U2, Bono Joining Gangs of New York

U2 | Neve Campbell | Rock Star and Glitter 

U2, Bono Joining Gangs of New York

The release date and fate of Martin Scorsese's epic Gangs of New York still hangs in the balance, but the Oscar-sure movie has gotten a new boost.

Dublin-based Irish rock group U2 is busily working on writing and recording the theme song for the film. The song will be the lead off on the soundtrack for Gangs, which otherwise boasts a score by Oscar winner Elmer Bernstein.

The addition of U2 and lead singer Bono makes sense since Gangs is quintessentially Irish in tenor. The film concerns the Irish mobs that ran New York in the 1840s. Daniel Day-Lewis, who happens to be Irish, leads a cast that includes Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio and Liam Neeson.

The big question remaining is whether or not Gangs of New York will have an Oscar-qualifying run before the end of the year. Even though the word has been that the film will not open nationally before Dec. 31, I am told that it will most definitely have the Oscar run if all systems are go in the next month.

If so, Scorsese's film will be the one to beat next March. Scorsese has never won the Academy Award despite making several of the most important films in cinematic history, including Raging Bull, GoodFellas and Taxi Driver.

Neve Campbell Going Back to High School?

On television, Neve Campbell managed to graduate from high school and even go to college as Julia on Party of Five.

But now I'm told that Campbell — who's made a quick movie career with the Scream series and Wild Things — is about to hit the lockers again.

Campbell has signed on to co-star with Oscar-winner Jeremy Irons (Best Actor, Reversal of Fortune) in The Baker's Son. The Warner Bros. feature will be directed by Henry Bromell, who also directed Neve in the underrated Panic.

The Baker's Son, which also stars Kip Pardue, is said to concern a high school swimming star (Pardue) who has to deal with his father's problems. Campbell presumably will play Pardue's love interest. Irons, who can do anything, I assume will be the baker.

Campbell, by the way, will have to dig down to play high school again. She has one ex-husband already and dates John Cusack. She's 28 according to the Internet Movie Database. Pardue is 25. But that's Hollywood, isn't it? And Campbell can pretty much play any age she wants.

Glitter, Rock Star Failures: A Trend?

Mariah Carey's Glitter did less well than I thought. It will leave theatres with a $4.1 million take — and lose roughly $25 million along the way. Rock Star with Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston is even more of a dud overall, with a $16 million box office take. At least Glitter was bad in a campy way; Rock Star was supposed to be a serious movie.

My guess is that that's it for rock-oriented movies for a while. Last year Almost Famous — which was just terrific and got a lot of awards and nominations — failed to generate much enthusiasm at the box office, too. Mainstream audiences, it seems, are just not interested in the backstage antics of pop singers. Undoubtedly, the amount of promiscuous sex and unapologetic drug taking is a little too much when brought into reality. Better to leave it to MTV.

Think about it: Even the movie version of Josie and the Pussycats was a bust.

Of all the people involved in these endeavors, Jennifer Aniston, by the way, had the most to lose. With Rock Star sunk, Aniston is no doubt rethinking her planned departure from Friends at the end of this season. With the exception of Lisa Kudrow, none of the other Friends cast has been able to strike it big on the silver screen. It's very likely we'll be seeing most of them again next fall on the tube.