TMZ claims to have docs proving Idol contestant has criminal past
TMZ.com reports that American Idol contestant Thomas Daniels, 21, has been arrested for at least two separate incidents since 2004. TMZ says it has obtained documents revealing that Daniels was convicted of a DUI in Oregon in 2004, and that he was arrested again in 2005 for a hit-and-run incident. Daniels’ successful audition got a thumbs-up from the Idol judges on Wednesday night’s episode.
For the DUI, Daniels was sentenced to a one-year alcohol diversion program and fined $680, according to TMZ. He also attended eight AA meetings and weekly sessions with a counselor for two months. The conviction was wiped from Daniels’ record after he fulfilled the obligations outlined in his sentence.
No word yet on what this will mean for Daniels’ participation in Idol. He had no comment when asked if he told the show’s producers about his brushes with the law. (TMZ)
Pacino to play Salvador Dali in biopic
Al Pacino will play the Spanish artist in the biopic Dali & I: The Surreal Story. Andrew Niccol will direct and rewrite the John Salvati-scripted adaptation of Stan Lauryssen’s book Dali and I. It will be produced by Room 9 Entertainment’s David O. Sacks, Daniel Brunt, and Michael R. Newman, who are coming off Thank You For Smoking. They have set a June start date. (Variety)
Nair and Depp team for Shantaram
Mira Nair will direct the Warner Bros. movie, which is to star Johnny Depp. Peter Weir was initially to direct, but he dropped out last summer. The story centers on an Australian heroin addict who escapes from a maximum-security prison and reinvents himself as a doctor treating the destitute in the slums of Bombay. It is produced by Graham King’s Initial Entertainment Group, Brad Pitt’s Plan B, and Depp’s Infinitum Nihil. The project could start production as soon as this fall. (Variety)
Samuel Jackson looking at Lakeview
Jackson and Kerry Washington are in negotiations to costar in the Screen Gems thriller Lakeview Terrace, produced by James Lassiter and Will Smith. Jackson would play a cop who goes to great lengths to get rid of an interracial couple who moves next door to him. Washington would play the female half of the couple. Casting is underway for the white male lead. No director has been selected. Shooting is scheduled for May. (Hollywood Reporter)
Kelly Clarkson partners with NASCAR
The singer will take part in NASCAR television spots, charitable events, and its December awards dinner in New York as part of the largest partnership NASCAR has ever made with a music artist. Clarkson will start the partnership as the headlining act at the NEXTEL ”Tribute to America” concert, which is to air live on Fox before the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18. (Hollywood Reporter)
Idol brings the goods once again
American Idol averaged 36.9 million viewers on Wednesday, down just slightly from Tuesday’s 37.3 million. Wednesday’s show, the second part of the two-night, four-hour premiere, scored a 36 share in adults 18-49. (Variety)
Laurence Fishburne eyeing Vegas-set thriller
The actor is in final talks to sign onto 21, Columbia Pictures upcoming Las Vegas-set thriller. The movie is based on Ben Mezrich’s best-seller, Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions. Fishburne will play a security chief who hunts down the group. Jim Sturgess and Masi Oka are already on board, and Robert Luketic is directing. Kevin Spacey, who makes an appearance in the movie, is producing. Shooting is slated to start next month. (Hollywood Reporter)
Darren Aronofsky directing Black Swan
The director will helm the new Universal thriller, centered on the competitive world of ballet. It is being produced by Aronofsky’s Protozoa and Mike Medavoy’s Phoenix Pictures. John McLaughlin is currently writing the script. (Variety)
Leaked ”Britney” single is a fake
”Fed Up,” the song being circulated on the Internet as a new Britney Spears single about Kevin Federlane, was actually written by New York musicians Adam and Jesse Blockton and sung by Amy Miles. They wrote and recorded the song and sent it to Spears’ label with hopes that the artist would pick it up. Since it leaked to You Tube on Wednesday, ”Fed Up” has already racked up more than a half million hits. (Variety)
Survey names Ice Age year’s most profitable movie
Kagan Research called Ice Age: The Meltdown the most profitable wide release of 2006, estimating its cost at $256.4 million and revenue at $1.1 billion. In second was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, with costs at $423.8 million and revenue at $1.7 billion. (Hollywood Reporter)
Christina Aguilera and Mary J. Blige to perform at Grammys
The singers have been added to the performance roster, joining Beyonce, the Dixie Chicks, Gnarls Barkley, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Blige leads all nominees with eight nods. (Hollywood Reporter)
24 spin-off headed for multiple platforms
Fox’s mega-hit show has agreed to a deal that will produce two original online short films, TV ads, and an online animated series prequel with 24-related themes. The online films will feature Jason Blaine, a new character created for the campaign. They will be available on a new interactive Web site, http://www.CTURookie.com, and will be turned into a series of six national TV spots that will air on Fox networks. The films and the first spot debuted to coincide with the Season 6 premiere. (Hollywood Reporter)
IN THE GOSSIPS
Page Six: P. Diddy got a little unruly when he was turned away at the door of a Golden Globes after-party.
Liz Smith: The columnist addresses rumors that Sienna Miller is being sought for next Bond movie.
Rush & Molloy: Unrequited love for James Franco may be what drove Lindsay Lohan over the edge.