The list of possible Bond girls is down to 4 actresses...
Macaulay & Mila engaged...
Who's gonna be the new Wonder Woman - Jessica Alba, or this girl...
Who cares about Tammin...
Alien visits Sydney...
The Hoff is gonna make the ladies cry...
Stupid mistake robs Munich of awards...
And Jacko in trouble for molestation again...
Plus Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards...
IT'S apparently a four-horse race to cast the next Bond girl, according to Daily Variety magazine. After producers lucked out with Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron, attentions have now turned to two Australian actresses: Naomi Watts and Kimberly Davies, as well as two other Hollywood beauties: Natasha Henstridge (pictured) and Sienna Miller. Filming on the new Bond film, Casino Royale, which will be actor Daniel Craig's first outing as 007, is set to start on January 30, but producers are struggling to fill the cast, according to Contactmusic. Sienna Miller may be the favourite to play Vesper Lynd, as she starred opposite Craig in Layer Cake in 2004.
THAT 70's Show star Mila Kunis has reportedly been spotted shopping for an engagement ring after deciding to wed her longtime partner, child actor Macaulay Culkin. In Touch reports the couple, who started dating in 2002, was spotted checking out rings at a number of Beverly Hills jewellers on January 4 and plan to marry later in the year. A source says, "Mila's looking for a ring that's unique and may even opt for a ruby instead of a diamond." Culkin, 25, was previously married to actress Rachel Miner. They split in 2000 after two years together.
FIREFLY and Buffy creator Joss Whedon has let it slip that Morena Baccarin may be in line for the coveted role of Wonder Woman, according to Contactmusic.
Whedon reportedly has made no secret of the fact that he thinks the actress, who he worked with on both Firefly and Serenity, would make a good Wonder Woman. Net reports suggest that Whedon wants Baccarin for the role, while producer Joel Silver, who initially wanted Kim Basinger to don the Wonder Woman suit, is fighting for Jessica Alba.
SHE is sporting a ring on that finger but it's not what you think - Tammin Sursok is definitely not engaged yet. The sparkler had prompted rumours that wedding plans are on the cards for the former Home and Away midget and her boyfriend, American actor Jarret Wright. But the ring was actually a gift to Sursok's mother Julie from husband Daryl that the actor and sometime singer has managed to get a hold of. "She wears it because it makes her feel close to her mum," a spokeswoman for Sursok told Confidential yesterday. Sursok, 22, has secured herself an agent in Los Angeles and will set up home in the US full-time in the next month.
- From Sydney Confidential
SHE'S arguably the world's hottest model. And the alien-looking teen is in our midst. Young mannequin Gemma Ward arrived in Sydney on Monday to kickstart her working year following a quiet Christmas in Perth with her family. And she's not here for just any old gig. The 18-year-old with the other-worldly looks, who became the most wanted model on the planet last year, is sitting for the UK edition of Vogue. But it's a whirlwind visit. Ward is due to fly out for her New York base at the end of the week in preparation for the international collections beginning in the Big Apple early next month.
- From Sydney Confidential
IF YOU'VE bought tickets to see everyone's favourite mulleted '80s lifesaver at Sydney's State Theatre, we've got some bad news for you. The tour is Hoff. Yep, David Hasselhoff has postponed his Aussie tour, citing a commitment to film a pilot for a US television series at the same time. After two promotional visits in Sydney late last year, he was to have played five shows at the State Theatre next month on his national tour. In better news, tickets are refundable or can be used when he does eventually turn up, which is expected to be late this year. The release of The Hoff's new single, a cover of the Ted Mulry Gang classic Jump in My Car, will be held off to coincide with his tour.
- From Sydney Confidential
FROM Jaws and Close Encounters through to War of the Worlds, Steven Spielberg movies have rarely had trouble connecting with audiences.
But the man who put a capital B into the contemporary blockbuster, whose films have grossed billions and whose name is usually the stamp of glorious cinematic success, has been humbled. By a button. Pushed, it seems, mistakenly.
This has had a profound effect on the director's latest opus, at least as far as the members of the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTAs) are concerned. By today they have to nominate the films they think worthy of accolade, and Spielberg's Munich was expected to be among them, tipped for awards in Britain and at the Oscars.
But the preview DVD sent to the academy's members is unplayable on machines used in Britain. As a result most of the 5000 voters for the British awards will not have seen the film, due to be released in Britain on January 27, and can hardly be expected to recommend it for acclaim.
Sara Keene at Premier PR, the company co-ordinating Munich's campaign for the British awards, blamed the mistake on human error at the laboratory where the DVDs were encrypted. "Someone pushed the wrong button," she said. "It was a case of rotten bad luck." She insisted the film's distributor, Universal, was not at fault.
The problem, it appears, was partly down to teething troubles with the limited-edition DVD players issued last year to the British academy's members. Developed by Cinea, a subsidiary of Dolby, the players permit their owners to view encrypted DVD "screeners", but prevent the creation of pirate copies. Munich screeners were encoded for region one, which allows them to be played in the US and Canada, rather than region two, which incorporates most of Europe.
The faulty DVDs reached members only on Saturday, which meant the film had already missed out on the first round of voting on January 4. In a further twist, a previous batch mailed before Christmas was reportedly held up by customs officials in Britain. "It's been quite a cock-up," said one academy member, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"The general feeling among members is that the film has now been shut out of the nominations simply because not enough people have actually had the opportunity to see the thing."
Munich is a dramatisation of the 1972 Olympics hostage crisis that resulted in the death of 11 Israeli athletes. The plot follows a hit squad from the Israeli secret service, Mossad, on the trail of the Palestinian Black September group behind the kidnappings. The film has been criticised by Israeli officials for what is perceived as Spielberg's sympathetic attitude towards the Palestinian cause, and for allegedly equating Mossad's actions with those of the terrorists. Reviews in the US have been largely positive.
DVD screeners remain a vexed issue for distributors concerned about the potential for piracy. But the evidence suggests that they play a vital role in raising a film's profile among award voters.
"There are over 5000 BAFTA members," Keene explained. "With the best will in the world, they don't all come to the preview screenings. Unless you send them DVDs it is really hard to get a film nominated."
This point was brought home last year when the distributor Entertainment decided not to provide voters for the British awards with screeners of Million Dollar Baby. Clint Eastwood's boxing drama failed to gain a single nomination at the 2005 awards. One month later it scooped the major honours at the Academy Awards.
NEW YORK: Michael Jackson faces fresh child sex abuse allegations from a 20-year-old man who has filed a civil lawsuit alleging the pop star molested him, forced him to have cosmetic surgery and stole his melodies and lyrics for songs.
The allegations relate to the period between 1987 and 1999.
"It is alleged that my client was present at Michael Jackson's residences and other places from the age of two to 14 and was molested many times over the course of those years," lawyer Michael Mattern said.
"There is also an allegation that my client came up with song ideas, lyrics and melodies which were used by Mr Jackson in his records and made an awful lot of money."
The plaintiff was also "subjected to unnecessary cosmetic surgery procedures".
"I have got photos of my client with these red lips just like you see on Mr Jackson and a big old cleft on his chin which he didn't have previously," Mr Mattern said.
Jackson was cleared of child sex-abuse charges last June after one of the most high-profile trials in history.
Mr Mattern said his client initially filed the suit at Orange County Superior Court without a lawyer's help on July 25 last year before employing him in October. "I then filed a first amended complaint," he said.
The defendants include Jackson, his production company MJJ Productions and Sony.
The complainant was interviewed at length before Jackson's trial after Santa Barbara County authorities appealed for any new accusers to come forward, but no charges relating to his allegations were made.
Law-enforcement sources say that was because authorities did not believe his story would stand up in court, the New York Post reported.
ROCK giants David Bowie and Cream, country veteran Merle Haggard and blues pioneer Robert Johnson will receive lifetime achievement Grammy awards next month.
Also recognised will be comedian Richard Pryor who died last month. The acts have largely been snubbed by the Grammys.
The honour comes a little late for Johnson, who died in suspicious circumstances in 1938.