News Roundup: June 26


Top Story

After 10 days of treatment, musician Billy Joel is set to leave Connecticut’s Silver Hill Hospital on Wednesday, reports the New York Daily News.The 53-year-old singer intends to head straight for his home in the Hamptons following his stay at the clinic, which specializes in drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Joel‘s spokeswoman said that following some down time in the Hamptons, he will head to Chicago, where a new stage show titled Movin’ Out, featuring his songs, is holding its pre-Broadway tryout.


Nicole Kidman, who is headed to Romania next month to shoot parts of her next film based on the Civil War-era novel Cold Mountain, may have to contend with rather unusual dressing quarters: a bus used by a former communist dictator. The Associated Press reports that the bus once carried Nicolae Ceausescu, who was executed 13 years ago, around the country on working visits. The bus has since been refurbished with solid wood furniture and a luxury bathtub.

John McEnroe said he is very disappointed with the statements his ex-wife Tatum O’Neal made on ABC’s 20/20, including allegations that the former tennis pro took steroids when he was on the pro tennis tour, reports AP. O’Neal, who was responding to McEnroe‘s new autobiography You Cannot Be Serious, said he also used marijuana and cocaine, but only off the court. The interview airs Friday.


Go Bernie Mac! The comedian is in talks to star in the remake of the 1967 film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner for Columbia Pictures, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The original feature, directed by Stanley Kramer, starred Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as parents whose attitudes are challenged when their daughter begins dating a black man, played by Sidney Poitier. This summer, Mac is set to begin work on Charlie’s Angels 2; Head of State, directed by Chris Rock; and Bad Santa alongside Billy Bob Thornton.

Will Smith and Ryan Phillippe are teaming up to produce White Boy Shuffle, based on a novel by Paul Beatty, Variety reports. The film follows a young black kid whose Santa Monica, Calif., beach life comes to a halt when his family moves to South Central Los Angeles. How Stella Got Her Groove Back‘s Kevin Sullivan is attached to direct.

Lil’ Romeo will star opposite Jessica Alba in Universal’s Honey, a music-driven coming-of-age drama about a tough inner-city woman who wants to start a neighborhood dance studio and is then discovered by a music mogul. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film, directed by music video director Billie Woodruff, begins production Sept. 9 in Toronto.

Jim Henson Pictures, the company behind The Muppets, is teaming up with MGM to make a film about a group of alien dogs, Variety reports. Good Boy! follows the adventures of an alien dog that comes to Earth from Sirius, the Dog Star, to investigate reports that his fellow canines have abandoned their original plan to take over the planet. Shooting is scheduled to begin in August in Vancouver, Canada.


Britney Spears, Enrique Iglesias, James Taylor and Ray Charles will perform on the NBC special The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular live from 9 to 10 p.m. ET and also from 9 to 10 p.m. in each of the other three continental time zones, reports. Rob Lowe will host the hour-long special, which will feature special guest appearances from former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Harrison Ford, Mike Myers and Sigourney Weaver.