CRIME John Lennon‘s killer, Mark David Chapman, was denied his first bid for parole yesterday after a brief hearing at Attica prison in New York. The board issued a statement to the convict saying ”[we] strongly believe that your release to parole supervision would deprecate the seriousness of the crime and serve to undermine respect for the law.” They also added that ”during your parole hearing, this panel noted your continued interest in maintaining your notoriety.” Chapman told the Rochester Daily Chronicle last week how he got Lennon to autograph one of his albums before gunning him down on Dec. 8, 1980. He said the singer asked, ”Is that all you want?” ”It was a ruse,” said Chapman. ”I didn’t want his signature, I wanted his life. And I ended up getting both.” In a victim impact letter to the parole board Yoko Ono wrote that she and Lennon’s two sons would not feel safe if Chapman were released. When her husband was shot, she wrote, ”for the people of the world, it was as though the light went out for a minute and darkness prevailed.” The convict’s next parole hearing is scheduled for October 2002.
CASTING There is a new rumor afoot about the latest celeb to be offered the part of ”Wonder Woman.” According to England’s ever reliable Daily Star, Mariah Carey is considering the part of the lasso wielding superhero. ”Wonder Woman” has been in development for years, and several other actresses — including Sandra Bullock, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Shannon Elizabeth — have been linked to the part. The Star quoted a ”friend” of Carey’s as saying, ”she likes fun films and has a great sense of humor, so a role like this would suit her better than a serious one.” Darn, we had her pegged as a possible lead for Lars von Trier’s next musical.
TOURS The Offspring have found a more conventional means of promoting their upcoming album ”Conspiracy of One.” The California surf punks will hit the road with Cypress Hill this fall. According to band’s website, the tour starts Nov. 17 in Anaheim, Calif., and ends Dec. 17 in Philadelphia. The group has yet to comment on its thwarted plans to offer ”Conspiracy” for free download before its official release. But their site includes a link to a story about their previously reported confrontation with their label group, Sony, under a headline that pretty much sums up the rockers’ view: ”We Got F—ed!”
CASTING Jet Li has some big shoes to fill. The action hero has signed a $7.5 million deal to star in ”The One,” a role that was initially intended for the Rock, Variety reports. Li, who has an increasingly busy slate, may also be appearing in Universal’s adaptation of ”The Green Hornet”…. Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin will team up for a retelling of the classic ”The Devil and Daniel Webster,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. Baldwin will play a writer who sells his soul in exchange for fame and fortune, while Hopkins plays a publishing magnate who tries to help him out of the deal. The role of the devil has not yet been cast. Wonder if that’s a fun enough film for Mariah Carey?
CONCESSION Artisan Pictures has caved to pressure from major theater chains. The studio will issue print ads making it clear that no one under 17 will be admitted to ”Pi” director Darren Aronofsky‘s upcoming feature ”Requiem for a Dream” (released nationally Oct. 20). The Motion Picture Association of America had slapped ”Requiem” with an NC-17 rating — which usually spells box office poison. But Artisan, which is not an MPAA member, elected to distribute the film without a rating rather than ask for changes. The theater demands have angered producer Eric Watson, ”I think this decision by our exhibitors is a dark harbinger of a cold climate of censorship,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. ”The really disturbing aspect of this decision is that morally bankrupt studio films will continue to be released unscathed due to their financial and political muscle, while independent films dealing with powerful moral themes are going to be scapegoated.” But surely everyone who goes to see ”Requiem” is just there for the skin shots.
LATE NIGHT Speaking of politics and celebs, George W. has finally agreed to appear on ”The Late Show With David Letterman” Oct. 19, though he will not be debating his rival on the air. Fox, meanwhile, will be desperately trying to come up with more fresh programming about babes on motorcycles to make sure viewers won’t have to watch those boring politicos.
DEATH Polish filmmaker Wojciech Has has died from complications of diabetes. The director won an international cult following for his film ”The Saragossa Manuscript” and headed Poland’s renowned Lodz Film School. He was 75.