TARANTINO WILL APPEAR IN MUPPET MOVIE ON TV



Tarantino will appearin Muppet movie on TV
LOS ANGELES -- Blood-and-guts director Quentin Tarantino may be going soft.
The "Kill Bill" and "Pulp Fiction" director will make a cameo appearance in a new ABC-TV movie featuring the Muppets and based on the classic tale "The Wizard of Oz," ABC announced this week.
The film, with the working title "The Muppets' Wonderful Wizard of Oz," is set to begin production in Vancouver, British Columbia, next month and air in the coming TV season on "The Wonderful World of Disney."
Tarantino's role as himself is likely to be overshadowed by pop star Ashanti, starring as Dorothy, and Miss Piggy. The muppet will play three wicked witches and Glinda, Good Witch of the South.
Among other muppets, Kermit the Frog is the Scarecrow, the Great Gonzo is the Tin Man and Fozzie Bear is the Lion. Besides Ashanti, the film features actress-singer Queen Latifah playing Auntie Em.
Described by the network as a "madcap adventure," the project is based on L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." Judy Garland played Dorothy in the famed 1939 film version, and Diana Ross starred in 1978's "The Wiz."
Willis fined $21,000,made to restore wetland
HAILEY, Idaho -- Bruce Willis will pay a $21,000 fine for violating federal wetlands protection laws by clearing a half-acre island in a pond at his central Idaho home.
Willis was cited last October for clearing the small island, installing a sprinkler system and adding topsoil to level depressions so sod could be laid. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials contended he also dumped 10 cubic yards of fill material in a stream to provide access to the island.
The wetlands had been part of a spring-fed tributary of the Big Wood River.
"He wanted to be able to use it, and that's why he did what he did," said lawyer Ned Williamson, who represented the 49-year-old actor. "He was cleaning up this island. He simply did not know it was in wetland jurisdiction."
Williamson said Willis stopped the work when federal officials notified him and began restoration of the island to its former state before the settlement announced this week was negotiated.
Under the settlement, the island will be replanted and its wetlands character restored by Oct. 31. The site will then be monitored for the next decade.
Bankruptcy forces saleof Guccione's furnishings
RED HOOK, N.Y. -- The contents from Robert Guccione's old summer getaway are about to be put on the auction block.
Some 400 items owned by the Penthouse magazine founder, ranging from a hand-carved 16th-century Italian canopy bed to a 17th-century hand-carved Flemish cabinet, are to be auctioned Sept. 4.
Guccione lost the 16-room mansion in Staatsburg 80 miles north of New York City after defaulting on a $14.5 million loan in February. Kennedy Funding of New Hackensack, N.J., then acquired the 55-acre estate in Dutchess County when Guccione declared bankruptcy.
Auctioneer George Cole said Guccione has no room for the belongings from his summer home in his New York City town house.
Items at the auction, Cole said recently, are expected to fetch prices from as high as $50,000 to less than $25.
Based in Red Hook, N.Y., George Cole Auctioneers outbid internationally known Christie's and Sotheby's auction houses for the right to auction Guccione's property.
Today's birthdays
Actor Ben Gazzara is 74. Actor David Soul is 61. Baseball manager Lou Piniella is 61. Singer Wayne Osmond (The Osmonds) is 53. Actor Daniel Stern is 47. Olympic gold medal figure skater Scott Hamilton is 46. Actress Emma Samms is 44. Country singer Shania Twain is 39. Actor Billy Boyd ("The Lord of the Rings") is 36. Actor Jack Black is 35. Actor Jason Priestley is 35. Olympic gold medal swimmer Janet Evans is 33. Country singer LeAnn Rimes is 22.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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