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News 03/30/2007

Production on Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey's upcoming action-adventure flick Fool's Gold was halted in Australia after a deadly species of jellyfish was discovered in the waters off the coast where the twosome was due to shoot some swimming scenes this week.

Sarah Michelle Gellar is rumored to have taken a part in the upcoming Batman sequel, The Dark Knight, Ain't It Cool News reports, citing an unnamed independent filmmaker who said Gellar rejected a role in his movie because it might conflict with the project. Meanwhile, Maggie Gyllenhaal signed onto the film earlier this month, taking over the role of Rachel Dawes from Katie Holmes.

DreamWorks is planning on releasing Sweeney Todd on Dec. 21 in a limited domestic run, putting it in contention for awards season, Variety reports. Production on the film was put on hold earlier this month to allow Johnny Depp time to care for his sick daughter. The Tim Burton-directed movie going wide on Jan. 11.

Fresh off his Oscar nomination for The Departed, Mark Wahlberg is set to star in M. Night Shyamalan's next picture, The Happening, about a science teacher and his family fleeing an apocalyptic threat, Variety reports. Twentieth Century Fox is targeting a Friday the 13th release date in June 2008.

A woman was arrested in front of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' Beverly Hills mansion and charged with receiving stolen property and violating a restraining order, police said. Transient Emily Leatherman was jailed with bail set at $45,000, and was due to be arraigned Monday. Leatherman was previously accused of stalking John Cusack, who obtained a keep-away order against her last July.

Alec Baldwin was feeling so moved by a Mar. 4 New York Times article about 18-year-old soldier Resha Kane, who's scheduled to serve in Iraq, that he tracked down her family to offer to pay for her college education when she gets back. A spokesperson for the actor said that Kane's story made him think of his own daughter, 11-year-old Ireland. Baldwin is slated to meet with the Kane family in coming weeks.

News 03/29/2007

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie may be considering tying the knot in the Dominican Republican, according to George Nader, an art dealer and so-called friend of Pitt's, who told the Associated Press the actor had asked him to "investigate marriage laws for foreigners." Of course, considering Pitt said last year that he and Jolie wouldn't marry "until everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able," he could have been asking on behalf of some other foreigners.

George Clooney has penned a letter to defamer.com and radar.com, denying he was behind the release of outtakes from I (Heart) Huckabees that showed director David O. Russell having an on-set meltdown and screaming at the film's star, Lily Tomlin, after both sites suggested he might have been the culprit. Speculation that Clooney could have been behind the leak stemmed from a highly publicized fight he had with Russell while filming Three Kings, but Clooney denied his involvement and offered "a million bucks to anyone who would prove otherwise."

Halle Berry told Parade magazine that she tried to commit suicide after her first marriage to baseball player David Justice failed in 1996, but backed down at the last minute after picturing her mother finding her body. After her second marriage to singer Eric Benet also fell apart in 2004, Berry made the decision to "never, never get married again," she told InStyle recently.

Helen Mirren is leaving behind her royal (not to mention Oscar-winning) roles to star opposite Nicolas Cage in National Treasure: The Book of Secrets, the action-packed sequel to 2004's National Treasure, Variety reports. Disney will release the film on Dec. 21.

The Weinstein Co. is delaying the opening of The Nanny Diaries from next month to this fall, with the film now due to make its world debut Sept. 7 at the Venice International Film Festival, Variety reports. The move puts the film, starring Scarlett Johansson, in awards contention, rather than leaving it to get lost among the typically chick flick-heavy offerings of the summer box office.

Mia Farrow penned a Wall Street Journal editorial attacking Steven Spielberg and four corporate sponsors for supporting the 2008 Olympics in Beijing as long as China fails to pressure Sudan over Darfur. Spielberg is on the production team for the Games opening ceremony, leading Farrow to criticize his decision to "sanitize Beijing's image."

News 03/28/2007

A strand of hair purportedly belonging to the late Marlon Brando was pulled from an auction Tuesday after questions were raised about their authenticity, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Heritage Auction House in Dallas had been under the impression that the samples came from Brando's longtime personal assistant, Alice Marchak, but Marchak denied that holding onto her boss' discarded locks was ever part of her job description.

The U.S. Postal Service celebrated the 30th anniversary of Star Wars by unveiling the design of a new commemorative stamp at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles Wednesday.

News 03/27/2007

Retired Motion Picture Association of America chief Jack Valenti is "resting comfortably" at a Baltimore hospital Tuesday after "recently" suffering a stoke, an MPAA spokesperson told CNN. Valenti, 85, headed up the MPAA for nearly four decades before retiring in 2004 and was central in developing the film rating system.

News 03/26/2007

TMNT, the computer-animated update of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, debuted atop the box office, with over $25 million in estimated ticket sales, per Exhibitor Relations. The reptilian flick edged 300 ($20.5 million) out of first place after two weeks on top. Among the rest of the wide releases that debuted this weekend: The Mark Wahlberg actioner Shooter came in third with $14.5 million, the horror sequel The Hills Have Eyes 2 came in sixth with $10 million, the sci-fi kiddie flick The Last Mimzy came in seventh with $9.5 million, the Adam Sandler drama Reign Over Me came in eighth with $8 million, and the Terrence Howard swimming drama Pride came in ninth with $4 million.

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson have all signed on to appear in the final two Harry Potter movies, following weeks of speculation that Watson had tired of portraying teen wizard Hermione Granger and would not be reprising the role. "We are thrilled and proud that Daniel, Rupert and Emma have chosen to complete the arc of their characters in the final two films," Warner Bros. said in a statement.

Malaysian movies pirates are now spraying chemicals on their bootlegged discs in an effort to throw DVD-sniffing dogs Lucky and Flo off the scent, officials said Monday. The black Labradors, on loan to the Southeast Asian nation from the Motion Picture Association of America, successfully sniffed out almost $3 million of illegal discs in a raid earlier this month and subsequently had a bounty placed on their heads by angry pirates.

Two paparazzi are suing Denise Richards and Pamela Anderson, claiming that Richards assaulted them and damaged their equipment when they tried to take her picture in November and that both Richards and Anderson lied about the encounter. The photographers are seeking unspecified damages.

All news gathered from E! Online and other sources

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