PASSAGES: McGregor Goes to the Birds
CAST: Ewan McGregor, 32, is going the Eddie Murphy route by voicing the title character in “Valiant,” a computer-animated feature from John H. Williams, the producer of “Shrek,” says the Hollywood Reporter. The film, which is in production, tells the story of a lowly wood pigeon named Valiant, who overcomes his diminutive size to become a WWII hero in the Royal Air Force Homing Pigeon Service. Other actors doing the movie’s birdcalls include Ben Kingsley, Rupert Everett, John Hurt and Jim Broadbent.
CONFIRMED: The Mike Myers comedy “Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat” claimed a narrow victory at the North American weekend box office on Sunday after a studio error earlier gave the edge to Eddie Murphy’s new release, “The Haunted Mansion,” says Reuters. “Cat” earned $25.6 million for the Friday-to-Sunday period to rule the box office for the second consecutive weekend. It was followed closely by “Mansion,” with $25.3 million.
HONORED: Fans in New York City turned out to honor the work of the late punk rock pioneer Joey Ramone, who died of cancer two years ago at age 49. The corner of the Bowery and 2nd Street was renamed “Joey Ramone Place” on Sunday as hundreds of people cheered. The corner is near the landmark CBGB’s, the rock club where the Ramones gained fame in the 1970s.
CONTINUED: A simmering feud for control of Walt Disney Co. boiled to the surface on Monday as financier Stanley Gold joined fellow board member Roy Disney (nephew of Walt) in quitting the board and demanding the ouster of company CEO Michael Eisner. Other board members called Gold and Disney’s moves part of a “destructive course,” though, in a statement, Gold shot back that “it has been extremely difficult to have debate on a board which considers disagreement with management ‘destructive.’ ”
FETCHED: A nose-cone from Concorde, the world’s only supersonic airliner until it was retired in October, went for a stratospheric $551,600 at a London auction Monday — nearly 10 times the expected price, reports Reuters. In frantic transatlantic bidding, the trademark droop snout was bought by Hungarian-born, U.S.-based civil engineer Ferenc Gaspar, a self-confessed Concorde fanatic who thinks he got a bargain.
REVAMPED: A new figure of Madonna, 45, will be revealed at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in New York’s Times Square on Tuesday, say TV reports. This dummy will replace the previous statue of Madonna, and will reflect her current mature reputation as (among other things) a children’s author. Recently, Tussaud’s also unveiled new wax figures of the Osbournes.