Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr. team for a real Navy tale
Plus, Beck is sued by his record labels, and Busta Rhymes bails out of R. Kelly's tour
CASTING Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr. are negotiating to team in ”Navy Divers,” the true story of Carl Brashear, the Navy’s first African-American diver…. Adam Goldberg (”Saving Private Ryan”) will play Allen Ginsberg in ”Beat,” an indie look at the Beat poets…. Omar Epps (”The Mod Squad”) may score in ”Love and Basketball,” a drama that traces how two childhood friends made it to the NBA.
LAWSUIT Beck’s two record labels have filed breach of contract lawsuits against the musician after he announced he wanted to sever ties with them. Although Beck still owes Geffen Records four albums, he has been unhappy with his current renegotiations, complaining that the original execs who were handling his deal had been replaced after the label’s upheaval during the Universal/Polygram merger, according to MTV News. In addition to demanding more artistic control, Beck also wants to increase his royalty rate and remove his original label — Bong Load Custom Records — as the controller of all of his royalties. Beck’s lawyers say that he is willing to work with the labels again provided they address his issues.
TOUR DISASTER Things aren’t going well for R. Kelly’s summer tour. First, tonight’s opening show in Richmond was canceled due to slow ticket sales. And now, Busta Rhymes, who was signed to the tour along with Foxy Brown and Nas, has pulled out. A spokesperson for Rhymes said that he had to back out because the concert promoters were preventing the rapper from doing the kind of huge production that he usually puts on. Rhymes says he’ll now plan his own tour for this summer.
TV DEATH WATCH Fox hasn’t announced whether it is renewing ”Millennium” for next season, but there’re bad signs a-brewin’. The network is pulling Chris Carter’s show off the air for summer as of June 4, replacing it with reruns of ”Mad TV.”
AUCTION Elton John’s Princess Diana tribute ”Candle in the Wind ’97” continues to rake in money for charity: Producer George Martin (who famously supervised much of The Beatles’ work) is putting his original score up for auction at Sotheby’s on May 21, and it is expected to raise $80,000 for music charities.
CARTOON LIFE Pixar Films, the computer-animation company that produced ”A Bug’s Life” and ”Toy Story,” is beginning work on ”Monsters, Inc.,” a comedy about how a mythical land of monsters is turned upside-down when a normal kid finds his way in.
HITCHED One of the Dixie Chicks has begun to roost: Emily Erwin married musician Charlie Robison on Saturday in Texas.
OBITUARY Darrell Sweet, drummer for the classic-rock band Nazareth (”Love Hurts”), died of a heart attack on Friday, at age 51. The 30-year-old band had just arrived in Indiana as part of a U.S. tour when Sweet passed away.