News Roundup, Feb. 3: Paramount Pulls “Core” Trailer

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Following Saturday’s space shuttle Columbia disaster, Paramount Pictures has decided to pull its trailer for its sci-fi thriller The Core because it shows the space shuttle in jeopardy, Variety reports. The studio is keeping its March 28 release date for the pic, but is reviewing its advertising to make certain the campaign is sensitive to the tragedy. The studio also said it is too soon to decide whether to alter or cut out shuttle sequences from the film. The Core, directed by Jon Amiel, revolves around a group of NASA “terranauts” who must travel deep underground after the Earth’s inner core stops rotating, creating a host of natural disasters. It was originally slated for release last November but Paramount delayed the release in order to complete more f/x shots.


Superior Court Judge Bernard Kamins has eased terms of probation for comedian Paula Poundstone. Her psychological counseling sessions have now been reduced from four to two a month and her Alcoholics Anonymous meetings from three to two a week, Reuters reports. In December, Poundstone, 43, regained full custody of three adopted children she lost after pleading no contest to child endangerment, which involved driving drunk with children in her car.

Sotheby’s auction house has filed a lawsuit against pop recluse Michael Jackson, saying he placed bids on two paintings then refused to pay, Reuters reports. The auction house is seeking $1.6 million in damages–$1,324,247 for the paintings plus at least $60,733 in late fees. According to court papers, Jackson submitted a $1.3 million bid on Oct. 29 for two 19th century paintings by William Adolphe Bougereau. But Sotheby’s claims Jackson changed his mind about the paintings after concluding they didn’t fit into his collection.


Director Fernando Leon de Aranoa‘s Mondays in the Sun won all the major Spanish Goya film awards this weekend in Madrid, The Associated Press reports. The film won five awards out of eight nominations, including best film and best director. The film is Spain’s candidate for an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film. Meanwhile, Pedro Almodovar‘s Talk to Her–nominated for seven awards–only managed to take the best original score prize. Talk to Her won the Golden Globe for best foreign film last month.

Danny DeVito‘s Jersey Films will dissolve when its deal with Universal Pictures expires at the end of 2003, Variety reports. The production company was behind hits including Erin Brockovich, Get Shorty, Pulp Fiction and Out of Sight. Sources said there was no hint of conflict between DeVito and his partners, Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher, but after 12 years, the principals found their interests going in different directions.

Beatrice Welles, the daughter of Orson Welles, filed a lawsuit Friday claiming she is the owner of the rights to film classic Citizen Kane, Variety reports. The suit alleges that Orson Welles entered into a 1939 contract to write, produce and star in Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons but that contract was voided by a later agreement between Welles and RKO Pictures in 1944 that restored the films’ copyrights to Welles. The suit contends that even if the 1939 agreement is in effect, Welles‘ heirs still own the rights to the two films and are contractually entitled to 20 percent of the profits from them.


But wait, there’s more on Jacko. In his documentary Living with Michael Jackson, Martin Bashir describes the 44-year-old singer as the Peter Pan of pop who is obsessed by the idea of childhood being frozen in time, Reuters reports. The British documentary will air Feb. 6 on ABC as a two-hour edition of news magazine 20/20. Bashir told Britain’s Sunday Times he arrived at Jackson‘s Berlin hotel last November just 30 minutes after he had dangled his youngest child from the balcony to show fans below. “Not one of his entourage was prepared to tell him that what he had done was ludicrous and dangerous,” he said.

It’s the end of the road for Dawson, Joey, Jen, Jack and Pacey. The WB network will air a two-hour Dawson’s Creek‘s series finale May 14, Variety reports. The show debuted to the WB’s highest-ever ratings in January 1998 and immediately became the network’s No. 1 show in key demos. “We will always carry an emotional attachment to Dawson’s Creek, for without it the WB would not exist,” WB entertainment president Jordan Levin said. “The show defined who we are and reflected the aspirational voice of the next generation of television viewers. The WB has grown up alongside the cast and in the process the series became a defining and life-altering experience for all involved.”