Plus, John Lennon's killer, Limp Bizkit, ''Cheers,'' Tom Clancy, and more

By Lori Reese
Updated September 26, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT
Credit: Cruise: Arnal/Garfield/Retna

REEL DEALS ”Vanilla Sky,” the new Tom Cruise produced/ Cameron Crowe directed feature that has been under tight wraps until recently, will be an adaptation of a Spanish film. The drama — which stars Cruise, as well as Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz — is based on ”Abre los Ojos” (”Open Your Eyes”), released in the States in 1997, Variety reports. The surreal fable is about a rich womanizer who falls for his best friend’s girlfriend and is later disfigured in a car crash. Miraculously, he recovers, only to find that his life has shifted beyond his control. Cruise bought the English language rights to the film two years ago. A source tells that the movie, which marks a new direction for Crowe (who generally writes and directs his own, more romantic features) will begin filming in late October.

CRIMES Mark David Chapman, 45, the man who shot John Lennon in 1980, is up for parole next week. If his hearing is successful, he will be allowed to leave New York’s Attica State Prison, where he has spent the last two decades in isolation from other criminals, whom authorities feared would try to kill him. In an interview with Britain’s Daily Express today, Chapman says he blames his father’s negligence for the murder and that he is convinced he is no longer a threat to society. ”And I guess the more I look back on it, I didn’t feel any love from [my father],” he says. ”Perhaps I was getting him back, killing John Lennon, ruining my life as well.” Of course, most kids would have just taken up smoking.

TOURS Limp Bizkit, Eminem, and Papa Roach will hit the road together two days after the release of Bizkit’s ”Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water,” according to Pollstar. The tour starts in East Rutherford, N.J., on Oct. 19 and ends in Vancouver, B.C., on Nov. 15. The collection of shows is rumored to be called the ”Anger Management Tour.” It will help them learn how to get along better with their office coworkers.

LEGALESE ”Cheers”’ John Ratzenberger (Cliff) and George Wendt (Norm) are battling Paramount Pictures for the rights to their beloved TV show characters. The studio is trying to license the characters to a company that wants to build ”Cheers” like bars in airports. But the two actors claim that they created their roles and do not want them to be exploited in crowded terminals throughout the world. According to the L.A. Times, the United States Supreme Court is expected to announce soon whether they will hear the case or send it back to Los Angeles. The studio claims that it is protected under federal copyright law, despite a California law which says that no one can sell a product using ”another’s name, signature, photograph, or likeness in any manner.” ”The time is overdue for the court to consider this conflict, and this case poses it quite sharply,” a UC Berkeley law prof told the Times.

BOOKS Blockbuster novelist Tom Clancy may be earning his biggest check to date with the publication of his next two books with Penguin/ Putnam. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the deal could be worth as much as $45 mil. The titles of the books are not yet known, but one is said to focus on Clancy’s recurring Jack Ryan character, while the other is supposed to be an updated Jack the Ripper story. Didn’t we just see that on Fox 5 news?


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