- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 28, 2003

No spinoff zone

Internet Movie Database

Halle Berry is fuming after movie bosses axed her plans to make a film based on the character she played in the James Bond movie “Die Another Day.”

The Oscar-winning screen star played sexy CIA agent Jinx in the movie alongside 007 Pierce Brosnan and was desperate to portray the character again in a franchise of spinoff action films.

The project has been canceled spectacularly by studio chiefs, much to the disgust of the 37-year-old actress. An insider says, “Halle is absolutely furious. She thought she was going to become the female James Bond in a series of films. Now it’s been canceled with little explanation.”

Executives at MGM made the decision over the weekend and have instructed Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson to stop developing the movie.

Hot Rod

Reuters News Agency

Rod Stewart feels he has been criticized unfairly for dating a younger woman, especially when ex-Beatle Paul McCartney escaped censure despite taking a wife half his age.

He also complained about being passed over for a Grammy in favor of British rival Sting, calling him “Mr. Serious who helps the Indians.”

Mr. Stewart, 58, whose partner is 32-year-old model Penny Lancaster, was speaking ahead of next month’s formal opening of the London musical “Tonight’s the Night,” based on 22 of his chart-topping songs.

“What [ticks] me off is they never have a go at Paul McCartney for marrying a younger woman… but they kill me because of Penny,” he said.

Mr. McCartney, 61, is 26 years older than his wife, Heather Mills; the age difference is the same between Mr. Stewart and Miss Lancaster.

“Perhaps it’s because he’s got a knighthood,” Mr. Stewart added. “I don’t know why I haven’t got any honor. I do my bit for charity.”

Elton John, another singer with a knighthood, also earned Mr. Stewart’s disapproval for not inviting Mr. Stewart to his parties. Dubbing him “Sharon,” Mr. Stewart took a swipe at Mr. John’s appearance and weight.

“My hair is nice and real and looks it, and hers doesn’t.

“No, I take that back. He looks good at the moment, but he could lose a bit of timber,” Mr. Stewart said.

Schindler’s plaque

Associated Press

Members of the Krakow, Poland, Jewish community and U.S. college students unveiled a plaque Monday honoring German industrialist Oscar Schindler, whose campaign to save 1,200 Jews from the Holocaust was chronicled in the 1993 movie “Schindler’s List.”

The black metal plaque, placed on Mr. Schindler’s former Emalia factory in Krakow, bears the Talmud quotation “He who saves one life saves the whole world” in Polish, English and Hebrew, said Pawel Zielinskiof the Polish company KCI Properties SA, who attended the ceremony.

Mr. Schindler’s World War II bravery in Nazi-occupied Poland was recounted in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning movie.

“When I think that I lived to this moment, it seems to me I’m dreaming,” said Eugenia Manor, 77, who was saved by Mr. Schindler with her parents and brother.

“He saved not only us, but also the future generations, our children and grandchildren,” said Mrs. Manor, who met her future husband at the factory and now lives in Beer Sheva, Israel.

Smith memorial

Billboard.com

Beck, Bright Eyes and Beth Orton are among the artists who will perform Monday during a memorial concert for late singer-songwriter Elliott Smith.

Set for the Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre in Los Angeles, the event will feature performances of Mr. Smith’s songs exclusively. Also slated to appear are Grandaddy, Radar Bros., Rilo Kiley, Future Pigeon and as-yet-unannounced special guests.

Proceeds from the show will benefit the Elliott Smith Foundation for Abused Children.

Along with the musical performances, Steve Hanft’s Smith documentary “Strange Parallel” will be screened.

Mr. Smith, 34, died Oct. 21 after apparently stabbing himself in the heart. According to a source, he did so using a steak knife at his girlfriend’s apartment in Los Angeles.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from wire and Web reports.

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