News Roundup, Dec. 4: Will Smith Set for “I, Robot”

News Roundup, Dec. 4: Will Smith Set for “I, Robot”

Will Smith at the 2002 Academy Awards
Will Smith

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Will Smith is set to star in Fox’s big screen adaptation of I, Robot, a short story collection written by Isaac Asimov in the 1940s. The stories are based on Asimov’s three laws of robotics, which contend that a robot may not injure a human or allow a human to come to harm, must obey orders given to it by a human, and must protect itself, as long as that protection doesn’t violate either the first or second law. Smith will play a detective investigating a crime that, despite the prevailing rules, might have been perpetrated by a robot. According to Variety, the sci-fier is set to begin shooting in April with director Alex Proyas (The Crow) at the helm.


Once voted the world’s sexiest man, Richard Gere has a less welcome feather to add to his cap: the Foot in Mouth award. Reuters reports Britain’s English Campaign honored Gere with the award for most baffling quote of the year for this doozy, given to the Guardian newspaper in June: “I know who I am. No one else knows who I am. If I was a giraffe and someone said I was a snake, I’d think, no, actually I’m a giraffe.”

Elton John and his partner David Furnish held their “Out of the Closet” sale in a specialty shop in London Wednesday to sell over 17,000 Gucci, Prada, Versace and more items from the singer’s eclectic wardrobe to raise money for his AIDS charity, Reuters reports. This is the fourth time John has held the sale, which benefits the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Zsa Zsa Gabor was upgraded from serious to fair condition Tuesday as she continued to recover from injuries suffered last week in a car crash on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, The Associated Press reports. Gabor was a passenger in the front seat of a car driven by her hairdresser when it struck a light pole. The actress, who was not wearing a seatbelt, suffered broken bones.

Veteran producer Edgar J. Scherick died of leukemia Tuesday at his Los Angeles home, Reuters reports. He was 78. Scherick served as programming chief for ABC television from 1963 to 1966 and brought shows as Batman, Bewitched and Peyton Place to the network. He also conceived and developed ABC’s landmark sports show Wide World of Sports.


Selma Blair has signed on to star in the comic book adaptation Hellboy for Sony-based Revolution studios. Blair will play the title character’s slove interest, played by Ron Perlman, a red-hued crime-fighter born in hell during a pagan ritual. Hellboy, directed by Guillermo del Toro, is set to begin shooting in March with Rick Baker aboard to provide the makeup effects, Variety reports.


Pop diva Whitney Houston goes head-to-head with Diane Sawyer in an interview set to air on ABC Wednesday night. According to excerpts of the interview released by the network, Houston addresses a wide range of questions about her marriage to Bobby Brown, substance abuse and rumors of an eating disorder. The 39-year-old entertainer acknowledges a history of drug abuse but adds that her religious faith has put her on the right path now.


The opera based on Jerry Springer‘s talk show will have its world premiere at Britain’s National Theater in London next April, Reuters reports. In concert form, Jerry Springer: The Opera–which features a dance routine by the Klu Klux Klan and Jesus launching into a swearing tirade at the Devil–was one of the biggest hits at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Composer Richard Thomas and comic writer Stewart Lee have joined forces for the new full-scale production.