Despatches
 
 
Sheen overdose trauma
Charlie Sheen joins the growing list of young actors whose excessive lifestyles are making headline news. Following the highly-documented recent exploits of Christian Slater and Robert Downey Jr, the 32-year-old star of Platoon, Wall Street, Hot Shots (and a sackful of far less memorable movies) became the latest casualty of young Hollywood. Sheen was admitted to Los Angeles Hospital on May 20 after consuming life-threatening quantities of alcohol and drugs.

Charlie’s father, actor Martin Sheen (ironically most famous for his superb performance in Apocalypse Now, including a legendary opening sequence of alcoholic method-acting) was clearly overcome with emotion he confirmed that his son had been admitted for a drug overdose.
"He’s doing very well. This is not an easy moment in our lives, but it’s a necessary one. Our hope is that he will recover and be fine.” (By Stuart Edwards)

Spielberg Stalker Gets 25 Years
Jonathan Norman, the man who was arrested on Steven Spielberg’s estate carrying a so-called ‘rape-kit’ has been sentenced to 25 years to life in jail. The jury took less than four hours to find 31-year-old Norman – a former talent agency receptionist and wannabe screen-writer who was obsessed with the director – guilty. Normally the stalker would have received a far lesser sentence, but under Californian law his previous two convictions (which involved him trying to run down a group of pedestrians in 1995) meant that a third felony led to a much stiffer sentence. (By Stuart Edwards)

Superman Buried?
Nicolas Cage has been paid $15 million not to appear in Superman Reborn. The actor had been scheduled to star in the Tim Burton fantasy but the project has been scrapped at Warner Bros because the budget became too high. Cage was on a pay-or-play deal which meant he would be paid whether the film was produced or not. Nice work if you can get it! You also might be interested to know that Margot Kidder, Lois Lane in the 1979 Superman, is set to make a Broadway comeback after suffering a well-reported nervous breakdown two years ago. She’ll be co-starring with Stacy Keach in Alfred Steiglitz Loves O’Keefe.

9½ Week Scandal
The American distributors of the Mickey Rourke/Kim Basinger infamous slice of erotica 9½ Weeks are suing producer Peter Hoffman and the Canadian-based company Lions Gate Films over their latest production, The First 9½ Weeks. Trimark allege that when they agreed to distribute the original Adrian Lyne movie, a contract was signed giving them the sole rights to any prequels, remakes or sequels. The case continues.

Euro-Oscar
Do we really need another film awards ceremony? We’ve already got the Oscars, the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs, the Palmes D’Or etc… So what do you make of the idea that Europe should have its very own Oscar awards? The idea was first raised at an EU conference in Birmingham earlier this year by British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook MP and Michael Kuhn, head of Polygram, who floated the plan as a way of boosting the prestige of European films. The current plan is to present the annual awards at the Cannes Film Festival.

 
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