Kathleen Parker Trapped in Elevator; LeBron's Movie Delayed Again

Plus: Bono gives Julie Taymor a very public compliment

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Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today:Kathleen Parker gets stuck in an elevator with some Parker/Spitzer fans, Tom Hanks is bringing Neil Gaiman to HBO, and Natalie Portman is a new mom

  • Kathleen Parker got stuck in an elevator yesterday at the Thomson Reuters building in Manhattan, but at least she was surrounded by supporters of the since retooled Parker/Spitzer. Parker's liftmates/fellow prisoners were "well-wishers who said they missed seeing her on CNN, even if her former co-host Eliot Spitzer doesn't." Parker departed as co-host in February amidst low ratings and reports of a feud with the former New York governor. Later, after watching Jon Huntsman and Henry Kissinger speak at the Reuters-sponsored lunch, she told friends she still keeps in touch with Spitzer--via the pocket call. "You know," said Parker, I actually still have Eliot on speed dial, and some times I accidentally hit 'E' told him I'm not calling and hanging up." [Page Six]
  • More schadenfruede for LeBron James haters: filming has reportedly again delayed production on Ballers, the Miami Heat forward's would-be feature film debut about "five guys who attend the LeBron James Adult Basketball Camp in Las Vegas, but end up dragging the phenom into their myriad life issues." Executive producer Michael Rosenberg said the film (which Brian Grazer is producing for Imagine) is "not shooting this summer" because of script troubles. It was supposed to be filmed last summer, but was delayed so James could explore the free-agent market. [Variety]
  • Tom Hanks has scored another series with HBO. The network has commissioned Hanks's Playtone Productions to produce an "open-ended series" based on fantasy author Neil Gaiman's American Gods. "The series-in-development, revolving around the question 'are you a god if no one believes in you?'" is reportedly "slated for six seasons, each season will be of 10-12, hour-long episodes with a budget of around $35-40 million per season." The show is expected to debut "in 2013 at the earliest." [The Hollywood Reporter]
  • Steve Martin, Spike Lee, Chelsea Clinton, and Bill Clinton all attended the Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark opening last night, but the most scrutinized audience member might have been ousted director Julie Taymor, who announced yesterday she'd be attending the opening performance, pending grievance against the production and all.  On the red carpet, Taymor was "tan and hale and smiled broadly." When asked by a reporter , "Do you miss being a part of this?" Taymor replied "I am part of this." (Apparently, her response "strongly emphasized the verb.") After curtain calls, she received a shout out from Bono, who "paid tribute to her creativity," but "drew the loudest cries of approval when he said, 'By the way, you're looking hot, Julie.'" [The New York Times]
  • Natalie Portman and fiance Benjamin Millepied welcomed their first child, a son, yesterday. [People]
  • The ten-film Best Picture field is a thing of the past. In its place, the Academy of Arts and Sciences has announced a new, complicated-sounding plan where the number of movies in competition will range from five to ten, depending on the percentage of votes a given movie receives. The hope is that the new system will "tighten up the race by adding a picture to the base number of five nominees only if it has received more than 5% of the votes in the nominating process. The Academy said that between 2001 and 2008, "the system would have yielded 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 nominees in various years." [Arts Beat]

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.