x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Bob Dylan to release 35th studio album

Plus: Piers Morgan confuses Whitney impersonator with real thing, Peter Jackson mulls another Hobbit, Charlie Sheen gives at least US$1m to troops, and Catching Fire cast list firming up.

Bob Dylan. Domenech Castello / EPA
Bob Dylan. Domenech Castello / EPA

The rock legend Bob Dylan is releasing the 35th studio album of his 50-year recording career on September 11, Columbia Records announced on Tuesday. The label said Tempest - produced by "Jack Frost", an alias that Dylan has used in the past - will feature 10 "new and original Bob Dylan songs". Its release coincides with the 50th anniversary of Dylan's debut album. Dylan, 71, is currently on tour in France. * AFP

Morgan mistakes Whitney impersonator

Piers Morgan has admitted his CNN talk show team displayed the wrong picture of Whitney Houston while the rapper LL Cool J was interviewed about her life. The picture that flashed during the interview was actually that of the German celebrity impersonator Ikenna Beney Amaechi. "I was just sitting at home and at first I didn't realise it, but then it hit me like boom! It wasn't Whitney - it was me!" Amaechi told the celebrity news website TMZ. "I feel very honoured I was mistaken for Whitney." Morgan tweeted to TMZ: "Oops. OK, it's a fair cop - you got me!" * IANS

Peter Jackson plans third Hobbit

Peter Jackson has announced plans to divide The Hobbit's second instalment, There and Back Again, into two separate films. "That's a discussion we're having," he said at last week's San Diego Comic-Con. "We have certainly been talking to the studio [Warner Bros] about some of the material we can't film, and we've been asking them if we can do a bit more. I don't know what would come of that, whether it'd be extended editions or whatnot." Jackson hinted that a third film could be based on JRR Tolkien's 125 pages of additional notes found at the end of the third Lord of the Rings book, The Return of the King. "There's so much good stuff in the index that we have not been able to squeeze into these movies," he said. * IANS

Charlie Sheen gives US$1m to troops

Charlie Sheen announced on Monday he will donate at least US$1 million (Dh3.67m) to the United Service Organisations, known for sending performers and stars to entertain troops. It would be among the largest single donations ever given to the organisation. Sheen says he will donate one per cent of profits from his new sitcom Anger Management, with a minimum of $1m. "It's an honour for me to be able to give back to these men and women who have done so much for all of us." * AP

Catching Fire adding to cast

The Snow White and the Huntsman star Sam Claflin is "nearing an offer" for the coveted role of Finnick Odair in Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games, reported Deadline Hollywood. Also negotiating offers are Melissa Leo and Tony Shalhoub, who would play the characters Mags and Beetee. The studio Lionsgate is also reportedly looking for a new director for the trilogy's finale, Mockingjay, set to come out in two parts in 2014 and 2015.