Star Wars Episode III now has its final moniker: Revenge of the Sith. Lucasfilm announced the new title at the annual Comic Con International Saturday in San Diego, Calif., to thousands of sci-fi and superhero fans who roared their approval, The Associated Press reports. "I thought it was great, I loved it," said Barren Wright, 35, a graphic designer from Modesto who was dressed as the green-armored bounty hunter Boba Fett. "This takes it back to the classic trilogy, a smart move by Lucasfilm to tie it all together since the logo and everything is identical to Return of the Jedi." The movie, set for release in May 2005, will finally show how Luke Skywalker's father, Anakin (played by Hayden Christensen), goes from being a sweet-natured slave boy to the galaxy-crushing villain Darth Vader, corrupted by the evil Sith.
Hilton, Carter break up
Paris Hilton and former Backstreet Boy Nick Carter have ended their seven-month romance, their publicists told Reuters on Friday. Hilton's spokeswoman described the breakup as amicable, adding that the hotel heiress is "busy focusing on her career" in entertainment, including her hit reality TV show The Simple Life. In a statement from his own publicist, Carter said, "I want to be free to date other people, and I got tired of the rumors surrounding our relationship and the constant on and off status."
Rowling is expecting for the third time
J.K. Rowling, the - author of the Harry Potter series, is pregnant with her third child, Reuters reports, but she promises it won't interfere with her writing the sixth installment, now titled Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. "I am really delighted to say that I am expecting a third baby, who is due next year," Rowling said on her Web site. "Now, I know that many Harry Potter fans' first reaction will be what does this mean for the timing of book six?" she continued. "Book six remains well on track and, fingers crossed of course, I don't foresee any baby-related delays or interruptions." Rowling, 38, already has a daughter, Jessica, from her first marriage, and last year had a son, David, with her second husband Neil Murray.
Jeopardy champ winning streak continues
"Will it never end for this talented young man?" Jeopardy host Alex Trebek queried. Apparently not. The quiz show master Ken Jennings won his 38th straight game on Friday, shattering a one-day record by earning $75,000 and putting his total winnings at $1.3 million, AP reports. Jeopardy! goes into reruns starting next Monday, but new shows will resume on Sept. 6, where Jennings will continue to defend his championship.
Disney chief likes Fahrenheit
Walt Disney Co.'s top gun Michael Eisner has seen Fahrenheit 9/11, the hugely successful Michael Moore documentary the Mouse House refused to distribute, and said he liked it, AP reports. Eisner spoke at Fortune magazine's fourth annual Brainstorm conference, co-hosted by The Aspen Institute, telling the participants, "The reason [the film] is a hit is it's entertaining. I thought it was like going to a rock concert. I loved it, but not in a political (sense)." Eisner said Disney decided not to distribute the documentary, which criticizes President Bush and the war in Iraq, because its shareholders and customers do not expect it to be a partisan company.
Allen film opens Spanish film festival
Woody Allen's latest movie, Melinda and Melinda, a romantic comedy starring Allen, Chloe Sevigny and Will Ferrell, will make its world premiere at the 52nd San Sebastian International Film Festival, which runs Sept. 17-25 in Spain, Reuters reports. Allen, who will be on hand to support his film, also will be the subject of a tribute and retrospective. The sidebar will showcase Allen's talents as writer, director and actor since his beginnings in 1966. Melinda and Melinda will be distributed domestically by Fox Searchlight.
Gay channel gets star lineup
Cher, Scottish actor Alan Cumming and comedian Kathy Griffin are among the stars who are doing shows for the new gay-themed digital cable channel, Logo, which is scheduled to launch in February. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Cher and her daughter, Chastity Bono, will executive produce Family Outing, a chronicle of "coming-out" stories based on Chastity's book of the same name, in which Chastity will also host. Among the other projects are The Alan Cumming Experience, which features the X2: X-Men United actor hosting a cabaret-like variety show and Fantastic Voyage, a reality series set on an ocean-liner cruise hosted by comedian Griffin.
Top Story: Crosby Arrested on Gun and Drug Charges
Rock musician David Crosby was arrested early Saturday on marijuana and felony gun possession charges at a New York hotel, Reuters reports. According to the police report, a hotel manager at the Doubletree Guest Suites hotel called police after a maid searching for identification in a green canvas bag Crosby left after checking out of his room discovered a small quantity of marijuana, a .45-caliber gun, ammunition and knives. The 62-year-old musician, who rose to fame with the Byrds and later Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young in the late 1960s and 1970s, was charged with the third-degree felony of criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful drug possession, Manhattan District Attorney spokeswoman Barbara Thompson told Reuters. Crosby, who spent a year in prison after a drug charge conviction in 1985, could serve up to seven years in jail if convicted of the gun charge. He was freed after appearing in court and posting bail of $3,500.
Return of the King DVD Bows in May
The Lord of the Rings enthusiasts can look forward to the DVD and VHS release of The Return of the King May 25, three months earlier in the year than its predecessors, The Associated Press reports. In recent years, New Line had held off until August to release The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers to generate anticipation for the trilogy's next theatrical release. Now, with the trilogy concluded--and riding high on the 11 Oscars the film won at the Academy Awards--New Line has decided to roll out the third and final installment earlier. AP reports the initial DVD release of The Return of the King will include a bevy of behind-the-scenes material--and, as with the other two installments, an extended version of King will be released sometime around the holidays. The three extended versions will push the saga's running time to more than 11 hours.
Schwarzenegger Heads Up Fitness Weekend
Arnold Schwarzenegger's got a busy schedule, what with running the nation's largest state and all, but still managed to take time out for his first love--bodybuilding. Reuters reports the Governator visited Columbus, Ohio, last weekend to officiate the Arnold Schwarzenegger Fitness Weekend and its centerpiece, the Arnold Classic bodybuilding contest. The three-day event--which dates back to 1989 and includes 600 exhibitors, 11,000 athletes and some 80,000 attendees--coincided with Schwarzenegger's appointment as executive editor of Muscle & Fitness and Flex magazines, two American Media-owned bodybuilding mags that have featured the former Mr. Universe on their covers some 50 times, Reuters reports.
Lost in Translation Feted at Comedy Fest
The Oscar-winning Lost in Translation was one of the big winners at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colo. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Sofia Coppola's film about two lost souls in Tokyo won the audience award, along with best performance (Bill Murray), first-time director and screenplay prizes at the festival's second annual Comedy Film Honors. Al Madrigal took the jury award for best standup performer, while Dave Gorman won for the second time in the best one-person show category.
Role Call, Part I: McConaughey Swings Hammer, Universal in 11th Hour
Matthew McConaughey is in negotiations to star in Hammer Down for DreamWorks, a story about a disgraced NASCAR driver who becomes a wheel man in a heist in hopes to get his life back on track, Variety reports… Universal Pictures has acquired the project The 11th Hour, by first-time director and Shattered Glass scribe Billy Ray. According to Variety, the biopic tells the story of Robert Hanssen, the traitorous FBI agent who sold government secrets to the Soviet Union and centers on Hanssen's assistant Eric O'Neil. No cast as been set as yet.
Role Call, Part II: Malick Postpones Che
The trades also report eccentric director Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line) has abruptly shelved his biopic project Che, about Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara, and will instead direct The New World, a drama about Pocahontas and the cultural collision of European explorers and Native American tribes starring Colin Farrell. Che was due to start filming in July 2004 in Bolivia with Benicio Del Toro set as the title character and Franka Potente, Javier Bardem, Benjamin Bratt and Ryan Gosling as his lieutenants. Malick, who co-wrote the Che script with Del Toro and Ben Vanderveen, has told the film's producers, Laura Bickford and Steven Soderbergh (Traffic), and financiers that he still intends to direct the film in July 2005, Variety reports. Despite the delay, Del Toro plans to stick with it. He and Bickford came up with the project in 1997, and they and Soderbergh own it. According to Variety, Del Toro is already fielding acting offers to fill his sudden summer vacancy, and Che will apparently wait until Malick returns.