News Roundup: Dec. 14

Top Story

David Lynch‘s Mulholland Drive was voted the best picture of 2001 by the New York Film Critics Circle. Robert Altman was named best director for his 1930s period piece Gosford Park, while Helen Mirren took the best supporting actress nod for her performance in the film. Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson were voted best actress and actor for their stunning work in Todd Field‘s In the Bedroom and Steve Buscemi won best supporting actor kudos for Ghost World. Rounding out the picks, the Chinese In the Mood for Love was chosen as best foreign-language film and Richard Linklater’s Waking Life took top honors in the animation category.

In General

Tom Hanks is DreamWorks’ flavor of the month. Having already signed on to star in two new films for the studio, Terminal and The Road to Perdition, he is now in negotiations to star in DreamWorks’ Comrade Rockstar based on the life of the late rocker Dean Reed.

“You talkin’ to me?” Robert De Niro heads the list of the 100 greatest film actors of all time, at least according to a poll of 13,500 British movie channel FilmFour viewers. Al Pacino came in second, while Kevin Spacey and Jack Nicholson followed in the third and fourth spots. Jodie Foster was the highest ranking female star in 23rd place.

Supermodel Cindy Crawford is going to try her hand at acting once again. She’ll be starring in the romantic drama The Simian Line with William Hurt, Lynn Redgrave, Eric Stoltz and Harry Connick Jr. Crawford’s last movie, 1995’s Fair Game, bombed at the box office.

The Wall Street Journal reports that NBC will be the first network to run advertisements for hard liquor in 50 years. In a deal with UK’s Diageo, whose brands include Smirnoff vodka, Tanqueray gin and Johnnie Walker whiskies, NBC will run the ads during primetime hours (9 p.m. to 11 p.m.), as well as during late-night television. The first commercial for Smirnoff will run this weekend during Saturday Night Live.

The six-million dollar man, Steve Austin, is coming back–to the big screen. The 1972 Martin Caidin novel Cyborg, on which the hit ’70s TV series The Six Million Dollar Man was based, is being developed as a feature by Dimension Films and Universal Pictures. Kevin Smith is being rumored to direct.

Fox’s hit show Malcolm in the Middle will air a special one-hour post-Super Bowl episode Feb. 3, with guest stars Susan Sarandon, Bradley Whitford, Christina Ricci, Patrick Warburton, Stephen Root, Tom Green and Fox Sports personalities Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw.

The never-shy Elton John will promote lipstick for cosmetic company MAC, in an effort to raise money for AIDS. He’ll be joining Mary J. Blige and Shirley Manson, lead singer of the band Garbage, in the ad campaign.

Chevy Chase and Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels will be developing a new NBC series targeted for the 2002 fall season. A twist on the popular 1960s series My Three Sons, Chase will play a modern-day Fred MacMurray who is a single dad to three teenage daughters.

The Walt Disney Co. has paid $902,778 to settle claims that a subcontractor of Disney, who made beaded tiaras and wands for Disney, were paying their workers less than a quarter of the mandated minimum wage. A spokeswoman for the studio said they were unaware that labor laws were being violated.


Eagles guitarist and solo artist Joe Walsh will receive an honorary doctorate in music from Kent State University during a commencement ceremony on Saturday. Walsh has stated that he regrets having not graduated.