SUE MY MONKEY
With the ratio of bad to good Saturday Night Live movies hovering at about 6 to 1, can you blame MIKE MYERS for practicing a little quality control? The comedian claims he tried to delay production of Dieter, a movie based on his fey, monkey-toting German SNL character, because the script, his own, wasn't funny. Not satisfied with that explanation, Universal Pictures last week sued Myers for $5 million, claiming that he actually pulled out of the movie during a May 30 meeting, after the studio had already laid out millions in production costs and made Dieter the Teutonic tent pole of its summer 2001 schedule. Myers, who is thinking of countersuing, released the following statement: "I cannot, in good conscience, accept $20 million and cheat moviegoers who pay their hard-earned money for my work by making a movie with an unacceptable script." Hopefully, similar problems can be avoided in the Coffee Talk screenplay.
BE ADVISED: BOOK EARLY FOR PURIM
If, in the year 2004, you heard 'N SYNC was playing Bat Mitzvahs, you'd probably think things were right on schedule. But last weekend the boys gigged at Temple Beth Sholom in Potomac, Md., to honor Rachel Colburn, whose father happens to be a high-ranking AOL exec with connections to the band. Three hundred surprised guests were treated to a 40-minute set of hits, including Bye Bye Bye and Tearin' Up My Heart. Hava Nagila remixes should be bootlegged any day.
YES, SHE'S AT IT AGAIN
The threshold for SINEAD O'CONNOR to make it onto this page is pretty high. When you've enraged Frank Sinatra, defaced a picture of Pope John Paul II on national television and later been "ordained" a Catholic priest, no mere dustup/divorce/nude-photo scandal will cut it. So here it is: O'Connor is coming out of the closet. "I am a lesbian," she declared in a June 8 letter to the British music mag Hot Press. "I love men, but I prefer sex with women and I prefer romantic relationships with women." In an upcoming issue of Curve, the largest-circulation lesbian magazine in the U.S., O'Connor elaborates that she's mostly gone out with men because "I haven't necessarily been terribly comfortable about being a lesbian." Oh, and in case you're curious, the timing of this announcement coincides with the upcoming release of O'Connor's new album, due June 20.
FEUD OF THE WEEK
NAME: SAMUEL L. JACKSON AGE: 51 OCCUPATION: Shaft star/one bad mutha BEST PUNCH: "John is like many young directors I've worked with recently...I know better than they do what works for Sam Jackson."
NAME: JOHN SINGLETON AGE: 32 OCCUPATION: Shaft director BEST DODGE: "Sam is opinionated, but I respect that." The real cause of on-set tension? "It was our producer, Scott Rudin, that was the big problem."
THE WINNER: Titan A.E., which comes out the same day as Shaft