Depp returns to Hunter Thompson
Johnny Depp will produce and star in Warner Independent’s adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s autobiographical 1959 book The Rum Diaries. Depp will play Paul Kemp, a freelance newspaper journalist in 1950s Puerto Rico who is surrounded by a group of self-destructive lost souls. Thompson wrote the novel when he was 22, before he developed his trademark ”gonzo” style of writing. Though written in 1959, Rum Diaries was not published until 1998. Depp is producing with Graham King, who acquired rights to the book for his GK Films and Depp’s Infinitum Nihil. Bruce Robinson (Withnail and I) will write and direct the adaptation. Depp previously starred in a movie adaptation of Thompson’s 1972 novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The actor just finished shooting Sweeny Todd and is expected to start work on Rum Diaries after he wraps Shantaram, Mira Nair’s adaptation of the novel about an Australian drug addict who returns to a life of crime after escaping to India. Last week, it was announced that Depp’s production company was working with King’s GK Films on a movie adaptation of the 1960s supernatural soap opera Dark Shadows. (Variety)
Diaz starring in Sister’s Keeper
Cameron Diaz will star in New Line Cinema’s adaptation of Jodi Picoult’s novel My Sister’s Keeper, which is being directed by Nick Cassavetes (Alpha Dog, The Notebook). The actress will play a former defense attorney who returns to the courtroom to defend herself when she and her husband are sued by their 13-year-old daughter for emancipation. The girl was conceived as a genetic match with the hope she could prolong her cancer-ridden sister’s life. Diaz is currently starring with Ashton Kutcher in the Fox comedy What Happens in Vegas… and will next star in The Box, a horror film written and directed by Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko). (Variety)
Paris Hilton joins musical thriller Repo!
Paris Hilton will join Paul Sorvino and Alexa Vega in Repo!, a musical thriller being co-financed by the team behind the Saw franchise, Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures. Darren Lynn Bousman, director of three Saw films, including the fourth entry, which opens Oct. 26, has spent several years working on a movie version of the opera, written by screenwriter-composers Darren Smith and Terrance Zdunich. The story is set in 2056, when a plague nearly destroys the human race and survival is dependent upon being able to finance a pricey organ transplant. Hilton will play the daughter of the villainous organ transplant magnate (Sorvino). She will sing in the movie, which features songs ranging from rock to opera. Hilton released a self-titled record last year, and her feature credits include House of Wax and Raising Helen. (Variety)
Ingmar Bergman dies at 89
Swedish director Ingmar Bergman died in his home on Monday (July 30) at the age of 89. Cause of death was not immediately available. Bergman first gained international attention with 1955’s Smiles of a Summer Night, a romantic comedy that inspired the Stephen Sondheim musical A Little Night Music. His other works include Scenes From a Marriage, The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Persona, and The Autumn Sonata. (AP via Yahoo!)
Knightley tapped for The Duchess
Keira Knightley will star in Saul Dibb’s The Duchess as 18th century aristocrat Georgiana, duchess of Devonshire. The story is an adaptation of Amanda Foreman’s best-selling biography of the controversial figure, who has been described as the Princess Diana of her time. She lived an extravagant, promiscuous life of political and romantic intrigue. She wielded power within the ruling elite, but also ran up catastrophic gambling debts and was widely caricatured by the popular press. The project, which starts shooting in October, is being co-financed by Pathe and BBC Films. (Variety)
Hearst pairs with Allred for legal reality show
Hearst Entertainment Productions has teamed with Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred for a reality series titled No Guts No Gloria. The show will pair the high-profile lawyer with disgruntled plaintiffs and have her using ”unconventional tactics” to formulate a plan and find a resolution that both parties agree to. Hearst, which is behind the syndicated Famous Homes & Hideaways, History Channel’s Modern Marvels, Bravo’s Tabloid Wars, and Discovery Home’s Garden Police will shop Guts to broadcast and cable networks. Allred has been practicing law for more than 31 years. Her clients include Amber Frey, a witness in the Scott Peterson murder trial, and Hunter Tylo, the actress who sued Aaron Spelling for wrongful dismissal and pregnancy discrimination. Allred was also featured on Twentieth Television’s syndicated court show Power of Attorney and hosted a talk show on KABC TalkRadio for 14 years. (Hollywood Reporter)
Stanley suffers heart condition before Kiss concert
Kiss was forced to perform without their lead singer on Friday (July 27) at Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, CA after Paul Stanley suffered a sudden heart condition before the show. ”During sound check, my heart spontaneously jumped to 190 plus beats per minute where it stayed for over an hour necessitating paramedics to start an IV and give me a shot to momentarily stop my heart and get it into a normal pattern,” Stanley explained on the Kiss website. His present condition is unknown. With Stanley sidelined, the remaining three band members (bassist Gene Simmons, guitarist Tommy Thayer, and drummer Eric Singer) went on to play as a trio for the first time in Kiss’ 30-plus-year history. (Billboard)
Veronica Mars‘ Gonzalo joins ABC’s Eli Stone
Julie Gonzalo, who played Parker Lee on Veronica Mars, has been added as a series regular to ABC’s upcoming drama series Eli Stone. She will play a junior associate at 30-something attorney Eli Stone’s (Jonny Lee Miller) law firm. Gonzalo’s other feature credits include Must Love Dogs, Christmas With the Kranks, and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. (Hollywood Reporter)
Steve Martin gets married in surprise ceremony
The 75 guests invited to Steve Martin’s home on Saturday (July 28) were treated to a surprise wedding between the 61-year-old actor and his 35-year-old girlfriend, Anne Stringfield. Former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey presided. The guests, who included Tom Hanks, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Carl Reiner, and magician Ricky Jay, had been told they were invited to the Martin home for a party. Martin was previously married, from 1986 to 1994, to his costar in 1984’s All of Me and 1991’sL.A. Stories, Victoria Tennant. (People)
Ben Widdicombe: Sources say Jessica Alba and Cash Warren broke up because he wasn’t ready for marriage but that the two will probably iron things out and get back together.
NY Daily News: During the shoot for the video for ”Get Back,” Britney Spears took frequent bathroom breaks and returned to the set appearing ”disoriented” and ”erratic,” sources said. For the video, Spears danced on a stripper pole wearing fishnet stockings over her nearly bare bottom and a minuscule black leather vest.