The latest news from Hollywood |


The latest news from Hollywood

''Watchmen,'' Courtney Cox, and Gael Garcia Bernal were in the news this week

Though Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox will return to court Jan. 20 to resume their battle over Watchmen, Fox insiders say their ultimate goal isn’t to block the film’s much-anticipated release on March 6. Rather, they say they would like Warner Bros. to honor Fox’s stake in the franchise after a federal judge ruled last month that Fox owns distribution rights to any adaptations of the graphic novel. The court even recommended in its December ruling that both parties stop preparing for trial and instead begin ”negotiating a resolution of this dispute.” For now, however, Warner Bros. doesn’t seem willing to compromise over its $100 million movie, which stars Billy Crudup as the omniscient Dr. Manhattan. Says a spokesman, ”We will continue to pursue all of our legal options and remain confident that we will ultimately prevail.” + Is it over yet? Despite fierce opposition from high-profile members, the Screen Actors Guild is still expected to send out ballots for a controversial strike vote on or after Jan. 14. Two factions have quickly emerged: A-listers like George Clooney and Tom Hanks are urging members to sign a Vote No petition, while celebs like Mel Gibson and Holly Hunter are urging colleagues to walk off the job if need be. (Seventy-five percent of current members must authorize a strike before the national board can actually call for one to take place.) SAG and the studio conglomerates remain at odds over DVD residuals and compensation for new-media extras like TV webisodes. — Lynette Rice

Y Tu Mamá También costars Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna are reuniting in Rudo y Cursi, a Spanish-language comedy about two dim-witted brothers who are recruited by rival soccer teams. Director Carlos Cuarón (brother of Alfonso and co-screenwriter of También helms the film, which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival later this month. Rather than fighting for the movie during the usual Sundance brouhaha, sources say Sony Pictures Classics has already scooped up the domestic distribution rights. (The studio declined to comment.) + Jerry Bruckheimer has cast Aussie actress Teresa Palmer (Bedtime Stories) opposite Nicolas Cage in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a live-action adventure inspired by Mickey Mouse’s animated short in Fantasia. Jon TurtelTaub (who worked with Cage on the National Treasure movies) will direct. — Nicole Sperling

Courtney Cox may be starring in a new pilot for ABC called Cougar Town, but don’t assume it’s about a fortysomething temptress who preys on young men. According to creator Bill Lawrence (Scrubs) — who will exec-produce the single-camera comedy if ABC picks it up for fall — the title is a ploy to lure viewers. Granted, Cox plays a divorced mom who has a brief fling with a young hottie, but the overused word has a much different connotation here. ”It’s set in a small town in Florida, and the high school football team is named the Cougars,” reveals Lawrence, who’s been working with Cox during her stint on Scrubs this season. ”Hopefully, people will tune in to see how cheesy it is and realize it’s a completely different show.” — LR, with additional reporting by Michael Ausiello