Kings of the world

"Titanic" James Cameron is no match for Spidey; Dylan and Simon plan rock-of-ages tour; Amazon CEO scores musical coup.

Topics: Celebrity,

Poor James Cameron. His dream has sunk. The supremely hubristic
director made a Titanic effort to helm a new film version of “Spider-Man”
– and for a while it looked as though the winds were in his favor. But now
it looks like the Marvel-ous ship will sail without him.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Cameron is no longer aboard the
big-budget flick, for which Sony recently scored the rights. And although a
replacement director has not yet been named, Columbia Pictures has hired
screenwriter David Koepp (“Men in Black,” “Lost World”) to rework the treatment put together by the man whose 1998 Academy Award acceptance
speech should have earned him a Razzie instead. (Aw  someone throw the guy a life raft, will ya?)

Perhaps the Spidey producers were afraid the “Titanic” director might cast scrawny teen heartthrob Leo DiCaprio in the title role. Now there’s
someone the world could live without seeing jumping from building to
building in a leotard and tights.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Speaking of superheroes 

It’s a frenzy of folkritude, a party of passi pop: Bob Dylan and
Paul Simon, those hip folk-rockin’ oldsters, are teaming up to give
baby boomers a U.S. summer concert tour that will assuredly leave them
feeling both groovy and forever young. (“Mr. Tambourine Man meets Mrs.
Robinson” as USA Today so aptly put it — and double-damn them for coming up with the best line!)

The two 57-year-old Grammy-winning legends, who claim to be big fans of
each other, will each perform a solo set and then share the stage for a
couple of songs. The 30-city tour, which kicks off like a rolling stone in Colorado Springs, Colo., this June and wraps up July 31 at Jones Beach on Long Island, will mark the first time the two ’60s icons have played

At least they think it’s the first time. “They do not remember, over the
last 30 years, ever playing together,” a spokesperson for Dylan told
Reuters, “so this will mark the first time in anyone’s memory.” Let the
“Time out of Mind” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” jokes begin 

- – - – - – - – - – - -

King of the world, part 2 CEO Jeff Bezos is up to his old tricks again. His old Cheap Tricks, that
is. Not only has the putative king of the e-commerce world settled that
troublesome corporate raiding lawsuit with Wal-Mart, king of the offline retail world, but
he’s scored an odd little musical cyber-coup as well: Bezos’ hard-selling
Web site has snagged exclusive sales rights for 60 days to a
new live album from — hang onto your bell-bottoms — Cheap Trick, the
late-’70s rock band that brought you “Surrender” and “Auf Wiedersehen.”

That’s right, all those wonderful memories can be relived
just by plunking down your credit-card digits online starting April 20. The
live album, appropriately titled “Music for Hangovers,” will not be
available in any store until June 15. But lest you think Cheap Trick is
only for the ancients, the band has included tracks from Smashing Pumpkins
Billy Corgan (reportedly a huge Cheap Trick fan) and D’Arcy Wretzky-Brown on the new album. Hey, it worked for
Kiss and Aerosmith. (And — gasp! — the J. Geils band has just announced
it will tour for the first time in 16 years.) Next thing you know, REO
Speedwagon will be rolling with the changes.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Give that team a cigar

Havana’s not only for the birds. Last week, the Baltimore Orioles made
headlines when they journeyed to Havana to play an exhibition game against
the Cuban National team and chatted up Fidel Castro. But while the
denizens of
Camden Yards may have been the first major-league baseball team to play in
the communist country in more than 40 years, it looks like they won’t be
the last sports team to strut their stuff there. Later this month,
Mannie Jackson, owner of the Harlem Globetrotters, will visit Cuba
to work out a plan to bring his “Sweet Georgia Brown”-whistling,
trick-shot-making players to the Cuban people. If only Meadowlark Lemon
were still dribbling with the rest of ‘em …

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