By Sarah Skilton



Hot off their Academy Award Wins, Best Actors Plan Their Next Projects

Host Hugh Jackman and his considerable Broadway skills lent the Oscars a touch of old Hollywood glamour this year, and it paid off. Ratings for the 81st ceremony were up 13% over 2008. Jackman headlines the action-packed "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," in theaters May 1st. I think it's safe to say there won't be any musical numbers.


Sean Penn took home the Best Actor trophy for portraying openly-gay activist Harvey Milk in "Milk." Next up for Penn: more political bio-pics. He's expected to play Joe Wilson in "Fair Game," the story about Valerie Plame Wilson (Naomi Watts), the CIA Agent whose name was leaked to the press.

Heath Ledger posthumously won Best Supporting Actor for his role as The Joker in "The Dark Knight." The role was not his last; he'll appear in one more film, "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus," out in September. His character, a charming but possibly sinister rogue who joins a traveling theater troupe, is also portrayed by Colin Farrell, Jude Law, and Johnny Depp. Using additional actors was a creative way for writer/director Terry Gilliam to finish the film and pay tribute to Ledger's accomplishments.

Kate Winslet (always the bridesmaid; never the bride) finally won Best Actress for "The Reader," and she's taking a brief, much-deserved break before announcing her next project.

Penelope Cruz won Best Supporting Actress for the romantic comedy "Vicki Cristina Barcelona," written and directed by Woody Allen. Next, she returns to her good friend Pedro Almovodar (who directed her in "All About My Mother" and "Volver"), for the thriller "Broken Embraces."




John Cusack Fans, This is Your Lucky Day

If happiness is Lloyd Dobler outside your window with his arms raised, boombox blaring Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes," you're in luck: John Cusack is returning to his '80s roots... sort of. He's producing and starring in the comedy "Hot Tub Time Machine" alongside comedian Rob Corddry and Craig Robinson ("Pineapple Express"). The flick follows a trio of burned-out friends who travel back to the fun-loving '80s and re-live the best time of their lives, a weekend they spent as teens at a ski cabin.




Still Nostalgic? Check Out "90210" This April

When The CW Network revamped "90210," they gave us back the incomparable Brenda (Shannen Doherty) and Kelly (Jennie Garth). Now Donna Martin (Tori Spelling) has signed on for an episode that will air April 14. Just to complete the process of turning back the clock, a new version of "Melrose Place" is currently casting as well. Other than that, however, The CW's upcoming fall schedule remains largely unchanged: "Supernatural," "One Tree Hill," "Smallville," "Gossip Girl," and "America's Next Top Model" have all been renewed early.


Happy viewing!




© Melt Magazine 2009