Previews of May weddings and the LHNH gala; Sir Elton’s birthday bash; the Douglas clan gets to work; a romantic start for Prince William.

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But to get back to Sir Elton, he told everyone at his party how thrilled he was with the cocker spaniel puppy that his longtime partner, David Furnish, gave him as a gift. Elton named him Arthur, heaven knows why. After Elton blew out all the candles on the cake, he smiled a big smile and the crowd went wild with hoots and cheers.

You see, Elton is a very happy knight these days and nights. His new film project, "Gnomeo and Juliet" is getting green lights all around. It will be an animated feature with English garden gnomes as lovable characters living out Shakespeare’s story of "Romeo and Juliet," complete with a family in red hats feuding with a family in blue hats and, of course, two star-crossed lovers, I mean gnomes. Elton’s company, Rocket Pictures, will team up with Disney to create a computer-generated fantasy world. Kate Winslet has all but signed on the dotted line to be the voice of Juliet, as has Dame Judi Dench for the nurse. EJ and Sir Tim Rice are writing the score, but Elton says he absolutely does not want one of the characters to be modeled after him — something about the gnome’s bad hair, roly-poly figure and habit of spending a fortune on flowers. Oh ha ha ha ha ha.

Hilary Swank, she of the Oscar, wants us to know that her movie voyage into space in the action drama "The Core" is fulfilling a life-long dream held long before acting took over. It seems she has wanted to be an astronaut since she was six years old. "I’m a real thrill seeker," she says. "I like to jump out of planes and white-water raft, and I’d still like to go into space one day." From your ears, honey, to the folks at NASA.

"‘It Runs In The Family’ is my father’s 86th film made in his 86th year and it’s the first time we ever worked together, so we’ve been looking for a project for the last 20 years." So sayest Michael Douglas about his father, Kirk, the Hollywood legend. "I was in New York with my family on 9/11 and what happened made us feel much closer to each other and how important each day had become. If we were ever going to work together, the time had to be now." So, "It Runs in the Family" (MGM) opens on April 25 and the cast really runs in the family. There’s Kirk, Michael (who is also the producer), Kirk’s first wife and Michael’s mother, Diana Douglas, and Kirk’s grandson and Michael’s son Cameron. Also getting to toss her pretty curls in the movie is Bernadette Peters. She’s a brave girl.
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