WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Executives at New Line Cinema promise they'll put up a fight for the right to use the word "Goldmember" as part of the title of the upcoming "Austin Powers" movie, after the Motion Picture Association of America ruled that the title is not allowable.
For now, the studio has withdrawn all promotional material referring to "Austin Powers in Goldmember," and is only referring to the movie as the third installment of the Austin Powers series. Trailers for the movie -- scheduled to open July 26 -- have already been show in U.S. theaters.
The project ran afoul of MGM/UA and Danjaq -- the British company that controls the James Bond film license -- over the play on the word "Goldfinger," the name of the 1964 Bond movie.
"MGM/UA and Danjaq have a zero-tolerance policy towards anyone who tries to trade in on the James Bond franchise without authorization," said MGM in a statement.
Goldmember is the name of a new evil nemesis for Austin Powers, the groovy '60s super spy invented by Mike Myers for "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" and "Austin Powers: The Spy who Shagged Me."
Myers plays Powers, as well as the evil nemeses Dr. Evil and Fat Bastard -- and was planning to play the newest bad guy, Goldmember. It's anyone's guess what will happen to the project if New Line doesn't win permission to use the name.
The picture features appearances by Oscar-winning actor Michael Caine as Powers' father and Grammy-winning diva Beyoncé Knowles as the love interest, Foxy Cleopatra. Returning cast members from the earlier projects include Seth Green, Mindy Sterling, Verne Troyer, Robert Wagner and Michael York.
EMMY'S NEW HOME?
According to a report in Daily Variety, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has begun talks with the company that built new homes for the Oscars and the L.A. Lakers about the possibility of a new home for the Emmys in downtown Los Angeles.
Representatives of Anschutz Entertainment met over the weekend with the academy's board of governor and executive committee to pitch a plan for a 7,000 seat theater across the street from Staples Center -- with the academy as the primary tenant.
Anschutz developed the Staples Center, which is also home to the Los Angeles Clippers and has been the site of the Democratic National Convention as well as a host of concerts and other entertainment events. The company also developed the new Hollywood & Highland complex at Hollywood, where the Kodak Theatre will serve as the new home of the Academy Awards, beginning with the upcoming Oscars ceremony on March 24.
Anschutz officials said the new theater -- which could be ready in time for the 2005 Emmy Awards -- could be attached to an "Emmy plaza" and museum that would serve as a tourist destination. The TV academy offers something of a tourist attraction now, an outdoor court full of statues of legendary TV performers at its North Hollywood location.
The Washington-based Arab-American Institute is highly critical of Oscar-nominated actor James Woods for some comments he made on a Los Angeles TV station last week about the U.S. war on terrorism.
Woods -- on the promotional trail to plug the new Denzel Washington move "John Q" -- used a derogatory term in reference to Middle Eastern people, during a tirade against terrorists and terrorism.
"I'm not about appeasing any of these ... little Arab states that want to hold us hostage over oil (and) decide they're going to use terrorism or state-support it or whatever," Woods said during an appearance on the morning zoo-type TV show.
Woods said if there is any evidence that a country was "supporting one ounce of terrorism, I would say wipe them off the face the earth." He said critics of the terror war only want to "negotiate and placate and appease," which would lead to more problems.
"Eventually, one of these terrorist diaper-heads is gonna come around and do something more horrible," said Woods.
"I think Mr. Woods is off his medication," said Jean Abinader, managing director for the Arab-American Institute, in an interview with Zap2it.com. "Only a lunatic would speak like this. He needs to start dealing with reality."
ON SECOND THOUGHT
Golden Globe-winning director Robert Altman ("Gosford Park") is retracting some comments he made in a newspaper interview, in which he insulted President George W. Bush's intelligence and criticized the war on terrorism.
"This present government in America I just find disgusting," said Altman, speaking with the Times of London. "The idea that George Bush could run a baseball team successfully -- he can't even speak! I just find him an embarrassment."
The 76-year-old director of "M*A*S*H," "Nashville" and "The Player" said the U.S. Supreme Court decision that confirmed Bush's election as president showed the court to be a "totally political animal" and took away "the last shred of naivety" he had left.
"When I see an American flag flying, it's a joke," said Altman.
Altman -- who flew B-24 bombers in the South Pacific during World War II -- found fault with the bombing campaign against targets in Afghanistan.
"I don't think there was a moral choice then," he argues. "But this thing we're involved in now -- these people don't even have a country, and maybe that's the problem."
Altman has frequently said that filming "Gosford Park" in England was the best experience of his life. He told the Times he would be happy to live the rest of his life in London.
"There's nothing in America that I would miss at all," said Altman.
After the story provoked a negative reaction, Altman issued a statement of apology -- sort of.
"I'm a very proud American," he said. "I've lived in New York City for over 30 years, and I love the city. I was born in Kansas City. I fought in the armed services in the Second World War. If something I said was taken out of context, I'm sorry about it."
OUT OF HER ELEMENT?
Garner said she and her husband, Scott Foley ("Scream 3," "Felicity"), got home and changed into comfortable clothes -- and were eating takeout pizza in front of the TV before the West Coast feed of the show had finished airing on the NBC affiliate in Los Angeles.
"We were out of there so fast," Garner told Time magazine. "When we got to the party, people started coming up to me, and I felt, 'I just don't belong here.'"
It looks like the end of the line for Ellen DeGeneres' CBS comedy, now that the network has shut down production on "The Ellen Show."
The show, which premiered on CBS' Friday night lineup last fall, struggled from the beginning to find an audience. The network and DeGeneres expressed some optimism that viewers might give the show a try after the comic actress' well-reviewed turn as host of the Emmy Awards telecast.
CBS had already decided not to air the show during the February sweeps. The decision to pull the plug on production appears to seal its fate.
'PHILLY' STAR ARRESTED FOR DUI
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department confirms that Kim Delaney -- the star of the ABC drama "Philly" -- was arrested Saturday night on suspicion of drunk driving.
Delaney -- who used to play Det. Diane Russell on "NYPD Blue" -- was pulled over after sheriff's deputies received a telephone tip about a car being driven erratically.