Jessica Alba: Single Baby | Indy 4/Cannes: Variety Steals | 'Idol,' Beatles Can't Help Jacko | Rock Hall Scandal Bad Karma for Wenner | 'Hobbit' Producers Hobbled | Oscar Finale: Sightings and Thanks
Jessica Alba: Single Baby
Jessica Alba is not having twins.
The beautiful young actress did tell me over Oscar weekend that she’s keeping to just one baby. So much for the rumors.
The supermarket tabloids are just obsessed with baby bumps and twins news these days. I must say personally, I could not care less. But Alba and beau, Cash Warren, are nice, nice people. I sort of felt bad when we talked about it. Just one baby? I mean, what’s wrong with you?
Remember when just one baby was plenty to deal with?
Of course, Alba is much younger than Jennifer Lopez or any of the other recent twin bearers. It’s less likely that she required fertility assistance.
So congrats to Jessica and Cash. That’s the last baby news you’ll see in this space for some time!
Indy 4/Cannes: Variety Steals
Guess what, FOX 411 readers? Four days after I told you "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" would open at the Cannes Film Festival, Variety is reporting it. Very conveniently, a credit for our story was left out. It also adds nothing new. But you know you read it here first. I guess better late than never.
'Idol,' Beatles Can't Help Jacko
The big news that the Beatles are coming to "American Idol" will not do anything to help Michael Jackson’s bid to save his Neverland Ranch.
"Idol" producer Nigel Lythgoe announced this week that "Idol" had finally gotten the right to use songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney on "American Idol." He said that when the show pares down to 12 contestants, there will be a "Beatle" night.
All that means is that the contestants will sing a dozen Beatle songs. Sony/ATV Music Publishing will get paid for their performances, just like another publisher of any other songs. Jackson will get a few dollars from the episode, as a 50 percent owner of the publisher.
But the "Idol" show has absolutely nothing to do with Jackson’s financial dilemma at Neverland. He still needs to come up with $24.5 million by 1 p.m. on March 19, or the public auction of the property will proceed as planned.
I did get a laugh on Thursday when CNN.com tried to jump into the fray. There actually was a quote from an unnamed source saying Jackson’s refinancing was in place, and that Neverland would be saved.
Do these schnooks read legal papers? There’s a notice of default and a notice of trustees’ sale on Neverland. Jackson’s people have had four months to come up with the money.
Much of the blame can be laid at the feet of now-former manager and publicist Raymone Bain. Her reign with Jackson has to have been the single worst of all the various managers who’ve come and gone.
During the time Bain controlled Jackson’s world, he was sued several times, had to settle all the lawsuits for millions, alienated fans and business associates. She couldn’t have done more damage.
Rock Hall Scandal Bad Karma for Wenner
Mike Smith, the 64-year-old lead singer of the famed British pop group Dave Clark 5, died on Thursday of pneumonia. In 2003 he fell off a ladder at his home and sustained injuries that caused paralysis.
A year ago, Smith was alive and could have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But Jann Wenner, as I reported then, decided to throw out a ballot on which the DC5 were inducted, replacing them with Grandmaster Flash.
This is one reason why we’re boycotting Rolling Stone magazine.
Next month, the DC5 are getting a consolation prize induction after that fiasco; however, Smith will not be able to appreciate it. It’s too late.
DC5’s hits included "Bits and Pieces," "Because," "Over and Over," "Glad All Over" and "Catch Us if You Can." They should have been in the Rock Hall years ago. What a pity that the ridiculous goings-on at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation contributed to this tragic ending.
'Hobbit' Producers Hobbled
A pair of movie-making stalwarts, Michael Lynne and Bob Shaye, have been forced to step down from New Line Cinema after 40 years. Time Warner’s new chairman, Jeff Bewkes, refused to renew their contracts. As part of his mandate to increase TW’s stock price, he’s going to fold New Line into the Bermuda Triangle known as Warner Bros.
We’ve seen this sort of thing before in different forms, haven’t we? Disney got rid of the Weinstein brothers from Miramax after a string of sterling successes. Now they have their own well-funded movie company and are building a business. Seven years ago, BMG Music tried to oust Clive Davis from Arista Records. Now he’s the head of BMG North America.
Shaye and Lynne, like all creative types, are controversial. They’ve most recently run into weird trouble on the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy when it came to paying people what they were owed. They had a tremendous disappointment with "The Golden Compass." But they did very well this year with "Hairspray" and indie hit "Pan’s Labyrinth" through the Picturehouse division.
But movie-making is cyclical. On Friday, they got a rave in Variety for their new Will Ferrell comedy, "Semi Pro." Later this spring they’ll have "Sex and the City." Besides "Lord of the Rings," their recent successes included the "Rush Hour" series and a bunch of Ferrell and Adam Sandler comedies. They even released the highly respected David Cronenberg film, "A History of Violence."
My sources say that Shaye and Lynne will be back very quickly with a new company. Like the Weinsteins, they will find a very eager group of investors who know their track record and want to invest in it. Sadly, New Line will vanish. Maybe it will be a logo. Mysterious, confusing, press-adverse Warner Bros. will eat it alive.
One smart thing Warner could do is get rid of Warner Independent and let Bob Berney continue to run Picturehouse as the company’s art house. Berney is coming off a Best Actress win for Marion Cotillard in "La Vie En Rose." His taste is impeccable, certainly much better than the Warner people who are planning to release "Towelhead," the most offensive big studio film in years.
New Line boasts some of the best and most talented people in the movie business, including one of the best PR departments of any studio. They shouldn’t have any trouble getting new jobs. Their new employers will be lucky to have them!
Oscar Finale: Sightings and Thanks
Who was omnipresent at every Oscar party, even at SoHo House? Why, Hollywood Foreign Press member Munawar Hossein, of course. Munawar claims as his HFPA credit to be a photographer. But he wasn’t seen once anywhere during Oscar week with a camera in hand, just a cocktail glass.
Last month at the Sundance Film Festival, I ran into Munawar having lunch with HFPA sometime-president Phil Berk. I was flattered that they asked me which films I thought were the ones to see. I asked Munawar if he’d be taking pictures of the stars at Sundance. He replied, no, he didn’t do that. So I am a little confused. Second to Munawar for making appearances: HFPA’s Italian correspondent Lorenzo Soria. …
Back in the real world: I have to thank several people for guiding me through awards season now that it’s over and done. Leslie Unger of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and publicists Leslee Dart and Shari Mesulam were particularly helpful, as was Cheryl Izen of the Sundance and Toronto Film Fests. At Sundance: PMK, Falco, Jeff Hill’s IHOP, MPRM, 42 West’s beleaguered Michael Kupferberg. …
Daryl Friedman (no relation) of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences was a huge help for the Grammy Awards. So were all the MusiCares peeps like Christina Cassidy and Dana Tomarken. …
The best security team on the West Coast is run by Bill Mancini, who never gets enough credit. If only all the events out there (like Elton John’s AIDS fundraiser) were handled by him. …
I'd also like to mention Sarah Weinstein and Stacy Carr of J Records. It takes a village to do awards season. And now, we’re so happy to be back in New York City!