General News

News Roundup: July 15

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Jul 15, 2002 | 11:50am EDT

 

Top Story

Sony Pictures is banking that Spider-Man will be the top-selling video of all time when it's released in stores Nov. 1--so much so that they are launching a $100 million marketing campaign to promote it. Variety reports the studio not only believes the Spidey DVD will surpass the top-selling DVD record held by Men in Black but will also beat the home rental industry's all-time best seller, Disney's The Lion King.

Celebs

Matthew McConaughey is a bona fide hero. During an interview with Access Hollywood, the actor rushed to the aid of a TV soundman who collapsed from a seizure, performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until the paramedics arrived. McConaughey also saved a woman's life at the Toronto Film Festival in September, when she collapsed. Good guy to have around.

Movies

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's Liveplanet Productions has wrapped production on the low-budget independent film Speakeasy. Written and directed by Brendan Murphy, the film was the runner-up in the much-hyped Project Greenlight competition, the winner of which got to have his/her film financed and documented in a HBO series. Those top honors instead went to Pete Jones, whose film Stolen Summer was released earlier this year. Although Liveplanet was under no obligation to produce the second place winner, Damon and Affleck liked Speakeasy and Murphy so much, they financed the film independently.

Another video game comes to the big screen. Director Paul Anderson, who brought us Resident Evil earlier this year, will direct Alien vs. Predator, based on the Fox Interactive video game. As with Resident Evil, Alien vs. Predator has scientists messing with things they shouldn't--in this case, hatching alien eggs to create an environment attractive to predators.

Because we all know it needs to be done, Artisan Pictures will be remaking the David Cronenberg cult horror favorite Scanners. The original film was about a group of people, or "scanners," who take over the world using their telepathic abilities. The remake will concentrate on modern-day paranoia and terrorism, as well as give the mind-bending finale a more updated look.

Tube News

The fourth season of HBO's The Sopranos is coming soon, folks, and this time around its going to focus on Tony and Carmela Soprano (James Gandolfini and Edie Falco) and their marriage. So said series creator David Chase to the Television Critics Association Friday, adding that the first year was about Tony and his mother, the second about Tony and his sister and the third about the Soprano children. The fourth season debuts Sept. 15.

An HBO miniseries about the life of King Arthur? Count us in! Coming off the highly successful WWII series Band of Brothers, Steven Spielberg is in final negotiations with HBO to once again executive produce an eight-part series called Arthur, with Brothers co-executive producer Tony To. It will incorporate not only the myth of Arthur but also some documented accounts of historical people believed to be the basis of the legend.

Music News

The Internal Revenue Service has handed rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight a not-so-nice little surprise--a $6 million tax bill regarding taxes owed in 1997, when Knight was serving a five-year sentence for violating his probation after getting involved in a fight on the night rapper Tupac Shakur was killed. "[Knight] is a hardworking citizen and meets all his responsibilities," lawyer Arthur Barens told the Associated Press. "He intends to respond. He plans to pay it."

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