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Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   April 15, 2003 at 7:41 PM   |   Comments

CGI READY FOR PRIME TIME

NBC and DreamWorks Television have announced plans for the first computer-generated-imaging prime-time series on a major broadcast network.

"Father of the Pride" is described as a family comedy, centering on a pride of white lions that perform in the popular Las Vegas act of Siegfried & Roy. NBC Entertainment President Jeff Zucker said the series will premiere in the fall of 2004.

Zucker made the announcement jointly with DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Both entertainment executives said the show would feature the "cheeky, edgy and ironic humor" that helped make DreamWorks' 2001 animated hit "Shrek" one of the biggest box-office attractions of all-time. The storyline revolves around the competition between a family of elitist white tigers and a white lion pride from Siegfried & Roy's act.

CGI versions of Siegfried & Roy will also be featured in the series.


CLINT EASTWOOD SOUNDS OFF ON PATRIOTISM

Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood has taken sides with Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon in a controversy mixing free speech and baseball.

Following the decision by the baseball Hall of Fame to cancel a 15th anniversary celebration for "Bull Durham," Eastwood told Hollywood columnist Army Archerd the folks in Cooperstown, N.Y., committed an error.

"How dare they!" said Eastwood.

Archerd reported that Eastwood -- who directed Robbins in the upcoming cop drama "Mystic River" -- supported the right of Robbins and Sarandon "to say what they want to say -- when they want to say it."

Robbins told Archerd he is gratified by support he's been getting from U.S. sportswriters in the Hall of Fame rhubarb.


ANOTHER HITLER MOVIE ON THE WAY

With controversy already dogging an upcoming CBS TV movie on Adolf Hitler, there's word another Hitler project is in the works.

According to a report in Daily Variety, German director Oliver Hirschbiegel is set to direct "Der Untergang -- Hitler und das Ende des 3. Reichs" ("The Downfall -- Hitler and the End of the Third Reich"). Production is scheduled to begin in August in Germany and other European locations.

Variety said producers are lining up a "high-profile" cast, with a planned theatrical release date set for September 2004.

The head of the studio that produced "Hitler: The Rise of Evil" for CBS TV was recently fired from his job over statements he made in an interview with TV Guide that some interpreted as equating Hitler with President George W. Bush.


HONORS FOR LEGENDARY SONGWRITERS

The BMI music publishing group will honor songwriters Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Edward Holland at its awards dinner in Beverly Hills, Calif., next month.

The legendary songwriting team came up with such Motown hit tunes as "How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You," "(Reach Out) I'll Be There" and "Stop! In the Name of Love."


'LORD OF THE RINGS,' 'SPIDEY' TOP MTV AWARD NOMINEES

"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" and "Spider-Man" led the field with five nominations each for the MTV 2003 Movie Awards.

The awards will be presented on May 31 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, and will be presented on June 5 on MTV.

The nominees for Best Movie are "8 Mile"; "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"; "Spider-Man"; "Barbershop"; and "The Ring."

The nominees for Best Male Performance are Eminem ("8 Mile"), Vin Diesel ("XXX"), Leonardo DiCaprio ("Catch Me if You Can"), Tobey Maguire ("Spider-Man") and Viggo Mortensen ("The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"). For Best Female Performance, the nominees are Reese Witherspoon ("Sweet Home Alabama"), Kirsten Dunst ("Spider-Man"), Halle Berry ("Die Another Day"), Kate Hudson ("How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days") and Queen Latifah ("Chicago").

Mike Myers ("Austin Powers in Goldmember"), Will Ferrell ("Old School"); Cedric the Entertainer ("Barbershop"), Adam Sandler ("Mr. Deeds") and Johnny Knoxville ("Jackass: The Movie") were nominated for Best Comedic Performance.

Eminem, Kieran Culkin ("Igby Goes Down"), Ryan Reynolds ("National Lampoon's Van Wilder"), Nick Cannon ("Drumline") and Derek Luke ("Antwone Fisher") were nominated for best male breakthrough performance. Nia Vardalos ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding"), Beyoncé Knowles ("Austin Powers in Goldmember"), Jennifer Garner ("Daredevil"), Eve ("Barbershop"), Kate Bosworth ("Blue Crush") and Maggie Gyllenhaal ("Secretary") were nominated for best female breakthrough performance.


SYDNEY POLLACK'S NEXT

Filmmaker Sydney Pollack, who has turned more to producing than to directing in recent years, is reportedly in talks to direct a thriller set at the United Nations.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, "The Interpreter" has been described as "No Way Out" set at the United Nations.

"No Way Out" was the 1987 espionage thriller starring Kevin Costner as a U.S. Navy officer caught up in a web of international intrigue.

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