Today's News: Our Take


DUELING DIVAS

Chapter II, the latest album from R&B songstress Ashanti, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's album chart with sales of 327,000 copies. Last week's top seller, Beyoncé Knowles's Dangerously in Love, falls to No. 2 with sales of 183,000 units. read more

THAT'S IT, WE'RE DONE WATCHING!

A riot nearly broke out during last night's episode of Fame when silky-voiced stud muffin Alex Boyd was eliminated — and that was just among viewers on this staff. On the bright side, Justin Jacoby, the lamest rapper since Vanilla Ice, also got the hook. read more

APOCALYPSE NOW

Filmmaker Martin Scorsese has signed on to exec produce a Sci Fi Channel miniseries about an impending apocalypse that coincides with the twelth day of Christmas. Titled The Twelve, the six-hour project is slated to premiere in 2005. read more

THE CASTING COUP IS OUT THERE

Sex and the City has found just the guy to investigate the show's sextraterrestrials: David Duchovny. The former X-Files G-man has signed on for a guest stint on the Emmy-winning comedy, an HBO rep confirms. Might Duchovny be playing the much-buzzed-about new love interest for Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker)? HBO isn't saying, although exec producer Michael Patrick King recently told TV Guide Online that the pivotal role had in fact been cast. "It's a big name," he teased, adding that Jack Berger's successor will pose stiff competition for Mr. Big (Chris Noth) as the series heads towards its climax in early 2004. "Why would we bring in a major name if [Big] was already [the cle read more

A Pirates Life for Johnny Depp


Ahoy, mates! Johnny Depp just debuted as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, a movie based on his fave Disneyland ride. Instead of classic swashbucklers like Treasure Island's Long John Silver or Peter Pan's Captain Hook, the star looked to more unusual personalities for inspiration.

"The pirate of the 18th century seemed to me like the rock 'n roll star of today," Depp says. "The greatest and the coolest rock 'n roll star of all time is [Rolling Stones guitarist] Keith Richards, hands down. I kind of incorporated the idea of Keith. Not an imitation of Keith, but that wisdom that he carries and that sort of confidence that he has."

In spite of his Disney bosses, Depp admits his other muse was Loone read more

DUDE, YOU'RE WORKING WITH DUNST

Cameron Crowe has recruited Kirsten Dunst and Ashton Kutcher to headline his next film, Elizabethtown. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the ensemble comedy centers around an unexpected romance that develops at a Southern patriarch's elaborate memorial. read more

NOVEL IDEA

American Idol judge Simon Cowell is taking poison pen in hand and writing his first book. I Don't Mean to be Rude, But... is due out on Dec. 2 and is being described as a personal insight into the music biz. In other book news, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's Living History memoir has sold more than 1 million copies since it hit stores one month ago. read more

SHE'S GOT FEVER

Keira Knightley, currently in theaters with Pirates of the Caribbean and Bend It Like Beckham, is in talks to star opposite Jude Law in the period romance Tulip Fever. Shakespeare in Love helmer John Madden is on board to direct. read more

TOGETHER AGAIN

Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith are in talks to play cops in an untitled buddy comedy for Paramount. The pair first teamed up in the 1996 actioner Set It Off. read more

HALO EFFECT

Actor Robert Wagner is suing Sony Pictures Entertainment claiming he is entitled to half the profits from the two Charlie's Angels movies. Apparently, the ex-Hart to Hart star signed a deal with ABC in the early '70s that gave him and late wife Natalie Wood a financial stake in the original TV series. "This has to do with whether or not his entitlement to a share in the television series extends to the movie," Wagner's attorney, Samuel Pryor, tells Reuters. read more

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