News Roundup, Nov. 1: Howard Stern Presents…


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Shock jock Howard Stern is planning to remake the raunchy teen sex flicks Porky’s and Rock ‘n’ Roll High School under the banner “Howard Stern Presents…,” Variety reports. “I think I represent what National Lampoon once meant to the teen audience,” said Stern, who will serve as executive producer on both films. “I’m trying to present something different.” Stern and his partner Dan Gross of Arclight Films have begun to meet with writers and hope to star production on the first project by next summer. The original Porky’s, released by 20th Century Fox in 1981 cost $4 million to make and grossed more than $105 million.


Steven Spielberg will head to Cuba next week to attend the premiere of Minority Report, The Associated press reports. The film will also launch a festival showing eight of Spielberg’s films, including E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Raiders of the Lost Ark. The director will meet with Cuban filmmakers and visit the International School of Film and Television and visit Havana’s main synagogue to meet with the Jewish community.

Actress Peggy Moran, who was dubbed one of Hollywood’s “shrieking violets,” died Friday in Camarillo, Calif., of complications from injuries suffered in a car accident, the AP reports. She was 84. Moran starred in more than 30 horror and Western films in the 1930s and 1940s, including The Mummy’s Hand and Rhythm of the Saddle. She married film director Henry Koster, who placed a bust of her head in every movie he made after they wed.

Soul singer Barry White, who was hospitalized last month for kidney dialysis, is resting at home while doctors conduct tests to find a suitable transplant donor, Reuters reports. Barry, 58, probably won’t be doing a nationwide search for a suitable donor since he has eight children.


Eddie Griffin, Cheech Marin and Queen Latifah will lend their voices for the English-language version of Roberto Benigni‘s Pinocchio, Variety reports. The live-action Italian-language film, which has grossed more than $20 million since it opened in Italy two weeks ago, opens Stateside on Dec. 25.

Mighty Mouse, who has been defending mice from cats since 1942, is coming to save the day on the big screen. According to Variety, Paramount Pictures has greenlighted a computer animated version of Mighty Mouse for its Nickelodeon banner to produce. It is not yet known if the feature version will keep the cartoon’s distinguished operatic style, with dialogue sung rather than spoken. No director is attached to the project yet.


Madonna beat out Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger as Britain’s biggest music earner, according to a teaser in the latest Sunday Times Pay List, which ranks the 500 highest paid people in the country. The Material Girl, who qualified for the list after she became a British resident, raked in more than $56 million in the year to Sept. 30. Nearly half of that–about $24 million–came from the deal she inked with Microsoft Corp. to use her single “Ray of Light” in the Windows XP media campaign.

The members of Aerosmith, who spent the summer touring with Run-DMC, are mourning the death of the rap trio’s Jason Mizell, aka Jam Master Jay, who was killed Thursday night in a studio in Queens, New York. The group posted this statement on their Web site: “We were greatly shocked and saddened by the news of the untimely death of Jam Master Jay. When we were down and out and in the depths, Jay and Run-DMC came along and said, ‘Come play on our record.’ Run-DMC and Jam Master Jay’s gift to the world was a new kind of music for a whole new generation, and their gift to us was a piece of ourselves back. Jay was scratching before anyone had the itch and was still at the top of his game when we played with him this summer. We will hear him every night we play ‘Walk This Way.'”