News from the entertainment capital

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter  |  Dec. 5, 2001 at 6:53 PM
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The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures named "Moulin Rouge" on Wednesday as the best film of 2001.

The rest of the board's Top 10 list included "In The Bedroom," "Ocean's Eleven," "Memento," "Monster's Ball," "Black Hawk Down," "The Man Who Wasn't There," "A.I. Artificial Intelligence," "The Pledge" and "Mulholland Drive."

The NBR's pick for the Top 5 foreign films of the year are "Amores Perros," "Behind the Sun," "Dark Blue World," "No Man's Land" and "Amelie."

The group named Billy Bob Thornton best actor for his performance in "Monster's Ball," "The Man Who Wasn't There" and "Bandits." Thornton's co-star in "Monster's Ball," Halle Berry, was named best actress.

Jim Broadbent ("Iris," "Moulin Rouge") won for best supporting actor. Cate Blanchett ("The Man Who Cried," "The Shipping News," "Lord of the Rings") was named best supporting actress.

Todd Field won for best director for "In the Bedroom." He and his co-writer on the project, Rob Festinger, won for best screenplay.

Peter Jackson, the director of the upcoming "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," received an award for special achievement in filmmaking. "Shrek" won for best animated feature.

"Wit" -- the HBO movie directed by Mike Nichols and starring Emma Thompson -- was named best film made for cable TV.


According to a report in Daily Variety, Arnold Schwarzenegger stands to make as much as $30 million for "Terminator 3."

The report cited sources "close to the production" as denying the $30 million figure, but said that "other sources" revealed that Schwarzenegger's payday "will slightly exceed the $25 million" he made for playing Mr. Freeze in "Batman and Robin" (1997).

Studios are engaged in a bidding contest for distribution rights to the third film in the "Terminator" series.

The screenplay has been kept under tight guard, but there is lots of speculation about what is in it. According to one scenario, it is set 10 years beyond "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," with John Connor now a young man going to battle with his terminator pal against a female terminator.

Variety also reports that Cameron Diaz is close to a deal to reprise her role as Natalie Cook in a sequel to last year's action-comedy hit, "Charlie's Angels." According to the report, the deal could be worth $20 million -- which would make Diaz the second actress to reach that milestone, following Julia Roberts.

Drew Barrymore is already set to return as Dylan Sanders, and Lucy Liu is still working on a deal to come back as Alex Munday. Barrymore is also returning as a producer on the project, along with McG, who directed the 2000 original.


Beau Bridges -- who played the eccentric Judge Bob Day in the 1998 TV series "Maximum Bob" -- is returning to series TV, as the newly appointed head of the CIA in "The Agency."

Bridges will show up on the series in January, as a replacement for Ronny Cox, who is leaving the show.


According to gossip columnist Mitchell Fink, Mel Brooks wants Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick to star in the Los Angeles production of "The Producers," scheduled to open in April 2003.

"Understand, they're only signed to the Broadway production until April 2002," Brooks told Fink at a party to promote his new book -- "'The Producers': The Book, Lyrics and Story Behind the Biggest Hit in Broadway History! How We Did It."

"We haven't even set the cast in New York beyond Nathan and Matthew," said Brooks. "And I have no idea who will play the leads when the show travels around the U.S. for two months prior to L.A. But if I had my wish, Nathan and Matthew would at least start things off when the show gets to the Ahmanson Theater in L.A."


Neil Young, whose rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine" was a highlight of the all-star TV fund-raiser following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, has reportedly been distributing a CD to radio stations containing a song he wrote and recorded as a tribute to the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 -- the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, apparently before hijackers could ram it into a target in Washington, D.C.

The song is called "Let's Roll" -- after the final words of passenger Todd Beamer in a telephone call in which he told his wife what was going on, and said the passengers were determined to overwhelm the hijackers.

Young's record label, Reprise, has been sending the CD to music and program directors without the promotional push that customarily goes with the release of a new record.

In part, the lyrics go: "I know I said I love you/I know you know it's true/I've got to put the phone down/And do what we've got to do/One standing in the aisle way/Two more at the door/We've got to get inside there/Before they kill some more/Time is running out/Let's roll."

The song is scheduled to be on Young's next album. A Reprise executive told the Los Angeles Times that Young is making a personal donation to a fund to support Beamer's family.


U2 will provide the entertainment at halftime of Super Bowl XXXVI at the Superdome in New Orleans on Feb. 3.

Fox TV Sports issued a statement calling the Irish rockers "absolutely one of the coolest and creative contemporary bands in the world."

They'll join a list of Super Bowl halftime entertainers that includes Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, 'NSync, Aerosmith, James Brown and ZZ Top.


According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, civic and business leaders expect the entertainment industry to generate enough economic activity to help the region get through the nationwide recession -- even though major studios and production companies have been laying off employees.

At a meeting this week of the San Fernando Valley Industry and Commerce Association, the group's new chairman said the entertainment industry is feeling the effects of the economic downturn and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but is still one of the top five employment sectors in Los Angeles County -- contributing $31 billion a year to the county's economy. That's nearly 9 percent of the county's total economic activity.

"Entertainment, like all industries, has gone through a slow period," said Fred Gaines. "But the industry is still strong."

Gaines said he expects the entertainment industry to remain strong.

"People are always going to watch TV and go to the movies," he said, particularly since so many people are staying closer to home following the terrorist attacks and the war on terrorism internationally.

An estimated 250,000 people work in Los Angeles County in TV, movie and music production and other businesses associated with the entertainment industry.


Rob Lowe and Richard Schiff of "The West Wing," Matthew Perry of "Friends," country music superstar Alan Jackson and gospel star Yolanda Adams will be on hand at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles next Monday when Bob Costas hosts "Sports Illustrated's Night of Champions" -- honoring some of the biggest names in sports.

Among those being honored are three-time NBA Most Valuable Player Earvin "Magic" Johnson and seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt Sr.

Also, Sports Illustrated will announce its 2001 Sportsman of the Year award winner. The list of past winners includes Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Tiger Woods and Muhammad Ali.

The magazine has already announced that tennis star Jennifer Capriati is its 2001 Sportswoman of the Year.

The event will be televised over NBC on Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. EST/PST.

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