News Roundup: Nov. 5

Top Story

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has yet to decide whether to activate a new feature animation category at the Academy Awards in 2002. While 13 submissions have been submitted to the Academy’s short film and feature animation branch, entries must now be evaluated to make sure at least eight of them meet Academy stipulations. According to Variety, pictures must be at least 70 minutes in length and be primarily animated. The Academy will announce the category’s status on Dec. 11.


Country singer Johnny Cash, 69, was released from Nashville’s Baptist Hospital Thursday after a three-day stay where he was treated for bronchitis, Reuters reported. The singer also suffers from autonomic neuropathy, which makes him susceptible to pneumonia.

In General

Tommy Mottola is reportedly reaching out to his ex-wife Mariah Carey. Carey‘s friend and makeup artists Billy Brasfield told People, “She and Tommy are talking…They’re friends. He has been really, really supportive.” Only a few months ago, Carey blamed Mottola for her nervous breakdown and claimed on her Web site that Sony Records put her under intense surveillance and pressured radio stations not to play her records.

Madonna is the highest female earner in the UK, with an income of 30 million pounds in 2001, the BBC reported. The 43-year-old pop star is also the highest earning arts and entertainment figure on the list, beating out JK Rowling and Paul McCartney. Madonna qualifies for the survey because she is married to British director Guy Ritchie.

Members of the Los Angeles City Council are considering a proposal to paint the white Hollywood sign red-white-and-blue as a show of support for U.S. troops, Reuters reported. The sign would be changed for 14 days starting on Veterans Day on Nov. 12. Universal Studios has agreed to pay for the cost of painting and restoring the sign.

Monsters, Inc., which raked in $63.5 million in its opening weekend, is making even more in product sales. According to Reuters, Doritos has introduced 3-D Monster Colorz, a corn chip that turns your tongue blue, and Hasbro, Inc. has introduced figures and dolls of characters in the movie.

Nicolas Cage will star in and produce the sci-fi thriller The Volunteer, Variety reported. The story revolves around an Iowa state trooper who becomes a pawn between two alien races in a bid to avenge his daughter’s death.

Fox has moved up the released date for Behind Enemy Lines to Nov. 30. The film was originally slated for release on Jan. 18. According to Variety, audiences’ positive reaction to the trailer motivated the studio to release the film for the Christmas movie season.

Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) has asked the Motion Picture Association of America to speak with various producers about making a trip to congress, Variety reported. Hyde has voiced concerns over America’s image abroad and is hoping Hollywood creatives can change people’s attitudes through compelling images and advertising.

Tom Hanks is teaming up with HBO to produce a series on the American Revolution. According to Variety, Hanks‘ Playtone Prods. has optioned the rights to David McCullough’s John Adams, a biography of the second U.S. president.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling said she was reduced to tears after seeing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the first time at a private screening, Reuters reported. “Dan [Daniel Radcliffe] nailed it–I am really pleased,” she said. “I just love his face. He has such an endearing face.”

Michael Jackson‘s album Invincible topped UK album charts this week. According to the BBC, the album beat out the Backstreet Boys, Mis-Teeq and Russel Watson and could be one of the biggest opening week sellers of 2001.