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Quick Takes: 'Gypsy' remake with Barbra Streisand off at Warner Bros.

March 15, 2011

Everything is not coming up roses for the proposed big-screen remake of "Gypsy" that would have starred Barbra Streisand. Warner Bros. confirmed Monday that the project was no longer active there. No explanation was offered, but Arthur Laurents, who wrote the book for the original 1959 Broadway musical, told the Hartford Courant that he had withdrawn permission for it.

Laurents, 93, who also has directed several Broadway revivals of the show, which features music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, said his decision had nothing to do with Streisand. He initially was open to the idea because he disliked the 1962 film adaptation with Rosalind Russell but said he changed his mind after talking with Sondheim, who told him not to think of "Gypsy" as needing a definitive movie version because it's a work of theater, where "you can have different productions, different Roses on into infinity."

A spokesman for Streisand declined comment.

—Lee Margulies

'Dark Knight' jury unanimous

A British jury on Monday cleared an Oscar-winning special effects supervisor over the death of a cameraman during the making of "The Dark Knight."

Conway Wickliffe, 41, was killed when a vehicle he was filming from struck a tree during a test run for an action sequence near Chertsey, west of London, in September 2007.

The jury at Guildford Crown Court took less than two hours to unanimously find Christopher Corbould, 53, not guilty of failing to ensure Wickliffe's safety.

Corbould — who won an Oscar last month for his visual effects work on "Inception" — had said he had followed safety procedures correctly and informed staff, including Wickliffe, of every detail of the Batman film's stunt.

—Associated Press

Hatch heading back to prison

Richard Hatch, who appears on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice," will likely watch the May 22 finale of the series behind bars.

Hatch surrendered to U.S. marshals in Rhode Island on Monday to begin serving a nine-month sentence for failing to pay taxes on the $1 million he won on the first edition of "Survivor."

This will be Hatch's second prison stint. He previously served three years for tax evasion before being released in 2009 and was serving a three-year term of supervised probation.

When he surrendered Monday, Hatch told reporters he was innocent and would appeal the sentence.

Hatch filmed "Celebrity Apprentice" last fall, so his appearances on the reality series are already in the can.

—Greg Braxton

Aflac fires duck's voice over jokes

Aflac Inc. said Monday that it has fired Gilbert Gottfried, the abrasive voice of the insurer's quacking duck in the U.S., after the comedian posted a string of mocking jokes about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on Twitter over the weekend.

The tasteless tweets are particularly problematic for Aflac because it does 75% of its business in Japan. One in four homes in Japan buys health insurance from Aflac. The insurer's chief executive, Daniel Amos, flew to Japan on Sunday to show support for the company's employees and agents.

Aflac said in a statement Monday that Gottfried's jokes do not represent the feelings of the company, which previously announced it would donate $1.2 million to the International Red Cross to help with disaster assistance.

Gottfried has voiced the duck in numerous Aflac commercials since 2000. The tweets in question were removed from his Twitter feed Monday.

—Associated Press

'Legally Blonde' tops Oliviers

Frothy, film-inspired funfest "Legally Blonde: The Musical" won three big prizes at London's Laurence Olivier theater awards, while Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Love Never Dies" went home empty-handed despite seven nominations.

"Legally Blonde" was named best new musical at Britain's equivalent of Broadway's Tonys on Sunday. Star Sheridan Smith was crowned best actress in a musical, and Jill Halfpenny took the prize for supporting performer in a musical.

The new play award went to "Clybourne Park," a comedy about race relations and property prices in Chicago by Bruce Norris.

—Associated Press


Democrat on Fox: Fox News Channel has hired former Democratic Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh as an on-air contributor.

Middle East news: Beginning Tuesday, KPFK-FM (90.7) will broadcast "Al Jazeera English News" at 3 p.m. weekdays. The Arabic network already has a local TV outlet on KCET-TV Channel 28, which airs its English-language newscast weekdays at 4 p.m.

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