News Roundup: Oct. 31

Top Story

The 53rd Annual Emmy Awards will take place Sunday in Los Angeles under heavy security. According to Reuters, organizers have worked with the Federal Aviation Administration, FBI and local police to close the airspace around the Shubert Theater. All guests will also be asked to go through a metal detector.

In Courts

A Los Angeles judge has ordered Tom Cruise to pay $27,900 in legal fees to Kristina Ann Kristin for frivolously including her in a $100 million defamation suite against her ex-husband, Chad Slater, reports. Kristin had talked to the National Enquirer about Slater’s claim that he had an affair with the actor.

The heirs of Gone With the Wind producer David O. Selznick are suing Turner Entertainment Co., claiming the company has not accounted honestly for profits. According to Variety, Selznick‘s heirs collectively own a 5 percent interest in the film.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned whether a 1996 law barring the distribution of pictures depicting a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct can be applied to movies in which older actors play sexually active children. According to Reuters, Justice Stephen Breyer named Traffic, Lolita, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Julietand Titanic as examples of films showing simulated sexual activity by a minor.

Gil Scott-Heron, the creator of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised and Whitey’s on the Moon received a one- to three-year sentence Monday after failing to show up at a Manhattan Criminal Court to begin mandatory rehab, reports. The rehabilitation was part of an earlier plea bargain on drug charges.

In General

An archive showcasing the development of The Lord of the Rings is expected to fetch up to $50,000 at Christie’s as part of a sale of 20th century books, Reuters reports. The archive includes proof copies, first editions and letters by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Liam Neeson has been cast to star as the young Father Merrin in an upcoming prequel to the 1973 horror film The Exorcist. According to Reuters, the project will be helmed by director John Frankenheimer (The Island of Dr. Moreau) and go into production in the spring of 2002.

A wizard’s hat and three gold coins from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone that went missing from the set during filming have shown up on an Internet auction site, Reuters reports. Police could not confirm newspaper reports that crew members were believed to be behind the thefts.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, VH1 is looking to create its own West Coast version of MTV’s Total Request Live hosted by Carson Daly. The network is looking to convert a Hollywood complex into a studio for live daily music performances.

Napster is considering getting congressional help to resolve licensing issues. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Napster CEO Konrad Hilbers hopes congress will consider compulsory licensing of music for on-demand services.