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News, Oct. 3: Ice Cube Takes "xXx" Reins, New York Film Fest Kicks Off, Jonze and Kaufman Team Up for Horror, More...

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Oct 03, 2003 | 10:40am EDT

Top Story: Ice Cube Takes xXx Reins

While it was forgone that Sony-based Revolution Studios would go ahead with a xXx sequel, no one could have foreseen it happening without star Vin Diesel and director Rob Cohen. But while Diesel and Cohen have decided to opt out of xXx2 (they will remain executive producers), the studio is hardly trading down with its spy actioner: Revolution has hired rapper Ice Cube as the star and Die Another Day helmer Lee Tamahori as director. According to Variety, Cube will play a new character who is recruited by the National Security Agency to become an "Triple X" agent, referring to a three-strikes rule the agency uses to give criminals the option of joining the crime-fighting force or going to prison for good. Tamahori is set to begin production on xXx2, which will be largely set in Washington, D.C., in summer 2004 for a 2005 bow. This is the second time Diesel and Cohen have opted out of a sequel to a franchise they launched, following Universal Pictures' The Fast and the Furious.

New York Film Fest Kicks Off

Clint Eastwood's psychological crime thriller Mystic River premiered Friday at the 41st New York Film Festival, which will feature 24 films and three special events during its 17-day run. According to Reuters, the highlights of the festival include The Fog of War, a cinematic dialogue between filmmaker Errol Morris and former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Gus Van Sant 's Elephant, about high school gun violence, and the Nicole Kidman starrer Dogville, which shreds the myth of American small town innocence. The festival wraps Sunday, Oct. 19 with 21 Grams an English-language film directed by Mexican Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu starring Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro.

Beyoncé Knowles' Dad Sells Music Company

Beyoncé Knowles' father has sold his music management company, Music World Entertainment, to the London-based music group Sanctuary for $10 million, the AP reports. The company has managed artists including Destiny's Child, Beyoncé, her sister Solange Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Under the agreement, Mathew Knowles, who will stay headquartered in Houston, will work at Sanctuary for at least five years as president of its urban and gospel division and will continue to manage his roster of artists. In buying Music World Entertainment, Sanctuary brings to its management stable two of the biggest acts in pop music, Beyoncé and Destiny's Child.

Winery Features Jerry Garcia's Artwork

The memory of Grateful Dead singer Jerry Garcia will be immortalized with his own signature wine. The AP reports the Clos du Bois winery is launching J. Garcia wines, which will feature Garcia's artwork, including the abstract creations that have already adorned T-shirts and neckties, on its labels. The initial release consists of 50,000 cases of 2002 Sonoma County chardonnay, 2000 Sonoma County merlot and 2000 Sonoma County cabernet sauvignon, with a zinfandel due out later this year. Members of Garcia's estate say the singer enjoyed drinking Clos du Bois wine and approached the winery about putting his artwork on its bottles. Garcia, who died of a heart attack in 1995, attended high school near this Sonoma County town.

Role Call: Jonze and Kaufman Team Up for Horror, Bryan Barber To Helm Holy War

Director Spike Jonze and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, the duo behind Adaptation, are channeling their talents to the horror genre. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Columbia Pictures is hammering out deals for the duo to collaborate on a closely guarded, untitled horror film, which they will also produce ... Music video director Bryan Barber, who helmed the OutKast clip "The Whole World," is in negotiations to make his feature directing debut with the church comedy Holy War for Artisan Entertainment. According to The Reporter, the project centers on a rivalry between two preaching cousins, which comes to a head when they start competing for the loyalty of a new female parishioner with a great singing voice.

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