News Roundup: July 16


Top Story

Shape magazine’s August issue reveals the most popular fitness role model in the 2002 Reader’s Choice Awards, and it’s not Britney Spears. According to Shape readers, Madonna still reigns supreme–at least when it comes to fitness. Shape Editor in Chief Barbara Harris said staffers were not surprised that the 43-year-old star topped this year’s list. “She’s a great example of today’s fit woman because she has a clear sense of herself and she continues to find ways to incorporate working out and staying centered into her busy lifestyle,” Harris said. Rounding out this year’s favorite fitness role models are Gabrielle Reese, Jennifer Lopez, Cindy Crawford, Oprah Winfrey, Halle Berry and Angelina Jolie.


Actor Robert Wagner, who starred in the popular TV series Switch, It Takes a Thief and Hart to Hart, gets a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame today. Wagner, who was twice married to actress Natalie Wood, reprises his role as Number Two in the second Austin Powers sequel Austin Powers in Goldmember, which opens July 26.

Actress Michelle Johnson filed for a divorce from Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Matt Williams Monday. The actress starred in the 1984 film Blame It on Rio and also appeared in the 2000 football film The Replacements. The two were married Jan. 15, 1999.


Director Sam Raimi is not going mainstream following the monster success of the live-action hit Spider-Man. According to Variety, Raimi will helm 30 Days of Night, based on a comic book series about vampires who invade a small Alaskan town near the Arctic Circle that spends nearly a month in darkness. Raimi will also produce the project with Rob Tapert.

Funnymen Jim Carrey and Garry Shandling will lend their voices to DreamWorks’ animated feature Over the Hedge, based on a popular comic strip by Michael Fry and T. Lewis. Carrey will voice the mischievous raccoon R.J., while Shandling will voice the sensitive turtle Verne, Variety reports. The film, targeted for 2005, will be directed by Antz‘s Tim Johnson.

Jack Black will play a musician who becomes a substitute teacher in a snooty private school in Paramount Picture’s School of Rock, slated for release next summer, Variety reports. The comedy will reteam Black with Orange County producer Scott Rudin and scribe Mike White. No director is attached to the project yet.


The creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer tells Sci Fi Wire that he’s willing to continue the show after next year, even if star Sarah Michelle Gellar decides not to renew her contract, which expires at the end of year seven. “I’m game for almost anything,” Joss Whedon said when asked if the show would go on without Gellar. “It’s an incredibly strong ensemble. It’s a very strong mythos. It’s a huge universe we’ve created and an incredible cast of actors. So there are definitely opportunities for different kinds of shows.”

CNN has signed a deal with Jon Stewart to produce a half-hour comedy show through CNN International, The Associated Press reports. Stewart, who hosts The Daily Show joked with reporters, “CNN has bought the show. I really don’t know why. I’m not sure they realize we’re actually making fun of them.”


On Sept. 24 Miramax Films will release a two-disc DVD set of the Beatles’ A Hard Days Night. According to Variety, the DVD will have six hours of bonus features, including most of the 30 interviews conducted by Beatles historian Martin Lewis, producer of Give Me Everything! A Companion Anthology to the Beatles.