Today's News: Our Take


LUCK OF THE IRISH

Minority Report hottie Colin Farrell has signed on to star opposite Samuel L. Jackson in the big screen version of the 1970s TV series S.W.A.T. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 26-year-old actor is expected to earn a career-high $8 million paycheck for the film. read more

BETTER THAN EXCEDRIN

Malcolm in the Middle mom Jane Kaczmarek is finalizing a new contract with the show's producers that would boost her per-episode salary to $100,000 for the upcoming fourth season and $150,000 for a fifth season. Last season, Kaczmarek missed several episodes of Malcolm because of chronic migraine headaches. However, some speculated that her absence from the set was a negotiations ploy. read more

IN OTHER WEDDING NEWS...

Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell is no longer single in the city. Bushnell, whose best-selling book inspired the HBO series, married ballet dancer Charles Askegard on July 4 in Massachusetts. The couple met two months ago. "One has to be open-minded when the right man comes along," Bushnell told The New York Times after the ceremony. "And I know it's freaky, but this just seems like the natural thing to do." read more

MEN IN THE BLACK

Nod your head if you're surprised by this: Men in Black II set a July Fourth weekend record, topping the box office with $54.1 million from Friday-Sunday. The previous record-holder was the first Men in Black, which took in $51.1 million in 1997. Since opening Wednesday, MIB II has grossed $90 million — compared to $84.1 million for the original. (However, once admission increases are factored in, the sequel sold fewer tickets than the original.) Last week's No. 1 film, the Adam Sandler knee-slapper Mr. Deeds, slipped to second with $18.8 million — a 49 percent drop from its opening. The new basketball comedy Like Mike opened at No. 3 with $13.1 million, followed by Lilo & Stitch (No. 4 with $12. read more

EMINEM DETHRONED

It's curtains for The Eminem Show. Rap superstar Nelly's latest disc, Nellyville, debuted at No. 1 on the album charts with 714,114 units sold. As a result, Eminem's new CD — which held the No. 1 spot for five straight weeks — slipped to second with 308,000 in sales. read more

PRETTY MARRIED WOMAN

Julia Roberts celebrated Independence Day by giving up her own. The Oscar-winning actress married her cameraman boyfriend Daniel Moder early Thursday in a hush-hush ceremony at her 40-acre New Mexico estate. This is Roberts's second marriage; she was briefly wed to country crooner Lyle Lovett. read more

BIG LAWSUIT

Former Big Brother 2 housemate Krista Stegall — who last summer had a knife held to her throat by fellow contestant Justin Sebik — is suing CBS. She claims the network was negligent for allowing Sebik on the show, even though he had a police record. read more

TRIAL RUN?

Former Today show co-host Deborah Norville is getting another shot at morning TV. The Inside Edition host will spend the week co-anchoring CBS's The Early Show alongside Jane Clayson. Insiders speculate that CBS is considering giving Norville the Early gig full-time. read more

JOHN FRANKENHEIMER DIES

Famed filmmaker John Frankenheimer, the director behind such classics as The Manchurian Candidate and Birdman of Alcatraz, died Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles due to complications following spinal surgery. He was 72. Frankenheimer's most recent film, Path to War, premiered on HBO in May. read more

END QUOTE

"It was a tough week. I found out I was pregnant, Bing and I split up, I gave up smoking, alcohol and coffee, and then Sept. 11 happened. My world collapsed, and then the whole world collapsed." — New mom Liz Hurley speaking out for the first time about her recently-settled paternity headache with producer Steve Bing in August's Harper's Bazaar. The mag's cover features Hurley with son Damian. read more

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