Jane Fonda | Jacko  | Sony Music Cutting Jobs

Jane Fonda Coming Home to Hollywood? 

She said she'd never do it again, and that she didn't miss it, but Jane Fonda is seriously considering a return to film.

The two-time Oscar winner for Best Actress (Klute, Coming Home) has apparently hired super agent Kevin Huvane of Creative Artists Agency to represent her in what could be her first negotiation.

The project Fonda is looking at is Evening, a script based on the novel of the same name by Susan Minot, who also wrote the book. Quality indie company Hart-Sharp Entertainment, which was also responsible for Boys Don't Cry and You Can Count on Me, is trying to put the deal together, I am told, with help from CAA. Other actors who may join the cast include Samantha Morton and Joaquin Phoenix.

Tony Goldwyn, who like Fonda comes from one of Hollywood's dynastic families (he's the grandson of the famous studio czar Samuel Goldwyn) -- is set to direct Evening.

When Jane Fonda retired from show business in the late '80s, she was then considered one of the top tier American actresses. Her nuanced performances in The China Syndrome, Julia, On Golden Pond and a half dozen other films showed her extraordinary range and depth. She also won an Emmy for another great dramatic performance as Best Actress in The Dollmaker in 1984.

Fonda's last feature film appearance was in 1990's Stanley & Iris, opposite Robert De Niro. Since then she has devoted herself to political and charitable causes, and as this column first reported, she is busy writing her autobiography. But if Evening comes together as planned, you can count on Jane Fonda at the 2004 Academy Awards, adding to her collection of statues.

Jacko Gets His Court Files Sealed 

The cow is out of the barn as they say, and the cat is out of the bag. But Michael Jackson doesn't care. On Monday, we learned, his attorneys quietly got Judge Andria Richey of Los Angeles Superior Court to seal parts of his court records in the Myung Ho Lee case.

The documents within the case that were sealed include Jackson's budgets and accounts payable ledgers which this column reported last Friday exclusively. They showed Jackson's over-the-top, profligate lifestyle including hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on limousines, movie candy and popcorn, audio and video equipment, flowers and pharmacy bills.

The suppressed budget for October-November-December 2000 also showed that Jackson paid his ex-wife Debbie Rowe $1.5 million during October 2000. Other line expenses included a projected payroll for those three months of $860,000; $50,000 to Fernscan Recording Studios; $22,000 to Steve Martin's Working Wildlife (not the actor/comedian, but an animal trainer who supplies films with cooperative coyotes, etc); and $85,000 to Sun City Resorts.

Altogether, the budget states that for those three months in 2000, Jackson's drew $4.5 million from his available funds, which had been loaned to him by Bank of America/Nations Bank.

Jackson is currently being sued for $13 million by former business manager Myung Ho Lee, who claims that Jackson signed a promise to pay him the money last September. Jackson, in a sworn statement, denies ever signing the agreement.

Sony Music Starts Cutting Jobs 

The word from Sony Music today is that more than 100 jobs are being cut. I told you recently that veteran producer John Kalodner (Aerosmith, Journey) is likely to be one of those affected. Big mistake in my opinion. Kalodner at least produces hits.

The new Springsteen album notwithstanding, Sony -- which is really Columbia and Epic -- is not doing so well on the charts now. They have one album in the top 20, which is No. 19, Aerosmith's Greatest Hits. Recent releases by Celine Dion, Oasis, and Marc Anthony have been huge disappointments. We won't even discuss Jackson's Invincible...The company has spent the whole summer living off Shakira, the Andrea True of 2002.

It's not like Sony is alone in cutting jobs or taking it on the chin in the charts. Certainly the other labels, with the exception of the Universal labels, Arista, and J, are having similar problems. Almost nothing is selling well. CD prices are ridiculously high, and the quality of most of the releases is abysmal.

But Sony gets the blame when things go wrong because in good times they are arrogant and flashy. They need to develop some new interesting acts now, and they'd better hurry up. Their former big star, Mariah Carey, I hear is busy completing her new release for Island/Def Jam. And it's said to be quite good.

Respond to the Writer