Gore brushes up at Sony
Who’s been turning more heads than any movie star on the Sony lot? With Super Tuesday looming, Vice President Al Gore this week decamped to a Columbia Pictures screening room to practice his delivery for his big California debate.Why Sony? Federal Elections Commission filings shows that Sony’s exec suites are, like much of Hollywood, very much for the Dems: Sony Corp. of America prexy Howard Stringer’s recent campaign-giving list reads like a who’s who of Democratic politics: He’s dropped $1,000 donations to the Democratic Senatorial campaigns of Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York’s Sen. Charles Schumer, Connecticut’s Sen. Chris Dodd, and Nebraska’s Sen. Bob Kerrey. A studio spokeswoman said the visit was “strictly business” and candidate Gore did not meet any Sony brass. That may not be so surprising. SPE chairman John Calley is a Bill Bradley supporter, having elected to donate $1,000 to his campaign June. Staying out of the fray: Col chairman Amy Pascal. According to the latest FEC filings, she gave to neither of the two Dems, instead spreading a $5,000 donation to Sony’s PAC beneficiaries, many of whom are Democrats.
- Claude Brodesser and Christopher Stern
There’s no Gray in Fox’s ‘Black’Helmer F. Gary Gray (“The Negotiator”), who had been prepping Fox’s “Black Night” starring Chris Tucker for a May start, has departed the project. A studio spokesman said Gray’s exit was due to creative differences. Fox plans to hire a new director in the coming weeks and move forward with the film as planned. Pic is being produced in association with New Regency Prods. Gray is repped by WMA.
– Charles Lyons
Wright Penn talks ‘Unbreakable’Robin Wright Penn has entered into negotiations with Disney to play the female lead in Spyglass Entertainment/Touchstone’s “Unbreakable,” written and to be directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Julianne Moore broke free of the role last month, having signed to play Clarice Starling in “Hannibal,” the sequel to “Silence of the Lambs.” “Unbreakable” is skedded to start shooting in Philadelphia in mid-April. Pic also stars Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. Producers are Shyamalan, Barry Mendel (“Sixth Sense”) and Sam Mercer. Exec producers: Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum. Penn is repped by UTA.
– Charles Lyons and Michael Fleming