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Oscars 2017
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Tammy Faye Messner dies

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Gregg DeGuire/WireImage.com

Tammy Faye Messner dies
The Christian singer and TV personality died Friday after a long bout with cancer, at age 65. Messner’s death came one day after an alarming appearance on Larry King Live, during which she revealed she was just 65 pounds and could no longer swallow food. Best known for her sunny personality, heavy mascara, and her constant presence on the PTL (Praise the Lord) network alongside ex-husband Jim Bakker (who eventually was convicted of defrauding supporters of that ministry), Messner was most recently beloved as a cast member of VH1’s The Simple Life. She also was the subject of the acclaimed 1999 documentary The Eyes of Tammy Faye. (People.com)

Rogen in final talks for Hornet
Seth Rogen (Knocked Up) is in final negotiations to star as the Green Hornet in a Columbia Pictures movie about the crime-fighting hero. Rogen is also set to co-write and co-executive produce along with writing partner Evan Goldberg. The Green Hornet is about Britt Reid, a playboy who inherits his father’s crusading newspaper, the Daily Sentinel, and fights crime by night with his sidekick, the martial arts master Kato. The concept started out as a radio serial and was popularized in a 1966 ABC series starring Van Williams as the Hornet and Bruce Lee as Kato. Universal and Miramax were both attached to a Hornet movie in the past before Neal H. Moritz set up the project at Columbia this year. Some speculate that Columbia’s decision to attach Rogen and Goldberg means the studio plans to take movie in a comic direction, but the only comment from those involved is that the film will be ”in the tradition of the Green Hornet.” Columbia will release Superbad, written and executive produced by Rogen and Goldberg, in August, and Rogen is also working on The Pineapple Express, which he co-wrote and will star in for Columbia. Following the breakthrough success of Knocked Up this summer, projects in which Rogen writes and stars are said to be in the $8 million range. (Hollywood Reporter)

Hood tapped to direct Wolverine
Gavin Hood (Tsotsi) will direct Twentieth Century Fox’s movie Wolverine, which stars Hugh Jackman as the X-Men character. Several directors vied for the film, and sources say Fox went with Hood, the South African director who won the Foreign Language Oscar in 2005 for Tsotsi, after seeing his latest film, Rendition, the politically-charged New Line drama, starring Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep, and Peter Sarsgaard, which opens Oct. 19 and premieres at Toronto. Wolverine, written by David Benioff, will tell the story of how Logan emerged from a barbaric experiment as an indestructible mutant with retractable razor-sharp claws. Production is set to start in November for a 2008 release.(Variety)

Carey claims he’s close to landing Price is Right
Drew Carey told Variety on Thursday (July 19) that his negotiations with CBS over the job as host of The Price is Right have reached the final stages. ”It’s going back and forth. We call them one day, and they call us the next day,” Carey said. ”I think it would be really fun to do. I wouldn’t have gone into negotiations with them if I didn’t think I would be good at it.” Carey has been rumored to be close the job for some time now, though CBS only just confirmed that he’s in the running on Wednesday (July 18), and the network would not confirm Carey’s comments on the talks. The comedian is also hosting CBS’s new primetime quiz show Power of 10. (Variety)

Dana Davis joins Heroes
Dana Davis (The Nine) has join NBC’s Heroes as a regular. Her powers are being kept under wraps, but her character, Monica, is reportedly willing to give up everything to help those around her. Davis joins another new Heroes regular, Dania Ramirez, who will also play a beautiful young hero named Maya, as well as new recurring Nick D’Agosto, Barry Shabaka Henley, Holt McCallany, David Anders, Eriko Tamura, Lyndsy Fonseca, and Dianna Agron. (Hollywood Reporter)

Del Toro playing Che
Benicio del Toro is starring as Argentine communist revolutionary Che Gueverra in an upcoming movie directed by Steven Soderbergh. Del Toro’s website, which says the movie will be called Guerilla, has photos of the Puerto Rican actor dressed as Che. The movie will be filmed in Spain and the U.S., entirely in Spanish. It will be the second biographical feature about Che, who helped Fidel Castro overthrow the Cuban government in 1959, in recent years, following 2004’s The Motorcycle Diaries. The film reunites del Toro with Soderbergh for the first time since Traffic, which earned the actor a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of a Mexican police officer. Julia Ormond (Legends of the Fall) and Catalina Sandino (Maria Full of Grace) will co-star. (Hollywood Reporter)

Fox pulls out of Comic-Con after organizers nix its violent presentation
Fox will not be making a presentation at next week’s Comic-Con because organizers said their planned montages from the R-rated movies Alien vs. Predator 2 and Hitman were too violent for the increasing number of families and children that show up in San Diego for the convention. Fox said it is backing out simply because its presentations won’t be ready for the event, but sources close to situation said the studio decided if it couldn’t promote those two films it would rather show nothing at all. Comic-Con has established itself as the place where studios unveil the first looks at projects they want fanboys to buzz about. Nearly 120,000 people are expected to attend this year’s convention, which starts its four-day run next Thursday (July 26). The event used to cater to young men, but has in recent years attracted more families with children. This year’s panels include comedies Superbad and Get Smart and fantasy films The Golden Compass, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, and Pixar’s Wall-E. Fox will be the only major studio not participating. (Variety)

Five cast members added to Bottle Shock
Bottle Shock, the new Randall M. Miller movie about the birth of the Napa Valley wine industry, has added to its cast Chris Pine (Smokin’ Aces), Rachael Taylor (Transformers), Eliza Dushku (You Kill Me), Bill Pullman, and Alan Rickman. Pine portrays the son of the vineyard owner who saves the winery and represents Napa at a French tasting; Taylor plays a university student who interns at the winery; Dushku will portray a local bartender; Pullman is the owner of the run-down winery who clashes with his son; Rickman is an Englishman who runs L’Academie du Vin in Paris and is the chief architect of the blind-tasting challenge that results in an upset victory for the American vintages. (Variety)

CELEBRITY NEWS

Page Six: Lindsay Lohan turned herself into police to be formally booked on DUI and hit-and-run charges related to an event last May (this was the event where police discovered a ”usable amount of cocaine” inside her vehicle). She was released about an hour after she arrived at the station. Lohan was not formally arrested at the time of the incident because of her injuries. A court date has been set for Aug. 24.

Rush & Molloy: Nick Nolte’s handlers say the actor is still sober, despite TMZ.com’s photos of him sprawled on the floor of Hawaii?s Kauai Airport. A rep for the actor, who checked into rehab after a 2002 DUI arrest, says: ”Nick definitely was not under the influence of anything. He was just playing around.”

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