SOLD OUT SHOW: The product placement in what Morgan Spurlock calls his new “docbuster” is already legion, but now the director has sold the premiere of Pom Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. The documentary was financed by giving onscreen promotion to the likes of JetBlue, Hyatt, Old Navy and, of course, the title sponsor. Laughs Pom owner Lynda Resnick: “We went from being a minor sponsor to a major. As long as your pants are down, you might as well do it.” For the April 20 premiere at the ArcLight Cinerama Dome, Spurlock got more sponsors: Trident and Carmex lip balm. The Mane ’n Tail Shampoo miniature pony, which shares an onscreen bath with Spurlock, will also trot the red carpet with logos slapped on his little hide -- and even sit in the audience. Sony Pictures Classics co-president Tom Bernard says, “You could say this is Sony Classics’ biggest bang for the buck, but with the pony coming, I guess we will have to hire a shoveler.”
The Academy Lures Billy Back
Just when you thought you’d never see Billy Crystal emceeing an Academy awards show again, we hear he’ll host the sold-out AMPAS tribute to Sophia Loren on May 4 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. What does Crystal have to do with the Italian icon? In an interview after the two met at the 1991 Oscars, he admitted: “Sophia Loren was crucial to my boyhood. I was married to Sophia Loren. I had sex with Sophia Loren in more places than Sophia Loren has had sex.” Recalling finally meeting her, he added: “I look over, and she does something I prayed she would do when I was 15. She said, ‘Kiss me twice.’ I almost passed out.”
Katie’s Royal Audience
Looks like CBS News and Katie Couric will get the royal treatment for the royal wedding. The network news outlet has been shelling out thousands a month for years to reserve prime real estate at Westminster Abbey in case of Queen Elizabeth II’s death. As a result, Couric is guaranteed a sovereign perch, supremely ahead of the competition.
Diane Lane Out Loud
Many actors researching a real-life role trail their subjects. Not Diane Lane, who portrays the matriarch in HBO’s Cinema Verite, which revisits the Loud clan as they become America’s first reality TV stars on PBS’ 1973 series An American Family. The real Pat Loud attended the April 11 premiere but didn’t do interviews, apparently not thrilled that the film focuses on the painful public breakup of her marriage. She wasn’t displeased with Lane, though. “I met Pat for the first time an hour ago -- I didn’t have the nerve to approach her while we were shooting,” Lane tells THR. “She was very gracious. And boy, was I relieved.” Now it looks like there will be stiff competition at the Emmys between HBO mom Lane and HBO mom Kate Winslet (for Mildred Pierce).