''Heroes''' Quinto playing Spock
Plus: Susan Sarandon joins ''Lovely Bones,'' Whoopi Goldberg in final talks for ''The View,'' Johnny Depp developing ''Dark Shadows'' movie, and more...
Quinto going Vulcan
Zachary Quinto, who plays the villainous Sylar on NBC’s Heroes, will play Dr. Spock in Paramount Pictures’ upcoming Star Trek movie, directed by Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams. Leonard Nimoy will also reprise the role he created in the movie. Little has been revealed about the plot in the as-yet untitled 11th Trek film, but it is believed to be about a young Spock’s first encounters with Capt. James T. Kirk at Starfleet Academy. The movie is set to open on Christmas Day 2008. (Hollywood Reporter)
Sarandon joins Lovely Bones
Susan Sarandon has joined the cast of director Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones. She will play Grandma Lynn, the mother to the character played by Rachel Weisz in the film adaptation of Alice Sebold’s novel. Ryan Gosling and Saoirse Ronan have also been cast. The story is about a girl who is murdered but then continues to observe her family after her death. Filming is scheduled to start in October. Sarandon’s other upcoming projects include Mr. Woodcock, In the Valley of Elah, and Enchanted. (Hollywood Reporter)
Whoopi in final talks for The View
Whoopi Goldberg is in final talks to join ABC’s daytime talkshow The View. ABC said there was no closed deal as of yet, but Goldberg has been a frequent guest host on the show, and producer Bill Geddie has wanted to add an African-American voice to the show since Star Jones was fired in 2006. The 10-year-old View has been looking for a replacement for Rosie O’Donnell, who left in May after helping boost ratings during her short run on the show. The View is also reportedly prepared to ask standup comic Sherri Shepherd to join co-creator Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, and Elizabeth Hasselbeck at the table. Sources say an announcement on both signings could come as early as next week. (Variety)
Depp developing Dark Shadows movie
Johnny Depp’s Infinitum-Nihil is teaming with Warner Bros. and Graham King’s GK Films to develop a feature based on the 1960s supernatural soap opera Dark Shadows. The series featured vampires, monsters, witches, werewolves, ghosts, and zombies. Depp has mentioned in interviews that he is obsessed with Dark Shadows and that when he was a kid he wanted to be Barnabas Collins, the vampire patriarch of the series, originally played by Jonathan Frid. The show continues to maintain a cult fan base with numerous TV revivals and movie adaptations attempted over the years, but none as high profile as a Depp/Warner pairing. (Variety)
Rhimes talks Washington fallout at TCAs
Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes talked about the departure of star Isaiah Washington this off-season at the TCA summer tour, saying, ”He’s a very talented actor. I hope Bionic Woman does well [with him] — just not as well as Private Practice.” Private Practice is Rhimes’ new series, a spinoff of Grey’s centered on Kate Walsh’s character, Dr. Addison Forbes Montgomery. The new show also stars Taye Diggs. Rhimes also acknowledged fans’ complaints that Grey’s had gotten too dark last season. ”It was a difficult season for us behind the scenes, but creatively, we moved in the direction we planned to move,” she said. ”I want to get back to enjoying it and having fun.” (Hollywood Reporter)
Man arrested for blackmailing Tom Cruise
A man who allegedly asked for $1 million to not publish allegedly stolen photos of Tom Cruise’s wedding has been arrested. David Hans Schmidt, who has in the past cut deals involving compromising other celebrity photos and videos, approached Cruise’s representatives about six weeks ago with photos from his Italian wedding last year to Katie Holmes. The FBI was contacted, and Schmidt was arrested on Tuesday (July 24). Schmidt has also been trying to auction Paris Hilton’s diaries, photos of her undressed, and other personal items that were locked in a Los Angeles-area storage locker until a few months ago. Hilton says the items were ”illegally seized.” Schmidt also has claimed to have brokered deals to sell a sex video of Dustin ”Screech” Diamond and a video of Tonya Harding’s wedding night, and claims to have obtained topless shots of rescued U.S. Army prisoner of war Pfc. Jessica Lynch. (AP via Yahoo!)
HBO’s This Just In website shutting down
This Just In, the HBO/AOL comedy website launched in February, will shut down in August. Steve Stanford, who ran the site, was let go from AOL a month ago, according to sources, and in the wake of chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht’s recent departure, HBO also shed other key players behind the site, including Jim Moloshok, Carmi, and John Penney. (Hollywood Reporter)
Rights to Keith Richards’ autobiography up to $7.3 million
Publishers involved in a bidding war over rights to Keith Richards’ autobiography have pushed the advance to $7.3 million, according to the New York Post. The bidding is down to two houses: HarperCollins (owned by News Corp.) and Little Brown (Hachette Filipacchi). Richards originally just wanted to beat the $5 million Eric Clapton got for his memoir, due out this October. The bidding between the two houses is said to be deadlocked at $7.3 million, leaving the final decision to Richards, his publishing agent, Ed Victor, and the writer, James Fox, to a pick a winner based on intangibles, like what editor would work on the project and the marketing effort each publisher can offer. (New York Post)
People.com: Authorities released the tape of the 911 phone call that led to Lindsay Lohan’s recent DUI/drug possession arrest.
Rush & Molloy: Paris Hilton was spotted at a West Hollywood club making out with Mischa Barton’s ex, Cisco Adler, and ”openly” smoking marijuana.
TMZ: Sources say that Nicole Richie will plead guilty or no contest today (July 27) to DUI charges, leading to her second DUI conviction and a mandatory five-day jail sentence.