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  1. #1
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    How Tenacious D Became the Greatest Band on Earth
    Wednesday, February 12, 2003 11:38 CST

    Tenacious D, the self-proclaimed "greatest band on Earth," is headed to the big screen thanks to a deal with New Line Cinema, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

    Actor/comedian/rockers Jack Black and Kyle Gass, the duo that makes up "the D", will star in the film, to be directed by music video helmer Liam Lynch. Black, Gass and Lynch will also write the script, with Black and Gass producing as well. The studio is in negotiations with Ben Stiller's Red Hour Films to produce.

    The specific story line of the Tenacious D film is being kept under wraps, but it is said to be a "creation" story revolving around how the duo became the greatest band on Earth.

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    New Line & Marvel Target Iron Man for 2005
    Wednesday, February 12, 2003 10:28 CST

    Variety reports that New Line Cinema, which has worked with Marvel on the successful Blade franchise, hopes to turn Iron Man into a tentpole for its 2005 slate.

    The studio acquired the property in 2000, but has started from scratch with scribes Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, creators of the WB's top-rated Smallville and writers of current hit film Shanghai Knights and its predecessor.

    Iron Man, which first appeared as a Marvel comic in 1962, is the story of Tony Stark, inventor and owner of Stark Enterprises. His work in corporate espionage and international terrorism leads to an accident that forces him to go on life support in the form of a high-tech bodysuit. This also gives him an alternate identity, Iron Man, a being capable of a heroism Tony Stark could not achieve.

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    The Interman Optioned by Paramount
    Thursday, February 13, 2003 12:29 CST

    Variety reports that Paramount Pictures has optioned the rights to graphic novel The Interman for producer Gale Anne Hurd's Valhalla Motion Pictures to produce.

    The book, penned by illustrator-turned-author Jeff Parker, is the story of Interman, the lone creation of a Cold War laboratory, who is able to rewrite his DNA and adapt instantly to his surroundings. On the run from NATO assassins who want to erase all evidence of his existence, the Interman then discovers there may be others like him.

    Self-financed Valhalla is in post-production on Ang Lee's The Hulk for Universal and Marvel, and is in pre-production on Marvel property The Punisher for Artisan Entertainment and director Jonathan Hensleigh.

    The trade says Valhalla is developing four other projects for Par -- The Boston Stranglers, with Carl Franklin attached to direct; Life During Wartime, with helmer Phillip Noyce attached; Three Gun Blues, penned by Josh Olson; and Aeon Flux, with MTV Films.

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    Archie Comics Looking to Adapt More Projects Wednesday, February 12, 2003 11:20 CST

    According to The Hollywood Reporter <http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hol...id=1816457>, veteran media executive Allan Grafman has been hired as president of privately held Archie Comics Entertainment. He is charged with furthering the media exploitation of such characters as Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Josie and the Pussycats.

    The trade says that Grafman stressed that though several Archie characters have been developed for films and TV shows, the underlying rights remain with Archie Comics, and there are many categories that remain undeveloped. He said the company will be looking at all areas of media for opportunities, including TV, film, video, video games, music, live events and licensing.

    "These brands have not been fully exploited," Grafman said. "We want to follow the model of companies like Disney, Nickelodeon and Saban."

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    As Metallica finish their new album St. Anger, due June 10th, and get ready to support it on the massive Summer Sanitarium tour with Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit, two filmmakers are getting the whole process on tape for a documentary feature. The whole process.
    "They've literally been on our asses coming up on two years," says Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich of the film's two directors, Bruce Sinofsky and Joe Berlinger. "There's close to a thousand hours of footage. I don't know how they're going to make a two-and-a-half hour film out of it."

    Sinofsky and Berlinger, who began filming the band in April of 2001, got to know Metallica after negotiating to use their music in Paradise Lost, the pair's 1996 documentary about the controversial murder convictions of the West Memphis Three. "That relationship kind of harvested some interesting creative things," explains Ulrich. "We'd always talked about doing something together."

    What exactly the project turns out to be is still up in the air. "Whether it's theatrical, whether it's Sundance or the fucking Disney network, if the cut-off point should be when the record's done or if we should continue through the first six months until all that stuff is done," Ulrich says, "we're trying to figure all that shit out now."

    Still, there's one thing the whole band knows it doesn't want: a long-form advertisement for either the album or tour. "Certain people are trying to turn the film into a promotional tool," says Ulrich. "We don't want the film to be, 'Metallica has a new album,' that kind of horseshit . . . In our more self-centered moments we prefer to call it a film."

    Sinfosky, writing in a recent post on Metallica's Web site, agreed: "They do let it all hang out for us . . . The film will show sides to Metallica that not only the fans didn't know, but also the band themselves didn't know. It is incredibly honest and revealing."

    STEVE BALTIN and COLIN DEVENISH
    (February 12, 2003)

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    Minkoff Helming Sorcerer's Apprentice Remake
    Thursday, February 13, 2003 6:55 CST

    According to Variety, The Lion King helmer Rob Minkoff will direct and produce Disney's planned remake of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, the 1938 animated short that would later appear in Disney's 1940 pic Fantasia.

    Minkoff, who also helmed both pics in the "Stuart Little" franchise, will utilize similar live-action and CG techniques to create a new film inspired by the short.

    The script will be written by David Berenbaum, a graduate of the Disney inhouse screenwriters program who recently set up his Will Ferrell starrer Elf at New Line Cinema.

    Berenbaum is also reteaming with Minkoff at the the studio. The duo recently worked together on the Eddie Murphy starrer The Haunted Mansion at Disney, which Berenbaum penned and Minkoff directed.

    The original version of "Sorcerer's Apprentice" was based on a fairytale poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and a concerto by French composer Paul Dukas. Mickey Mouse played the apprentice whose misuse of the sorcerer's powers wreaks havoc.

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    Charlie Sheen Starring in Scary Movie 3
    Thursday, February 13, 2003 6:50 CST

    Dimension/Miramax Films has signed Charlie Sheen to a two-picture deal, beginning with a star turn in Scary Movie 3, says Variety. Sheen's next film under the pact will come shortly after anticipated fourth-quarter release of the third "Scary Movie" installment. The second project will be released under the Miramax banner.

    The film and TV thesp is no stranger to parody pics. Sheen toplined as Lt. Topper Harley in the Jim Abrahams-directed lowbrow laffers Hot Shots and Hot Shots: Part Deux, and also appeared in the 1993 parody Loaded Weapon.

    Scary Movie 3, to be helmed by David Zucker (Airplane!, Naked Gun), will follow in the footsteps of its two predecessors in parodying horror pics, recent blockbusters and pop culture as a whole.

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    NEWS - Spector To Claim Shooting Death Accidental
    02/13/2003



    (2/13/03, 7 a.m. ET) -- Phil Spector will claim the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson at his mansion last week was an accident.

    The legendary music producer is accused of killing the victim early in the morning February 3 at his $1.1 million home in the Los Angeles suburb of Alhambra. According to coroners, Clarkson, 40, died of a gunshot to the face.

    However, Los Angeles attorney Marvin Mitchelson, a longtime associate of Spector, believes other facts have yet to be presented. He told the Associated Press, "I believe his defense will be that this was a tragic accident."

    Mitchelson has been friends with Spector for some 12 years and the two men have also traveled extensively together. The lawyer did not offer a detailed explanation as to how an accidental shooting occurred, but said, "I've spoken with various individuals connected with the case, and I'm 100 percent certain it's not a homicide."

    Mitchelson added that he had not spoken directly with 62-year-old Spector since his arrest last week; Spector remains free on $1 million bond and his arraignment is set for March 3.

    Another friend of Spector, speaking anonymously, told the news service that the body of the actress and House Of Blues nightclub hostess was found seated, slumped in an antique chair in the foyer of Spector's mansion. The friend also claimed there were no witnesses to the shooting, adding that the gun was owned by Spector and that there may have been more than one gun in the house as the producer is a gun collector.

    Investigators have yet to present a case to the district attorney's office, saying evidence is still being collected. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Dan Rosenberg said, "Our role is to complete a very comprehensive, unbiased investigation. We know that he will be going to trial, and we don't want to taint the jury pool. We want to give Mr. Spector the opportunity to have a fair trial."

    Spector's attorney, Robert Shapiro, best known for once representing O.J. Simpson, will not discuss the case publicly.

    -- Darryl Morden, Los Angeles

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    NEWS - Jackson Turns Down '60 Minutes', Tatum O'Neal Denies Seduction Claims
    02/12/2003



    (2/12/03, 6 p.m. ET) -- Michael Jackson has turned down a chance to appear on 60 Minutes. The singer--who feels he was unfairly treated by the recent Life With Michael Jackson interview special, which aired last week (February 6)--was in negotiations with the TV newsmagazine to tape an interview, which Jackson hoped would help salvage his reputation, according to the New York Post.


    However, when 60 Minutes anchor Ed Bradley and a camera crew arrived at Jackson's Neverland Valley Ranch on Saturday (February 8), they were unable to convince Jackson's camp to follow through with the talk. "They were not ready to do anything right now," said 60 Minutes executive producer Don Hewitt. "Whether they will at some point remains to be seen."

    Last week's Life With Michael Jackson special featured voiceovers by the show's interviewer, Martin Bashir, which seemed to suggest that Jackson might be guilty of the child sex-abuse allegations leveled against him in 1993. It also included a rather salacious treatment of Jackson's overnight visits from children and extravagant shopping sprees. ABC is said to be negotiating with the show's British producers for the rights to rebroadcast the special, which was seen by more than 27 million viewers.

    VH1 has contracted to air the show three times in three days: 9 p.m. ET on Saturday (February 15), 8 p.m. ET on Sunday (February 16), and 10 p.m. ET on Monday (February 17).


    Additionally, the USA Network has hatched plans for a TV movie about Jackson's life that it says was in development before Living With Michael Jackson surfaced. The cable network hopes to air it in early 2004.

    In related news, actress Tatum O'Neal (Little Darlings) has denied that she tried to seduce Jackson as he described in Living With Michael Jackson documentary. O'Neal, 39, says that she did not share sweet nothings with the pop singer, nor did she try to lure him into the sack.

    O'Neal told NBC News, "Michael did come over to my house when my father was home, but at 12 years old, there was no way I was capable of being as mature or as sophisticated as he claimed I was."

    Like Jackson, O'Neal spent her childhood in the limelight. She was 10 years old when she starred opposite her father Ryan O'Neal in her first movie, Paper Moon. She won a best supporting actress Oscar for the role. By the time she was 17, her credits included The Bad News Bears, Nickelodeon, and teenage laffer Little Darlings.

    -- Donna Robinson, New York; Gary Graff, Detroit; and Sofia Fernandez, Los Angeles

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    Schumacher Set to Direct Phantom of the Opera
    Thursday, February 13, 2003 9:56 CST

    According to Screen Daily, Joel Schumacher is now set to direct The Phantom of the Opera, a feature version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit stage musical.

    Warner Bros. Pictures, which owned the film rights until Lloyd Webber recently bought them back, retains the option to distribute the film in North America. Principal photography will begin in the fall in the UK. Casting is to be announced, although Antonio Banderas has long been linked to the project.

    "I'm thrilled to have the rights back for the film version of Phantom and to have such a brilliant director on board," said Lloyd Webber, who will produce through his company, Really Useful Films. "We now have the opportunity and the freedom to make the film that Joel and I have always talked about making."

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    NEWS - Red Hot Chili Peppers Announce North American Tour Dates
    02/13/2003



    (2/13/03, 12 p.m. ET) -- The Red Hot Chili Peppers announced their spring/summer tour for North America. Although venues haven't been revealed yet, the tour will kick off May 1 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ticket pre-sales were open to fanclub members as of Tuesday (February 11), but shows will start to be available to the public starting Friday, February 14, at 10 a.m. ET.

    The dates currently run through June 21 in Salt Lake City, with a chance of more dates added at a later date.

    Red Hot Chili Pepper Tour (no venues announced yet) and on-sale dates (subject to change):

    May 1 - St. Paul, MN - on sale 2/15

    May 2 - Madison, WI - on sale 2/15

    May 4 - Omaha, NE - on sale 2/21

    May 5 - Kansas City, MO - on sale 2/15

    May 7 - St. Louis, MO - on sale 2/14

    May 9 - Moline, IL - on sale 2/15

    May 10 - Grand Rapids, MI - on sale 2/14

    May 12 - Ottawa, ON - on sale 2/22

    May 13 - Toronto, ON - on sale 2/14

    May 15 - Montreal, QC - 2/15

    May 17 - Albany, NY - 2/15

    May 19 - E. Rutherford, NJ - TBA

    June 2 - West Palm Beach, FL - 2/15

    June 5 - Raleigh, NC - 2/15

    June 6 - Charlotte, NC - 2/15

    June 8 - Atlanta, GA - 2/15

    June 10 - Shreveport, LA - TBA

    June 11 - New Orleans, LA - 2/22

    June 13 - San Antonio, TX - 2/14

    June 14 - Houston, TX - 2/15

    June 16 - Dallas, TX - 2/15

    June 18 - Oklahoma City, OK - 2/15

    June 20 - Denver, CO - 2/14

    June 21 - Salt Lake City, UT - 3/15

    -- Darren Davis, New York

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    SONY MUSIC Strike Back In INCUBUS Contract Dispute - Feb. 13, 2003

    Sony Music struck back in its contract dispute with INCUBUS on Tuesday (Feb. 11), asking a federal court to block the band's bid for free agency, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan, said the band owes four more albums under an exclusive recording contract that band members signed in 1996. Sony said it would suffer tens of millions of dollars in damages if the albums aren't delivered.

    INCUBUS, whose 2001 album, "Morning View", has sold an estimated 2 million copies, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court last week seeking to invoke a California law that limits contracts of entertainers to seven years.

    Record industry lobbyists secured an amendment to the law more than a decade ago making certain exceptions for musicians. Artists say the law binds them to low-paying contracts for an unfairly long period.

    Sony said the band members' claim is "a negotiation ploy designed to increase their bargaining power" against the label.

    The company's lawsuit asked the judge to prevent the band from pursuing the case in California.

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    NEWS - Michael Jackson Footage Goes To Fox, Shot By Porn Director
    02/13/2003



    (2/13/03, 1 p.m. ET) -- Fox has won the bidding war for the rights to air Michael Jackson's answer to Life With Michael Jackson. Insiders say that the TV network paid more than two million dollars for Michael Jackson Take 2: The Interview They Wouldn't Show You, which was shot by gay porn director F. Marc Shaffel, who is a close friend of Jackson's.

    The special comes after the pop star rebutted the Life With Michael Jackson interview special, which he blasted as being an "invasion of [his] privacy." Jackson also alleged that celebrity journalist Martin Bashir had "betrayed" him by skewing the interview questions and voiceovers to give credence to the 1993 child sexual abuse allegation against the singer.

    The two-hour Michael Jackson Take 2: The Interview They Wouldn't Show You will air on Fox February 20 at 8 p.m. ET.

    -- Donna Moran, New York

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    Roach is Sampling Mike Myers Into Old Films
    Friday, February 14, 2003 12:09 CST

    According to Variety, Mike Myers has signed a deal with DreamWorks in which the actor will insert himself, other actors and new plots into existing films to create new properties.

    The studio is calling the process "film sampling," similar to the music business practice in which an artist takes part of an existing song and works it into his own tune, sometimes with new lyrics and music.

    DreamWorks will be acquiring the rights to films so the actor can use advancements in technology to digitally alter them. Reportedly, Myers and the studio already have several films in mind but would not disclose them.

    DreamWorks' Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg will help to develop the first project, and helmer Jay Roach, who worked with Myers on the Austin Powers films, is on board to direct. Dave Foley and writer-producer Jay Kogen are also in negotiations to join.

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    Basic Instinct 2 Gets New Title & Murder Suspect
    Thursday, February 13, 2003 11:22 CST

    According to Variety, Lakeshore Entertainment has joined MGM as producer and co-financier of Risk Addiction, which used to be Basic Instinct 2.

    The film, written by Henry Bean and Leora Barish, is about a male psychiatrist who gravitates from the couch to the bedroom with a beautiful murder suspect he's been asked by police to analyze.

    The original title is gone, and the murder suspect's name has changed from Catherine Trammell to Elizabeth Cole.

    Basic Instinct 2 was doomed after disintegrating into a lawsuit between Sharon Stone and producers Mario Kassar and Andy Vajna over what Sharon Stone claims was a $14 million pay-or-play deal, says the trade.

    The 'new' script is now out to directors. MGM says that "actors and directors have always responded strongly to the script, and we thought it would work as 'Basic Instinct 2,' or a standalone".

 

 

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