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ShowBiz Weekly: news from the UK & US...
TIMBERLAKE wants to record a duet with his pop singer
girlfriend BRITNEY SPEARS, he tells Rolling Stone
magazine. Timberlake, 20, of the band N Sync, says
he is helping 19-year-old Spears move away from her
``bubblegum'' style of pop towards a harder sound,
and when the timing is right he anticipates they will
record together. ``I want it to be something new that
they haven't heard us do, that they didn't think we
could do,'' he tells the magazine. ``I feel like we
still have artistic growth to show....it definitely
would be a spectacle. It would be huge.'' Timberlake
and Spears have known each other since their pre-teen
days inthe Mickey Mouse Club, a Disney television
STEWART and BRENT SPINER are to return in their roles
as Capt Jean-Luc Picard and Lt Commander Data in the
10th Star Trek film due tobegin shooting shortly.
Written by Gladiator writer John Logan, the film does
not yet have a title. The last Star Trek film, Insurrection,
which was directed by and co-starred JONATHAN FRAKES,
was released in December 1998.
CRAWFORD, who made his name in America starring in
The Phantom of the Opera may be returning to Broadway
in another musical. He is being mentioned as the possible
star of Dances of the Vampires, amusical version of
director ROMAN POLANSKI'S film The Fearless Vampire
Killers. In it he would portray an aristocratic vampire
who falls for a teenage girl. Composer JIM STEINMAN
calls the show ``an erotic, big, Wagnerian musical
with lots of humour''. Since leaving Phantom of the
Opera, Crawford has been entertaining in Las Vegas.
Actress Liv Tyler's mother Bebe Buell has written
a ``tell-all'' memoir about her days as a rock band
follower. Buell is the former model and Playboy Playmate
upon whom Cameron Crowe based the character of Penny
Lane in Almost Famous.
the book, Rebel Heart: An American Rock and Roll Journey,
she tells stories about a variety of celebrities,
including WARREN BEATTY, JACK NICHOLSON, MICK JAGGER
DAVID BOWIE, ROD STEWART and Aerosmith's STEVE TYLER,
the father of her daughter. She also discusses what
she calls rock music's ``double standards'' in which
``men want their women to be good little girls who
never do anything while they get to be pirates and
DE NIRO has issued a statement denying he is a drug
user in response to allegations made by his estranged
wife, Grace Hightower. ``Mr De Niro does not have
a substance or drinking problem,'' said his spokesman
Stan Rosenfield. ``Nor does he have a problem with
an overzealous imagination. Drug tests are not necessary.''
Hightower had alleged in the latest round of their
custody battle over their three-year-old son Elliott
that De Niro's drug use made him an unfit father.
Her accusation came in answer to a motion by De Niro
in which he claimed she had punched him in the ribs
during a jealous rage on board the yacht of singer
MARC ANTHONY in May.
for a television series involving Titanic filmmaker
JAMES CAMERON and the undersea explorer JEAN-MICHAEL
COUSTEAU have been temporarily shelved because of
technical and financial difficulties. Cameron is currently
testing high-definition underseas filming equipment
at the deep sea wrecks of the Titanic and Bismarck.
``As soon as he returns we'll know the success of
his cameras and technology allowing us to be submerged
six to 10 hours at 10,000 metres,'' Cousteau tells
Daily Variety. ``All my life I've been limited to
average depths. I'm not a shipwreck guy.'' He said
the project had also run into financial difficulties,
proving more costly than had originally been expected.
HELEN MIRREN is pondering a return to her Jane Tennison
role in the popular Prime Sus pect television series.
``I stopped Prime Suspect because I didn't want to
be a police woman all my life,'' she tells the New
York Daily News. ``But I've done so many other things
that now I feel I can afford to go back and do it
again. I just want to be sure that I won't ever be
trapped.'' The British actress, who recently finished
the films Gosford Park, No Such Thing and Last Orders,
is soon to begin filming The Dance of Death with IAN
of the Danish director LARS VON TRIER'S Dogville,
in which NICOLE KIDMAN was due to star, say they have
lost patience with the Australian actress. ``We finished
negotiations with Kidman four weeks ago but still
she has been reluctant to sign the contract,'' producer
Peter Jensen tells Daily Variety. Now we have lost
patience.'' The filmmakers are now looking for another
US star to head the film, which is set in a small
American mountain town but will be filmed in Sweden.
The 27-year-old son of the late ANTHONY PERKINS has
resumed his acting career that began and ended when
he was eight-years-old and played a young Norman Bates
in Psycho II. ``The top of the stairs where the mother's
bedroom was seemed so real and so dark and horrifying,''
said Oz Perkins. ``I never wanted to go back.'' Perkins,
who until now has worked behind the scenes in the
film business, has landed a co-starring role with
REESE WITHERSPOON in Legally Blonde, playing a character
named Dorky David who cannot get a date. ``It's a
big stretch, playing a dorky guy,'' he tells USA Today.
``It's called old-fashioned acting.''
ANDREWS had an armed guard following her around on
the set of her latest film, The Princess Diaries,
because of the clothes and jewellery she was required
to wear for the role. ``I wore Armani and Valentino
and a million dollars' worth of tiara,'' says the
Oscar-winning British actress, who plays the queen
of a mythical European kingdom who instructs her granddaughter
in the ways of royalty. ``Pretending to be royal was
fun and I really mean that,'' she says.
star JAMES GANDOLFINI is the first choice of producers
to play the disgraced Hollywood tycoon David Begelman
in the long-in-the-works film of David McLintock's
book Indecent Exposure. Gandolfini took part in a
reading of the script in New York this week along
with JAMES WOODS, MELANIE GRIFFITH, SIGOURNEY WEAVER,
STANLEY TUCCI and RON SILVER, all of whom would play
real-life Hollywood characters. ``It was almost type-casting,''
one source who was at the reading said of Gandolfini.
``All Jim has to do to play a Hollywood crook is to
swap the leather jacket for an Armani suit.'' Gandolfini
is not so sure. ``Sure I took part in the reading,''
he said, ``But I'm not sure it's for me. I don't feel
right in the part.'' Begelman, the head of Columbia
Studios, was convicted of fraud and later committed
NORTON is anxiously awaiting American critical reaction
to his television show So Graham Norton which makes
its debut on a cable television channel this week.
``It's like a toe in the water. Let's see what people
make of this,'' he says. ``If it takes off, sure,
I'd love to work there. It's the home of television.''
Norton has a list of dream guests he would like on
his show, led by CHER, MADONNA and SHIRLEY BASSEY.
BAKULA is to follow the footsteps of WILLIAM SHATNER
and PATRICK STEWART onto the bridge of the Starship
Enterprise for the next franchise of the long-running
television series, to be called Enterprise. As Capt
Jonathan Archer, Bakula will command a more primitive
and cramped 22nd century starship, a century before
the adventures of Capt James Kirk. ``I don't believe
I would have done the show if it had been the next
version of Voyager 20 years later, but to be the first
captain, that was a nice carrot to dangle out there,''
Bakula, 46, told USA Today. The actor, who previously
starred in the time-travel television series Quantum
Leap, added: ``If I can just let go of worrying about
what Shatner and Stewart did, then I can just do my
KEATON is temporarily abandoning film work in order
to devote her time to a television soap opera. The
Oscar-winning actress is an executive producer of
the hour-long drama series Pasadena, about a powerful
Los Angeles family involved in a murder. She also
directed the pilot episode. ``As a single mother I
find that going away to work gets harder and harder,''
says Keaton, 55, the mother of a five-year-old daughter,
Dexter. ``So I'm delighted to stay home in Los Angeles
and focus on this series for the rest of the year.''
WAHLBERG spent five months working with a vocal coach
to prepare himself for the starring role in Rock Star,
which is due to be released later this year. The former
rapper, soon to be seen in Planet of the Apes, threw
himself wholeheartedly into the role of the lead singer
of a heavy-metal tribute band who suddenly gets the
opportunity to front the actual band he idolises.
``I met all of them, I hung out with everybody and
went to every concert,'' Wahlberg tells the Los Angeles
Times. ``I had the hair and everything. I basically
lived the life for the six months I was making the
movie. I rented a big house and the band would come
up and jam and the neighbours called the cops because
of all the noise.'' He also took it upon himself -
as his rock star character - to heckle WHITNEY HOUSTON
when she was singing at a record industry party. ``I
was screaming at her, `Put on Santana! We want rock
and roll','' he recalled. ``She didn't think it was
has reportedly agreed to make a cameo appearance in
a film to be directed by her brother, Chris Ciccone.
She will play herself arriving at a fashion show where
the publicists become so excited that one accidentally
hits her with a cell phone. The film, a satirical
look at the fashion industry, is the first by Ciccone,
a fashion designer.
adventures of former SAS officer ANDY MCNAB'S fictional
intelligence agent hero Nick Stone are coming to the
big screen. Miramax has bought the film rights to
Crisis Four, one of McNab's four novels about Stone,
and has also picked up the rights to develop the other
Stone novels some time in the future. McNab, who became
Britain's most highly decorated soldier after the
Gulf War, will be a co-producer of Crisis Four.
WITHERSPOON is to star as the voluptuous private eye
Honey West in a film version of the pulp fiction novels
written by Skip Flickling. Flickling's widow Grace,
who was the inspiration for the fun-loving Honey West,
sold the film rights to a production team which includes
Witherspoon's husband, RYAN PHILIPPE. The film is
described as a lighthearted contemporary action-drama
and is being written by the same team which wrote
Witherspoon's current hit, Legally Blonde.
QUENTIN TARANTINO is facing a dilemma posed by the
pregnancy of his friend and Pulp Fiction star UMA
THURMAN. Thurman, who is married to fellow actor ETHAN
HAWKE, is expecting her second child which means she
will be unable to meet the autumn start Tarantino
wants for his latest film, Kill Bill, which he wrote
especially for Thurman. He will now have to either
recast the leading role and rewrite the script or
push the film back until after Thurman has delivered
the baby and is ready to return to work. Thurman was
to have been the centrepiece in the drama about a
wronged woman who seeks revenge.
KATE HUDSON's father, former rock singer BILL HUDSON
is planning a book about his Hollywood exploits which
will include details of his better break-up with his
ex-wife GOLDIE HAWN. Sources say Hudson, who is currently
in the process of a divorced from his currently wife
Cindy Williams, is shopping the project around publishing
houses. The forme r Hudson Brothers singer recently
wrote and performed the music for The Secret History
Of The Other Hollywood, a three-hour television documentary
MICHAEL FLATLEY is putting the emphasis on spectacle
for the American version of his show, Feet Of Flames,
which is embarking on an 18-city US tour. He has 50
dancers in the show, is using one of largest stages
ever built at 205 feet wide and 70 feet high, and
has over 1,000 people working backstage. ``It's a
different show. It's bigger, brighter and stronger,''
he says. ``To me, it's the best show we have done
so far. ``While on tour Flatley hopes to find time
to work on his long-planned book which he says will
be half autobiography and half inspirational to motivate
people to follow their dreams.''