Eddie Murphy's Marion Barry Biopic Can't Come Soon Enough

Salman Rushdie makes a hasty offer of marriage to the one that got away, Eddie Murphy is rumored to be starting in a Marion Berry biopic for HBO, and Fabrizio Moretti resurfaces to kiss more ladies.

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Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: Salman Rushdie makes a hasty offer of marriage to the one that got away, Eddie Murphy is rumored to be playing the lead in a Marion Berry biopic for HBO, and Fabrizio Moretti resurfaces to kiss more ladies.

  • An untitled biopic of former Washington D.C. mayor Marion Barry is reportedly "in development" at HBO films, with Spike Lee attached to direct, John Ridley writing the script, and Eddie Murphy "attached as the star." All three would also serve as executive producers on the film. Reps for HBO and Barry wouldn't comment, but the word is veteran D.C. journalists Harry Jaffe and Tom Sherwood have been hired as consultants for the project, and that Dream City -- their 1994 guidebook to the inner-workings on the city's political machine "is among the source material the filmmakers are eyeing." Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer, who made the 2009 documentary The Nine Lives of Marion Barry, have also apparently been tapped to serve as consultants.  [The Reliable Source]
  • Acclaimed novelist and bad breaker-upper Salman Rushdie has apparently gone and proposed to former girlfriend Michelle Barish, just two days after her split from billionaire Steve Tisch last week. Sources say Rushdie didn't get a reply back on his first proposal but "it’s believed when Barish and her daughter Bee return to New York from Orlando, Fla., Rushdie will present her with a diamond ring, and ask again." Which explains why he didn't want to get involved with Social Life magazine editor Devorah Rose, even though she posted a photo of him sitting in a restaurant booth on Twitter. He was busy wishing he had Jessie's Girl Steve Tisch's girl.  [The Daily]

  • Guess who New Yorkers have spotted necking in public this week? Kristen Wiig and Fabrizio Moretti! That's right, the same Fabrizio Moretti who dated Drew Barrymore from 2002 to 2007 and plays drums for The Strokes. He's back, and making time with our approachable funny ladies again. At a party Monday at the W Hotel to celebrate the release of the new Black Keys album, an observer says the duo was "making out in a booth...they were definitely not discreet." (Another witness told the New York Post: "They were literally on top of each other.) Two nights later, they were seen together at a party at the Absolut House on the Lower East Side. [Us Weekly]
  • In an interview in the January issue of Marie Claire, Angelina Jolie comes across less like a famous movie star, and more like a lady with six kids, few female friends, and a husband who's her only source of of adult contact. "I have a few girlfriends," Jolie told the magazine. "I just... I stay at home a lot. I'm just not very social. I don't do a lot with them, and I'm very home bound." So it's probably a good thing she has Pitt, even though he's never struck us as the world's most scintillating conversationalist, since at least he's not an adult and not a small child from a foreign country. She continues: "I talk to Brad ... But I don't know, I don't have a lot of friends I talk to. He is really the only person I talk to." Somebody get this lady a friend! Or, barring that, an all-female remake of Planes, Trains & Automobiles where Jolie's forced to extend herself and be decent to Melissa McCarthy. (Actually, that would be pretty terrific.) [Marie Claire via Radar]
  • Former French president Jacques Chirac's daughter Claude --be nice, it's a common enough name over there -- and her husband Frederic Salat-Baroux were spotted dining with New York hedge fund manager Julien Balkany at La Petite Maison on West 54th Street in Manhattan earlier this week. To which you say, big deal, I've seen Europeans eat before. Which is true, but these particular Europeans are of the politically connected variety. Balkany's "family is close to French President Nicolas Sarkozy and wife Carla Bruni" and he is "a 2012 election candidate for the new French National Assembly seat covering expats residing in the United States and Canada." Already, the dinner "has sparked rumors that Claude Chirac, who has been her father’s personal adviser since 1994, will become a prominent supporter of Balkany." If she does, New York should aggressively claim it as a New York story, just to drive the City of Lights types up the wall. [Page Six]
  • Retired Boston Red Sox ace Curt Schilling and hypothetical GOP candidate for every statewide election in Massachusetts since 2004 isn't going to run for Barney Frank's old seat. According to The Inside Track -- The Boston Herald's daily gossip column -- "Local Republicans were tossing around the retired Red Sox hurler’s name after Frank...announced last week he wasn’t going to run in 2012. While Barney backed out because he didn’t dig the redistricting changes, the newly drawn 4th added Medfield, where Curt lives, to the district." That would have set up a potential high-wattage matchup between Schilling and Joseph P. Kennedy III "who is said to be seriously considering a run," according to sources. Instead, Schilling cut off the speculation early. "If it was any other point in time," he told the paper, "I would do it in a heartbeat. But it’s an elected position — it’s 365 days a year, nights, weekends. I can’t do it right now.” Among the reasons he "can't do it right now": his wife Shonda doesn't want him out on the campaign trail so soon after his retirement from baseball, he chose to locate his video game company in Rhode Island rather than Massachusetts because the tax incentives were better, his son Grant has Aspberger's syndrome (Shonda wrote a book about it), and, "[i]n addition to Grant’s diagnosis, the Schillings’ eldest son suffered from anorexia and all four of the kids — in addition to their All-Star dad — suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder."   [The Inside Track]
  • Andie MacDowell's name produces good will in people, possibly because they recognize she could have ruined or crippled Groundhog Day, but somehow did not. That is an accomplishment, one based partly on skill, and partly on arriving on the scene five years before Tea Leoni, who would have been far superior as the taker for Bill Murray and his newly-full heart. But going back to MacDowell: the good news for her is that her daughter Rainey Qualley has been named Miss Golden Globe 2012. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she'll "assist at the 69th edition of the awards show." And since "Miss Golden Globe is traditionally the child of a well-known celebrity," she'll be following in the footsteps of other sons and daughters of stars, including "Rumer Willis (daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis), Laura Dern (daughter of Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern), Joely Fisher (daughter of Connie Stevens and Eddie Fisher), Melanie Griffith (daughter of Tippi Hedren), Freddie Prinze Jr. (son of Freddie Prinze), Mavis Spencer (daughter of Alfre Woodard and Roderick Spencer) and Gia Mantegna (daughter of Joe Mantegna)." Qualley wants to be an actress and is awaiting the release of her first feature. Hopefully, she can get on the Laura Dern/Melanie Griffith trade, without some of the ancillary weirdness.  [The Hollywood Reporter]

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