Today's News: Our Take


Haley Wanted No Part of Potter


Haley Joel Osment never had any interest in tackling the role of Harry Potter on the big screen. In fact, the Oscar-nominated Sixth Sense star — who reportedly was the first choice of initial director Steven Spielberg to portray the teen wizard — believes that J.K. Rowling's popular book series will lose all of its magic once adapted to film.

"I never wanted to do Harry Potter. I thought it should have stayed a book," Osment tells TV Guide Online of the upcoming movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, to now be directed by Home Alone's Chris Columbus and star 11-year-old British actor Daniel Radcliffe. "There are some books that should be made into movies and some books that shouldn't.

"Harry Potter is 70 percent imagination," continues the 12-year-old, who has read all four of Rowling's Potter tales. "You purposely have to leave stuff out in the books, for you to fill in with your read more

Kiel Sinks Teeth Into Novel


Richard Kiel's best known for playing hulking thugs such as steel-toothed James Bond villain Mr. Jaws, but these days the character actor's working hard to build a second career, as a historical novelist. To wit: He just finished writing a 542-page novel on the life of 19th-century abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay, a book he'd eventually like to turn into a TV miniseries.

"A lot of people who've seen me on talk shows know I'm really not like Jaws," the soft-spoken seven-footer tells TV Guide Online, adding that despite his current passion for all things past, "I found history in school totally boring. History, the way it's taught in school, doesn't get into the 'Why' about anything. The Why is the most important thing. History's about people!"

Kiel says he hopes to share some day his extensive research on Clay with his world-famous namesake, a boxer who became better known by his adopted Muslim name, Muhammad Ali. "I read Muhammad Ali's book, The Greates read more

HUDSON'S NEW ROLE

Hot on the heels of her breakout role in Almost Famous, Kate Hudson has committed to star opposite Patriot hunk Heath Ledger and American Beauty's Wes Bentley in a remake of the wartime drama Four Feathers. Shucks -- we were hoping the next project by Goldie Hawn's daughter would be a remake of Mom's hit military comedy, Private Benjamin. Variety reports that Elizabeth director Shekhar Kapur will helm this latest version of the half-dozen films based on the A.E.W. Mason novel.

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LENO PREPS PILOT

Ed's executive producer, David Letterman, is not the only late-night talk-show host to try his hand at producing a network sitcom these days. CBS has ordered a pilot script for Jay Leno's Foreign Motors, a half-hour comedy set at an Internet car dealership. According to Variety, the show will feature a Latino lead character and is targeted for the 2001-02 season.

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MEG RYAN BREAKS SILENCE

For the first time, Meg Ryan is speaking out about her split with hubby Dennis Quaid. The When Harry Met Sally actress insists that her failed marriage had nothing to do with her current romance with Gladiator hunk Russell Crowe. "The reasons we broke up have nothing to do with another person," Ryan tells the November issue of W magazine. "My marriage was broken -- nobody else broke it up. I know it to be true and Dennis knows it to be true." read more

SPRINGFIELD'S IN THE CLEAR

Ex-rocker and former General Hospital heartthrob Rick Springfield will not be prosecuted for allegedly assaulting his wife, because of insufficient evidence and his wife's reluctance to press charges, the district attorney's office in Malibu, CA, told Reuters. Springfield, the man behind the 1980s hit single "Jesse's Girl," made headlines last month when police were called to his home and arrested him on suspicion of spousal abuse.

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DR. LAURA MAKES NICE

Controversial talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger took out an ad in today's Variety, apologizing to gays and lesbians for her "poorly chosen" words. The apology comes as Schlessinger, an Orthodox Jew, atones for her sins during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Hey, Dr. Laura, while you're at it, how about apologizing for putting out such a low-rated television show?

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BAYWATCH CONTEST

Wanna be the next Pamela Lee? The producers of Baywatch Hawaii are holding an online talent contest that will award two lucky winners -- one male, one female -- the chance to strut their stuff on an upcoming episode. Suck in that tummy and send your pic right away to citysearch.com. Finalists will be flown to Hollywood for the final round of competition (Nov. 17-19).

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KINNEAR MAKES NEW FRIENDS

Nurse Betty star Greg Kinnear is in talks to star in the HBO Films adaptation of Donald Margulies's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Dinner With Friends, for director Norman Jewison (The Hurricane), according to The Hollywood Reporter. Dennis Quaid (Stranger Than the Wheel) is in line to co-star with the former Talk Soup host.

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Dream was a Nightmare for Leto


Former My So-Called Life hottie Jared Leto wasn't pleased when his latest film, Requiem For A Dream, was slapped with the dreaded NC-17 rating due to "explicit sexual content." In fact, he says this is proof that the Motion Picture Association of America is completely out of touch with reality.

"The hypocrisy is so crazy," Leto tells TV Guide Online. "You can go see a film where people get shot and killed, and sexuality is what got this film the NC-17 rating?!"

The MPAA was riled up about a scene in which a prostitute is forced by her pimp to engage in a demeaning sex act with another woman in front of a group of men. Instead of deleting the sequence, the film's distributor, Artisan Entertainment, chose instead to release Requiem without a rating. Still, some theater owners reportedly will not allow anyone under the age of 17 to attend -- ironic, considering the film's anti-drug message is aimed squarely at that demo. “Someone brought a younger read more

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