News Roundup: Aug. 6


Janet Jackson has postponed yet another date in her All For You tour. The singer called off Sunday’s show in Cleveland because of the flu, her promoters said. However, tickets will be honored at a rescheduled show on Sept. 5. David Russell, Jackson‘s tour manager, released a statement saying that she apologizes to her fans. This is the third time Jackson, 35, has cancelled a show. She put off a July 18 concert in Milwawkee for dental surgery, as well as the opening date of the North American leg in Vancouver, British Columbia, on July 5 because of stage equipment that didn’t arrive in time.

In Court

The Justice Department opened an antitrust investigation on Monday, focusing on two new joint ventures, Pressplay and MusicNet, that are backed by five major record labels. According to the Wall Street Journal, these ventures are being looked into for possible anti-competitive problems. The government is expected to examine the major record companies’ use of copyright rules and licensing practices to control online distribution of their music. Pressplay is working with Microsoft Corp. and is jointly owned by Sony Corp. and Vivendi Universal. MusicNet is based on RealNetworks Inc. technology and is owned by AOL Time Warner Inc., EMI Group Plc and Bertlesman AG and RealNetworks. The Journal said MusicNet will be available through AOL and RealNetworks, as well as Napster Inc. Pressplay will affiliate with Web portal Yahoo Inc., as well as Microsoft’s MSN service and

In General

A six-page, undated handwritten letter from John Lennon to Paul McCartney, confirming the growing relations between them, will go up for auction at Christie’s in London, BBC News reports. The letter is expected to fetch at least 70,000 when auctioned this fall. Some believe the letter was written just before the Beatles broke up in 1970. The letter attacks McCartney‘s attitude toward the adoration inspired by The Beatles. “Didn’t we always say we were part of the movement, nor all of it? Get off your gold disc and fly,” according to an excerpt from the letter. In the recent Beatles Anthology written by the three remaining band members, Lennon is said to have been the first to leave. The letter is being sold by an anonymous vendor, who purchased it in the early 1990s during an auction in the United States.

Universal will adapt Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book Where the Wild Things Are into a cartoon. Published in 1963, the book relates the story of the little boy Max, a mischievous child who is punished by his parents when he will not stop scaring the neighbors with his wolf costume. As a punishment, he is sent to bed with no supper and he dreams with meeting up with monsters in the forest that embrace him as their king. Universal has hired two Disney animation fixtures to spearhead the project, Reuters reports. Eric Goldberg, a key animator for films such as Aladdin, will direct the film. Tom Hanks will likely contribute his voice to the film and produce it with his Playtone Prods. company. Universal is eyeing a Thanksgiving 2004 or summer 2005 release date for the film.

Anthony Hopkins has bought a new $3.8 million, 4,000-square-foot Cape Cod-style home, the Los Angeles Times reports. Built in the 1950s, the oceanside home has five bedrooms, a pool, and a master suite with a fireplace, spa and sauna. Hopkins, who won an Oscar for his role in Hannibal Lecter in 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs, has another home in England with his second wife, Jennifer Ann Lynton.

CBS is bringing back actors Nathan Lane and John Leguizamo to TV. Leguizamo has sealed a seven-figure pact with the network to help create and star in an action thriller show, Reuters reports. His deal makes him one of the network TV’s highest-paid Latino stars. Leguizamo, most recently seen in Moulin Rouge, didn’t have much interest in doing a sitcom. “The sitcom is sort of like vaudeville,” he said. “It’s come and gone, it’s had its time,” he told Reuters. He also has decided to return to TV in order to stay in one location and spend more time with his children. CBS has locked into holding a deal with Lane, almost three years after his NBC show Encore!Encore!,” was cancelled after its fall 1998 debut. Because of his commitment to his current Broadway musical, The Producers, it’s unclear when Lane will begin working on a possible series, Reuters reported. The network plans to develop the project for the 2002-03 season.