News Roundup: April 24


Top Story

Supermodel Claudia Schiffer is set to marry her film producer boyfriend Matthew Vaughn in England on May 25, Reuters reports. The story surfaced in a recent issue of the German society magazine Bunte, which did not provide a source for the report. The magazine said 300 guests have been invited to the ceremony, including Madonna and Elton John, and that the couple was viewing English churches as possible locations. Schiffer, 31, and Vaughn, also 31, have been together for 16 months.


The woman who accused Celine Dion‘s husband of raping her in Las Vegas in March 2000 has been arrested in Pasadena, Calif., for check forgery and is being held on $500,000 bail, The Associated Press reports. Lawyers for Dion‘s husband, Rene Angelil, are hoping Las Vegas police will consider Yun Kyeong Sung Kwon’s arrest in evaluating her credibility and motivation in the case.

In the Biz

Ethan Hawke, who received an Oscar nomination for his role in the 2001 cop drama Training Day, recently made his directorial debut with the film Chelsea Walls. The movie is about New York’s Chelsea Hotel, which over the years has housed punks, artists and authors.

Sony-based Revolution Studios had greenlighted a feature film version of the Dark Horse Comics’ Hellboy, Variety reports. Guillermo del Toro (Blade 2) will direct the pic, with Ron Perlman being eyed to star as Hellboy, a red-skinned giant with a metallic left hand who happens to look like Satan.

Walt Disney Pictures is shooting a large-format prequel to the 1979 classic Black Stallion with director Simon Wincer (Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles) at the helm. Shooting on The Young Black Stallion in Namibia is expected to wrap this month, Variety reports.

Universal Pictures is hoping Harrison Ford will take the title role in Scott Frank‘s big-screen adaptation of the Lawrence Block novel A Walk Among the Tombstones. According to Variety, Ford gave Frank notes for reworking the screenplay and could possibly sign on to work on the project after he completes an untitled Ron Shelton film at Revolution Studios.

Nicolas Cage is in talks with Warner Bros. to star in the upcoming drama Matchstick Men directed by Ridley Scott. According to The Hollywood Reporter, production on the film, which is based on the yet-to-be-published novel by Eric Garcia, is scheduled to begin this summer.

Tube News

The Robert Blake murder case seems to be doing wonders for CNN. The AP reports that the news network had its biggest primetime audiences of the year last Thursday when Blake was charged with the murder of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. That’s good news for CNN, which has fallen to second place behind Fox News Channel in this year’s cable news ratings.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship, the no-holds-barred martial arts franchise that combines karate, boxing and wrestling, will launch the sport on multiple broadcast platforms with weekly primetime slots. While the UFC is already an established pay-per-view and live gate draw, the lack of rules and safety guidelines had prevented it from becoming a full-fledged sport in the past.

Forget ultimate fighting. What about Ultimate Dodgeball? According to Variety, Zoo Prods. is shopping cable networks with the proposed 13-episode weekly reality series that would include pitting celebrities against a team of regular people in a game of dodgeball. Last month, Zoo organized the Celebrity Dodgeball Tournament fundraiser that featured Matthew Perry, David Spade, Courteney Cox Arquette and Jeff Probst.

The FX network has greenlighted the controversial cop series The Shield for a second cycle of 13 hour-long episodes, Variety reports. The show’s future was recently called into question when at least 11 advertisers, including Burger King, Subaru and Office Depot, backed out because of the show’s degree of violence and sexual content.

Music News

Parents of the members of the teen boy band Dream Street have filed a lawsuit against the group’s creators, seeking back pay and the release of the singers from their current contracts. The suit alleges the boys were exposed to alcohol, women and pornography, but Louis Baldonieri and Brian Lukow claim the parents are the ones setting a bad example, saying the adults were “teaching kids you can sign anything, then lie, cheat and defame people for your benefit,” the AP reports.

Bono‘s going on tour, but not as the frontman for his rock band U2. Starting May 20, Bono will be traveling to parts of Africa with U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, the AP reports. Bono is a longtime aid promoter for Third World countries.


Morgan Freeman will be the guest of honor at Brazil’s first Afro-Brazilian/African-American film festival and will present his latest film High Crimes on opening night, Variety reports. AfroFest kicks off in Rio de Janeiro Thursday and runs through May 2. Other screenings include Spike Lee‘s Bamboozled and Carlos DieguesChica da Silva.