Ang Lee Reviews His Son; The Next New York Times D.C. Chief

Plus: The legal wrangling for the L'Oreal family fortune started up again in France yesterday

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Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: a beloved poker movie may be getting a sequel, Ang Lee wishes his son would stick to drama, and Fox News is looking for a very special White House producer.

  • The legal wrangling for the L'Oreal fortune started up again in France yesterday when "Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, the daughter of L’Oréal’s largest individual shareholder, Liliane Bettencourt, and her sons reportedly contacted the guardianship judge in the Paris suburb of Courbevoie on June 7 to grant 88-year-old Bettencourt a measure of judicial protection," ostensibly because she believes her mother is "still prey to people looking to profit from her ill health, particularly Bettencourt’s lawyer, Pascal Wilhelm." Bettencort Meyers first tried to get guardianship of her mother in 2007, when she thought a photographer "exploited the weakness of Bettencourt, who gave him assets valued at about 1 billion euros, or $1.46 billion at current exchange." Since then, Wilhelm's has handled the older woman's business affairs. [Women's Wear Daily]
  • Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (pictured) enjoyed his son Mason's performance as the Bangkok teen who helps the four leads piece their night of partying back together in The Hangover II, but only to a point. "My son's performance was quite good," Lee told reporters in Taipei yesterday. "He is quite a serious actor but this is just a comedy." [Associated Press]
  • Who will replace outgoing New York Times Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet. who decamped last week to New York to serve as managing editor under soon-to-be executive editor Jill Abramson? According to sources, "Times staffers expect three names to be on the shortlist: national editor Rick Berke and deputy Washington bureau chiefs Dick Stevenson and Rebecca Corbett." Of the three, Berke is "generating the most buzz among the rank-and-file, given that he spent nearly two decades in the bureau, with positions ranging from political reporter to Abramson's number two." There's also the possibility Abramson "might take a close look at others she worked with back in the day, such as Congressional reporter Carl Hulse" or "tap a bureau chief who has a higher public profile." If she goes the latter route, John Harwood is mentioned as an ideal candidate. There's also been "chatter" about columnist Maureen Dowd (she and Abramson are friends), as well as "other internal names...all of which should be taken with a grain of salt," including chief Washington correspondent David Sanger, foreign editor Susan Chira, deputy editorial page editor Carla Robbins, White House correspondent Helene Cooper and former chief political correspondent [and current Los Angeles bureau chief] Adam Nagourney." Also, "both Times and Washington Post staffers have recently passed along the rumor" that former Post national editor and current Foreign Policy editor-in-chief might get a look, though "staffers who've heard the rumor say there's a far more likely internal candidate than Glasser: her husband, Times White House reporter Peter Baker." [The Huffington Post]
  • Fox News is on the prowl for a new White House producer, but wallflowers need not apply. The job listing for the position stresses the ideal applicant is "aggressive, pro-active [and] creative." Other requirements include "traveling extensively and on short notice," "proven logistical skills" (we're not entirely sure what that means, but think it has something to do with making sure all the equipment and on-air talent is where it's supposed to be) and, of course, "excellent writing skills."[FishbowlDC and Media Bistro]
  • Card sharps and fans of rewatchable late-1990s movie rejoice: Matt Damon and Harvey Weinstein reportedly met at Cipriani Downtown in Manhattan yesterday to discuss a sequel to poker drama Rounders. Original screenwriters Brian Koppelman and David Levien were also on hand. Released by Miramax to little fanfare in 1998 (save for that infamous Gretchen Mol Vanity Fair cover), the movie picked up a cult following on TV and DVD during the TV poker boom, and is seen in some circles as a minor classic.. "Sources say" Edward Norton, who played the fly-by-night pal of Damon's would-be law student "will join the sequel," which for now is being called Rounders 2. [Page Six]
  • Big Fish, director Tim Burton's 2003 film about a son coming to terms with his dying father's harmless tendency to exaggerate, will soon be a Broadway show. Susan Stroman, the Tony-Award winning director and choreographer of the producers, who is also up for nominations in both categories this year, will direct. The book is being written by John August, who also wrote the screenplay for the film. According to producers, the musical is "aiming to open in spring 2012."[Arts Beat]
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