PLANNED: As PEOPLE first reported last year, Paris Hilton, 22, is still in line to play Daisy Buchanan, the object of bootlegger (and lavish partygiver) Jay Gatsby’s affection, in a proposed movie remake of the 1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald novel The Great Gatsby, to be produced by ‘N Sync veteran Lance Bass, reports FOX News and The Washington Post. Though Bass initially planned to star as Gatsby, The O.C. actor Chris Carmack reportedly is now in line for the role (played by Robert Redford in the much-maligned 1974 version; Mia Farrow played Daisy), and The Sopranos daughter Jamie-Lynn DiScala also is said to be penciled in for a role.
NAMED: Beyonce and her mother, Tina Knowles, took the opportunity at New York’s Fashion Week to announce the label name for their new clothing line, to be called “The House of Dereon.” The line, to hit stores in fall 2005, is named after Beyonce’s grandmother, Agnes Dereon, whose work as a skilled seamstress inspired the two women. “To me, this is the greatest way to enter into the fashion world,” Beyonce, who turned 23 last Saturday, said in a statement. “Inspired by my grandmother, working with my mother and pursuing a dream we have all had for many years – establishing an important fashion company.” The trademark for the line will be “Couture. Kick. Soul.”
ANNOUNCED: After a 20-year reign, embattled Disney chief Michael Eisner, 62, will step down from the company when his contract expires in Sept. 2006, the Wall Street Journal reports. Eisner, who is expected to make a formal announcement soon, tells the Journal that he’s satisfied with his tenure (which has recently come under fire because of the company’s falling stock price), and that he consulted only with his wife, Jane, in reaching his decision to leave.
REVEALED: Police investigating Dawnette Knight, accused of stalking Catherine Zeta-Jones, found links to a telephone calling card used to make death threats against the actress, a detective testified on Thursday during a hearing to determine if Knight must stand trial, reports Reuters. The threats were called in to the Amsterdam hotel where Zeta-Jones was staying while filming Ocean’s 12, and prompted her security staff to obtain a bulletproof shield to protect her, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Detective Dana Duncan told the court.
NOMINATED: Rapper-producer Kanye West received a leading seven Source Hip-Hop Music Award nominations (including best album, video, lyricist and producer of the year), while Ludacris got six, organizers announced. Jay-Z, Ludacris, Lil Flip, Twista and Juvenile will battle for male artist of the year while Youngbloodz, Ying Yang Twins, 8Ball and MJG, Westside Connection and OutKast duke it out for group of the year. The Source Awards will be handed out Oct. 10 in Miami, as they have been since 2001.
BEATEN: Defending U.S. Open champ Andy Roddick’s hopes to retain his title (and be the first back-to-back Open men’s champ since Patrick Rafter in 1998) were dashed Thursday night by 22-year-old Swede Joachim Johansson, who won in five sets, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, and 6-4. Johansson is now set to face Aussie Lleyton Hewitt, who happens to be his girlfriend’s brother.
DIED: Songwriter Billy Davis, 72, who penned the iconic 1971 commercial jingle “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke,” died at his New York home Sept. 2, reports The New York Times. No cause of death was announced. Besides the famous ad, Davis, a Detroit musician, also wrote songs for Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, James Brown and the Supremes.
SLUMPED: The sun may be setting on onetime TV darlings the Fab Five of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy – Carson Kressley, Thom Filicia, Kyan Douglas, Ted Allen and Jai Rodriguez. Ratings for first-run episodes plummeted during the summer by about 40 percent compared to a year ago, and last Tuesday’s new episode drew only 804,000 viewers between the ages of 18-49 – the makeover show’s second-lowest ever. In seeking a solution, Bravo president Lauren Zalaznick tells the Hollywood Reporter: “Eye does not need a facelift. Maybe a little Botox.”