DEMANDED: Judge Paul Davis, presiding over the case of Sandra Bullock and Texas developer M.B. “Benny” Daneshjou, whom the actress claims dashed the hope of making her $1.5 million dream house a reality, on Thursday advised both sides to “speed the trial along,” reports PEOPLE. The jurist said that if attorneys could not find a way to expedite matters, he would move matters forward himself. On June 21, 2001, Daneshjou, 52, sued Bullock, 40, claiming she still owed money on the home he designed and built for her on Austin’s exclusive lakefront. The Miss Congeniality star countersued, claiming the home was poorly constructed, requires millions of dollars in repairs and that Daneshjou committed fraud through underhanded billing practices. The trial, which has been estimated to last between 30 and 40 days, will resume Friday morning before taking a long weekend off for Labor Day.
PREPARED: Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy director Peter Jackson will relive a childhood dream when he starts filming a $110 million remake of the 1933 classic King Kong in his Wellington, New Zealand, hometown next week. Speaking to reporters Thursday at his studio, Jackson, 42, admitted his first attempt to shoot the great ape epic was as a youngster with a Super-8 camera and a cardboard model of the Empire State Building. “It’s great to be able to finally get the film made. It’s a film which I’ve loved ever since I was a child. It really inspired me to want to become a filmmaker,” he said. Naomi Watts, Jack Black and Adrien Brody star in the remake, which will be shot with a grown-up camera.
RELAPSED: More than a week after undergoing heart surgery, comedian Rodney Dangerfield, 82, remains hospitalized in intensive care and hooked to a respirator, his publicist tells Reuters. The “No respect” comic underwent a heart valve replacement at the UCLA Medical Center last Wednesday. Since the operation, Dangerfield “has been in intensive care, resting in stable condition,” spokesman Kevin Sasaki told Reuters. “I would suspect that sometime in the next week, doctors will have some kind of a statement.”
BOUGHT: The story of shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton, which was featured in PEOPLE and elsewhere, is headed to the big screen, reports the Associated Press. L.A.-based film company Romano/Shane Productions has bought (for an undisclosed amount) film rights for the Kauai 14-year-old’s upcoming biography, Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family and Fighting to Get Back on the Board, to be published this fall. Hamilton was thrust into the national spotlight after losing her left arm in a shark attack on Oct. 31, 2003. The movie is set to go into production early next year.
REVOKED: Tom Sizemore‘s probation in a domestic abuse case involving former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss was revoked Thursday because he failed to complete a drug test, AP reports. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Antonio Barreto Jr. allowed Sizemore, 42, to remain free pending an evidence hearing on Nov. 8. But in the meantime, the judge said, the actor’s probation “is in a revoked status.” The Black Hawk Down actor was sentenced in October to six months in jail on misdemeanor charges of harassing, annoying and physically abusing his ex-girlfriend, onetime Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, during their two-year relationship.