Streep, Hoffman tapped for Doubt
Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman will star in the movie adaptation of John Patrick’s Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning play Doubt for Miramax Films. Shanley wrote the script and will direct the movie. The story is about a principal of a Bronx Catholic School (Streep), a nun who’s a strict disciplinarian, who makes pedophile accusations against a popular priest (Hoffman). Streep just finished work on the Gavin Hood-directed Rendition and the Robert Redford-directed Lions for Lambs, and she is preparing to start shooting on a screen adaptation of the ABBA musical Mamma Mia!. Hoffman just starred in the Sidney Lumet-directed Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead as well as alongside Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts in the Mike Nichols-directed Charlie Wilson’s War. He will next work on the Charlie Kaufman-directed Synecdoche, New York, and he’s currently starring at the Public Theater in Jack Goes Boating. He will next appear on-screen this summer in Savages, which also stars Laura Linney. (Variety)
Brad Pitt joins Coen Brothers project
Brad Pitt will appear alongside costars George Clooney and Frances McDormand in the Coen Brothers’ black comedy Burn After Reading for Working Titles Films. Joel and Ethan Coen wrote the screenplay together, and Joel will direct. The story is about a CIA agent who loses the disc of the book he is writing. It is unclear what role Pitt will play. He’ll start shooting in late August. Pitt recently finished shooting Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Assassination of Jesse James, and he is finishing work on Paramount Pictures’ Benjamin Button. (Hollywood Reporter)</p
Sharon Osbourne to replace Brandy on America’s Got Talent
Sharon Osbourne will replace Brandy as a judge on this summer’s America’s Got Talent, which premieres May 29. Brandy’s rep said the R&B singer will be stepping down to focus on other matters. Brandy faces two wrongful death lawsuits filed by the family of a woman who died Dec. 30 after Brandy’s SUV rear-ended her. Osbourne also serves as a judge on British talent competition The X-Factor, which along with Talent are both executive produced by Simon Cowell. On Talent, she’ll join returning judges David Hasselhoff and Piers Morgan as well as new host Jerry Springer. (Hollywood Reporter)
Baldwin accuses Basigner of leaking angry voice mail
Following the leak of a voice mail Alec Baldwin left for his daughter, Ireland, in which he called the 11-year-old a ”rude, thoughtless little pig,” the actor’s rep released a statement blaming the child’s mother, Kim Basinger, for going public with the message. ”In the best interest of the child, Alec will do what the mother is pathologically incapable of doing… keeping his mouth shut and obeying the court order. The mother and her lawyer leaked this sealed material in violation of a court order. Although Alec acknowledges that he should have used different language in parenting his child, everyone who knows him privately knows what he has been put through for the past six years.” Basigner’s spokeswoman said, ”The voice mail speaks for itself.” Baldwin reportedly left the message for Ireland when he was unable to reach her for a scheduled phone call. The recorded message was published on TMZ.com on Thursday (April 19). Baldwin and Basinger were married in 1993 and divorced in 2002. Basinger was charged with contempt of court in October for violating terms of a 2004 custody agreement. Her attempt to have the charges dismissed were denied Wednesday (April 18) in Los Angeles Superior Court. The next hearing on visitation is scheduled for May 4. (AP via Yahoo!)
Potter getting 3-D treatment
Imax is transforming the last 20 minutes of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix into 3-D. Last summer, Imax gave Superman Returns a 3-D upgrade that required audiences to take the special 3-D glasses on and off during the film; Phoenix will only require the glasses for the 20-minute finale. Imax also released animated features The Polar Express, The Ant Bully and Open Season in 3-D. Phoenix will be the third Potter movie to screen in Imax theaters. (Variety)
Oliver Stone directing anti-war ad
Moveon.org and VoteVets.org have hired director Oliver Stone to direct a 30-second TV commercial questioning President Bush’s military strategy in Iraq. Members of MoveOn will select one of 20 interviews of Iraq soldiers and their families posted on the MoveOn site, and also on YouTube, for Stone to turn into a commercial, which will air in coming weeks. (Hollywood Reporter)
Lieberman joins Saw crew for Tortured
Director Rob Lieberman will join Twisted Pictures partners Mark Burg and Oren Koules for Tortured, a psychological revenge thriller written by Marek Posival. Burg and Koules will finance the movie and seek a distrbutor. The duo also self-finance the Saw films and release them through Lionsgate. Shooting on Tortured begins in June, after Twisted finishes Saw IV, which is directed by Darren Lynn Bousman. Tortured is about a couple whose life is destroyed when a pedophile kidnaps and kills their only child. The couple becomes obsessed with revenge and seizes an opportunity to kidnap the killer. (Variety)
Celebrities join next season’s Living With Ed
The next season of HGTV’s Living With Ed will feature a number of celebrities, including Bradley Whitford, Sharon Lawrence, Jackson Browne, Cheryl Tiegs, and Daryl Hannah, receiving advice from host Ed Begley on how to make their homes more environmentally friendly. The celebrity-focused next season, which debuts on Aug. 26, will spend less time featuring Begley’s home life with his wife. (Hollywood Reporter)
Jennifer Lynch directing indie thriller
Jennifer Lynch will direct indie thriller Surveillence, which stars Pell James, Bill Pullman, and Julia Ormond. It is her first movie since she directed 1993’s Boxing Helena. Lycnh wrote the script with Kent Harper and will begin shooting later this month. The story is about an FBI agent who goes to a small town, where everyone lies and no one is safe. (Variety)
Another Fraiser alum joins Housewives team
Former Frasier writer Lori Kirkland Baker will join Desperate Housewives next season as a co-executive producer. She joins fellow Frasier alums Anne Flett-Giordano and Chuck Ranberg, who also will co-executive produce. (Hollywood Reporter)
IN THE GOSSIPS
Page Six: Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, says the singer has only herself to blame if she loses custody of her two children.
Cindy Adams: Authenticated Anna Nicole Smith diaries containing writings about graphic, descriptive sex are now on the selling block.
Rush & Molloy: Paris Hilton hooked up with singer James Blunt at an L.A. club just days after she was seen holding hands with Desperate Housewives actor Josh Henders.