LEGAL BRIEF Two Los Angelenos filed suit yesterday against Gwyneth Paltrow, claiming the actress caused them ”permanent and serious” back and neck injuries last April when her rental car hit their vehicle. According to Reuters, Veronica Cabello and Jorge Arauz said in their civil lawsuit that the Oscar-winning actress hit them on April 24, 1999, while they were driving along West Hollywood. The plaintiffs, who allege they suffered $4,000 in automotive damages and $8,000 in medical damages, are seeking pain and suffering compensation from the 26-year-old Paltrow and Midway Rent-a-Car, which owned the car Paltrow was driving. Cabello and Arauz’s lawyer says he’s trying to settle the case out of court.
CASTING Denzel Washington will star in the Nick Cassavetes drama ”John Q” for New Line Cinema. The film follows a father who’s so angry that his uninsured son can’t get medical attention that he takes the entire ER hostage. Washington is also committed to the Warner Bros. movie ”Training Day,” so it’s unclear when production for ”John Q” will begin…. Oscar nominees Haley Joel Osment and Willem Dafoe have signed on to star in the Holocaust drama ”Edges of the Lord.” Set in Poland, ”Edges” will star Osment as a 12-year-old Jewish boy who’s hiding from the Nazis with a peasant Catholic family; Dafoe will play the town’s priest. The $7.5 million production starts shooting May 5 in Poland, with director Yurek Bogayevicz…. Richard Harris (”Gladiator”) and Lukas Haas (”Mars Attacks!”) are set to join the cast of ”The Pearl,” an $8 million adaptation of John Steinbeck’s beloved novella. Director Alfredo Zacharias will start shooting this week in his native Mexico.
CONCERT WIRE As reported yesterday, Limp Bizkit will kick off a month-long tour on July 4 in Chicago. The BIG news, which Fred Durst and company announced yesterday on MTV’s ”Total Request Live,” is that the tour is FREE. That’s right, free. Fans can come with empty pockets to any of the 3,000-5,000-seat venues Limp Bizkit (and sometimes Cypress Hill) is playing in Detroit, Minneapolis, Boston, New York, Dallas, Denver, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, and of course, Chi-town. The tour is being sponsored by the controversial Internet company Napster Inc., which allows users to trade and search for free MP3s (downloadable files of songs and performances). Durst, who is in the minority of musicians who support the free technology, said to MTV: ”The only people who are scared are people in the record industry who are used to things going the old way and they’re scared of change. Who cares? We’re going to give it to you for free, and they’re going to pay for it.” We can only guess Metallica won’t be dropping in for a jam session.
EXIT New mother Kelly Preston, who had her second child, Ella Bleu, with husband John Travolta a few weeks ago, has left the Miramax/Dimension Films thriller ”Spy Game,” which is currently in production with writer-director Robert Rodriguez at the helm. Preston, who had not started shooting her role, was slated to star opposite Antonio Banderas as married international spies. No replacement has been announced yet.
DVD WATCH Steven Spielberg has finally decided to allow his blockbusters to turn digital. Universal will release a special 25th anniversary DVD edition of ”Jaws” July 11. ”Jaws” is the first classic Spielberg film to be available on DVD (”Saving Private Ryan” was released last fall), with ”E.T.” and ”Jurassic Park” to follow later this year. No word yet on when the much-anticipated Indiana Jones trilogy will be ready on DVD.
RECOVERING Sean Brosnan, the 16-year-old son of Pierce Brosnan, will fully recover from the severe injuries he suffered over the weekend in a serious car accident. In a statement issued by Brosnan, the James Bond actor thanked the emergency room workers who saved his son and his friends: ”Because of the aforementioned men and women, I am assured of my son’s recovery and that he will have a full life,” Brosnan said. Sean is expected to be discharged sometime next week. The California Highway Patrol reported Sunday that Sean had suffered a ruptured bladder, a broken pelvis, and possibly a fractured vertebrae, but yesterday’s update made no mention of his specific injuries.
TV NEWS Renowned director Sidney Lumet is returning to television after a 40-year absence. Lumet, 75, who started his directorial career on live TV in the 1950s, has agreed to executive produce the hour-long night court drama ”100 Centre Street” for the cable network A&E. Lumet will write and direct the pilot and several of the first 13 episodes for ”100 Centre Street,” which is A&E’s first original dramatic program. After years of showing nonstop reruns of ”Law & Order,” A&E just decided to make its own New York legal drama. The series will premiere in early 2001…. Longtime NBC sports analyst Ahmad Rashad has announced he will anchor the syndicated program ”Real TV.” Starting this fall, Rashad will replace John Daly, who hosted the all-video reality television show since it began five seasons ago. But fans of NBC’s ”NBA’s Inside Stuff” don’t need to fret: Rashad will continue to host and executive produce the popular Saturday morning series and will work on the Peacock’s Olympics coverage later this year
TV RIP ”Ainsley Harriott,” the syndicated cooking/talk show hosted by Britain’s favorite chef, has been canceled. The Disney owned ”Harriott,” which debuted in January, averaged a 0.9 household rating this season, much less than the 2.0 syndicated shows need to break even financially. It’ll probably be a matter of days for fellow new and low-rated syndicated talk shows ”Leeza,” ”Martin Short,” and ”Dr. Joy Browne.” ”Queen Latifah” is so far, the only new show to get renewed for a second season.
CONCERT CASH The Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young reunion tour, which ended last Wednesday in St. Louis, grossed approximately $43 million and played to 92 percent capacity for 40 shows. That’s more than $1 million per gig for the classic rockers. The tour’s great reception is the perfect precursor to ”Silver and Gold,” Neil Young’s new solo album, which was released today. Reprise also issued ”Silver and Gold,” the hour-long concert video.