Sean “Puffy” Combs apparently has time to mix business with charges.
While attending the Grammys last week, prosecutors accused the rapper/mogul of trying to bribe his driver into taking the fall for a gun found in his vehicle after a New York club shooting in December. (He pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the bribery charges — just as he had refuted gun possession charges in January.)
Though Combs’ exact involvement in the incident is still in dispute, he’s definitely hoping to be involved in the indie comedy “Made.”
The Hollywood Reporter says he’s in final negotiations to play the head of a New York-based syndicate. The fish-out-of-water tale marks the directing debut of actor-writer Jon Favreau. The story has Favreau and “Swingers” comrade Vince Vaughn playing boxers and lifelong pals who get involved in a money-laundering scheme. Combs will be the gun-toting, money-waving heavy (sound familiar?) to whom the boys owe a rather large debt.
“Made” would be Comb’s big-screen debut. The entrepreneur was supposed to star in Oliver Stone‘s gridiron drama “Any Given Sunday,” but dropped out due to other professional commitments (although the rumor mill ranges from conflicts with Stone to questions about Puffy’s acting ability). His role as a self-centered, controversial quarterback eventually went to less-controversial Jamie Foxx.
BOMBS AWAY? “Armageddon” alum Ben Affleck is in talks to join the uber-producer’s latest uber-production, “Pearl Harbor,” today’s Hollywood Reporter says. Affleck would be the biggest star yet to join Hollywood’s biggest-ever budgeted flick.
DENZEL IN ‘TRAINING’: Denzel Washington, currently in the Best Actor Oscar race for playing boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter in “The Hurricane,” will hit the streets again in the Warner Bros.’ drama “Training Day.” According to trade paper reports, Washington‘s in serious talks to play a corrupt veteran cop who’s assigned to train a rookie on his first day with the LAPD’s undercover narcotics unit.
‘UNBREAKABLE’ PENN: Robin Wright Penn has the right instinct for “The Sixth Sense’s” M. Night Shyamalan. The actress is in talks to play the female lead in the writer-director’s follow-up project “Unbreakable.” Previously, Julianne Moore had made sense until she dropped out to (reportedly) replace Jodie Foster in “Hannibal.”
ONE OF THE ‘GUYS’: Ten years later, “China Beach” Emmy winner Dana Delany has found her way back to the small screen. She’s getting set to star in the pilot for the NBC crime drama “Good Guys/Bad Guys.”
The series, from “Homicide” creators Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson, has been in development for two years. Daily Variety reports that Delany might be paired off with ex-“Homicide” co-star Jon Seda. The pilot involves an FBI agent (Delany) in pursuit of a dangerous Hispanic crime lord (Seda). Shooting’s set to begin in Miami next week.
YO NORTON! Art Carney, aka Ed Norton from “The Honeymooners,” will take on his beloved alter ego once again in a series of promo spots for cable’s TV Land. The hat, the white T-shirt, the vest and of course the 81-year-old Carney himself — the whole package is set to appear the week of March 13 as part of the network’s celebration of the classic series. In the spots, Carney‘s Norton will dispense advice on everything from finding good Chinese food to getting a job in television.