J.J. Abrams, the co-creator of TV’s “Alias” and “Lost,” makes his big-screen debut with “Mission Impossible III,” opening Friday, May 5. Abrams directed and co-wrote this thriller, which stars Tom Cruise.
I’d say Abrams is busy enough, but Paramount just signed him to rescue its ailing “Star Trek” franchise. Abrams and Damon Lindelof, a Jewish guy who co-created “Lost,” are putting together a new “Star Trek” movie about the early adventures of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. This prequel will open sometime in 2008. It’s possible that Jewish thespians William Shatner (Kirk) and Leonard Nimoy (Spock) could briefly appear if the film begins with the two now-elderly guys recalling the past. But there’s no word about that yet.
“United 93” opened last week to mostly favorable reviews. There has been controversy over this film, about the flight that was hijacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001 and crashed in a Pennsylvania field — namely that re-enacting the events is painful for the victims’ families. However, most family members at advance screenings praised the movie.
“United 93” co-stars Jewish actor David Alan Basche, 38, as passenger Todd Beamer, who was one of those who attempted to stop the hijackers. (Basche co-starred on TV’s “Three Sisters.”)
An important film character is Jeremy Glick, a (real-life) Jewish passenger on the flight and a former national collegiate judo champion. Glick called his wife shortly before the plane crashed, gave her details on the hijacking, and told her that he was going to participate “in the charge up the aisle to the cockpit.”
Oldies but goodies
The Turner Classic movie station has announced that this September it will show interviews with 10 Hollywood legends that originally ran on Dick Cavett’s talk show of the ’60s and ’70s. The re-broadcast includes vintage interviews with Groucho Marx and Woody Allen. Cavett will also do a new interview with Mel Brooks.
Cindy Margolis, the famous Internet pin-up girl and recent winner of NBC’s “Celebrity Cooking Showdown,” has agreed to her first nude photo shoot ever — for Playboy magazine. She explained that she turned down Playboy in the past, but she accepted this time because she felt posing nude at the age of 40 — after having three kids — is “empowering” and she will show “20-year-olds that they don’t have anything on me.”
Margolis has long been married to Guy Starkman, the head of Jerry’s Famous Deli Inc., a famous chain with locations in California and Florida. The chain was founded by Guy’s father, Ike Starkman, a veteran of the Israeli army.
The Smiths go to Jerusalem
Actor Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, visited Israel in April. Their appearance at the Western Wall caused such a stir among fans that they accidentally disrupted a bar mitzvah taking place near them. Smith made amends for the uproar by taking a picture with the bar mitzvah boy.
In a bizarre sidenote, Contactmusic.com, a popular Web news service, ludicrously reported that Ariel Sharon was “thrilled to meet” Smith during Smith’s Israel trip! Sharon, of course, has been in a deep coma since January.