Today's News: Our Take


TOGETHER AGAIN

Their first collaboration hasn't even hit the screen yet, but Frances McDormand is in talks to join fellow Oscar winner Charlize Theron for a second film collaboration, Class Action. The drama is a fictionalized account of the first successful sexual-harassment prosecution case in the United States. McDormand would play an outspoken iron miner who mentors Theron's character. The duo are currently starring together in the live-action version of Aeon Flux, MTV's popular animated spy series that ran in the '90s. read more

NEW RECORD

On yesterday's Jeopardy!, 30-year-old Utah software engineer Ken Jennings officially broke the $1-million mark. So far, the brainiac has correctly given more than 1000 correct answers — in the form of a question, natch — earning him $1,004,960 in prize money. Why doesn't Jennings get off the buzzer and cede the spotlight to some other nerd, you ask? He doesn't have to, since the game show lifted its five-day win limit. "When we changed the rule [last year], we declared that the sky's the limit for Jeopardy! champions," says host Alex Trebek. "Boy, oh boy, has Ken certainly proven that true." read more

MEDIC ALERT

Courtney Love is returning for a second engagement — in the hospital. The troubled 40-year-old rocker, who was released from Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital on Monday, has been admitted to a private medical facility in New York. The nature of her condition remains a mystery, as does her treatment. Meanwhile, Love is still on the lam for missing her arraignment on an assault charge in Los Angeles. Prosecutors there say they have no information on the fugitive femme's whereabouts. What, don't they read this column? read more

DIRECTORIAL DEBUT

Actor Tommy Lee Jones is making his film-directing debut with his latest drama, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. The award-winning actor will also star in the indie pic, written by 21 Grams scribe Guillermo Arriaga. The story chronicles the journey of a ranch hand, played by Jones, who tries to fulfill a promise for a deceased friend. read more

DARK ANGEL GETS INVISIBLE

Jessica Alba is getting back her superpowers. The Dark Angel alum has been cast as the Invisible Girl in Fantastic Four, 20th Century Fox's adaptation of the Marvel Comics classic. Alba rounds out the crime-stopping quartet, which includes Ioan Gruffudd as Mr. Fantastic, Chris Evans as The Human Torch and Michael Chiklis as The Thing. read more

BENCHED

Ben Affleck has abandoned his jump shot in Disney's Glory Road, the true-life story of Texas Western College basketball coach Don Haskins, whose all-black team won the NCAA finals in 1966. According to The Hollywood Reporter, disputes over profit shares caused the actor to back out of the film, which starts shooting within weeks. Disney is actively seeking a replacement and are reportedly courting A Beautiful Mind's Josh Lucas to take over the role. read more

EM ON AIR

Eminem is joining forces with Sirius Satellite Radio to "deliver an uncut hip-hop radio station like never before," he declared in a statement. "Once upon a time, not too long ago, the Feds wanted all my music off the air. Now we'll be on Sirius 24 hours a day, playing the best hip-hop — not just from Shady Records, but from everywhere. I can't wait to start dropping new material, exclusive tracks and uncensored hip-hop, featuring me and everyone else freely saying whatever the hell we want." Since Sirius is available only by subscription, its content isn't governed by FCC regulations. Em's rap-radio venture kicks off this fall. read more

ACCESS DENIED

This Pat O'Brien thing is getting ugly, folks. A Los Angeles judge denied NBC's request for an immediate restraining order to keep O'Brien from promoting his new entertainment-news show, The Insider. The Peacock network insists he's still under contract with Access Hollywood until the end of August, while his Insider gig doesn't begin until mid-September. The judge has set a July 23 hearing date to resolve the matter. Despite their contractual tiff, NBC still wants O'Brien to host the first week of its late-night Olympics coverage in August. That's showbiz! read more

SUMMER EXTENDED

This season is proving to be a good one for Summerland. WB has ordered 13 more episodes of the beach-set family drama as a midseason replacement. The series, starring Lori Loughlin, follows a thirtysomething single who takes in her sister's children after their parents are killed in an accident. read more

FAREWELL

Acclaimed Italian cinematographer Carlo Di Palma died on Friday in his native Rome. He was 79. Here in the U.S., he was best known for beautifying 11 of Woody Allen's films, including Hannah and Her Sisters, Bullets over Broadway and Shadows and Fog. read more

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