LAWSUITS Metallica loves their fans… as long as they pay up. The band is suing Napster, the Internet site that allows people to trade free MP3 files of songs, for copyright infringement, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Also named in the suit are three universities — USC, Yale, and Indiana University — which have not blocked the Napster site from their students’ Internet access, as most other schools have. Metallica are looking for $100,000 for each of their pirated songs — there are more than 100 available through the site…. Bo knows litigation. Bo Diddley is suing Nike for allegedly not giving him royalties on T-shirts that feature his likeness and say ”You don’t know Diddley.” The 71-year-old guitarist licensed his name to the sport company in 1989 for two years, but claims he recently discovered Nike was still selling the shirts, according to Reuters. A Nike rep says it was negotiating with Diddley and was going to offer him royalties of between $10,000 and $15,000, but Diddley’s lawyers say that the deal-making had broken off in March after they rejected the offer. Fortunately for Diddley, Michael Jordan has just stopped accepting endorsements, freeing up a few kazillion dollars in the company’s budget for a payoff.
CASTING Cameron Diaz is in talks to play a romantically unsavvy woman who has to learn how to snag her dream man in an untitled comedy by ”South Park” writer Nancy Pimental. The gorgeous Diaz having man trouble? Well, that’s just verité at its best, ain’t it?… Gary Oldman may join ”Hannibal” as the cannibal’s enemy and former victim, Mason Verger…. Wes Bentley has dropped out of the adaptation of Anne Rice’s ”Queen of the Damned,” citing the need to take time off after his busy post-”American Beauty” schedule. Meanwhile, Aaliyah has joined the project, playing the titular queen. To save time, Rice is probably hard at work drafting alternate letters saying how bad OR good the ”Romeo Must Die” star will be, so the author will be all ready to send one to Variety after she sees the film.
INSTA-YANK London’s Evening Standard reports that Anthony Hopkins was sworn in as a U.S. citizen on Thursday, which means that he renounces his British citizenship. By doing this, he gives up the title ”Sir,” which he earned when knighted by the Queen in 1993. No word yet on whether he’ll have to give up his ”I got knighted by the Queen and all I got was this lousy chain mail” suit of armor.
REEL DEALS ”X-Files” creator Chris Carter may make his movie directing debut with a very ”X”-ish tale: ”The World of Ted Serios,” the true story of a psychiatrist who investigates a bellhop who can make his own thoughts appear on a photographic negative…. David Fincher (”Fight Club”) will direct ”Squids,” a movie about — as the Hollywood Reporter describes it — ”a young sailor who comes of age on a nuclear submarine during the [end of] the Cold War.” Presumably coming of age in a sub was a lot easier in the days before ”Don’t ask, don’t tell”…. Joel Schumacher is in final talks to direct ”Phone Booth,” about a man who picks up a pay phone and is told that a sniper is watching him and will kill him if he hangs up. The entire film will be shot at one phone booth. Let’s say — best case scenario — state-of-the-art digital sound is used so the Beep of the touch-tone buttons and Clank of the coin-return slot make you feel like you’re right in the middle of the action: It’s still a freaking phone booth.
STUNG An Arizona man who allegedly extorted $100,000 from comedian Louie Anderson and was looking for another $250,000 more, was arrested and charged on Thursday. Anderson claims that three years ago Richard Gordon passed him a letter that said if he didn’t pay up, Gordon would tell the tabloids that Anderson had offered him $1,000 for sex. According to Reuters, Anderson’s lawyers say the comic paid the initial sum because he was concerned that the allegations would jeopardize his career — as the creator/star of the cartoon ”Life With Louie” and the host of ”Family Feud” (what, the contestants would start charging him to kiss them?). But when Gordon recently came back for more money, Anderson went to the FBI, who recorded a phone conversation with Gordon making demands, and arrested him.