Clay's Aiken for a political fight

FORMER "AMERICAN IDOL" runner-up Clay Aiken officially filed yesterday to run for Congress in North Carolina, saying that he wants to help end the gridlock in Washington and that no single political party has all the answers.

The singer, a Democrat, turned in his paperwork at the State Board of Elections to seek the 2nd District seat currently held by Republican Renee Ellmers. Aiken, who lives in the Raleigh-Durham area, announced his bid three weeks ago and must first try to win the Democratic primary in less than 10 weeks.

The 2nd District, which covers all or parts of nine counties west and southwest of his native Raleigh, is considered Republican-leaning. But Aiken said the district's voters want to choose the candidate who believes "we're not going to have success just based on one party or the other - that we all have to work together."

Are we sure he wasn't the runner-up on "Last Comic Standing."


Allman movie on hold

Filmmakers have shelved production on "Midnight Rider," a movie about the life of Gregg Allman a week after a freight train collided into the production team and its equipment, killing one crew member and injuring seven others.

Savannah Film Office director William Hammargren said yesterday film producers had called to tell him they were "shutting down production."

"Midnight Rider" was to star William Hurt as the Allman Brothers Band singer. It was just getting started when crew members were struck Feb. 20.

Investigators say the crew was on the tracks without the railroad's permission.



* Should "The Square," Egypt's first Oscar-nominated film, win on Sunday night, don't expect a lot of excitement in Cairo.

The hard-hitting movie chronicles the country's unrest over the past three years and censorship has blocked its release in Egypt.

About 1.5 million people, however, have seen a hacked version of the film online.

"What's been fantastic is to see the overwhelming ability of the Internet to show truth from fiction," producer Karim Amer said.

* Britain's leading rockfest, Glastonbury, will welcome Dolly Parton on June 29.

Festival programmer Emily Eavis told the BBC that "it's been something we've been wanting to happen for a long time. And she finally said yes."

Orson Welles' personal draft script for "Citizen Kane" is up for sale and is expected to go at a Sotheby's auction for more than $25,000.

People do realize that RKO already bought the script and made the movie, right?

* reports that Rainn Wilson has signed on to star in "The Boy," the first film in a proposed trilogy tracking the childhood of a future serial killer.

The film will have a Philly feel as David Morse and Mike Vogel are also in the cast.

* The Hollywood Reporter says Sandra Bullock may make more than $70 million from her role in "Gravity."

So, it's not gravity that's weighing her down, it's gold.

* There's one name David Arquette's expectant girlfriend Christina McLarty will not allow for their baby boy: Astro.

"I did want to name him Astro," Arquette said in a recent interview. He said he thought "Astro Arquette was an amazing name."

But McLarty said Arquette's choice of Astro was for nau(gh)t.

* Six Southern California men have been charged with stealing millions of dollars by offering phony investments in movies with names like "The Smuggler," including one that supposedly featured well-known actors such as Donald Sutherland, federal authorities said yesterday.

The men were charged with fraud in two federal grand-jury indictments and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said.

The men "sold investors on the Hollywood dream," Michele Wein Layne, director of the SEC's Los Angeles regional office, said in the statement. "But the dream never became a reality because they took investors' money for themselves rather than using it to make a movie."

The scary part is that your chance of getting your money back investing in fake movies is only slightly less than investing in real movies.

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.




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