Plus, Billy Bob Thornton cuts a country album, ''Spider-Man'' costumes missing, the Boss visits a Jersey record store, and more

By Sandra P. Angulo
April 06, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
Tupac Shakur: Mitchell Gerber/Corbis Images

CHART ATTACK Five years after his death, slain rapper Tupac Shakur can still top the charts. The posthumous (2Pac’s third) double CD ”Until the End of Time” sold nearly 427,000 copies last week, according to SoundScan. Shakur’s dominance bumped steadfast Shaggy down to a still respectable No. 2. ”Hotshot” sold 176,000 albums, bringing its total to more than 4.7 million copies. Dave Matthews Band isn’t far behind at No. 3, moving 109,000 units. Sean ”Puffy” — er, ”P. Diddy” — Combs protégés 112 fell two spots to No. 4 with their latest album, ”Part III,” which sold approximately 100,000 copies, 46 percent less than last week. Dido‘s ”No Angel” is No. 5, with 86,000 units sold. Rounding out the top 10 are: Train‘s ”Drops Off Jupiter,” debuting at No. 6; Limp Bizkit’s ”Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water” at No. 7; Trick Daddy‘s ”Thugs Are Us” at No. 8; Aerosmith‘s ”Just Push Play” at No. 9; and India.Arie‘s ”Acoustic Soul” landing at No. 10.

ALBUM NOTES Move over, J.Lo., there’s a new multitasker in town. Actor – director Billy Bob Thornton is recording a country album. ”I’m not doing this as a hobby,” Thornton told the Associated Press. ”I really love music. And really care about it. I hope everybody listens to it in the right spirit. I mean, I wrote the songs right out of my gut.”

Thornton says he has always been a country music lover and even cast country singing pal Dwight Yoakam as an abusive boyfriend in ”Sling Blade”: ”I had always wanted to do it, but I wanted to wait for the right time. I wanted to wait until the music business was interested in me doing it…. I wanted it totally separate from the movies.” Thornton, 45, also plans to tour in support of the album, which will be released this summer. Wonder whether wife Angelina Jolie will get into the act.

MIA Four costumes from the ”Spider-Man” set, designed for star Tobey Maguire, are missing. Columbia Pictures has posted a $25,000 reward for their return, a studio spokesman announced on Wednesday. The spokesman said the skin tight, blue and red superhero costumes were discovered missing on Tuesday morning. Local police are currently investigating. But the spokesman also said the costume crew has plenty of additional costumes for Maguire, who plays Peter Parker and Spider-Man and that the missing costumes won’t delay the film’s shooting schedule. The Sam Raimi film is scheduled to hit theaters in May 2002. It shouldn’t be hard to spot a person dressed as a spandex superhero, but then again, it is Los Angeles.

SURPRISE Jerseyites have all the fun. Approximately 300 Bruce Springsteen fans got a surprise visit from the Boss himself while waiting outside Jack’s Music Tuesday in Red Bank, N.J. Springsteen, who lives nearby in Rumson, made an unannounced trip to the store, where his loyal fans had lined up to buy his new concert album, ”Live in New York City.” The record store put the album on sale at midnight, and by 12:15, the Boss had dropped by. ”He said he wanted to come see his fans and sign some autographs,” store manager Chris Van Orden told the Associated Press. Springsteen stayed for more than an hour to ensure that each of the customers received his John Hancock.

BIG DONOR Tom Hanks has donated $125,000 to help restore the high school auditorium where he performed as a drama student. According to the Associated Press, Hanks, who graduated from Skyline High in Oakland, Calif., in 1974, made the donation three weeks ago. The money will go toward purchasing a more advanced lighting system for the auditorium, which the school has been trying to restore for two years.

At Hanks’ request, the theater will be renamed for Rawley Farnsworth, the retired Skyline drama teacher whom the Oscar winner thanked during his acceptance speech in 1993. Hanks has promised to attend the grand reopening of the new theater in 2002. For $1,000 to $5,000 contributions, donors to the theater restoration will receive tickets to the gala event in addition to a plaque or seat named after them, and the icing on the cake, a letter of thanks from Hanks.

AWARD ALERT Several musical celebs have been scheduled to perform at this year’s Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, including LeAnn Rimes, Ricky Martin, and Stevie Nicks with duet happy Sheryl Crow. The annual awards show will be held April 10 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Fox will broadcast the taped ceremony Wednesday night April 11.

TUBE NEWS Oscar winning writer – director Curtis Hanson, (”L.A. Confidential,” ”Wonder Boys”) has signed on for a television project. Hanson has agreed to direct an episode of the upcoming Fox sitcom, ”Greg the Bunny,” a series about the behind the scenes events of a fictional ”Sesame Street” type show. In this kid’s show, however, the puppets are real. No, Hanson’s not devoting himself to the small screen full time; he’s a friend of series executive Neal Moritz, and creators Steve Levitan, Dan Milano and Spencer Chinoy. The show, which stars Eugene Levy and Seth Green has a 13 episode commitment from Fox for next fall.

FATHER AND SON REUNION French actor Gerard Depardieu and his son Guillaume will star together in ”Honor Thy Father,” a feature film about a complicated father – son relationship. Variety reports that the $4.8 million drama will start shooting in France this September under first time feature director Jacob Berger. The Depardieus appeared together in 1991’s French period drama, ”All the Mornings of the World,” but instead of playing father and son, they played the younger and older versions of the same man.

CASTING Gabrielle Union, currently starring in the relationship comedy ”The Brothers,” has signed on for two upcoming pics — ”Welcome to Collinwood” and ”Abandon.” Union, who recently gained attention for playing the rare African American character on an episode of ”Friends,” will join Katie Holmes and Benjamin Bratt on Paramount’s ”Abandon” set after wrapping ”Collinwood,” which starts shooting in Cleveland in two weeks. ”Collinwood,” directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, stars George Clooney and her on screen big brother, Isaiah Washington.

Bruce Greenwood (”Thirteen Days”) and Linda Fiorentino (”Dogma”) will play leads in the indie feature ”Spoils” for writer – director Nick Meyer and Belgium based production company Corsan Films. With a moderate, $20 million budget, ”Spoils” is scheduled to start shooting this July in Luxembourg and Toronto. The WWII drama is based on the true story of the wartime theft of the German crown jewels.

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