Despatches
 
 
SECOND SPACE MISSION FOR HANKS
It seems Tom Hanks can't get enough of the space programme. While he was filming Apollo 13, he was in talks with Home Box Office to be Executive Producer of a television mini-series entitled From the Earth to the Moon - a series that is now finished and ready to be televised. The actor admits his fascination with space travel began at a very early age. "I followed the astronauts of the Apollo programme right up through Apollo 13. I was always dazzled by the idea that frail human beings of flesh, bone and sinew could go off in these vacuum-packed little spacecraft and travel half-a-million miles."
The mini-series will run 12 weeks and Hanks, aside from producing all the shows, works on selected episodes as writer, director and actor. It's obviously a project that is very dear to his heart.

FOSTER CHILD?
Jodie Foster's private life is once again the subject of press speculation. In recent times her sexual orientation has been a topic of much interest and now the latest rumour concerns an unconfirmed report claims that she is pregnant by artificial insemination. The starting point for the rumour was her sudden departure from the thriller Double Jeopardy, but a representative of the 35-year-old double Oscar-winner insists that her decision was because she wanted to concentrate on working on the other side of the camera.

MEAN STREETS
A high-profile enquiry into a French prostitution ring catering to a wealthy clientele has included the name of none other than movie legend Robert De Niro. It's actually a lot less sleazy than it sounds. His only link was that one of the call girls had mentioned his that the 53-year-old actor had glanced in her general direction, leading to him being brought in to assist the police with their enquiries. De Niro was questioned for more than nine hours, before being released without charge.

TITANIC TREASURE
In under 10 weeks Titanic has accumulated over $700 million worldwide. Before the movie opened, many of the props and costumes from the picture were offered for sale. The film's director, James Cameron, told USA Today that the sale was a very big mistake. He says in the paper, "Now that it's the No 1 movie of 1997, we could have gotten more."

SMOKING!
According to a recent British report by The Health Education Authority (HEA), the amount of smoking in films has increased almost four-fold between 1990 and 1995, with 80% of the top ten films featuring characters that smoked. The HEA also found that twice as many smokers were primary characters were primary rather than secondary characters, using examples such as Bruce Willis in Die Hard with a Vengeance and Kurt Russell in StarGate.

THE 70th ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARD WINNERS
Best Picture: Titanic
Best Director: James Cameron, Titanic
Best Actor: Jack Nicholson, As Good As It Gets
Best Actress: Helen Hunt, As Good As It Gets
Best Supporting Actor: Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting
Best Supporting Actress: Kim Basinger, LA Confidential
Best Original Screenplay: Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Good Will Hunting
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