Today's News: Our Take


GOING BATTY

An American Psycho is taking over the role of Batman. British thesp Christian Bale — best known for his indie work in films such as Little Women, Laurel Canyon and American Psycho — has been tapped to play the Caped Crusader in Warner Bros. Pictures' upcoming Batman flick. "What I see in Christian is the ultimate embodiment of Bruce Wayne," says director Christopher Nolan (Memento). "He has exactly the balance of darkness and light that we were looking for." The film — which will follow the early career of the Dark Knight — is expected to begin production early next year. read more

TRUE CONFESSIONS

Does Sharon Osbourne know how to time her public revelations or what? Just days before the launch of her daytime gabfest, MTV's mouthy matriarch tells Barbara Walters that she briefly left husband Ozzy because he continued drinking and abusing prescription drugs even as son Jack was about to enter rehab. The chat airs Friday on ABC's 20/20. read more

LIZZIE REIGNS!

That No. 2 ranking was so yesterday. Hilary Duff's Metamorphosis jumped from second to first place on Billboard's album chart, swapping spots with last week's No. 1, Mary J. Blige's Love & Live. In two weeks Duff's debut CD has sold 335,000 copies. read more

Enterprise, UPN Hello, boobies....

Enterprise, UPN
Hello, boobies. I heard the third season was going to have a new "action-oriented" style, but I didn't think they meant that sort of action. But someone needs to tell the producers that a nearly nekkid rubdown between the alien chick who looks like Hilary Swank in Spock ears and the cute human who looks like Greg Kinnear does not make up for 55 minutes of Scott Bakula frowning over the aliens who evaporated half of Earth. Aliens, mind you, who are about as scary as this dull mess is to its competition. And please, ditch that damn theme song already!

The Reality of Reality, Bravo
Quite possibly the funniest thing on TV tonight. Former reality show stars bitching about not finding big-screen fame after doing basically nothing and we're supposed to feel bad for them? Sorry, Jerri Manthey. When your best work is on Survivor, it's best to just quit now and adopt 12 cats. Then you'll hav read more

BENNIFER MYSTERY

Did Ben and J.Lo really call off their lavish weekend wedding — or is it just a smokescreen to throw off the tabs? That's one of the rumors making the rounds in the wake of news that Sunday's nuptials were being delayed because the couple felt the media frenzy was getting out of control. "When we found ourselves seriously contemplating hiring three separate 'decoy brides' at three different locations, we decided that something was awry," Bennifer said in a joint statement. "We began to feel that the spirit of what should have been the happiest day of our lives could be compromised." There's speculation the bride- and groom-to-be may elope this weekend. read more

KUDOS FOR COS

Bill Cosby will receive the prestigious Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at the 55th annual prime-time Emmy Awards on Sept. 21. The three-hour telecast airs live on Fox beginning at 8 pm/ET. read more

PLAY PAINTBALL!

Dick Clark is getting into the paintball biz, acquiring TV rights to Professional League Paintball — which consists of eight teams in cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. What's more, the uberproducer is developing a celebrity paintball-themed reality show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. read more

Beyoncé Bends to Temptation


Beyoncé Knowles is only 21, but she's smart enough to learn from the mistakes of fellow songbirds who've tried acting. (Poor Mariah Carey still catches hell for that whole Glitter debacle!) That's why she's been taking small, but juicy roles opposite A-list stars like Mike Myers in Austin Powers in Goldmember and Cuba Gooding Jr. in The Fighting Temptations (opening Sept. 19).

"I didn't have the pressure of carrying the movie by myself," Knowles says of those flicks. "Before I do that, I want to make sure that I know exactly what I am doing."

Speaking of Hollywood heavyweights, the Destiny's Child frontwoman isn't talking about her rumored romance with "Crazy in Love" cohort Jay-Z. Of course, she's more than willing to plug her role in the gospel-infused Temptations. Okay, we'll bite. Why'd she choose this gig?

"It was important for people to know who I am, read more

Ellen Shunned Fish After Nemo


In Finding Nemo, Ellen DeGeneres's memory-challenged alter ego Dory preaches, "Fish are friends, not food." It's a message the rookie talk-show host took to heart. "I [gave up eating fish] for a little while," she tells TV Guide Online. "It was kind of hard — especially [after doing the scene] where the fish go, 'Swim down!' [to avoid getting caught in a fisherman's net].' You don't want fish again after that, [but] then you go have sushi."

Even if Nemo doesn't propel the funny lady hook line and sinker into vegetarianism, DeGeneres insists she's still a changed woman. And judging by the heaps of cash the film reeled in at the box office — Nemo's $330 million in receipts make it the biggest animated movie of all time — it's safe to say DeGeneres wasn't the only person thinking twice before biting into her shrimp tempura.

"Just like Pixar [made people] care about toys [with Toy Story, Nemo read more

Sam Rockwell Dresses for Success


Best known from last year's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, indie actor Sam Rockwell always needs a little help from wardrobe to fulfill his thespian potential. For some reason, he donned a shower cap — borrowed from his hotel bathroom — to plug his role as flashy con artist Frank in Matchstick Men (opening Friday). "I do all of my interviews in character," the goofball cracks. In fact, Rockwell credits Hawaiian shirts and silly hats for his ability to shine opposite Nicolas Cage in this film.

"I was going to make [Frank] really sloppy and have stains on my shirt," says Rockwell, who'd hoped for an Odd Couple element to Frank's interaction with Cage's obsessive-compulsive Roy. "And then, [director] Ridley Scott said, 'I want you to look kind of flamboyant, like you spend too much money on your clothes.'

"It's kind of stylish-no-taste," he explains of his on-screen look. "Somehow, those clothes & read more

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