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News 02/17/2006

Halle Berry wrote "I will not make Catwoman II" on a chalkboard four times and acted out scenes from Monster's Ball in order to receive her pudding pot trophy as Harvard's Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year from Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theater. Richard Gere will be feted in the coming weeks.

In honor of Les Miserables becoming the longest-running musical in the world, producer Cameron Mackintosh announced Les Miserables is returning to Broadway for a special six-month engagement kicking off Oct. 21. Tickets go on sale in June.

Tom Cruise and a pregnant fiancée Katie Holmes joined Russell Crowe in bidding farewell to Australian media mogul Kerry Packer in a memorial service at the Sydney Opera House.

A Corona, California, man was arrested for copyright infringement for attempting to upload a copy of the film Walk the Line to the Internet that was intended for an Academy Award voter. He faces up to a year in jail and a $100,000 fine if convicted.

A Hollywood memorabilia collector believes he can get as much as $100,000 from selling George Clooney's nipple suit from Batman & Robin when that and other items go up for auction on Mar. 31.

Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank has signed a three-year contract to be the celebrity face of luxury purveyor Guerlain.

A Turkish movie, Valley of the Wolves: Iraq, starring American actor Billy Zane as an evangelistic local U.S. commander in Iraq willing to commit multiple atrocities to keep the Iraq population in line, set box-office records in Turkey and other European countries.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Javier Bardem has signed on to star in a movie adaptation of Gabriel García Márquez's classic novel, Love in the Time of Cholera, to be directed by Mike Newell.

DreamWorks' Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Miramax's An Unfinished Life are among the flicks set to be feted at the 20th anniversary Genesis Awards, honoring positive treatment of animals in news and entertainment.

M. Night Shyamalan is set to be honored as ShoWest Director of the Year on Mar. 16 at the closing night of the exhibitors' confab in Las Vegas.

News 02/16/2006

Mads Mikkelsen has joined the cast of Casino Royale as James Bond's nemesis Le Chiffre, while French actress Eva Green will play Daniel Craig's love interest Vesper Lynd, producers announced Wednesday.

Philip Seymour Hoffman told "60 Minutes" that he would never have achieved his level of success had he not kicked his substance abuse problem 16 years ago.

News 02/15/2006

Two shirts worn by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain are being auctioned on eBay to benefit Variety...the Children's Charity of Southern California. Bids had topped $30,000 as of Wednesday morning; the auction closes Feb. 20.

Former James Bond villain Irvin Allen was cleared of the murder of his estranged wife in a London court on Tuesday.

Eric Hernandez, the police officer who was accidentally shot and killed by another patrolman last month, will be memorialized in a film starring Colin Farrell.

Playwright John Belluso, who championed the rights of disabled people both in his work and through the writer's program he helped to direct, was found dead Friday in a Manhattan hotel room. He was 36. Police did not suspect foul play.

News 02/14/2006

Reps for both Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes told E! Online that a report by Life & Style magazine claiming the two stars' relationship is over is bogus and that the wedding is still on.

Per the Hollywood Reporter, Gary Oldman is in talks to reprise his role as Sirius Black in Warner Bros.' fifth Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

According to Variety, Gladiator helmer Ridley Scott is in talks to direct Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington in Universal's American Gangster. The long-gestating project follows a Harlem heroin kingpin who smuggles drugs in the coffins of American soldiers returning from the Vietnam War.

Director Michael Bay's low-budget horror company is fast-tracking production on a new Friday the 13th movie...the 11th installment in the series...and plans to release it Friday, Oct. 13, of this year.

In Variety, Eddie Murphy is set to star for director Peter Segal in 20th Century Fox's Starship Dave, a sci-fi comedy about a crew of miniature human-looking aliens who are looking to save their doomed planet.

Nicole Kidman has agreed to narrate a feature-length documentary on Holocaust survivor and famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, who passed away in 1996.

At the 25th annual luncheon for Oscar contenders, liberal Hollywood star George Clooney poked fun at Vice President Dick Cheney for accidentally shooting his hunting partner over the weekend. "I am bringing Dick Cheney as my [Oscar] date. He was so nice. He called me and invited me to go hunting."

Paramount's specialty division has snagged the distribution rights to the global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth, featuring Al Gore, which premiered last month at Sundance and focuses on the former vice president's history and commitment to reversing global climate change.

Legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve is being honored with a career achievement award at the fourth Bangkok International Film Festival on Feb. 24.

News 02/13/2006

Steve Martin's Pink Panther remake grossed an estimated $21.7 million to edge out Final Destination 3's estimated $20.1 million to win the weekend box-office derby. The cartoon Curious George came in third with an estimated $15.3 million, and Firewall, starring Harrison Ford, came in fourth with an estimated $13.8 million.

Brokeback Mountain won 11 awards, including Best Picture, at the Online Film & Television Association Awards. Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) tied with Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain) for Best Actor; Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line) won for Best Actress; Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) won Best Director.

The Los Angeles coroner reported that Chris Penn died accidentally from an enlarged heart and the effects of a mix of multiple medications. "There is absolutely no indication that this is anything but an accident," a department spokesman said.

Jennifer Lopez is urging Hispanics in New York City to donate blood marrow to help Janet Ovalles, a 29-year-old of Dominican descent who needs a transplant to survive.

Oscar nominees Terrence Howard, Matt Dillon, and Catherine Keener are among the celebrities contributing autographed posters for a Habitat for Humanity eBay auction benefiting Hurricane Katrina victims. Items will be up for bid through next week.

Christian Slater is seeking joint custody of his 4-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son with estranged wife Ryan Haddon, according to re-filed divorce papers entered Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Swingers stars Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, and Ron Livingston will reunite at the Aspen Film Festival Mar. 8-12 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the film's release.

ShoWest has named Natalie Portman Female Star of the Year.

Phil Brown, the actor who played Luke's ill-fated Uncle Owen in the original Star Wars, has died of pneumonia at age 89.

All news gathered from E! Online and other sources

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