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ShowBiz Weekly: news from the UK & US...
to cash in on the success of The Weakest Link, American
television networks are hunting for more British-conceived
projects. The ABC and Fox networks are both bidding
for the BBC reality show Dog Eat Dog, while other
networks are considering a programme called Challenge
America which would be hosted by ERIN BROCKOVICH and
is reportedly based on a British show. In it contestants
compete on missions to complete charitable or socially
beneficial tasks in the shortest period of time.
JACKSON says her new-found happiness is reflected
in her latest album, All For You, which features upbeat,
dance-oriented music. ``All I did was what I always
do and that's write about what's going on in my life,''
Jackson, 34, tells USA Today. ``I really am happy
now. My life has changed.'' Jackson is currently divorcing
her second husband RENE ELIZONDO JR. They were together
for 13 years and married for eight. He is currently
suing her for 10 million dollars. She does not expect
to participate in the forthcoming reunion tour of
her brothers, but as a fan she says she is looking
forward to it. ``I miss seeing the brothers,'' she
says. ``It was such a highlight of my growing up.
When they tour, you'd better believe that I'm going
to have a seat in the audience.''
NASEEM HAMED is one of a number of celebrities who
have cameo roles in Ocean's Eleven, the remake of
the 1960 Rat Pack film about a Las Vegas casino robbery.
Hamed will be seen sitting ringside with ANGIE DICKINSON,
WAYNE NEWTON and SIEGFRIED and ROY at a boxing match
between British heavyweight LENNOX LEWIS and VLADIMIR
the lights go out the robbers played by - GEORGE CLOONEY,
BRAD PITT and MATT DAMON - strike. The scene was filmed
while Hamed was in Las Vegas for his fight with MARCO
ANTONIO BARRERA, which he lost. The writer-director
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN, whose previous two films The Sixth
Sense and Unbreakable have grossed nearly 1 billion
dollars worldwide for the Walt Disney Company, has
now sold his next script, about crop circles, to the
studio. He will receive around 15 million dollars
for both writing and directing the script, called
Signs, reports Daily Variety. Like his two previous
films Signs takes place in his home state of Pennsylvania.
The story is based on the mysterious appearance of
a 500ft array of circles and lines in a farm family's
The Scary Movie 2 filmmakers are hoping to attract
CHARLTON HESTON to replace MARLON BRANDO in the zany
comedy. Brando, who was to have received two million
dollars for four days work, had to drop out because
of illness. His representatives have declined to comment
on his health but sources say he is suffering from
pneumonia. Scary Movie 2 producer Elizabeth Clark
said that ``unfortunately, due to his health issues,
and unavailability we must now recast his role. We
wish Mr. Brando a speedy recovery''. Heston has not
said whether he will take the role, of a priest performing
new film based on Charles Manson prosecutor Vincent
Bugliosi's best-seller Helter Skelter is being planned.
The 1976 television film of the same name, which starred
STEVE RAILSBACK as the notorious Manson, focused on
the investigation of Manson and his family of killers.
The new version says Bugliosi, will put more emphasis
on Manson and the origins of his family. No casting
has yet been announced.
AHERNE, the creator, co-writer and co-star of the
hit comedy series The Royle Family has turned down
pleas from the BBC for another series in order to
concentrate on writing and producing a feature film.
Her film will be about a hairdresser who decides to
make house calls but must first learn to drive. ``It's
a very, very small film, but that's just what I like
doing,'' Aherne tells the Los Angeles Times. The Royle
Family is soon to be seen on network television in
America as The Kennedys, a series set in Boston and
starring Randy Quaid. Aherne and her co-writer and
co-star Craig Cash are consultants for the series.
NICOLE KIDMAN'S new film The Others is drawing laughs
in the wrong places at early test screenings because
there are too many parallels between the dark thriller
and real life, reports the New York Post. Kidman's
character has two children and tells them at one point,
``Daddy isn't coming home. You'll find out soon enough
that this place isn't always a happy home.'' The audience
``burst out laughing'', said an insider who attended
a screening. The Others was produced by Kidman's estranged
husband TOM CRUISE.
JERRY BRUCKHEIMER, who has just finished the ð100
million Second World War epic Pearl Harbour, is next
planning to give the blockbuster treatment to the
story of King Arthur and the Round Table. He plans
to use computer images to enhance the battle scenes
and he promises: ``We'll give King Arthur a realistic
story that will be more like The Wild Bunch.'' He
tells Daily Variety. ``Period films have been made
much easier by computer generated images. I defy you
to tell the real planes from the digital planes in
WEISZ will begin rehearsals for her stage role in
Neil LaBute's black comedy The Shape of Things at
the same time as she starts filming the comedy-drama
About a Boy in which she co-stars with HUGH GRANT.
The busy British actress is also currently being seen
in two films, Beautiful Creatures and Enemy at the
Gates with a third, The Mummy Returns, due to open
soon. In The Shape of Things, which opens in London
next month, the British actress plays an American
art student. ``It's a twisted love story about how
people use their real life in their art and how couples
try to change each other,'' she tells the Los Angeles
Times. ``It's a tremendous female role. I read it
and my hair was standing on end.'' The Go-Go's first
new album in 17 years has run into trouble with the
Catholic church. The all-girl band's God Bless the
Go-Go's features pictures of each band member dressed
as the Virgin Mary. ``It is painfully obvious that
the GoGo's are looking to jump-start their new shot
at fame but can't pull it off without cheap ploys,
so they have decided to rip off Catholic imagery,''
said William Donohue, president of the Catholic League.
PALTROW is to star in a romantic comedy being described
as ``an American version of Bridget Jones's Diary''.
Miramax Film has bought the novel Three Times Three
for Paltrow, who will play the heroine, an assistant
editor at a women's magazine who discovers her fiance
is secretly engaged to at least two other women. Paltrow,
who has just finished filming the Miramax comedy View
From theTop, will co-produce Three Times Three.
PAUL HOGAN has a ready answer for critics who say
that his latest film, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles
is an attempt to revive his sagging career. ``I don't
have a career,'' he tells the Los Angeles Times. ``It's
not sagging because it doesn't exist. I'll disappear
after this movie. You won't see me at openings or
premieres and you won't read my golf score in the
paper. I will just vanish off the face of the earth.''
The Australian actor, who now lives in the California
seaside town of Santa Barbara with his wife, actress
LINDA KOZLOWSKI, said: ``I live a very good life but
I don't talk about it too much because it's annoying
for people who work for a living.''
NICOLE KIDMAN poured out her heart to her Moulin Rouge
director, fellow Australian BAZ LUHRMANN, about her
break-up with TOM CRUISE, the filmmaker consoled her
with the words: ``It's better to have loved and lost
than never to have loved at all.'' The actress tells
the story in the current issue of Interview magazine,
in which she also talks of the difficulties of making
the film while going through her emotional turmoil.
``My dad says one of the best images he had was when
he came to visit on the set,'' she recalled. ``I'm
in the van, cooking dinner for the kids in four-inch
stilettos, a corset, fishnet stockings, long red hair
and a top hat. And the kids didn't seem to think there
was anything strange about it. And I didn't think
there was anything strange about it, either.''
It looks as if WILL SMITH will be getting a new partner
for the Men in Black sequel. TOMMY
LEE JONES, who teamed with him in the first film,
is reportedly asking for 40 million dollars ($30 million)
to return for Men in Black 11 so producers are looking
for another actor - RICKY MARTIN has been mentioned
- to join Smith as the fearless alien fighter. LINDA
FIORENTINO will be missing too and will be replaced
by ROSARIO DAWSON, who is currently being seen in
the hit pop music spoof Josie and the Pussycats.
supervised the decorating of their new home in San
Francisco, SHARON STONE is now reportedly turning
her attention to her husband, newspaper editor PHIL
BRONSTEIN'S office at the San Francisco Chronicle.
She has ordered the ceiling to be painted such a bright
shade of blue that Bronstein's fellow workers are
calling the office Xanadu, reports the rival San Francisco
Examiner newspaper, which comments: ``Sharon has a
right to her say about the decor. She's had a say
about everything else at the paper.''
HEIDI KLUM blames her good friend DONALD TRUMP for
putting her in the media spotlight as the supposed
latest playmate of PRINCE ANDREW. ``Oh, that was blown
out of proportion,'' the happily married Klum tells
the May issue of Tatler magazine. ``I didn't even
know Andrew was coming. He turned up at my Halloween
party with Donald Trump.'' She says she asked Andrew
where his costume was, then decided to give him a
big, red-lipsticked kiss on his forehead. ``But he
said, `I don't think that's such a good idea.' That
was that. He could be the Prince of the World, but
I'm not interested.''
LOCKLEAR recently spent a day of tough military training
at a Marine boot camp to see if she could survive
the arduous course. Locklear, the daughter of a Marine
colonel, learned how to storm a building, navigated
an obstacle course and wielded a bayonet. The only
injury she suffered was a broken nail, she told the
June issue of Marie Claire magazine. But when the
long day was over, she said: ``My first call from
the limo was to my husband to get my martini ready.''
ANTONIO BANDERAS is living under a death threat from
a Spanish terrorist group and now his new movie The
Body is stirring up political and religious controversy.
In the film, Banderas plays a Vatican-appointed Jesuit
priest sent to investigate a tomb opened by an Israeli
archaeologist (OLIVIA WILLIAMS). The tomb contains
a body that may be that of Jesus Christ. The find,
if proven to be Christ, threatens the foundations
of Western religion. Director
JONAS McCORD is aware his movie could earn the outrage
of Christians, Jews and Muslims alike. But he insists
it is not a political time-bomb, but a positive message
about faith, ``believing in what you cannot see''.
Faith is what McCord had when it came to his film.
Because of its controversial subject matter, it took
him 15 years to get the story to the screen. As for
the subject matter of The Body, McCord remembers one
eerie moment on location. The crew were setting up
at a real archaeological site, placing their fake
bones into the earth. While they were working, an
archaeologist working nearby cried out - he had just
discovered the remains of a real body. McCord says:
``I'm standing there saying, `Please tell me it's
not a crucifixion!'''
beauty FAMKE JANSSEN has been chosen to star as the
vampy villainess Serleena in the eagerly-awaited Men
in Black 2. Original Men in Black stars WILL SMITH
and TOMMY LEE JONES will be back in their roles as
sober-suited Agents J and K. Although Columbia Pictures
is keeping the plot under wraps, there is rumoured
to be a love interest for Smith's character. She will
be played by Josie and the Pussycats star ROSARIA
DAWSON, while JOHNNY KNOXVILLE is also set to appear
as a two-headed alien. Janssen will soon be seen starring
opposite MICHAEL DOUGLAS in Don't Say a Word.
``PUFFY'' COMBS (now P.Diddy) is in trouble with the
law again, but actress and singer JENNIFER LOPEZ looks
as though she's found happiness with new man Chris
Judd. Lopez and Judd, a dancer who toured with her
and can be seen in her video Love Don't Cost a Thing,
were all over each other while shopping in Beverly
Hills this week. While Judd was trying on jackets,
Lopez was spotted by fans and stood chatting happily
and signing autographs. When the fans wanted photographs
with their idol, Judd cheerfully ditched his shopping
attempt and took the snaps for them. Then the two
walked off with their arms around each other. Lopez
is also heading for Europe to promote a new single
from her multi-platinum album and her new hit movie
The Wedding Planner.
Erin Brockovich star JULIA ROBERTS accepted her Oscar,
she told the audience she wanted to share it with
every cast and crew member on the film. And she meant
it. The actress had hundreds of tiny copies made,
engraved with the cast or crew member's name and sent
to them with a hand-written note of appreciation.
those gay rumours continue to swirl around Latin heart-throb
RICKY MARTIN, model INES MISAN is setting the record
straight. ``I'm not supposed to talk about this,''
says Misan, who claims she has been dating the star
for several months, ``but on a scale of 1 to 10, I'll
give him a 20. He's all man.'' And as for all the
gay rumours, Misan says: ``It's like a joke. I wish
every man were so gay.'' Interestingly, Martin's agent
says the two have never dated but are ``just friends''.
STEWART's gorgeous model daughter Kimberly plays for
a lesbian soccer team in Los Angeles - not that she's
gay but because ``they're the only ones who'd have
me''. The 21-year-old says that after dating two LA
guys, she's decided there are no good men in Hollywood.
But when she meets her perfect man, she'll know him
because ``he'll look like BRAD PITT and have nice
PRINCE EDWARD has cancelled a Los Angeles press conference
to promote a made-for-television film he co-produced
after being told British journalists would be among
the questioners. He was due to appear at the press
conference with British actress JULIA ORMOND who stars
in the film Varian's War, but then backed out when
his demands to approve the questions in advance were
rejected. Instead, he mingled with guests and press
at the film's premiere at the Los Angeles County Museum
of Art and the film's co-star, WILLIAM HURT, stood
in for him at the press conference. A member of the
Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which had scheduled
the press conference, said Prince Edward wanted to
see the questions in advance in writing and did not
want any questions about his personal life. ``He also
didn't like the idea that he might be questioned by
British journalists who might ask him embarrassing
questions,'' said the member. ``He was told we could
not agree to his demands so he decided not to come.''
Varian's War is based on the true story of Varian
Fry who rescued prominent European artists from Nazi
persecution during the Second World War. Prince Edward
is credited as Edward Wessex with being the co-executive
producer with BARBRA STREISAND.
controversial MADONNA video which both VH1 and MTV
have refused to air, will be marketed as a DVD. In
the video, for her song What It Feels Like for a Girl,
which was directed by her husband GUY RITCHIE, Madonna
goes on a violent spree and appears to die in a car
crash. It created a storm of controversy when it was
first seen and was deemed too violent for television.
The husband and wife team - Madonna now calls herself
Mrs Madonna Louise Ciccone Ritchie - have just completed
a less controversial project, filming a commercial
for BMW in which Madonna is chased by paparazzi on
her way to a movie premiere.
of tickets for MEL BROOKS'S comedy musical The Producers
have broken Broadway box-office records. The show
is selling more than 35,000 pounds worth of tickets
every ten minutes, prompting co-producer Tom Viertel
to comment: ``I've never seen anything remotely like
it.'' Eager buyers snapped up more than two millions
pounds worth of tickets on the first day they went
on sale, breaking the previous record held by The
Lion King. The show, which stars NATHAN LANE and MATTHEW
BRODERICK in the roles originally played in the film
by MEL BROOKS and GENE WILDER, cost eight million
pounds to mount, runs at a cost of about $350,000
a week and is expected to recoup its investment in
a rapid 35 weeks.
reclusive JULIE CHRISTIE is leaving the California
ranch where she has lived for the past two years to
spent two months in New York filming the romantic
comedy I'm With Lucy. She will co-star with her fellow
British actor JOHN HANNAH and MONICA POTTER in the
story of a single woman who goes on a series of blind
dates looking for Mr. Right. The supporting cast includes
DAVID BOREANAZ from the television series Angel and
Henry Thomas who, as a child actor, starred in E.T.
Director PETER BOGDANOVICH says he is casting his
former lover CYBILL SHEPHERD in his upcoming comedy
Wait For Me. ``I have found that when you have been
intimate with your actress, it's much easier to direct
her in a movie,'' he tells the New York Post. ``Not
that that has happened to me all that many times.''
Bogdanovich, who has a recurring role in the TV series
The Sopranos, previously directed Shepherd in 1971's
The Last Picture Show, the 1990 sequel Texasville
and in the disastrous 1975 musical At Long Last Love.