"Finding Neverland," a planned stage musical based on the popular 2004 movie, has been grounded. The La Jolla Playhouse said it was removing the musical from its 2011-12 schedule and replacing it with a revival of "Jesus Christ Superstar" imported from the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada. The La Jolla Playhouse said "Finding Neverland" was canceled because the Weinstein Co. withdrew from the project.
Harvey and Bob Weinstein served as executive producers on the 2004 movie, which was produced by Miramax. On Monday, Weinstein Co. said it was planning to workshop "Finding Neverland" in New York.
The production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" is rumored to be on the fast track to Broadway since opening to strong reviews. It will run Nov. 18 to Dec. 31.
— David Ng
Adele sets album download record
Adele has broken a record that Eminem set just a few weeks ago. The British soul singer's "21," which was released Feb. 22, logged an additional 25,000 downloads last week, enough to bring its total to 1,017,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The figure makes it the bestselling digital album of all time, surpassing the Detroit rapper's "Recovery," which in early July became the first album to exceed 1 million paid digital sales.
Higher-profile divas Lady Gaga and Beyoncé also have new albums out but both have experienced slumps in sales while "21" has become the year's top-selling album to date, with 2.5 million copies sold overall. Her single "Rolling in the Deep" has logged nearly 4.1 million digital sales so far, according to Nielsen SoundScan's midyear report on U.S. music sales.
— Gerrick D. Kennedy
Cap arrives early for Comic-Con
"Captain America: The First Avenger" is planting a flag at Comic-Con International in San Diego this week.
The film, starring Chris Evans as the patriotic superhero, hits theaters nationwide on Friday but will open a day earlier at the UA Horton Plaza in San Diego to tie in to Comic-Con, the pop-culture expo that is bringing a sold-out crowd of 120,000 people to the nearby San Diego Convention Center. Fans can buy tickets to any of nine screenings of the film on Thursday where they will receive collectors' custom 3-D glasses — yes, they are red, white and blue — as well as a limited-edition poster.
The splashy promotion will give Marvel Studios a street presence, but there's been considerable outcry about the company's absence from the program in Hall H, where stars and filmmakers (as well as creative teams from television series) present themselves and preview footage to 6,500 fans and the media.
The Disney-owned Marvel stole the show in Hall H last year with a panel for the 2012 film "The Avengers," but the studio this year will instead present at the D23 Expo, the similarly structured and Disney-dedicated event in Anaheim next month.
— Geoff Boucher
Fonda says QVC caved to protest
Jane Fonda writes that a planned Saturday appearance on QVC was canceled by the shopping network after viewers complained, citing Fonda's political statements during the Vietnam War. Fonda was scheduled to promote her aging-with-spirit book "Prime Time: Making the Most of Your Life," due out Aug. 9.
On her website, Fonda writes:
"The network said they got a lot of calls yesterday criticizing me for my opposition to the Vietnam War and threatening to boycott the show if I was allowed to appear. I am, to say the least, deeply disappointed that QVC caved to this kind of insane pressure by some well funded and organized political extremist groups. And that they did it without talking to me first. I have never shied away from talking about this … Many people have reached out to express how excited they were about my going onto QVC and hearing about my book."
QVC has confirmed it canceled Fonda's appearance but declined to say why or respond to her criticism of the action.
— Carolyn Kellogg