The Hollywood Insider-- The Beatles, Charlize Theron, and TV show remakes were in the news this week


After 17 months of negotiations and sign-offs from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, and George Harrison’s widow, Olivia, The Beatles will star in a videogame that’s been authorized for a Christmas 2009 release. It’s the result of a partnership between MTV and Harmonix (the companies behind Rock Band) and the band’s business enterprise, Apple Corps Ltd. And, like anything involving the Beatles, securing the deal was no small feat. But Ono says it makes perfect sense. ”All of us are actually pretty hip, so we said yes,” she tells EW exclusively. ”I’m personally very excited. [The game] lets you participate in a way where you’re really [immersed in] the music. With so many young kids into the Beatles, it’s a start to a beautiful new page in [the band’s] history. Maybe they’ll start to make music and not just listen to it, and really understand what it’s about.” But while they were long hailed for being ahead of their time, the Beatles have been surprisingly reluctant to enter the digital age — none of their tracks are available for legal download anywhere on the Internet. So does their foray into the world of gaming — of all places — mean we could finally see their catalog hit iTunes sometime before the next century? There’s reason for optimism. ”The Love show continues to sell to full capacity in Las Vegas, 30 million people watched American Idol‘s Beatles night, and now there’s this game,” says Martin Bandier, head of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which controls more than 250 Beatles copyrights. ”I think there’s a changing wind — and that this will naturally lead to other opportunities no one even thought about.” — Shirley Halperin

Charlize Theron might soon become the latest in a long line of beauties to go toe-to-toe with Tom Cruise on the big screen. The Academy Award winner has been offered the lead role opposite Cruise in The Tourist, a remake of the 2005 French thriller Anthony Zimmer. The film — likely Cruise’s next project — centers on an Interpol agent (Theron) who’s after an elusive criminal. She ends up ensnaring an unwitting American tourist (Cruise) in her pursuit — a move that puts his life on the line. Screenwriter Julian Fellowes (who won an Oscar for Gosford Park) penned the script for Spyglass Entertainment, while Bharat Nalluri (Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day) plans to direct. — Nicole Sperling

The CW’s decision to contemporize Melrose Place for today’s audiences underscores the latest trend in TV: developing tried-and-true titles in hopes of overcoming marketing challenges. Now that NBC and The CW have succeeded (at least for now) in getting reboots of Knight Rider and 90210 off the ground, CBS is considering remakes of two popular crime series from the ’70s: The Streets of San Francisco and Hawaii Five-O, for next fall. Ed Bernero (Criminal Minds) is writing the Five-O script, while Sheldon Turner (The Longest Yard) and Robert Port (Numb3rs) will attempt to update Streets by focusing on the city’s gay population. Meanwhile, The CW is currently on the lookout for a writer with a twisted enough imagination to re-create the legendary Melrose madness. — Lynette Rice

Melrose Place
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  • Fox