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Entertainment Today: Showbiz news

By United Press International   |   Jan. 29, 2002 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

'AUSTIN POWERS'

The third Austin Powers movie won't be titled "Austin Powers in Goldmember." At least for now.

MTV News reports filmmakers have been forced to take the "Goldmember" out of the title because the Motion Picture Association of America claims it is an unauthorized parody of the 1964 James Bond film "Goldfinger."

A spokesperson for New Line Cinema said the studio is trying to resolve the matter under the MPAA guidelines. "Until that time, we will be referring to the film as the third installment of 'Austin Powers,' " the spokesperson said.

The movie -- which stars Destiny's Child's Beyoncé Knowles and features a Britney Spears cameo -- came under fire when MGM, United Artists and the producers of the James Bond movies, Danjaq Productions, discovered the use of "Goldmember" had not been authorized.

The second Austin Powers movie, 1999's "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me," parodied the 1977 Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me" and was cleared by the MPAA. New Line did not follow those procedures with "Goldmember," an MGM spokesperson said.

Until the matter is resolved, New Line has taken down its promotional Web sites for "Austin Powers in Goldmember."

The film is due to open nationwide July 26.


ROBERT ALTMAN

Golden Globe-winning director Robert Altman ("Gosford Park") is retracting some comments he made in a newspaper interview, in which he insulted President 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," he added.

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."

(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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