Hungry for an appetizer of Lost scoop as you impatiently starve for the start of season 5, which bows in early ’09? Then feast on this: Exec producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof tell EW they’ve just completed casting of two major new characters joining their saga next year. Last week, Michael Ausiello reported the addition of New Amsterdam alum Zuleikha Robinson. This week, we’d like to introduce you to Saïd Taghmaoui, a French thesp most recently seen in the Don Cheadle thriller Traitor. He’ll play Caesar, a mystery man who…um…well, that’s all we got. But the producers say the actor’s skill set fits the part. ”He has an innate intelligence, intensity, and danger we really responded to,” says Lindelof, who declined to specify whether Caesar is good or bad. But know this: Robinson’s Ilana is associated with Caesar, and Cuse likens her to Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. ”There was something very unsettling about the way the Joker kept telling different stories about his background — something very similar to what we had planned for Ilana,” he says. Look for a delayed introduction for the duo, with Caesar in particular playing ”an important part of the setup for the final act of the show in season 6,” according to Cuse. And FYI: Zuleikha rhymes with You-Like-A, while Saïd sounds just like Lost‘s own Sayid. In fact, Taghmaoui also played — get this — the Iraqi soldier who tortured Mark Wahlberg in Three Kings. Should theorists be looking for hidden meaning in this seemingly coincidental linkage? ”No,” says Lindelof. ”Just…no.” Oh, okay. But how about the theory that Smokey is… [Click] Hello? Hello?! — Jeff Jensen
Fans of the fabulous foursome, we’ve got good news: We seem to be one stiletto-heeled step closer to a Sex and the City movie follow-up. ”When I finished, I didn’t have a thought in my head about a sequel,” says writer-director Michael Patrick King. But he says that all changed once the film, which earned $153 million domestically, screened worldwide. ”It doesn’t feel done to me at all. It feels like it generated a whole new burst of enthusiasm for these characters.” Still in the negotiation stage, King won’t divulge any scenarios for the film (”If I tipped my head right now, ideas would come pouring out”), but hints at a possible release date. ”The summer after next might be right.” — Lindsay Soll
Katy Perry may have covered ”Like a Virgin” at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, but Jordin Sparks was living it — loudly. Attending the show for the first time, the American Idol winner went off script after being agitated by host Russell Brand‘s repeated mocking of the Jonas Brothers‘ promise rings. ”It’s something I feel strongly about,” she says. ”I wish I would’ve worded it differently — that somebody who doesn’t wear a promise ring isn’t necessarily a slut — but I can’t take it back now. It was a split-second thing. Still, I don’t regret it.” Neither do the Jonas sibs, who complimented Sparks moments after the rant. As for Brand, he and Sparks shared a laugh postshow. ”I have nothing against him at all,” says the singer, who insists she’s not turned off by the experience. In fact, she’d happily go back. That is, ”if I get an invite.” — Shirley Halperin
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