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July 25, 2009 at 2:00 PM
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Jackson estate recovers $5.5 million

LOS ANGELES, July 25 (UPI) -- The administrators of the estate of Michael Jackson say they have recovered $5.5 million from one of the late U.S. pop singer's former associates.

CNN said court documents show Jackson estate administrators John Branca and John McClain collected the money from a former financial adviser of the "Thriller" singer, who died June 25 at the age of 50.

The estate administrators have estimated Jackson's entire estate to be worth $500 million.

Lawyers for the administrators said in Los Angeles County Superior Court filings this week that Jackson's mother Katherine and the singer's three children should receive monthly payments from the estate.

Meanwhile, police in Los Angeles County say they have begun investigating county coroner's employees to determine if any of the workers leaked private information regarding the investigation into Jackson's death.

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore told the Los Angeles Times the coroner's office probe came at the request of county supervisors.


Cage digs 'G-Force' mole role

NEW YORK, July 25 (UPI) -- Hollywood star Nicolas Cage, who plays a mole in the new 3D feature, "G-Force," says he was adamant he would not play a guinea pig in the picture.

"There was no way on earth. ... No offense, but I think (guinea pigs) are obnoxious. I need an animal with a long tail that looks like he says, 'I dare you to pick me up.' That's the animal I need to play," Cage told reporters in New York.

"I like moles. I like the way they look. I like (his character) Speckles' claws, his little eyes, his goggles. Everything about him just smacks of character and attitude," he said. "They have a purpose. They have a personality. They have an opinion. They're not little cute domesticated furballs."

Cage said producer Jerry Bruckheimer approached him about "G-Force" when they worked on "National Treasure: Book of Secrets." He said he asked Bruckheimer if he could use "this (high pitched) voice that I sometimes use" that he calls his stress voice.

"(He) said, 'Absolutely.' Which shocked me. So, I said, 'All right.'"


Leary extinguishes 'Rescue Me' film talk

NEW YORK, July 25 (UPI) -- Actor and comedian Denis Leary says he doesn't plan to adapt his New York-set firefighter TV series "Rescue Me" for the big screen.

"I don't know, man, I'm not into that," Leary, the show's star, writer and producer, told reporters in New York.

"If we're going to do a 'Rescue Me' movie, and I joked about this a couple of years ago when they brought it up ... and I said, 'What if we do a "Rescue Me" movie, so it's the "Rescue Me" cast, but they're not firefighters and it's a zombie movie.' And they were like, 'What?' And I was like: 'How cool would that be? It's the 'Rescue Me' cast, but it's a zombie movie.' And they were like, 'No.' And I was like, 'Well, that's the only way I'm doing it,'" he said.

"They didn't go for it."

Leary said he would love to apply the 3D technology of his latest movie, "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," to "Rescue Me."

"If you're going to do a television show in 3D, I can't think of a better one than a show that involves fire ... I mean, come on!" he said.


Director Wenders to film in Italian region

CATANZARO, Italy, July 25 (UPI) -- The governor of Italy's Calabria region says German director Wim Wenders has plans to shoot a 3-D film about the region's recent history of immigration.

Calabria Gov. Agazio Loiero said Friday that Wenders will begin filming "The Flight" in Scilla, Italy, on Sept. 7 in an attempt to capture the experiences of immigrants to the region starting a decade ago, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

"This is one of the most important things that has happened in the last 4 1/2 years that I have been governor," Loiero said.

"Calabria is not just about (crime syndicate) 'Ndrangheta, but also and above all about hospitality. Since the seventh century B.C. Calabria has been offering hospitality to strangers without asking where they come from."

"The Flight," which will star U.S. actor Ben Gazzara, represents the most recent film that Wenders has set in Italy.

ANSA said the German director previously used Italy as filming locale for "Palermo Shooting," a romantic thriller that enjoyed a U.S. premier at San Francisco's Berlin and Beyond Film Festival in January.

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