PASSAGES: 'The Rock' Walking Tall
CAST: “The Scorpion King” star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, 30, has signed on to star in the MGM remake of 1973’s “Walking Tall,” about a muckraking Southern sheriff, reports Variety. Production is expected to begin in early summer. In the original, Joe Don Baker played lawman Buford Pusser, who kept order by swinging a two-by-four wooden plank. The plank will remain, says the trade paper, though the story will be updated.
CONSIDERED: Contentious talk-show host Jerry Springer, an Ohio Democrat, has announced that he may run for the U.S. Senate next year against George Voinovich, a Republican who has said he’ll run for a second term in 2004, the Associated Press reports. Springer, 59, estimates it would require $20 million to beat Voinovich and as much as $5 million to win a Democratic primary. As for Springer’s TV persona, “There are pluses and minuses,” acknowledges Springer. “The plus is that I’m known by everybody. The minus is that I’m known by everybody.”
SUED: TV’s former “Six Million Dollar Man” Lee Majors, 63, is locked in a bionic legal battle with the producers of his 1970s series, reports Reuters. He has sued Universal Television Group for breach of contract and fraud, claiming he was short-changed on profits from the show. No dollar amount has been specified. A spokesman for the studio, a unit of Vivendi Universal, said the company never comments on pending litigation.
SQUAWKED: British actor-comedian John Cleese, who at the moment can be seen as James Bond’s gadget expert M in “Die Another Day,” told London’s High Court on Thursday that a “nasty” Evening Standard newspaper article suggesting that his career flopped when he moved to America was offensive and damaging. Cleese, 63, earlier rejected a compensation offer of $16,000 from the paper as insufficient, and likened the behavior of the paper’s editors to that of a bully, he told the court via a video link from his California home. Adrienne Page, a lawyer for the paper, argued that Cleese’s advisers were attempting to inflate the cost of damages by pushing the case into court.