Shekhar Kapur to Direct Anthony Minghella's New York Movie

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Minghella, New York Loves You: Shekhar Kapur, best known for directing the Elizabeth movies, will direct Anthony Minghella's final screenplay — a segment from the upcoming short film collection New York, I Love You. Kapur discusses his thoughts on Minghella in a blog entry, his second-most-touching post after February's "renting out your body for sex; should it be legal?" [HR]

Related: How (and Why) Anthony Minghella's Talent Wasn't Quite Fulfilled [NYM]

Elizabeth W. Banks: Now that she's made a porno in Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Elizabeth Banks has more time to focus on what's important: the White House. As Laura Bush, she joins Josh Brolin in Oliver Stone's George Bush biopic, W. To answer your questions: Yes, it will be controversial, and yes, it will be 45 minutes too long. [HR]

Rice Seeing Ghosts: It's official: Two-time Tony winner Tim Rice will be the lyricist for Andrew Lloyd Webber's upcoming sequel to Phantom of the Opera. Update: Apparently Liz Smith might be unreliable! Playbill reports that Andrew Lloyd Webber says this is news to him. Glenn Slater is the lyricist instead. This is true: The music suffered a minor setback last summer when Lloyd Webber's cat "got into the grand piano" and "destroyed the entire score for the new Phantom in one fell swoop." You may remember when his cat tried to make up for it. [Variety, Playbill]

Prime Time Feud: Not everyone is gobbling up pilots now that the strike is over, as NBC has fast-tracked Family Feud: Celebrity Edition to premiere as early as this summer. Producers are mum, but stars from your favorite NBC shows could compete in what amounts to free publicity, an opportunity Ben Silverman is privately calling a "cross-promotional bag of dicks." That's an industry term, baby. [Variety]

Benz Gets Sawed in Half: Dexter's Julie Benz will star in the upcoming Saw V, which we think might be some kind of romantic comedy. Benz is no doubt excited to get away from Dexter's serial killer and do some light-hearted acting with Tobin Bell, who we assume plays a foppish Hugh Grant–like character named "Jigsaw." [HR]

Newhart Sending a Card: Bob Newhart is coming back to the small screen in Hallmark Channel's Herb's Murders. Newhart, 78, will play a Los Angeles detective who investigates a publisher's killing. It's a race against time: Herb has to solve the crime before dying of old age. [HR]