News Roundup: Oct. 3


Top Story

Max Spielberg, the 17-year-old son of director Steven Spielberg, recently completed work on Snap Shot, a short film he wrote, produced, directed, shot and edited. Adam Schiff, a spokesman for the New York Film Academy, said the project was part of a four-week workshop held on the back lot of Universal Studios in Los Angeles, which the young Spielberg attended. The film, according to Reuters, is about a tourist couple drawn into a string of homicides after their instant camera accidentally gets switched with the camera of a serial murderer. There are no immediate plans for the short to receive a public exhibition. Either way, it looks like Max is following his father’s footsteps right into Tinseltown.


Disney has begun negotiations with Billy Bob Thornton to star as Davy Crockett in the $75 million period drama The Alamo, Variety reports. The film will be directed by The Rookie‘s John Lee Hancock. Ron Howard was originally set to helm the pic, but quit over a difference of opinion about budget and rating. Howard wanted to make a gritty, R-rated film with a budget of more than $125 million. Shooting will begin in January and is expected to hit theaters for the 2003 holiday season.

Director Quentin Tarantino has inked a deal with Vivendi Universal’s Black Label Games to serve as the creative consultant on a video game based on his upcoming long-awaited film Kill Bill, Variety reports. The film stars Uma Thurman as a former assassin, who, after four years in a coma, seeks revenge on her former boss, played by David Carradine. The film is slated for release Oct. 10, 2003, with the video game set to debut in spring 2004.


It’s time to get ill. In an attempt to lure younger viewers, cable network CNN Headline News is looking to incorporate words like “whack,” “fly” and “freak” into its newscast. According to the New York Daily News, a network manager e-mailed a copy of a slang dictionary to headline writers. “Please use this guide to help all you homeys and honeys add a new flava to your tickers and dekkos,” the message said, referencing Headline News screen graphics.

Sony Pictures Television International’s acquisition of the international format rights to a reality show from Argentina called Human Resources has got the AFL-CIO up in arms. The show features unemployed people competing for actual jobs as well as cash prizes and employee benefits. Chris Owen, AFL-CIO’s public policy director, told The Hollywood Reporter, “We think the nation needs a real economic policy that gets people back to work as opposed to a game show that plays on tragedy for so many unemployed people.”

Saturday Night Live will feature two new performers–Fred Armisen and Will Forte–when the comedy-variety show makes its season premiere Saturday, Reuters reports. The season opener will be hosted by Matt Damon with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band appearing as musical guests.


Bono, the frontman of Irish rock group U2, has been rated the most powerful man in music, according to a poll of top music industry executives to be published in the British music magazine Q next week. The 42-year-old singer was chosen not only for his vocals, but for his high-profile involvement on political issues, including Third World debt relief and expansion of the European Union, Reuters reports.

RCA Records’ Elvis 30 No. 1 Hits topped the Billboard 200 charts this week with 500,325 units sold. The album of remastered classics by Elvis Presley also debuted at No. 1 in the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Australia and Brazil, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This is the first time an album from the King has ever debuted at the top of the U.S. charts.