WEDDING BELLS? Best wishes are in order for Guy Ritchie, who is reportedly planning to marry the mother of his child, Madonna. Ritchie’s producer and friend Erin Berg was quoted in today’s British Sun tabloid saying ”He intends to marry Madonna by Christmas.” According to Berg, ”Rocco’s difficult birth has led to Guy realizing all he wants is to marry Madonna and become a family.” The tab also points out that Madonna, whose single ”Music” is currently No. 1 on the British pop charts, has been photographed in Los Angeles wearing what ”appears to be an engagement ring.”
DADDY DEAREST Eminem, a.k.a. Marshall Mathers, will give his estranged wife, Kim Mathers, physical custody of their 5 year old daughter. Monday, the rap star agreed to continue providing financial support for Kim (the deal includes a driver and credit card privileges). In exchange, Eminem will have joint custody of his little girl and will be entitled to equal access when he’s in their hometown, Mount Clemens, Mich. The separated couple, who married in 1999, also reached an undisclosed settlement on the $10 million lawsuit Kim had filed over the Slim Shady’s song ”Kim.”
AWARDS ALERT Clint Eastwood receives a lifetime achievement award today at the opening ceremony of the Venice Film Festival. Sharon Stone will be on hand to present Eastwood with the award. The Venice festival will also host the European premiere of Eastwood’s latest film, ”Space Cowboys.” The 70 year old actor director immortalized Dirty Harry and the silent cowboy, but in 54 years in Hollywood, he’s received only two Oscars, both for 1992’s ”Unforgiven.” So the Venice award will be a much needed addition to Eastwood’s vanity shelf. The annual Kerrang! Awards for heavy metal turned ugly Tuesday night at London’s Hammersmith Palais. American group Slipknot, who won Best International Love Act, Single of the Year (for ”Wait and Bleed”), and Best Band in the World, celebrated their victory by smashing chairs and glasses, trashing the stage, and then starting a food fight that left debris on the awards platform. Actress Britt Eckland, who was walking on stage to present Marilyn Manson with a Hall of Fame trophy, slipped on a piece of watermelon and twisted her ankle. She was taken to a nearby hospital. Despite the chaos, Queens of the Stone Age collected their Best International Newcomer award. Motorhead lead singer Lemmy told London’s Daily Mail newspaper: ”I haven’t heard anything by Slipknot — I have heard of them though and I think it’s disgusting.” Best Band in the World? If that had gone to ‘N Sync, all this mess could’ve been avoided.
CASTING Jim Carrey is in negotiations to star in Frank Darabont‘s (”The Green Mile”) upcoming romantic comedy, ”Bijou.” Set in 1951, ”Bijou” is about a young writer (Carrey) about to get blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee. The scribe contracts amnesia and finds himself in a small town, where people think he’s the prodigal son of the local theater owner. Samuel L. Jackson is in final talks to reteam with his ”Shaft” producer Scott Rudin for ”Changing Lanes,” a psychodrama costarring Ben Affleck. Affleck plays a wealthy attorney whose brief fender bender with Jackson, a businessman, leads to an unmitigated battle of road rage between the two. Roger Michell (”Notting Hill”) will direct the Paramount picture that starts shooting this December. Kenneth Branagh has inked a deal to star in the small historical Australian drama ”Rabbit-Proof Fence” for director Phillip Noyce. Noyce’s first Australian film in 12 years, ”Fence” follows the story of three Aboriginal girls who escaped from Western Australian police after being forced into a training program for domestic servants in 1931. Branagh will play the English born ”chief protector of the Aborigines” A.O. Neville, who administered the patronizing program of training indigenous Australians into servitude. Shooting starts in Adelaide on Sept. 18. Guess they won’t be going to the gymnastics competitions.
GOOD SAMARITAN Talk show host Montel Williams really does care. According to an Associated Press report from Bonners Ferry, Idaho, Williams helped save a 16 year old from being burned after a car accident on Saturday. When the teenager’s truck hit a tree, Williams and his driver stopped and pulled the young man from the pickup as it caught on fire, carrying him a safe distance away, police said. Who does Montel think he is, Tom Cruise?
POLITICS WATCH Geraldo Rivera is considering running for mayor next year. According to Variety, the talk show host told sources this week that he hopes to replace Mayor Rudy Giuliani at City Hall. Rivera is reportedly planning to announce his candidacy in June for next November’s race. Neither a registered Republican nor Democrat, Rivera is likely to run as Independent. Variety’s sources also claim Rivera’s reviewing the résumé of a former campaign adviser to George W. Bush.
REEL DEAL Miramax’s Dimension Films has signed on to cofinance with Crystal Sky Productions its most expensive film to date, the $75 million action thriller, ”Ghost Rider.” Based on the Marvel Comics character, ”Rider” tells the story of motorcycle stuntman Johnny Blaze who sells his soul to save his girlfriend’s life. The girl dies anyway and Blaze morphs into a superhero. The Weinsteins are courting Johnny Depp to play Blaze, Variety reports.
LEGAL BRIEFS The family of Billy Tyne, the doomed ship captain portrayed by George Clooney in ”The Perfect Storm,” is suing Warner Bros. Pictures. The captain’s ex-wife Jodi Tyne, and his two daughters Billie-Jo Francis and Erica Tyne, claim in a civil lawsuit filed in Orlando’s U.S. District Court that Warner’s used their names and likenesses without permission and falsely depicted Billy as careless and crazy. They are seeking unspecified royalties from the summer blockbuster, which has brought in more than $173 million. Warner Bros. representatives announced Tuesday that the film is based on a historical event, and that therefore they aren’t required by law to get permission from Tyne’s relatives to portray him, according to Reuters. ”We most certainly disagree with the plaintiffs’ claim that the film in any way disparaged Mr. Tyne or tarnished his memory,” a WB spokeswoman said.
TUBE WATCH TV writer/ producer/ creator (”Oz”) Tom Fontana is developing a new series with HBO. This time instead of prison, Fontana wants to explore the lives of baseball players’ wives. Fontana will executive produce the ”Untitled Baseball Wives Project” with Michelle Grace (”The Rat Pack”) an actress who’s the ex-wife of Chicago Cubs player Mark Grace. Ms. Grace, wife of actor Ray Liotta, will have a role in the show, which will start production in early 2001. This show, we presume, will offer slightly less in the brutal violence department.