RADIO In September, Oprah Winfrey will launch Oprah & Friends, an XM channel emphasizing topics like self-help and decor. Though she’ll only cohost one show a week, O will ”direct and guide the channel,” says XM’s Eric Logan. Ever optimistic, they’re building a studio at Harpo’s Chicago HQ, in hopes that her TV guests will pop in for chats.
MOVIES Seems like Felicity alum Scott Speedman’s career is budding: He’s signed on to play a stoner in Weirdsville, ”a funny little movie” costarring Wes Bentley and Taryn Manning, directed by Allan Moyle (Empire Records). ”He’s Canadian, I’m Canadian,” says Speedman. ”I had to do it!”
MOVIES/MUSIC Rock photog Anton Corbijn will direct Control, a biopic of doomed Joy Division singer Ian Curtis. Corbijn chose unknown Sam Riley for the lead, after considering Cillian Murphy, who ”has a great look but is a little shorter than Ian,” says Corbijn. Samantha Morton (Minority Report) and Alexandra Maria Lara (Francis Ford Coppola’s upcoming Youth Without Youth) will also star. The film will boast two CDs: a soundtrack with original JD material, and Out of Control, with JD covers. Any chance Corbijn pals U2 and Depeche Mode will help out? Chuckles Corbijn: ”I’d quite like to see that.”
MUSIC Stalwart punker Ted Leo (remember his ”Since U Been Gone” cover?) passed on the majors for indie label Touch and Go: ”I base my decisions on crusty old punk politics.” But The Decemberists will make that jump, from Kill Rock Stars to Capitol. And screamo dudes Sparta are leaving Geffen for Disney’s Hollywood, home of…Hilary Duff. Imagine the duet!