DE NIRO FESTIVAL TO HELP NEW YORK RECOVER
Two-time Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro and his movie production company partners have announced plans for a new film festival in the trendy Tribeca section of Lower Manhattan, to help the region recover from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The festival will be open to the public, showcasing around three dozen feature films and 20 short subjects from May 1-5, 2002.
Plans call for the pictures to be screened at locations chosen for their ability to promote foot traffic in the area and provide a boost to small businesses that have been hurting economically since the attacks.
De Niro's relationship with Tribeca goes back close to 20 years. He even named his film company after it -- Tribeca Productions.
"There are businesses down here that need help, small businesses, everything," said the 58-year-old star of "Meet the Parents," "Raging Bull" and "GoodFellas."
SCORSESE: DiCAPRIO WILL BE GREAT AS ALEXANDER
"There is a bust of Alexander, and it bears an amazing resemblance" to DiCaprio, said Scorsese, recalling that someone once called Alexander "the first superstar."
The Macedonian ruler died in 323 B.C. at 32, after conquering the known world.
DiCaprio hasn't conquered the world, but he has dated Brazilian super model Gisele Bundchen. His image as a ladies' man prompted reporters to ask Scorsese whether the picture will deal with Alexander's homosexuality.
"We have to deal with the whole life of Alexander," he said. "We want to deal as honestly as possible with it all."
The director of "Raging Bull," "GoodFellas" and "Casino" recently directed DiCaprio in "Gangs of New York."
CLEESE HEADED FOR SERIES TV?
Cleese would play the network's owner, appearing as a guest star in several episodes.
The former Monty Python trouper can be seen on U.S. theater screens as Nearly Headless Nick in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." He's also set to reprise his role as "Q," the spy gadget maker, in the upcoming James Bond movie.
BILLY WILDER IN SICK BAY
Legendary writer-director Billy Wilder was hospitalized in Los Angeles on Wednesday after he complained of having trouble breathing.
A spokesman for the Oscar-winning director of "The Apartment," "Some Like It Hot," "Sunset Boulevard" and "Double Indemnity" said the 95-year-old Wilder was feeling better by Thursday.
SUPERHERO ILLUSTRATOR WILL DESIGN NEXT OSCAR POSTER
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has hired superhero artist Alex Ross to design the commemorative poster for the 74th Academy Awards.
"We're going in a very different direction than in the past," said AMPAS executive director Bruce Davis, "but I think it's a look for Oscar that people are going to enjoy. We wanted the poster to incorporate our move back into Hollywood, and the more I thought about it, the more I thought it might be fun to ask a graphic novel illustrator to do it."
Ross -- who studied art at the American Academy of Art in Chicago -- came to public attention in 1993 through his "Marvels" series, a realistic approach to depicting superheroes from the point of view of ordinary people. Ross's use of photo-realism has been credited with changing the face of graphic literature.
"Throughout my career, I've gotten to paint some larger-than-life iconic figures," said Ross, "and you can't do much better than the Oscar statuette as far as icons are concerned."
ANOTHER CLASSIC BOOK SERIES HEADED FOR THE BIG SCREEN
According to a report in Daily Variety, investor Philip Anschutz is putting part of his fortune behind a feature film adaptation of C.S. Lewis' classic book, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."
The book was published in 1950 as part of Lewis' series of books called "The Chronicles of Narnia." Plans call for the movie to arrive in U.S. theaters in 2004.
The book tells the story of four siblings -- Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy -- who step through a magic wardrobe into Narnia, a fantasy world that has been frozen into winter by the evil White Witch.
ANOTHER SLICE OF 'PIE'
Universal Studios Home Video has announced the street date for the home video release of "American Pie 2," which grossed $146 million at the U.S. box office this summer.
The title will be available in both rated and unrated versions. It will also be available in a two-pack -- combining the new release with a re-release of the home video of "American Pie."
"AP2" did something that just a handful of other sequels have done -- outdoing the original at the box office. It was also the only summer release of 2001 to stay No. 1 at the box office for three consecutive weeks.
The unrated version includes scenes that were not in the theatrical release.