Charity never sounded so good. The roster of VH1’s fundraiser VH1 Divas Las Vegas now includes Celine Dion, The Dixie Chicks, Mary J. Blige, Cher and Shakira. The gala show, which will air live on May 23 from the MGM Grand, will benefit VH1’s Save the Music Foundation.

The rumors are true: Usher and Chilli are dating. Usher told CNN Thursday, “Yes, we are dating.” Chilli, a member of TLC, and Usher have both tasted Billboard’s top 10, with Usher‘s “U Don’t Have to Call” currently gracing the list.