ARRESTED Oh, that kooky DMX: What will that mischievous scamp get up to next? The rapper was nabbed in Cheektowaga in upstate New York Thursday night (after his concert in Buffalo with the Cash Money/Ruff Ryders tour) for license-less motoring and possession of marijuana, according to MTV News. (His license had been suspended after he was recently found driving without insurance.) He was pulled over for speeding and failing to signal, and then the cops realized they had stumbled onto a whole treasure trove of infractions. DMX (real name Earl Simmons) was released the next day after posting $2,000 bail, and he’ll return for a court appearance on March 21. Let’s hope he takes a limo…. Seems he’s not the only rapper with car issues: MTV reports that Foxy Brown was also arrested for driving with a suspended license after she drove into a fence in New York City on Monday. She went to the hospital because of neck and arm pain suffered from the accident, while cops checked and found that her license had been suspended for not paying a fine and failing to answer a previous summons.
CASTING Thanks to the blockbuster ”Austin Powers” sequel, Mike Myers has been paid $20 million to star in his ”Sprockets” movie for Universal, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The movie is based on his Teutonic talk show host from ”Saturday Night Live,” and were it anybody but Myers you would now be experiencing ”Night at the Roxbury”-size shivers…. Since every young actress with dramatic promise must do her time in a serial-killer movie, Cate Blanchett may spend hers in ”Taking Lives,” playing an FBI agent hunting down a murderer who takes on the identities of his victims.
SHUT DOWN Columbia has abruptly canceled plans to produce the comedy ”The Ottoman Empire,” which was to star Keanu Reeves as a porn star-turned-furniture salesman. Variety says that the studio was probably spooked by the dismal debut of its latest sex gagfest, ”What Planet Are You From?” which it had trouble promoting since the best jokes were too dirty for TV ads. Oh, sure, but another problem could be that Garry Shandling just doesn’t know comedy. Now Keanu Reeves… THERE’S the Buster Keaton for the next millennium.
HALL OF FAMERS Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, the Lovin’ Spoonful, and Earth, Wind & Fire were all inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night. Clapton was the first artist to be inducted three times – in past years as a member of Cream and the Yardbirds, this time as a solo artist. Paul McCartney inducted Taylor, since it was the Beatles who first signed the singer to their Apple label. And millions of frat guys silently thanked Taylor at home for giving them songs even they could learn on the guitar to show their girlfriends their ”sensitive side.”
TEAMING UP Mariah Carey has an opening act for her first American tour in seven years: Da Brat. The rapper will come along for each of the tour’s whopping nine shows, which begin on March 16 in Los Angeles.
LEGALLY MAD Bill Cosby has threatened to sue the National Enquirer for $250 million if it doesn’t retract its current story that a 20-year-old actress filed a complaint against him for exposing himself and fondling her breast. ”The story is not true,” his spokesman told the Associated Press. ”Nothing happened. The authorities never contacted Mr. Cosby, and the first he learned of it was from the National Enquirer.” The tabloid said that Lachele Covington – an actress with a recurring role on ”Cosby” – did file a complaint, but that the New York City DA’s office decided not to prosecute. And, since the DA’s office won’t comment on cases unless it makes an arrest, the claim is unverifiable. The tabloid says that it stands by its story and that it was fair in printing it by including Cosby’s denial.
SHOW REVIVAL EM.TV, the German company that recently bought the Jim Henson Co. for $680 million, is resurrecting ”The Muppet Show” for a worldwide audience. The new production – which EM.TV hopes to have on the air early next year – will go back to the original musical format and will have celebrity guest stars and all the old favorite characters like Kermit, Gonzo, and Miss Piggy. As they say in Germany, eet ees now time for you to put on zee makeup, eet ees now time zat you must lighten zee lights!
REEL DEAL Alexander Payne (”Election”) will write and direct a contemporary update of ”The Picture of Dorian Gray” set in the movie business, although one would think that plastic surgery would render a current-day version moot. Just ask Joan Rivers, who looks just like she did when she was 21, minus the ability to alter her facial expression.
NEW SHOW ”King of the Hill” cocreator Greg Daniels is developing a new live-action sitcom for the WB centering around a family living in New York City. Boy, America’s heartland will appreciate THAT novel setting.