A new mission for 007
You can't keep an ageless British spy down: James Bond is returning to the big screen, now that MGM has given the go-ahead to another installment. Daniel Craig is polishing his squint as we type this. Entertainment Weekly says the 23rd movie in the series will be released Nov. 9, 2012. Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes, who was tied to the movie before the studio put it on hold, will remain. It will be Craig's third turn as 007. MGM has been going through bankruptcy and last month received $500 million in refinancing. That's not a whole lot for a franchise that features a spy with cars that probably cost that much.
Ian McKellen is returning to Middle Earth. The 71-year-old actor will reprise his role as Gandalf in Peter Jackson's two-part blockbuster The Hobbit. McKellen confirmed his casting on his website Tuesday. He wrote that his "worry that I could not easily escape from Middle Earth was lifted." Production is to begin in New Zealand in February. Based on J.R.R. Tolkien's novel The Hobbit, the two films follow the first adventures in Middle Earth, predating Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. Also returning for The Hobbit are Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett and Andy Serkis.
The three sweetest words to the planet's male population? "Shakira is single." The Colombian pop star and her boyfriend of 11 years, Antonio de la Rua, have officially split up, the 33-year-old sultress explains on her website: "During our almost 11 years together we have loved each other deeply, taken care of each other and stood by one another," she writes. "They have been the most wonderful years of our lives." The note says the two view their separation as "temporary," which makes 0.00 percent sense, but we'll give her the benefit of the doubt.
Jewel a mom-to-be
Stop it with all the baby-making, Hollywood! Given our current economy, we can't handle the population boom that's coming in nine months. The latest to announce: pop-turned-country singer Jewel. "I took a pregnancy test and it was positive!" Jewel told People. "It was so hard to keep it a secret. I was worried I'd start throwing up on set (of the Bravo reality show Going Platinum) and everyone would be like, 'Oh, she's pregnant.' " This will be the first go-around with kids for Jewel and husband/rodeo star Ty Murray, who married in 2008. "I feel really lucky," she said.