Fri, Jun 10, 2005 - Page 17 News List

Reel News


Taiwanese-American filmmaker Justin Lin will be in the director's chair for filming of the third movie in the wildly successful Fast and Furious franchise.

The 32-year-old, who is best-known for 2002's Better Luck Tomorrow was picked by Universal films, Hollywood Reporter said on Wednesday.

The Fast and Furious (2001) and 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) were loved by car fans worldwide and each earned more than US$200 million in the US alone.

Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe has blamed a combination of "jet lag, loneliness and adrenalin" for the meltdown which left him facing possible jail or deportation from the US for allegedly assaulting a clerk in New York's exclusive Mercer Hotel.

"I'm at the bottom of a well. I can't communicate how dark my life is right now," Crowe said in an interview published yesterday in The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

The Sydney-based actor said the fracas was entirely his fault. "I've got no excuses," said Crowe, 41.

The notoriously short-tempered Crowe was charged with assault for allegedly throwing the phone at hotel employee Nestor Estrada.

If convicted, he faces up to eight years in prison and said in the interview that even if he escapes a jail term, he may lose his US visa and never be able to work in Hollywood again.

The actor said the hotel incident came at the end of an exhausting 24 hours during which he had flown from New York to Manchester, England, and back to catch a world title fight involving Australian boxer Kostya Tszyu.

Once back in New York he went to a bar for a few drinks.

Crowe then tried to call his wife Danielle in Sydney just after 4am New York time but could not reach her from his hotel room.

Screen idol Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures have reached an agreement for Cruise to star in Mission Impossible 3, with filming set to begin next month, Variety reported Wednesday.

The daily said the deal, reached after a series of tough negotiations, grants the superstar 30 percent of the US$150 million film's proceeds.

Unlike the covert messages in the film, which are designed to self-destruct after a preset period of time, the two previous Mission Impossible films have had serious staying power, reeling in a billion dollars in worldwide box office receipts.

Belgian Hollywood star Jean-Claude van Damme is to star alongside French actor Alain Delon in a third film of the adventures of those heroic cartoon Gauls, Asterix and Obelix.

Indian actress Aishwarya Rai also gets a role in Asterix at the Olympics which is due to start filming next May in Morocco or Tunisia, with a scheduled release date in December 2007, publishers Editions' Albert Rene said.

Gerard Depardieu will once again play the heavyweight Obelix who owes his strength to falling into a cauldron of magic potion as a baby, but it has yet to be decided who will fill Asterix's shoes, with Christian Clavier not taking up the role again.

Delon will play Julius Caesar seeking to quell the pesky Gaul resistance, while Van Damme will don a toga to play Roman athlete Cornedurus.

The first Asterix film, Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra was a box-office hit in France and was followed by Asterix and Obelix Against Caesar.

Animated animals ruled the big screen across North America this weekend, as the latest installment of the Star Wars saga sank to third place, according to box office returns.

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