Edgar Wright, direct from Chateau Marmont

Posted: April 20, 2007

NORMALLY WHEN we're writing about the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, it has to do with Lindsay Lohan or some other celeb stumbling down the halls.

Today, Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead") is calling from the hotel to discuss his latest directorial effort, the British comedy "Hot Fuzz" (Gary Thompson's review is on Page 57.)

So, Edgar, have you seen Lindsay stumbling down the halls?

"No, I haven't. I'm quite disappointed actually," Wright said. "I have seen plenty of other people staggering around."

So, why, after zombies, have you switched to police?

"It's not necessarily a case of picking genres out of a hat. It's more about making the films that don't get made in the U.K., and there hasn't been a British cop film [with cops in the lead] in about 30 years."

With the success of "Shaun," were you able to play with the big budget dollars this time?

" 'Hot Fuzz' probably cost twice as much as 'Shaun of the Dead' but even that is pretty modest. It kind of works out math-wise that you could make 8 1/2 'Hot Fuzz'es for one 'Bad Boys II.' Truly, that's the exact math."

Since you also direct, when you and Simon Pegg write the script, do you leave room for ad-libbing on the set?

"With our modest budget and high ambition, you don't really have times to riff stuff, so it's not in the same style of comedy that you get now with films like 'Talladega Nights,' or the Judd Apatow films where they do lots of alternate takes. What we sort of do is write the script and it'll be nailed down because there are so many set-ups and pay-offs, plots and sub-plots."

In various stages of production for Wright at the moment are a humorous adventure version of "nobody's favorite" Marvel Comics character Ant-Man ("It's very early," he said); "Them," with a script by Mike White ("Year of the Dog," next page), and "Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life." Wright also directed the fake trailer "Don't" for the "Grindhouse" double feature because Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino were "Big supporters of 'Shaun of the Dead.' "

As for his next script with Pegg, they've been tossing around ideas while promoting "Hot Fuzz."

All Wright would let on, however, is that "It will be U.K. set and it will feature blood and ice cream."


* According to the Hollywood

Reporter, when the Silver Surfer speaks in "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," he's going to sound a lot like Laurence Fishburne.

Fishburne starts work this week. The movie premieres June 12, so he better talk fast.

* The trust handling James

Brown's estate owes more than $70,000 for his elaborate funeral and care of his body for nearly three months, according to funeral director Charles Reid.

"I'm just waiting on them to get some of this mess straightened out," said Reid, manager of the C.A. Reid Funeral Home, in Augusta, Ga. "I really haven't pushed the issue, even though I'd like to have my money."

Said trustee Buddy Dallas: "It was the children that ran up a funeral bill of over $150,000, not the trustees. We've done our very best to do what we could to accommodate the creditors. There's no great big pile of money or surplus of money just lying around."

But Louis Levenson, an attorney for Brown's six adult children, said Wednesday it is the trust's responsibility to pay for the funeral costs, which he considers a "reasonable" amount.

They better watch it or papa's gonna have a brand new casket. A cheaper one.

* Also in Georgia, Chris Rock

has asked a Bulloch County court to start paternity proceedings to determine if he's the father of a 13-year-old boy whose mother tried to file a paternity lawsuit against him last month.

At least it's not Dannielynn.

Rock "desires to contribute to the support, maintenance, and education" of the boy if there's evidence to prove he's the father, according to papers Rock's attorney filed Monday.

Kali Bowyer's lawyer, Brett Kimmel, declined to answer questions about what sort of relationship Bowyer claims to have had with Rock, or why she waited 13 years to seek a paternity claim. Bowyer told the Statesboro Herald last week that she and Rock "were friends and we spent time together."

* Marc Malkin reports on

eonline.com's Planet Gossip that Anika Noni Rose ("Dreamgirls") will voice the role of Maddy, in Disney's animated musical, "The Frog Princess." It will be the first time a Mouse House cartoon feature will star a black princess.

Malkin sources say Rose beat out Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys and Tyra Banks for the part.

* On a less Disney note,

TMZ.com reports that Netflix was suggesting to some customers yesterday the South Korean revenge flick "Oldboy."

"Oldboy" has been linked to one of the violent posed images of the Virginia Tech killer.

Sick coincidence or creepy exploitation?

* A majority of Americans who

followed Don Imus' firing over racist and sexist remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team believe his punishment was appropriate, but whites were twice as likely as blacks to think his punishment was too tough, according to a Pew Research Center survey released yesterday.

Among those Americans who had heard "a little" or "a lot" about the Imus story, 54 percent said the host's removal from the airwaves was about right. Thirty-two percent said it was too tough, and 8 percent said it was not tough enough.

Not tough enough? If you want to hurt the guy just make him try to get a rebound from Kia Vaughn. *

E-mail gensleh@phillynews.com

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