News + Notes

The Deal Report

MOVIES Anna Faris is with the band! The ''Scary Movie'' heroine is attached to ''Vinyl,'' a drama about a bunch of rock chicks and the up-and-coming band they love. Thora Birch (''Ghost World'') and Jena Malone (''Donnie Darko'') are also attached.... Ashanti and Fat Joe were a great team on ''What's Luv?'' but Ashanti and Samuel L. Jackson -- now that's a collaboration! She'll make her screen debut in Paramount's ''Coach Carter,'' about a high school hoops coach (Jackson) who benched the whole undefeated team for -- dig this -- getting bad grades. True story!

BOOKS Singer-songwriter Elliott Smith died of an apparent suicide last October, and now Da Capo Press hopes to have a biography by journalist Benjamin Nugent out by the first anniversary of his death. It's tentatively titled ''Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing,'' which refers not only to one of Smith's more famous songs (''Ballad of Big Nothing'') but also to ''the condition of pop music in the late '90s, during which he was doing most of his recording,'' Nugent says. ''He had his career during one of rock & roll's worst periods.''

Originally posted Jan 16, 2004 Published in issue #746 Jan 16, 2004 Order article reprints