Film news…Changing Lanes, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Affleck, toppled all other films this weekend, collecting $17.6 million.
Actress Nona Gaye, daughter of the late soul crooner Marvin Gaye and last seen in Ali, has been cast as the character “Zee” in the next two Matrix films, The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions. The role was originally given to the late R&B singer Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash last summer.
In related news, artist Paul Oakenfold has finished three songs specifically for Reloaded, and may possibly contribute more. Warner Brothers has purchased the movie rights for a live action version of the highly acclaimed anime film Akira, which will be based on a script by Stephen Norrington, the director of Blade. Rapper Coolio, known for his eternally lame hairstyle, will have an unspecified part in the upcoming Daredevil, which stars Ben Affleck.
In music news…Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson are engaged. Celine Dion and Marc Anthony will perform at the Billboard Latin Music Awards on May 9 in Miami. The Hives are reported to be in the middle of negotiating a deal with Warner Brothers. In the meantime the label plans to re-release their 2000 album Veni Vidi Vicious sometime this year. In June, Motorola will release a customized Nelly cell phone complete with “Nelly-based games and ring tones.” No joke. Nelly’s new subtly titled album, Nellyville, backed by the predictably “hot” single Hot in Herre, drops on June 25. Feuding rappers Nas and Jay-Z will make separate guest appearances on Scarface’s new album, The Fix, which hits stores on July 2.