MORE OSCARS ODDS AND ENDS
It has been reported this week that "Gosford Park" director Robert Altman is the oldest nominee ever for the best director Oscar, but it turns out that the 76-year-old Altman is only tied for third place for the distinction.
John Huston was 79 when he was nominated for "Prizzi's Honor" in 1985. Charles Crichton was 78 when he was nominated for directing "A Fish Called Wanda" -- his last film -- in 1988. Like Altman, David Lean was 76 when he was nominated for his last picture, "A Passage to India," in 1984.
The parallel might be a bit too eerie for Altman's comfort. "A Fish Called Wanda" was Chrichton's last film. "A Passage to India" was Lean's swan song. And Huston only had one more picture in him after "Prizzi's Honor" -- his 1987 adaptation of James Joyce's book, "The Dead."
Altman and Huston also figure into some nepotism related Oscar trivia, as members of the same family nominated for Oscars for the same pictures.
Huston won directing and adapted screenplay Oscars and his father Walter Huston won the supporting actor trophy for "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" in 1948. In 1974, Francis Ford Coppola won for best picture, director and adapted screenplay for "The Godfather, Part II" and his father Carmine Coppola won for original dramatic score.
Altman's son Stephen Altman -- who has collaborated with his dad on 11 other pictures -- is up for an Oscar for art direction on "Gosford Park."
Other family affairs at this year's Oscars include "Moulin Rouge, with Baz Luhrmann up for best director and his wife, Catherine Martin, up for art direction, and "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," with Peter Jackson up for best director and for adapted screenplay with his partner, Fran Walsh.
By the way, this is not the first time that "Moulin Rouge" has been nominated for best picture -- John Huston's movie of the same name was nominated for the top Oscar in 1952. Cecil B. DeMille's "The Greatest Show on Earth" took the prize.
STARS COME OUT FOR OSCARS
Two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks will be a presenter at the 74th Academy Awards ceremony -- his 10th appearance as a presenter.
Hanks -- who won the best actor Oscar in 1993 for "Philadelphia" and 1994 for "Forrest Gump -- is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board of governors. He has also been nominated for best actor for his performances in "Cast Away," "Saving Private Ryan" and "Apollo 13."
Currently working on "Catch Me if You Can" with director Steven Spielberg and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Hanks will show up on theater screens this year in director Sam Mendes' ("American Beauty") "The Road to Perdition" -- as a hitman who makes things personal after his wife and son are murdered.
The 74th Academy Awards will be presented on March 24 at the new Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
'HEE HAW' REDUX
The long-running country music-variety show "Hee Haw" may soon be headed back to network TV for a reunion special.
Sam Lovullo, who created and produced the show on CBS (1969-71) and in syndication (1972-92), told UPI he is in talks with CBS and Fox to present a reunion special. Lovullo said interest in the project is part of a trend at the networks, following the ratings success last year of a "Carol Burnett Show" reunion special.
"The networks are beginning to see that they need more family programming," said Lovullo. "'Hee Haw is the answer to that."
It's atypical for anyone in Hollywood to speak publicly about a project until the contracts are signed, but Lovullo isn't reluctant to go public about the possible TV project.
"If they don't cough up I know where I can go elsewhere," he said.
Lovullo said he intends to bring back hosts Roy Clark and Buck Owens, along with many former regulars from the show -- but he also expects that the network that buys the package will want to feature contemporary country stars like Garth Brooks, Vince Gill and Reba McEntire.
He said the special would include features honoring the memory of the many "Hee Haw" cast members who have died -- such as Minnie Pearl, Kenny Price, Junior Samples, Grandpa Jones and Archie Campbell.
WELL, WE KNOW WHAT THE CRITICS THINK
America's pop music critics are seriously at odds with the Recording Academy on the question of the best album of 2001, judging by the Village Voice critics poll that landed Bob Dylan's "Love and Theft" on the top of the heap.
Dylan's set was an easy winner with 3,005 points in the polling system. "Is This It" by the Strokes was a distant second with 1,613 points.
Apart from Dylan, none of the five nominees for the album of the year Grammy finished in the critics' poll top 10.
The rest of the critics' top 10 are "Vespertine" (Björk); "White Blood Cells" (White Stripes); "Amnesiac" (Radiohead); "Gold" (Ryan Adams); "The Blueprint" (Jay-Z); "Party Music" (The Coup); "Essence" (Lucinda Williams); and "Poses" (Rufus Wainwright).
The other four Grammy nominees for album of the year are "Acoustic Soul" (India.Arie); "Stankonia" (OutKast); "All That You Can't Leave Behind" (U2); "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" (Soundtrack, various artists).
Williams is a Grammy nominee for female pop vocal performance for "Essence" and for female rock vocal performance for "Get Right with God." Adams is up for rock album for "Gold" and male rock vocal performance for "New York, New York."
"Vespertine" and "Amnesiac" are up for the Grammy for alternative music album of the year. "The Blueprint" is nominated for best rap album and Jay-Z is up for best rap solo performance for "Izzo (H.O.V.A)" and rap performance by a duo or group for "Change the Game," featuring Beanie Sigel & Memphis Bleek.
"Love and Theft" is also up for best contemporary folk album and Dylan is up for best male rock vocal performance for "Honest with Me."
'ANGELS' DIRECTOR TOUTED FOR 'SUPERMAN'
According to a report in Daily Variety, "Charlie's Angels" director Joseph "McG" McGinty has come to terms with Warner Bros. to direct a new "Superman" movie -- from a screenplay by J.J. Abrams, the creator of the TV series "Felicity" and "Alias" and one of the credited writers on "Armageddon" (1998).
Jon Peters ("Ali") will produce the project.
Warner Bros. spent several million dollars in the 1990s developing a movie called "Superman Lives" with Tim Burton directing and Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage set to play the Man of Steel -- but when the budget shot past the $140 million mark, the studio shut down the project.
McG won't get around to making "Superman" for a while. He's set to begin shooting "Charlie's Angels 2: Halo" this spring.
EXTREME SPORTS COMING TO BIG BIG SCREEN
Action picture master Michael Bay ("Pearl Harbor," "Armageddon") is planning to produce a 70mm large-format movie focusing on the world of extreme sports.
Bay has signed up some of the top action sports filmmakers in the business to shoot skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing and other extreme sports for a picture expected in Imax and other large-format theaters in the spring of next year.