Bart Simpson on the big screen? Cowabunga!
HOLLYWOOD, California -- Fans of Fox's long-running, critically acclaimed sitcom "The Simpsons" soon might see Bart and family on the silver screen.
According to Variety, the recent high-priced deal between the studio and the voices of everyone's favorite dysfunctional cartoon family -- Dan Castellaneta, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Yeardley Smith, Julie Kavner and Nancy Cartwright -- included options on two feature films.
Variety says the first feature could be worth $500,000 to the voice actors. Apparently, Fox was adamant about putting the feature clauses in the contract. Fox fans will recall that another Fox show -- "The X-Files" -- also went to the big screen in 1998.
What's certain is that thanks to the deal, "The Simpsons" -- now in its 13th year -- will keep the TV show on the air for two more seasons.
'Mummy' star surprised at success
LOS ANGELES, California -- You never know what a movie audience will like.
Actor John Hannah says he learned that when he starred in 1999's "The Mummy." During the shooting of that movie, Hannah says he wasn't comfortable with his acting and believed he was terrible.
"I felt, 'Well, my career's over, I may as well just enjoy it,'" he tells The Associated Press.
Hannah says he was pleasantly surprised when he attended a screening and saw the audience was enjoying it.
"I know nothing," he recalls thinking.
Hannah also stars in "The Mummy Returns," which has raked in $118 million in its first 10 days of release.
It also stars Brendan Fraser, who took a physical beating during filming, Hannah reports.
"By the end of the film, Brendan Fraser couldn't walk, his knees were like basketballs, he was getting injections in his back for his spine, he had a suit ... built with this special stuff so that he could stand up," Hannah said.
Proud to have a Coal Miner's Daughter Museum
HURRICANE MILLS, Tennessee -- It takes a big museum to house the stuff of a country music legend. Ask Loretta Lynn.
She used to have a museum on her Tennessee ranch. But the facility -- displaying memorabilia from her career -- is too small now. So Lynn has upgraded to an 18,000-square-foot museum, also on her property, 40 miles west of Nashville.
The Coal Miner's Daughter Museum is scheduled to open May 26 with a fan appreciation concert, The Associated Press reports. Among the items on display: the original dress worn on the "Coal Miner's Daughter" album and displays from Lynn's first Nashville home and from her school in Butcher Holler, Kentucky.
Lynn, 66, grew up in poverty in Kentucky and gave birth at 14 to the first of her six children, all while becoming one of country music's enduring stars.
Dixie Chicks taking a break
LOS ANGELES, California -- Dixie Chicks fans awaiting a new album from the award-winning country group will have to wait some more.
The Chicks -- Martie Seidel, Natalie Maines and Emily Robison -- say they're taking a break after winning the Academy of Country Music's entertainer of the year award last week. It'll be a year before another album hits stores, they predict.
"The more time you take off, it is kind of scary because you're out of the limelight, so to speak, but it gives us the chance to kind of step back and write from the point of view of where we are now," Seidel tells The Associated Press.
Among the items on the break's agenda -- lead singer Maines will spend more time with her new baby.
"We're trying to give Natalie a chance to be a mom and not have any pressures at all," says Seidel.
One appearance during the break: The Dixie Chicks will get together in September at a charity event in Texas for children with AIDS.
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