For the first time in 16 years, Barbra Streisand is going back behind the camera to direct a new film.
Roger Friedman at Showbiz411 is saying that the film is Skinny and Cat, the story of the relationship between Erskine Caldwell and Margaret Bourke White. Linda Yellen has written the film and is producing with Colin Firth and Cate Blanchett in the lead.
Streisand’s previous film was 1996′s The Mirror Has Two Faces. Prior to that, she had directed The Prince of Tides (1991) and Yentl (1983). She currently has sold out shows set for New York, a new film (The Guilt Trip) and a possible duets album. Not bad for someone who just turned 70 in April.
Beyonce and Clint Eastwood are in talks to produce a remake of A Star Is Born. Associated Press reports that Warner Bros has confirmed that the two are negotiating to film a version of the oft-remade 1937 film. The film centres around an aspiring Hollywood actress and her relationship with an actor on the wane. It was remade in 1954 with Judy Garland and James Mason and again in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. The producers of the 1976 version, Billy Gerber, Basil Iwanyk and Jon Peters, are slated to produce Clint Eastwood’s new version. Beyonce has long been attached as the lead but there is no word so far on the male co-star. A Warner Bros spokeswoman said that deals have not been finalised but that negotiations are taking place. In a cute little coincidence, Beyonce’s husband Jay-Z had a Kanye West-produced song called ‘A Star Is Born’ on his 2009 album The Blueprint 3.
“Glee” To Release Christmas Album In November. “Glee” just released their “Rocky Horror Glee Show” EP, featuring music from their tribute to the cult favorite just in time for Halloween. But the cast of “Glee” is already getting in the holiday spirit as well. The group is set to release their very first Christmas album, appropriately titled “Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album.” The album will feature a dozen holiday standards performed by the cast, who’s already taken on Britney Spears and Barbra Streisand this season. According to Tommy2.net, “Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album” will feature covers of the perennial Wham! hit “Last Christmas,” “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “We Need a Little Christmas,” originated by Angela Lansbury in the musical “Mame.” The group’s first holiday album will also include a version of the Carpenters’ “Merry Christmas Darling,” and oft-covered classics like “O Holy Night,” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” The album is set to coincide with an upcoming holiday episode, which creator Ryan Murphy began discussing earlier this year. Another big star, also releasing a holiday album this year, was rumored to be featured: Susan Boyle. “I have two words for you: Lunch. Lady,” Murphy told Entertainment Weekly back in May. “I think Kurt would just die to give her a Christmas makeover. I don’t even know if she’s interested but it’s been pitched.” “Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album” is set to be released on November 16th. The accompanying holiday episode will air at a later date.
Are you a Gleek? Fox’s Golden Globe-winning musical comedy “Glee” is holding a nationwide casting call for future cast members who can sing and dance like a true Gleek. Fans and wannabes who have the talent can try impressing the show’s producers by uploading their audition videos to casting call’s MySpace page (myspace.com/gleeauditions). They must first meet certain criteria if they want to catch the bosses’ attention. First, wannabes must be between the ages of 16 and 25 and must be passionate about the show. Also, make sure you can and are willing to be in Los Angeles from July 1. Only one video submission is allowed per person. The video should have a personal statement not exceeding one minute. The songs that the submitter may use for the audition are limited to the following:
•“And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” by Dreamgirls
•“Gold Digger” (Radio Version) by Kanye West
•“Rehab” by Amy Winehouse
•“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones
•“Can’t Fight This Feeling” by REO Speedwagon
•“Don’t Rain On My Parade” by Barbra Streisand
•“Hate On Me” by Jill Scott
•“Keep Holding On” by Avril Lavigne
•“Lean On Me” by Bill Wither
•“True Colors” by Phil Collins
Last day of submissions is on April 26.
South Park Season Premiere To Swing At Tiger Woods. All-new adventures are in store for Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny and the rest of the gang. Comedy Central’s “South Park” is set to return for a 14th season on the all-humor network. In the midst of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, the season premiere will air at 10 p.m. ET/PT March 17. After last season’s exploits involving motorcycle gangs, 9-year-old pimps and crews of Japanese whalers, the show starts its latest season with a swipe at one of the more controversial figures of recent months: Tiger Woods. In keeping with their topical comedy, series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone will feature the boys of “South Park” encountering the disgraced golfer when he comes to their small Colorado town. Woods is one of many celebrities to be lampooned in cartoon form, joining a lineup that includes Paris Hilton, Ben Affleck, Barbra Streisand, Tom Cruise and President Barack Obama, just to name a few big names who have been mocked on the series, which will celebrate its 200th episode April 14. The 14th season premiere will be prefaced by the DVD release of “South Park: The Complete Thirteenth Season Uncensored” through Comedy Central Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment. The home release, also on Blu-ray Hi-Def, will include deleted scenes for the first time, as well as the featurette “Inside Xbox: A Behind-the-Scenes Tour of South Park Studios” and bonus codes for the Xbox Live Arcade game “South Park: Let’s Go Tower Defense Play.”
After broadcast, new episodes will be available on Xbox Live, Sony PlayStation Network, iTunes, Amazon Video OnDemand and SouthParkStudios.com.
Charlize Theron and Robert Downey Jr. are a couple more stars you can expect to see at the Academy Awards this Sunday. According to People.com, the team behind the ceremony announced Theron, Downey Jr., and a slew of other stars who’ll be presenting Oscars to the winners yesterday. Theron at the Oscars in 2000 (Bauer Griffin)
Theron scored a Best Actress prize in 2003 for her turn as a killer in Monster, and she’s a constant fixture on the red carpet (we can’t wait to see her gown!) As for Downey, he was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category last year for Tropic Thunder but lost out to the late Heath Ledger. And even though he didn’t score a nod this time around for Sherlock Holmes, he did win a Golden Globe award for that performance. In addition to these two, Oscar winners Barbra Streisand and Kathy Bates will be joining the bunch. People.com reports that Queen Latifah, Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta are on the roster as well. Sounds like a lively bunch! Teen favorites like Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner are also attending this year, in addition to comedians Steve Carell and Tina Fey, so we can definitely expect some laughs.
More than 75 stars — from the legendary Barbra Streisand to rapper Lil Wayne and actor Vince Vaughn — gathered at Hollywood’s Henson Recording Studios on the day before yesterday (Feb. 1) to record the 25th anniversary version of “We Are The World.” Like its predecessor, “We Are The World – 25 For Haiti” features a diverse lineup: this time ranging from Streisand and Celine Dion to actor Jeff Bridges. But it also boasts a major hip-hop contingent (Kanye West, Lil Wayne, LL Cool J, Akon, Kid Cudi, Drake), young newcomers (Jonas Brothers, Justin Bieber) and major-league high technology. “This is like running through hell with gasoline underwear,” said Quincy Jones with a laugh late last night during a five-minute recording break. The video for “We Are the World – 25 For Haiti” will world premiere in 3D during NBC’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver Winter Olympics on Friday, Feb. 12. Academy Award-winning writer/director Paul Haggis (“Crash,” “Million Dollar Baby”) directed the video, an online version will feature green screen, allowing viewers to place themselves in the We Are the World lineup as well. Proceeds from the contemporary recording and the accompanying video will go directly to Haitian relief efforts through the We Are The World Foundation, a newly created not-for-profit organization comprised of board members Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie, Wyclef Jean, Paul Haggis, AEG Live president/CEO Randy Phillips and Ambassador Louis Moreno of the Inter-American Development Bank. Helping to underwrite the project was Visa.
Joining Jones in the media tent (which housed two video screens showing both looped and real-time footage of the recording) was an equally tired but ebullient Lionel Richie, who produced and co-wrote the original song with Michael Jackson. He, Jones and Jean are executive producers of the new song, with newly minted Grammy Award winner/producer RedOne and producer/musical director Ricky Minor (“American Idol”) also onboard. Richie and Jones noted that other artists beyond those on hand last night will be added to the recording. Among those will be Janet Jackson, who will sing brother Michael’s middle part in the original. Asked the reason for going with all new artists for the re-recording, Richie said, “It’s the toughest thing; you want to jump in, but then you must realize you have to pass the torch.” Richie, who sang on the original version as well, passed his torch to newcomer Beiber, who sings Richie’s part in the new song. Asked what Michael Jackson would be doing if he were alive to participate in the re-recording, Richie said, “I know it’s hard to believe, but if Michael were alive, he would be behind the scenes with us doing exactly what we’re doing: supporting everyone. I must say, the enthusiasm I’ve witnessed in there…I’ve never seen anything like it. What made it so interesting this time around is we took longer to record because we now have cell phones and Twitter. Instead of having down time where everyone is sitting around doing nothing, everybody was taking pictures of each other.” The gathered artists also broke into an impromptu version of the Bill Withers classic “Lean on Me,” sparked by Melanie Fiona’s hurting feet. “We were standing for quite a while and my feet started to hurt a bit. So I told Musiq Soulchild that I was going to lean on him. He said this isn’t ‘Lean on Me.’ Then someone else said lean on me and Celine started singing. The rest is what you saw on camera, history.”
Also making their way to the media room to share their experiences were: Jordin Sparks: “I was standing next to Rob Thomas and Lil Wayne in front of me. Then Brandy, Tyrese and Natalie Cole. Everybody is having a good time, so excited to be a part of something bigger than us. I’ve always loved Michael’s love for the world. I love the song; they’ve changed it up a little bit. It has a little more — I hate this word — but swag, I guess. But it’s going to be awesome.” Natalie Cole: “It’s a bubbly, energetic mood in there. I was standing by Kanye West and Jennifer Hudson; we were all getting numbers and autographs. But we were also in a thoughtful mood in there because of the images of Haiti on the video screens behind us in the studio. It was also very emotional because a Haitian film crew — who had just got out in time — spoke to us as well.” Celine Dion: “People are very touched to be here. Wehave to enjoy ourselves; we’re talking about music and about someone who was living through music. Michael’s fashion was to help change the world through his lyrics. Through our music, voices and talent, all of us together…you can’t just say this is terrible. Tonight we have this opportunity to make a difference.” Josh Groban: “I got Kenny Rogers’ original harmony with Paul Simon and I was happy for that. But I don’t know yet who the harmony will be with; it’s to be determined. Then they had me do a riff at the end with some bravado…that was the token classical note of the song (laughs). It’s inspired chaos. We’re all there for the same reason and it’s great to see so many legendary artists sweating it out; doing it until it’s over. Everybody left their ego at the door. To be smack dab in the middle of a sandwich between Weezy and Barbra Streisand was personally a creative experience I don’t think I’ll have the pleasure of having again. It just goes to show the mix and match of people who are here to help. I can only hope this version has the impact of the original.” Lil Wayne: “I’ve never been involved in anything like this. But coming out I feel blessed and feel like I’ve done something today. And that’s always a good day. When I got here, I was like what am I doing, will I be rapping or what? Then they told me I was doing Bob Dylan’s part and I was like, you guys are real good comedians. But I approached it the best way I knew how. Did I do a better job than Bob Dylan? Hell, no. But after I did his part, it hit me that this was something way more important than I could ever imagine. Before I go, I just want to say I think it’s amazing what’s been done for Haiti but I also think it’s amazing what hasn’t been done for New Orleans. Thank you.”
Duffy is already at work on her follow-up to `Rockferry`. The Welsh singer has hit the studio with Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson and recruited Albert Hammond to help write the songs. Hammond is the father of The Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr and has written global hits for Barbra Streisand, Leo Sayer and Rod Stewart. As a pop singer himself back “in the day” Hammond had the hits ‘It Never Rains In Southern California’ and ‘Down By The River’. Duffy is recording the album in New York with insiders saying that the sound is like 1963. The yet-to-be titled album will be released later this year.
Bob Dylan’s decision to put out a Christmas album this year caught a lot of people by surprise. It wasn’t just that the preeminent songwriter of the rock era had chosen to record secular seasonal staples such as “Winter Wonderland” and “Here Comes Santa Claus” for his “Christmas in the Heart” collection. Equally intriguing was that the musician born Robert Zimmerman and raised in a Jewish household also included exceptionally sincere versions of such quintessentially Christian Continue reading →
“The Twilight Saga: New Moon” soundtrack rises to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week, selling 153,000 copies (up 33%) in its first full week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The Summit/Chop Shop/Atlantic album, which features music by Death Cab for Cutie, Thom Yorke and the Killers, arrived on the chart last week with 115,000 after an early release last Friday (Oct. 16) pushed it onto the list with just three days of sales. “New Moon” is the second soundtrack this year to top the Billboard 200, following the “Hannah Montana: the Movie” album Continue reading →