Douglas, Zeta-Jones Lose Monkeyface
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
By Roger Friedman

No More Monkeyface  | Go Bebe, It's Your Birthday

Douglas, Zeta-Jones Lose Monkeyface

The plan to bring married couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones to the big screen together has fallen through.

Indeed, the two Oscar winners, I am told, pulled out of their planned film Monkeyface on Friday. The Stephen Frears directed heist film was set to start shooting in November. But Frears says that at the end of last week the whole thing "fell apart," for reasons which are unclear.

That leaves Frears -- whose highly touted Dirty Pretty Things starring Audrey Tautou opens this Friday -- looking for work.

Last night in New York, a bunch of influential movieland types came to the Disney screening room for cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and a screening of the latest Frears work. He is also the director of such great films as Dangerous Liaisons and The Grifters.

Liaisons star Glenn Close hosted the screening, which drew familiar faces like screenwriter Buck Henry, actors Sheila MacRae, Sylvia Miles, Celeste Holm, and Marni Nixon, writer-actor-director Wally Shawn, agents Boaty Boatwright and Johnnie Planco , and writer Donald E. Westlake.

Frears is not bitter about losing Monkeyface, by the way. He's already had his share of Hollywood battles. A few years ago he made Liaisons knowing that Milos Forman was going to direct a similar film, Valmont.

In the end, his was the better picture, even though the Forman film was the one that had the advance buzz.

As for Monkeyface, the real story no doubt lies with producer Elie Samaha, whose mysterious ways of financing a film may have been more than Douglas -- a seasoned and Oscar-winning producer himself -- and Warner Bros. could handle. I'm sure we'll be hearing more about this Monkey business in the days ahead.

Liv Tyler's Mom Gets Birthday Surprise

She's known as Liv Tyler's mom to a whole new generation, but rocker-model-author Bebe Buell is famous for being rock's first independent woman. Her book Rebel Heart: An American Rock 'n' Roll Journey -- a New York Times bestseller -- chronicles her life from Ford model in 1972 through a history of rock relationships from Mick Jagger to Elvis Costello. Cameron Crowe even based Penny Lane on her in the movie Almost Famous.

So it seemed kind of appropriate on Monday night that Tyler along with Buell's husband, Vacationland lead guitarist Jim Wallerstein, threw Bebe a wild surprise 50th birthday celebration up in alt-rock heaven Portland, Maine. Was she worried about everyone knowing she's 50? Let's put it this way: Buell, once a Playboy playmate, just posed for the cover of Grace magazine's fall issue.

The swanky soiree moved between two Portland venues -- the gourmet Bintliff's American Cafe and the Pavilion nightclub, where guests including Tyler's new rocker husband Royston Langdon boogied the night away. How many 50th birthday parties have you attended where the guest of honor, looking more like 35, has gotten up and sung a raucous lead with her hubby's band? Buell, who's had her own bands in the past including the B-Sides and the Gargoyles, ended her set with a sparsely arranged "You're So Untouchable."

Meanwhile, Vacationland -- which Wallerstein put together when the couple moved to Maine last year -- is now in the studio finishing up tracks for its debut album. The group, voted for many awards in a Boston Phoenix poll, is expected to sign with a major label within weeks. Their music is definitely for the young rocker set, but I was touched that they pulled off a cover version of the Neighborhoods' old indie hit, "Prettiest Girl" for this old-timer. Boston in 1980 seemed so hip at the time!

Free Little Ceaser's 
4 Free Kids Books!
Get Garfield
Free Coppertone  
$700/m For This Link
Ann Coulter FREE!
WebRX: FREE MD Consult
5 DVDs 49 Cents Each
Find Old Friends
Schedule  |  FOX News Bios  |  E-mail Shows  |  FAQ  |  FOX News Shop
Find FOX News Channel in Your Area  |  Find FOX News Channel Abroad
Advertise on FOXNews.com
Jobs at FOX News Channel. Internships at FOX News Channel.
Terms of use.  Privacy Statement.  For FOXNews.com comments write to
foxnewsonline@foxnews.com;  For FOX News Channel comments write to
comments@foxnews.com
© Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2003 ComStock, Inc.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright 2003 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
All market data delayed 20 minutes.
Click image to enlarge
Fox411 Archive
Background Info
Roger Friedman's Oscar Coverage
Michael Douglas' Chicago Secret
Nicole: I Felt Guilty Being Here
Stars Party During Wartime
Oscar Anger as Press Is Shut Out
Anti-War Stars Meet in Hollywood
Bratton: No Threat to L.A., But Orange Is Good
Editor's Note: To read the latest scoop from Roger Friedman, bookmark this link: http://foxnews.com/fox411
Foxlife Home
FNC Schedule