Plus, Marilyn Manson will NOT play Wonka, horrormeister Wes Craven directs the President, and more
CHART ATTACK Call her a double threat. Jennifer Lopez‘s sophomore album, ”J.Lo,” debuted at No. 1 this week, selling more than 272,000 copies and bumping the Beatles‘ ”1” to No. 4. That makes Lopez No. 1 at the movies (”The Wedding Planner”) AND the music charts. Shaggy held steady at No. 2, moving 214,000 units of ”Hotshot.” The hip-hop fueled ”Save the Last Dance” soundtrack stayed No. 3, with 184,000 albums sold. Teen targeted pop groups O-Town and Dream had impressive debuts on the Billboard charts, landing at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively. ”O-Town” sold 144,000 copies and ”It Was All a Dream” 105,000. The rest of the top 10 includes compilation album ”Now That’s What I Call Music! 5” at No. 7; Creed‘s ”Human Clay” at No. 8; Dido‘s ”No Angel” at No. 9; and Ja Rule‘s ”Rule 3:36” at No. 10.
SPURNED Shocking: Britain’s Sun got a wee carried away Wednesday when it reported that Marilyn Manson will star in ”Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” The tab claimed that the painfully Goth rocker would portray the devilish sweets dealer in a remake of the Roald Dahl tale directed by Tim Burton. Not so, says Warner Bros., the film’s production studio. ”Pleasantville”’s Gary Ross will direct ”Wonka” from a screenplay adapted by ”Out of Sight” scribe Scott Frank. Though a lead has not yet been cast, ”neither Gary Ross nor Warner Bros. Pictures have any intention whatsoever of casting Marilyn Manson in the revered role of ”Willy Wonka” or any other role in the film,” said a statement from the studio issued today to EW.com. Get thee to the 1980s, Manson. –Lori Reese
REEL DEAL Director Wes Craven, best known for his horror flicks ”Scream” and ”Nightmare on Elm Street,” has made a film of former President Clinton during his last days in office. Craven shot Clinton giving a tour of the White House and the film will be turned into an hour long documentary that will be shown at the future Clinton presidential library in Arkansas. I’m sure many Republicans will think it’s fitting that a horror filmmaker was chosen to document the former Commander in Chief.
AWARDS ALERT ”Gladiator” and ”Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” each picked up 14 nods from the British Academy Film Awards, which announced its nominations Wednesday. Now called the Orange British Academy Film Awards (for their corporate sponsor), England’s equivalent of the Oscar also recognized local comedy ”Billy Elliot” with 11 nominations. Usually the ceremony is weeks after the Oscars, but this year the Brits decided to hold the 53rd annual awards Feb. 25, one month before the Academy Awards. Here’s a list of their top categories.
”Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”
Stephen Daldry (”Billy Elliot”)
Ang Lee (”Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”)
Ridley Scott (”Gladiator”)
Steven Soderbergh (”Erin Brockovich”)
Steven Soderbergh (”Traffic”)
Jamie Bell (”Billy Elliot”)
Michael Douglas (”Wonder Boys”)
Russell Crowe (”Gladiator”)
Tom Hanks ( ”Cast Away”)
Geoffrey Rush ( ”Quills”)
Juliette Binoche (”Chocolat”)
Kate Hudson (”Almost Famous”)
Julia Roberts (”Erin Brockovich”)
Hilary Swank (”Boys Don’t Cry”)
Michelle Yeoh (”Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”)
Best Supporting Actor
Benicio Del Toro (”Traffic”)
Albert Finney (”Erin Brockovich”)
Gary Lewis (”Billy Elliot”)
Joaquin Phoenix (”Gladiator”)
Oliver Reed (”Gladiator”)
Best Supporting Actress
Judi Dench (”Chocolat”)
Frances McDormand (”Almost Famous”)
Lena Olin (”Chocolat”)
Julie Walters (”Billy Elliot”)
Zhang Ziyi (”Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”)
CASTING Golden Globe winner Benicio Del Toro is in talks to play a villain opposite Tommy Lee Jones and Connie Nielsen in the Paramount thriller ”The Hunted.” From director William Friedkin (”Rules of Engagement”), the film follows a murderer (Del Toro) who likes to be chased by authorities Téa Leoni (”The Family Man”) has joined the cast of Woody Allen‘s latest film, ”The Curse of the Jade Scorpion.” The DreamWorks project also stars the director, Helen Hunt, Charlize Theron, and several character actors. As usual with Allen pics, no details are available…. Denise Richards is in negotiations to star in the comedy ”Undercover Brother” with Eddie Griffin (”Double Take”). Based on an animated Web series, ”Brother” follows a secret society that tries to sabotage ”the Man” and his oppressive establishment.
BIOPIC BITS He’s not Mexican, but close enough. Antonio Banderas will play Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata in the Disney drama ”Zapata.” The writer – director is Gregory Nava, who made the story of another Mexican idol, ”Selena.” Banderas has big dramatic shoes to fill. In Elia Kazan’s 1952 drama ”Viva Zapata!” the peasant hero was played by none other than Marlon Brando…. Cate Blanchett will take on another accent when she plays Irish investigative reporter Veronica Guerin, who was murdered in Dublin in 1996. According to the Irish Times, the drama, ”Chasing the Drama: the Veronica Guerin Story,” will be directed by action master Joel Schumacher (”Batman Forever”).
TOUR Phish fans have a reason to live again. No, the band hasn’t gotten back together, but guitarist/singer Trey Anastasio has just announced he will launch a solo tour. The 10-date tour kicks off in Boston Feb. 21 and continues south along the East Coast , wrapping up in Atlanta, March 3. The format will mirror Anastasio’s solo run in 1999, which included both acoustic and electric sets and a song list that featured a combination of Anastasio originals, Phish hits, and cover songs. Like anything Phish related, the Anastasio tour will probably sell out faster than you can say ”bong water.”
TUBE NEWS In a sweeps tradition, ”Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” will air two special celebrity episodes Sunday, Feb. 11 and Wednesday, Feb. 14 . This time instead of TV or film stars, it’s a Rock Star Edition. Among the musicians competing for $1 million for their favorite charities are Amy Grant, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath, Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson, Dixie Chick Emily Robison, Sisqó, KISS singer Gene Simmons, and Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. The contestants, regardless of whether they make it to the hot seat, will receive $32,000 for their charity of choice.