- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Where credit’s due

So tax cuts do work. At least for the movie biz.

Mel Brooks said this week that his movie musical “The Producers” will begin filming in February at a new studio in Brooklyn, largely because of a new tax credit designed to bring more movies to New York.

The Universal Pictures film stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in the roles they played on Broadway; Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell co-star. It’s scheduled for a Christmas 2005 release.

Reuters News Agency reports that although the movie takes place in New York, Mr. Brooks said that without the new state-supported tax credit, it couldn’t have been filmed there.

“It was breaking my heart to think we’d have to go to Bucharest, to Vancouver, to Toronto to mimic this incredible city,” Mr. Brooks said during a news conference on a soundstage at the newly opened 15-acre Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Naval Yard.

“We’ll be able to make movies about New York in New York,” added New York Gov. George E. Pataki.

Big Apple Mayor Mike Bloomberg said the city is working on a tax credit of its own.

Just like old times

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke led a rally at Fylingdales Warning Base in Yorkshire, England recently to protest not the war in Iraq, but, rather, America’s ballistic-missile-defense system, a rudimentary version of which is set to be deployed soon, Rolling Stone reports.

Fylingdales is a United Kingdom military base affiliated with the program.

Let’s not make a deal

Walt Disney Co. President and Chief Operating Officer Robert Iger said it’s “unlikely” Disney will strike a new distribution deal with Pixar Animation Studios, according to a report on CNBC.

Earlier this year, Pixar broke off talks with Disney on extending their partnership after the two couldn’t agree on new terms that would be more favorable to Pixar.

Associated Press reports Pixar has since met with other studios and says it has plenty of time to strike a new deal.

What a girl wants

Christina Aguilera is urging young women to get their vote on this November, saying a failure to do so betrays feminism.

The singer appeared recently on MTV’s “Total Request Live,” telling fans to “start a revolution.”

Teen Hollywood quoted the pop star as saying: “I think it’s disrespectful as a female in this country to other females before us.

“They paved the way to even give us a right to vote. We really need to exercise that right.”

Still on the ‘Train’

The O’Jays are still joining hands on the “love train” and have no plans to stop.

Eddie Levert, 62, and Walter Williams, 61, said they keep singing because they love it, although possible recognition some day in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would suit them just fine.

“Local band makes good,” Mr. Williams told AP with a chuckle.

But he said what matters most to the O’Jays is performing… and a little something the band once referred to as “money, money, money.”

“I think the common denominator for us is that we love [the music]. Eddie once told me he loves what he’s doing so much, he would love it even if no one paid him. I don’t know if I love it that much,” Mr. Williams said.

‘King’s‘ new men

Columbia Pictures’ remake of the social drama “All the King’s Men” is turning into one star-studded ensemble.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Meryl Streep is in negotiations to join a cast headed by Sean Penn and Jude Law; Kate Winslet and Mark Ruffalo are also possibilities.

Steven Zaillian is set to direct from his own adaptation of Robert Penn Warren’s novel, which is based on the life of legendary Louisiana Gov. Huey Long.

James Carville, the ragin’ Cajun himself, is among the producers on the project.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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