Mantenna - Friday, July 31

July 31, 2009

Emma Watson is related to a real witch, Ridley Scott is back onboard the Aliens train, and the Pope is set to release an album on the same label as Nirvana...Let your freak flag fly with the Mantenna!

Source: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Emma Watson Related to Real Witch

Emma Watson, who plays the adorable Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, is related to an actual witch. According to genealogist Anastasia Tyler, the 19-year-old actress is “a distant relative of Joan Playle of Essex County, England, who was convicted of witchcraft in 1592 and excommunicated from the Church of England.” Ahhh, so that’s why she’s so convincing in the movies. [People]

Jessica Simpson's Price of Beauty

Jessica Simpson is gearing up to start shooting a new reality show for VH1 titled The Price of Beauty. It turns out Jessica’s price of beauty is high...real high. She has demanded that the producer of the show shell out $25,000 an episode for her own personal hair and make-up team. You’d think with all that money she’d scrub up a little better. [The Insider]

Rob Marshall Takes Over Pirates of the Caribbean

After singing and dancing his way to an Oscar with Chicago, and making people cry with Memoirs of a Geisha, director Rob Marshall has been given the reins of the franchise Gore Verbinski dropped: the mighty Pirates of the Caribbean. Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush are still onboard too, and Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio are penning the script. A possible plot involves Rush’s character, Barbossa, arriving in New Orleans and trying to find the Fountain of Youth. Whatever happens, Marshall has his work cut out for him. There’s not a natural story line that emanates from the last three films. Are there any fans left, for that matter? [Slash Film]

Ridley Scott is Back Onboard the Aliens Train


Source: Max B. Miller/Getty Images

It’s hard to believe, but director Ridley Scott, the man who brought us the first (and arguably best) Alien movie in 1979 is back onboard to direct a sequel to the franchise. The film will take place before Scott’s Alien, and Jon Spaihts is the screenwriter who’s going to pen the script. Scott Free is going to produce the Fox film. Spaihts is presently the sci-fi big-wig around town, as Fox has also signed him to rewrite The Darkest Hour and Keanu Reeves hired him to write Passengers, another film that takes place in space. But what’s most exciting about this is the fact that Scott is attached, since he’s the one that created the Alien franchise and he’s probably the only one at this point (except maybe for James Cameron, who’s busy with other planets) who can bring it back to life. It’s a good day to be a sci-fi nerd. [Variety]

Pope to Release Album on Nirvana Label

An album featuring the voice of Pope Benedict XVI is set to be released worldwide later this year. The Pope will be heard speaking and singing in Latin, Italian, Portuguese, French, and German. It is the first time he will be heard on an album, which will be released November 30th on Geffen, the same label that released material by Nirvana and Guns n' Roses. It will feature a blend of Lauretan Litanies and Marian popular chants with eight original pieces of modern classical music. It will feature Pope Benedict reciting and singing passages and prayers, accompanied by the Choir of the Philharmonic Academy of Rome. []

Cash for Clunkers Gets Stay of Execution

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 316 to 109 today in favor of H.R. 3435, a bill that will infuse the Car Allowance Rebate System, or Cash for Clunkers program, with an extra $2 billion. Word came late Thursday evening that the program, which offers consumers a rebate of $3,500 - $4,500 for trading in a "clunker" might be suspended after blowing through its initial funding of $1 billion in less than a week. Lawmakers managed to find the extra money in unused loans for renewable energy systems and pass it through the House today before the body breaks for a five-week-long vacation. [CNN]

Apple Rushes Out iPhone OS Fix Due to Massive Security Hole

Today Apple issued OS update 3.0.1 via iTunes in order to fix an SMS exploit that allows any jerk with some spare time to bulk-hijack iPhones. It's an admirably quick fix to a comically terrible problem, but at least Apple's got an update infrastructure to match their relatively quick remedy. What's really worrying is that some other vulnerable phones—mostly Android and Windows Mobile handsets—are still vulnerable, and whatever updates Google and Microsoft have in store may have a slightly harder time blanketing users without the near-daily update checking built into the iPhone's usage style. [BBC]

Check out previous installments of Mantenna:

Thursday, July 30

Wednesday, July 29

Tuesday, July 28

Monday, July 27

Friday, July 24

...or see the rest of the archive!