Brangelina: Twins Fraternal | Lucas: 'Indy 5' a Possibility | Jacko: Neverland East In Upstate New York | Small Screen for Oscar Film 'Crash' | Pellicano Guilty (duh); Star Flack
Brangelina: Twins Fraternal
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s twin girls likely will be fraternal, not identical.
Jolie mentioned this to me on Thursday night at the Paramount Pictures/DreamWorks party for "Kung Fu Panda," in which she co-voices animated characters with Dustin Hoffman and Jack Black.
The stunning actress said "there was a line" on the sonogram that indicates her daughters are not going to be perfect copies of each other.
Click here to view photos of Jolie and Pitt at Cannes.
Jolie and Pitt are here in Cannes for many reasons, starting with her two movies in competition: "Panda," and Clint Eastwood’s "The Changeling" (the latter debuts on Tuesday night).
Just as they were here last year for her "A Mighty Heart," and his "Ocean’s Thirteen," the couple causes a sensation wherever they go in this small resort town.
The difference, though, is that last year they were stationed at the ultra-swanky Hotel du Cap. This year, they and their four kids are said to have taken up residence in the nearby private mansion of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. It’s where they will stay until Jolie gives birth. And from the looks of things, that will be sooner rather than later.
Her double pregnancy has done nothing to diminish Jolie’s beauty. Indeed, almost to ratify her movie-star status, while her body has rounded out immensely, her face seems almost unchanged. It’s as if she’s only padded for film purposes.
At the party, I related to her how many people seemed to be needed when my twin nieces came home from the hospital eight years ago. Eight adults didn’t seem to be enough for all the diaper changes, burpings and feedings.
"Oh, my God," Jolie exclaimed, "and we haven’t even hired a baby nurse yet!"
Pitt, overhearing the conversation, chimed in: "We're doing it in reverse: have two adults and six kids!"
For the record, they also haven’t picked names yet. But since so far their kids’ name choices have been big hits — Maddox, Zahara, Pax and Shiloh — my guess is they’ve got an interesting list cooking somewhere in their minds.
Almost more importantly, we also talked about the couple’s charitable foundation, which this column was first to write about some months ago. Some celebrities simply make announcements. Pitt and Jolie have followed through with astounding donations equaling $8 million or so for various Third World causes, including an orphanage in Cambodia.
"You have to see it," Jolie implored me, her famous round eyes getting even bigger and more expressive. "It’s amazing."
And "Brangelina" is amazing. In person, they remain blindingly attractive, the last real movie stars. And while I disagreed with their birth adventure in Namibia a couple of years ago, Pitt and Jolie have surprised even this cynical reporter with their devotion to doing good works without any modus operandi.
They’re not pushing a religion, cult or scheme. They’re just trying to give something back to the world. That, dear fans, is what’s "amazing."
Lucas: 'Indy 5' a Possibility
George Lucas tells me it’s more than a strong possibility there will be a fifth "Indiana Jones." He says that he and director Steven Spielberg have left the door open for a sequel to "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."
Lucas, looking dandy with slicked-back gray and white hair in a snappy tuxedo, was a guest Thursday night at Paramount/DreamWorks’s party for "Kung Fu Panda" at the 61st Cannes Film Festival.
The swell event was set up on the pier across from the Carlton Hotel, where the studio spared no expense recreating sets and treating guests to haute Chinese cuisine. There was even one of the 40 pandas from the publicity stunt the day before, dancing in the crowd to Carl Carlton’s old hit "Kung Fu Fighting."
Lucas had a lot to say about the new "Indy" and its future.
"I haven’t even told Steven or Harrison this," he said. "But I have an idea to make Shia [LeBeouf] the lead character next time and have Harrison [Ford] come back like Sean Connery did in the last movie. I can see it working out.
"And it’s not like Harrison is even old. I mean, he’s 65 and he did everything in this movie. The old chemistry is there, and it’s not like he’s an old man. He’s incredibly agile; he looks even better than he did 20 years ago, if you ask me."
Lucas says he’s not concerned about early mixed buzz on "Crystal Skull."
"This movie is the exact same experience as the other three were. The difference is, the novelty of discovery is gone. I get worried when I hear fans say they’re expecting something different that will change their lives. This is 'Indiana Jones' just as you remember him."
But that’s exactly the gamble Spielberg and Lucas took with reviving their icon. Expectation grows into a frenzy and then no one in that frame of mind can be satisfied.
You already can see this with "Sex and the City: The Movie" and it hasn't even opened everywhere. Fans and even some critics want some transcendent experience. They almost seem upset that all they got was … "Sex and the City."
Lucas has been here before, when he revived and extended the "Star Wars" series. The build-up to the release of the fourth installment (aka now Chapter 1), "Phantom Menace," was huge until it reached a fever pitch. Then, almost before it could be absorbed, "Phantom Menace" became the target of scorn from fanatics. Computer-generated character Jar Jar Binks was public enemy No. 1.
But "Star Wars" continues to thrive. In August, Lucas says, he’s releasing an animated 90-minute "Star Wars" movie to theaters via Warner Bros. called "Clone Wars." It will be followed in September by an animated series on the Cartoon Network and TNT.
"No one wanted it," he told me. "Every studio rejected it, including Fox, and I’m very loyal to them. They have right of first refusal. Eventually I brought it to Warners. It’s the first time that three components of the studio have acted together. It’s very exciting.
"But the story is that everyone said, 'No one gets this. It’s just … 'Star Wars.'' I said, 'That’s right, It’s just 'Star Wars.' Just like this is … 'Indiana Jones.''"
Oh, yes, and by the way: If "Crystal Skull" breaks records when it opens on May 22, Lucas could wind up having his name on a fourth title in the all-time box office top 10 (it would be Spielberg’s second).
"But these movies — the 'Indiana Jones' ones — were never big hits right away. They were always slow starters that built up to big numbers," Lucas insisted.
I don’t think that will be the case with this one. And the notion that a sequel already is playing around in his head should only fuel the heady numbers about to be posted.
Jacko: Neverland East in Upstate New York
Michael Jackson has settled his Neverland Ranch issues for the moment, as I told you a couple of days ago.
So here’s the latest on his living arrangements. According to sources, Jackson is moving to upstate New York.
Specifically, I am told that Jackson has either bought a home or one has been purchased for him in or around Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
The sales price is said to be in the $1 million to $2 million range. It’s said to be a gated property with several bedrooms and a large backyard where his three kids can frolic.
No word on whether this will turn into a Neverland East with rides and a zoo. Let’s hope not.
The curious part of this story is that yet another benefactor may have purchased the home for Jackson. Jackson, for some reason, has turned Tennessee Williams ’ phrase "the kindness of strangers" into his private credo.
If and when he makes the move, there’s going to be a buzz. The Poughkeepsie area is a small one, so neighbors there should notice pretty quickly if a black man in white face and long, flowing, synthetic black hair wearing a Sgt. Pepper suit and sunglasses suddenly turns up at the Dairy Queen with three kids in beekeeper suits.
And that’s not all the Jacksonian news. The singer has agreed to appear on a new album by will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas. It’s a tentative step toward coming back to his career.
Sources say the new duet is payback for all the work will.i.am did on Jackson’s updated "Thriller" album. The 25th anniversary special has passed the 3 million mark worldwide, which is quite an achievement. The single may be the first step in Jackson’s plan to record a whole new album. It would be his first in seven years.
Small Screen for Oscar Film 'Crash'
"Crash," the 2005 Best Picture winner, is coming to TV as a series. Kinda.
What’s coming to Starz, the cable channel, as its first series, is something called "Crash" that was optioned by Starz from writers Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco.
But — and this is pretty important — Haggis and Moresco are nothing but consultants on the project. They aren’t writing it or producing it.
And — the "Crash" series will not feature any of the characters or stories from the film, nor will it have any of the actors from the movie. So don’t expect Matt Dillon, Sandra Bullock or Don Cheadle to reprise their roles.
It sounds like "Crash," which rhymes with "MASH," will have even less to do with its forerunner than the earlier show did with the movie on which it was based.
At least "MASH" carried over essential characters, Gary Burghoff as Radar, and the theme music. And it was set in Korea.
But the new "Crash" won’t even take place in Los Angeles, which is what made the movie so compelling. In typical TV fashion, the "Crash" series will be filmed in Arizona and not refer to any particular place. Says a source: "It will be in a city like L.A. but it could be any city."
So, to distill this: Starz is doing a series based on "Crash" that has nothing to do with the movie except for its title.
I’m not sure why Starz doesn’t call it "Hash."
Pellicano Guilty (duh); Star Flack
Here’s a flipside Hollywood report.
On one side of the coin, the legendary Hollywood publicist Warren Cowan died this week. He was still working right up to his death at age 87. Warren was a genial soul whose clients were a Who’s Who of Hollywood. He started the still-thriving agency Rogers & Cowan, left it and went out on his own. He still represented Paul Newman among others.
Warren was tough, too. Through Michael Jackson he wound up taking on David Gest as a client. We clashed a bit as Gest in recent years did more and more outrageous things. But Warren was the real deal, one of the last Hollywood originals. He will be sorely missed. ...
And on the other side of the coin, notorious private detective Anthony Pellicano was convicted Thursday in Hollywood on all but one count of racketeering, wiretapping and associated crimes. He’ll be in jail for a long, long time (he’s already been in jail for a couple of years).
What Pellicano didn’t do was rat out his clients, all big, big Hollywood names, many of whom still supported him. They will all go back to their plush offices, corner tables in restaurants and beach homes. Pellicano will return to his bleak gray cell, code of honor intact. Maybe one day he’ll write a book. But revenge in Hollywood among warring enemies will not change a great deal. It will just get more sophisticated.