General News

News Roundup, Dec. 3: Sundance Fest Announces 2003 Films

Dec 03, 2002 | 10:32am EST

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The Sundance Film Festival, which makes or breaks independent films, announced 2003's lineup Monday, Reuters reports. Actors such as Salma Hayek and Matt Dillon will be making their directorial debuts, with other high-caliber actors such as Kevin Spacey and Holly Hunter appearing in some of the films in competition. Hayek's film, The Maldonado Miracle, focuses on a small town whose religious faith is tested when a statue of Jesus seems to bleed. Dillon's entry, City of Ghosts, is about a con man who goes to Cambodia to collect on an insurance scam and gets more than he bargains for. The now-prestigious film festival will run from Jan. 16 through Jan. 26 in Park City, Utah.


Pop star Michael Jackson will appear once again in a California court to continue his testimony in the $21 million lawsuit pending against him for backing out of concert dates. Although the singer lives less than 30 miles from the Santa Maria courthouse, Jackson is rarely seen in town and his appearance has caused a furor--hundreds of fans compete in a lottery for courtroom seats, stand outside screaming and begging for autographs, and chase his van down the street.

Actress Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle) and her husband, actor Bradley Whitford (The West Wing), welcomed their third child, Mary Louisa Whitford, Monday in Los Angeles. The baby weighed 10 pounds, 3 ounces (big baby!). Kaczmarek, 46, and Whitford, 43, also have a 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son.


Morgan Freeman and Jet Li are in discussions to star in Danny the Dog, an action thriller to be produced by Luc Besson's company Europa Corp. It will be directed by Louis Leterrier, who made his directorial debut with The Transporter starring Jason Statham.

Now this one sounds too good to be true. The New Line comedy Elf stars Will Ferrell as a man named Buddy who was raised from infancy by elves at the North Pole. After inadvertently creating havoc among the poor elves, Buddy is shipped off to his biological father (James Caan) in New York, whose life Buddy also turns upside down. The film is being directed by Jon Favreau (Made) and actors Zooey Deschanel, Bob Newhart and Edward Asner are in negotiations to co-star.


Sony Pictures has broken the all-time international box office record this year by raking in a cool $2.75 billion so far. Fueled by the tremendous success of Spider-Man, which has earned $815 million in worldwide box office sales, Sony tops 20th Century Fox's 1998 record of $2.68 billion, which was achieved in large part to 1997's megahit Titanic.


Several members of the British rock band Oasis, including lead singer Liam Gallagher, were detained Saturday for questioning by German police on suspicion of assault, resisting arrest and damage to property. The Associated Press reports Gallagher sustained minor injuries, including several broken teeth, after he and members of the band allegedly got drunk at a hotel bar in Munich and ended up in an altercation with a group of Italians. They were released on bail Sunday but no charges have been filed as yet.

The all-new Doors lineup, renamed the 21st Century Doors, will have to reschedule their debut performance thanks to their new drummer's broken arm. Two of the surviving Doors--keyboardist Ray Manzarek and lead guitarist Robby Krieger--recently resurrected the band with The Cult singer Ian Astbury and drummer Stewart Copeland (formerly of The Police). Copeland broke his arm over Thanksgiving, forcing the postponement of their Dec. 8 kickoff performance at the Palms in Las Vegas. A new date has not been announced. The group has planned a tour next spring and a new album next fall.

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