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Quick Takes: Josh Whedon responds to 'Buffy' news

November 25, 2010

When a Hollywood studio remakes "The Wizard of Oz," L. Frank Baum doesn't have a chance to send out a press release. But the tricky thing about rebooting a property that's only been gone seven years is that the creator is usually around to say something about it.

That's just what Joss Whedon did after Monday's news that a young writer named Whit Anderson, who grew up watching "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," would now tackle the new movie.

It was largely a jokey missive that Whedon sent to E! Online — he alluded to his own pillaging of a childhood favorite with his current "Avengers" — but he didn't exactly contain his annoyance, either.

"I always hoped that Buffy would live on even after my death. But, you know, AFTER. I don't love the idea of my creation in other hands," he wrote, then suggested that he had at least thought about getting lawyers involved, before deciding against it. "There is no legal grounds for doing anything other than sighing audibly."

—Steven Zeitchik

Cookie Monster for 'SNL' host?

Me want "Saturday Night Live!"

The Cookie Monster character from "Sesame Street" has made an audition tape to convince "SNL" that he can host the show.

"Sesame Street" posted the video this week on YouTube and Facebook.

Introducing the tape, Cookie Monster says he wants to "branch out beyond me cookie-eating career." The four-minute video follows with Cookie Monster doing a run-through of an episode of "Saturday Night Live."

—Associated Press

'Dundee' crime probe dropped

Australian detectives say they have dropped a five-year-old criminal investigation into "Crocodile Dundee" star Paul Hogan's tax dealings.

Australian Crime Commission Chief Executive John Lawler said they were not pursuing the probe for a range of reasons including "insufficient prospects of securing convictions."

Australian tax and crime investigators had fought Hogan in a five-year legal battle in Australian and U.S. courts to investigate suspicions that he used offshore bank accounts to conceal earnings after his low-budget "Crocodile Dundee" became an international hit in 1986.

However, the 71-year-old is still being pursued separately by the Australian Taxation Office over a disputed multimillion-dollar tax bill.

—Associated Press

Julian Lennon exhibits photos

Julian Lennon, son of late Beatles legend John Lennon, is showing off what he can do with a camera.

An exhibit called "Timeless" features about 30 of Lennon's hand-signed portrait and landscape photographs and will run Dec. 1-5 at Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

Prints of his photographs will sell for about $3,500 each, with a portion of the proceeds to go to the White Feather Foundation that he launched to further environmental and humanitarian causes.

Lennon, 47, said in a telephone interview from France that the exhibition features some works created in a painting-like style, such as photographs of clouds that he called "a serious passion."

"For me it's very much about finding a time and a place to feel a little at peace. It's a Zen moment. It's almost like meditation. It's finding an image that makes me feel at peace and also close to Mother Nature

and our surroundings," he said.

—Associated Press

Banking with Bruce Willis

The tough guy image of Bruce Willis will be used in a new campaign for a mid-size Russian bank.

Trust bank hung pictures of the "Die Hard" star on the streets of Moscow this week with the phrase, "Trust is just like me, but a bank."

Willis, 55, replaces Trust's previous frontman, Russian weight lifter Vladimir Turchinsky, who unexpectedly died last year at age 46.

Trust said Willis' character reflects the bank's values in terms of "trust and dignity."

—Reuters

Taylor Swift announces tour

Taylor Swift's 2011 "Speak Now" tour will encompass 87 shows in 19 countries on four continents starting Feb. 9 in Singapore and reaching Los Angeles for a pair of shows, on Aug. 23 and 24. She'll also play in California on Sept. 1 and 2 (San Jose) and Sept. 3 (Sacramento).

The tour will have stops in Asia and Europe in the early months of the year, then begin a string of North American appearances with a May 27 show in Omaha.

—Randy Lewis

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