May 25, 2004
Stars turn out for new Potter movie
The third Harry Potter film has been unleashed in a world
premiere in New York that drew thousands of fans to see the stars
of the fantasy book series.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is set to debut
around the world on June 4. But 6,000 lucky fans got an early
viewing together with stars Daniel Radcliffe, the 14-year-old actor
who plays Harry, and his co-stars, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.
Other stars included Robbie Coltrane, who plays good-natured giant
Critics have identified the third Harry Potter movie as breaking
with its predecessors by focusing on edgier themes that reflect the
growing maturity of the characters.
Directed by Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, the movie plays
follows the attempt of an evil wizard to hunt down Harry Potter and
is said to be scarier than the previous two instalments.
P. Diddy gets political
New York - Rap mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs is getting
busy. He recently made his acting debut on Broadway, and is now
heading back to MTV where he plans to headline a political show
called Project Change.
According to the New York Post, Combs hopes to confront
President George W. Bush and likely Democratic nominee John Kerry
with questions from "real people" that he finds on the streets of
Harlem, Brooklyn and Detroit.
"The people who usually ask the candidates questions are
screened, and I'm going to use real people off the streets to get
their questions out there," Combs told the paper. "I'm going to
make Kerry and Bush squirm."
Banderas to revive Zorro
Los Angeles - Antonio Banderas is to revive the role of
the masked swashbuckler that made him famous.
The Latin movie star will take the lead role in a sequel to The
Mask of Zorro which starts shooting in Mexico on July 26,
according to movie website Zap2it.com.
According to the report, Catherine Zeta Jones will also revive
her role for the sequel, which like the 1998 original will be
directed by Martin Campbell and produced by Steven Spielberg.
"This one is a little bit more mature. It still keeps the
adventure feeling and it keeps us with a hero, which is I think
fundamental for Zorro," Banderas was quoted as saying. "It's more
based in jealousy and concepts that are more for us than for kids."
No Hazardous role for Britney Spears
Los Angeles - Pop star Britney Spears has lost out in her
bid for a role in the movie version of the TV show The Dukes of
According to U.S. press reports the role of sexy Daisy Duke has
instead been handed to singer Jessica Simpson who is already a star
on American reality TV.
The film, about three redneck cousins, two corrupt public
officials and a souped-up muscle car, begins production this
summer, but Simpson can hardly wait to fit into her character's hot
pants. "I wanna wear those shorts so bad," she told Star magazine.
Del Toro and Washington to get Tru Blu
Los Angeles - Benicio Del Toro is set to star alongside
Denzel Washington in the movie Tru Blu based on the real life
struggle between a determined detective and a major drug dealer.
The movie will be directed by Antoine Fuqua and produced by
Brian Grazer. According to Daily Variety Monday, Del Toro will play
Detective Richie Roberts, who was matched against Frank Lucas, the
mastermind of a major heroin scheme in which the drug was
smuggled into the U.S. in the caskets of soldiers killed in Vietnam.
Prosecutors fear Michael Jackson may flee
Los Angeles - Prosecutors in the Michael Jackson case fear
the troubled pop singer will flee the country to avoid trial on
child molestation charges.
According to court papers released Sunday, District Attorney Tom
Sneddon's office said Jackson's immense wealth requires at least 3
million dollars bail to ensure he will appear for trial on child
molestation charges and, if convicted, serve a lengthy prison
"The temptation to flee must surely be strong for an individual
in defendant's circumstances," said the motion. "To suppose
otherwise would be to blink reality."
Prosecutors filed the motion because the potential maximum bail
for the charges against Jackson is 435,000 dollars.
"The people mean no disrespect by the following, but Michael Joe
Jackson's situation is truly unique," he said, citing Jackson's
extensive property holdings and unusual circumstances.
"The defendant here is 'Michael Jackson, international
celebrity,' a man whose life style to date would not have prepared
him to adapt readily to a prison environment and routine, and whose
physical stature will present its own problems for him in making
the necessary adjustments."
The motion speculated that if he chose to flee, Jackson would be
welcomed in many countries in Europe, the Near East and Africa that
do not have extradition treaties with the United States.
Kirk Douglas marries wife again
Los Angeles - Veteran actor Kirk Douglas has remarried his
wife Anne, 50 years after the couple first wed in a Las Vegas
This time the loving couple did it with a little more style.
They wed in a traditional Jewish ceremony at a luxurious hilltop
mansion in Beverly Hills watched by 300 guests including former
first lady Nancy Reagan, and celebrities Merv Griffin, Dan Aykroyd,
Lauren Bacall, Tony Curtis, Vidal Sassoon and Anjelica Huston.
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Entertainment briefs [19/05/2004]