Published March 25, 2009
Chris Brown-Rihanna: Hollywood Justice | Streisand, Hoffman Back for 'Little Fockers’ | Jeremy Irons, Joan Allen Make an Impression | Beatles: No Downloading, Even On Down Low | Rock Hall Tricks to Come; Cinema School Ramping Up
Only in Hollywood, California, could this happen: a guy beats his girlfriend to a pulp, spends no time in jail, and is still not arraigned six weeks after the episode.
Think of it: Chris Brown allegedly beat up Rihanna on the morning of February 8, the day of the Grammy Awards. He has still not been arraigned following his arrest.
In fact: yet another new arraignment date is set for April 6th. And this new date is a postponement from this week.
If Chris Brown had not been a celebrity, he would have been in a Los Angeles jail all this time. Instead, he’s been photographed at various vacation spots around the country, in Miami, and now more recently, in Virginia.
The good thing about being a celebrity in Hollywood is that you don’t actually go to jail, and while you await your plea bargain, you’re free to leave your jurisdiction.
And that’s nothing. Lana Clarkson was murdered six years ago — yes, six years ago — allegedly by record producer Phil Spector. Six years have passed, and Spector is just now at the end of his second trial. The first ended in a mistrial. For six years, Clarkson’s family has waited patiently for justice. Spector, famous for brandishing guns, has never spent a day in jail.
Spector’s attorneys are still insisting that Clarkson — beautiful, happy, well adjusted — went with the producer to his house and then, for no apparent reason, killed herself.
Meanwhile, yesterday, Robert Blake, acquitted of killing ex wife Bonnie Blakely, was seen shopping near his house.
The third chapter of the "Meet the Parents" trilogy is getting set for production.
I’m told the cast of "Little Fockers" — sequel to "Meet the Fockers" — has been set for an early July start date.
This means everyone — Ben Stiller, Robert DeNiro, Teri Polo, Owen Wilson, Blythe Danner. It also means Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand, who played Stiller’s parents in chapter two are being paged for the next edition.
The title suggests more than one baby for Stiller and Polo’s characters. So get ready possibly for twins, which also means DeNiro and Hoffman may have extra screen time as warring grandfathers. What’s still being worked out, they say, is Streisand’s role. Frankly, she was a hoot in "Fockers" and would only add to the sequel as a New Age grandma.
No matter what happens, "Fockers" has proved a bonanza for DeNiro who not only stars in the films but produces them as well with partner Jane Rosenthal. "Meet the Parents" grossed $330 million worldwide. "Fockers" did about $516 million. Not bad, all the way ‘round.
But one significant change for the comedy franchise: director Jay Roach is off to shoot a new film, called "Dinner with Schmucks." Roach, who also directed the "Austin Powers" movies, will be replaced, sources say, by Peter Segal ("Get Smart").
"Impressionism," which opened last night on Broadway, is not going to get the Tony or the Pulitzer.
But it did get Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen — two great actors — onto a stage together along with scene stealers Marsha Mason and Andre DeShields.
Just watching this gang perform Michael Jacobs’ pared down 100 minute set piece is worth the price of admission. Last night John Lithgow, Elaine Stritch, Bob Balaban, Lily Rabe, and even chef Rocco diSpirito were in the audience at the after party at Sardi’s.
Hanging around Sardi’s, waiting for the reviews to come in, seemed a little like a movie about Broadway. For a while, it was fun. I ran into one of the producers, Michael Filerman, the legend behind "Dallas" and "Knots Landing." He was introduced to Blythe Danner, whose late TV producer husband, Bruce Paltrow, knew Filerman in the 80s during TV’s halcyon days. Lorraine Alterman Boyle, Peter Boyle’s widow, reminisced about her days as a rock journalist. Now she’s investing in a hot musical scheduled for this fall, called "Memphis."
Upstairs, Jeremy Irons was upbeat about the play’s future. "We’re here ‘til July," he said, optimistically. And then? In the fall he and some buddies — including Lawrence Fishburne and Brad Pitt — may motorcycle through the desert in Abu Dhabi. That should make an impression!
The Beatles are still the only major music act in the world not available on a downloading service. And it’s going to stay that way.
Sources told me yesterday that despite hopeful noises coming from the Beatles’ camp, there are no deals in the offing.
"Nothing is happening," an insider says.
There were suggestions in recent days — from comments made by George Harrison’s son, Dhani — that maybe the Beatles would create their own website and downloading service, skip iTunes, et al altogether.
This was followed by one theory that EMI Music, their label, could somehow administer Beatles downloads through its own website.
But EMI is in turmoil. Guy Hands, who bought the company with his Terra Firma Firm, has pretty much bailed on the deal and is gone from running the company. Terra Firma has written off its investment in EMI and, not knowing what to do or particularly caring, has left the former music giant in a muddle.
The result is chaos, sources say, within the EMI hierarchy. Just recently, Douglas Merrill, the head of EMI Digital, left his post after less than a year. Merrill was from Google. He’s being replaced by a guy from Second Life, one of those virtual "other world" Web communities where everyone is represented by a cartoon avatar. Maybe we can expect to see avatars in the form of EMI/Capitol artists — Beatles, Beach Boys, Tina Turner, Nat King Cole, Sinatra, etc.
Who’s going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland on April 4th? The answer is: who knows? It might be just the right time to visit and see all the good work Terry Stewart’s done out there despite the hideous Hall of Fame foundation. People were wondering why Jann Wenner banished the annual dinner to Cleveland this year. Now we know why: sources say the New York gang is readying a 25th anniversary blowout at Madison Square Garden for this November. Look for high ticket prices and lots of exclusion even among the existing inductees…
…Cinema School opens this September in the Bronx, New York as the first ever film high school in the country. Spike Lee, Jim Jarmusch, Spike Jonze, and David O. Russell are on the board. Producer Rachael Horovitz — about to launch her HBO "Grey Gardens" smash with Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore, has been the straw that stirred the drink. More names are being added soon. It almost makes you want to go back to high school. Almost….