News Roundup: Aug. 5


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With the NBC sitcom Friends due to end after its upcoming ninth season, Jennifer Aniston is taking on the big screen. While talking to Britain’s Daily Mirror about her upcoming drama The Good Girl, Aniston also confided that she and hubby Brad Pitt are planning to start a family in the next few years. “I always thought two [children], but Brad wants seven,” she told the newspaper. The 33-year-old actress said she and Pitt have led a fairly normal existence since they married two years ago. “People think we have a life that is so glamorous, but it couldn’t be more normal. We paint, read scripts, read books, watch movies and have quiet dinners.” Aniston added that her heartthrob husband is also a goofball. “Brad is the kindest person I know and the sweetest goofball on the planet.”


Verne Troyer, who reprised his role as Mini-Me in the box office smash Austin Powers in Goldmember, will lead the world’s largest chicken dance and kazoo band at a festival in Cincinnati late next month, The Associated Press reports. The two-day event–called Oktoberfest Zinzinnati–is the nation’s largest Oktoberfest and is expected to draw a crowd of about 500,000.

Actress Mia Farrow, who is a United Nations goodwill ambassador, visited famine-stricken Angola on Monday as part of a weeklong trip to visit humanitarian projects and rebel demobilization camps, the AP reports. Farrow is accompanied by her 13-year-old son with filmmaker Woody Allen, Seamus.

While Farrow is concerned about the half-million people facing starvation in Angola, the HBO cable network announced it has entered into a licensing agreement for a gourmet food line named after Artie Bucco, the Sopranos‘ restaurateur character. According to The New York Times, products will include marina sauce, creamy Caesar salad dressing and dry ziti pasta, soon to be available on the network’s Web site.


Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have secured a two-year film production deal at Disney for their Live Planet production company, Variety reports. Live Planet, along with Miramax Films, was behind last year’s HBO series Project Greenlight, which is moving forward with a second season. The company will now use Disney as a launching pad for feature films.

Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire will be going from superhero to jockey in his next feature film, Seabiscuit. According to Variety, Maguire is set to play jockey Red Pollard who rode famed horse Seabiscuit during the Depression. The actor signed a deal worth a reported $12 million or more for the Universal Pictures project and is also set to come on board as an executive producer.


The Walt Disney Co. has locked up a deal worth nearly $1.5 million for the exclusive book and TV rights to the personal stories of the nine miners rescued from a Pennsylvania mine last month, Variety reports. Disney-owned ABC will immediately start looking for a producer and writer for the two-hour TV movie. Sibling publisher Hyperion is expected to release a book about the miners’ ordeal.

Ocean’s Eleven star Don Cheadle has signed on to do a four-episode stint on NBC’s medical drama ER, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Cheadle will play a medical student who comes to Chicago’s County General Hospital emergency room for his surgical internship. The episodes will air during November sweeps.