How Are Things Going for Josh Hartnett?

Josh Hartnett and that mole on his neck, which, quite frankly, is a little distracting, is going through a transitional phase in his career, in which he will most likely transition from a flat leading man into the star of a short-lived comedy on Showtime. The husky-voiced heartthrob has left CAA and is casting around for new representation, hoping at only 33 to reinvigorate his career after belly flops such as Bunraku, a movie whose trailer doesn't quite do justice to its thorough awfulness. Deadline's Mike Fleming reports, however, that agencies aren't turned off by Hartnett's recent string of duds — they're scrambling to sign him with the hope that a few studio hits will remake a star out of him.

This could have all played out a little differently, however, if in the early 00s Hartnett had inked a three-picture Superman deal with Warner Bros. that would have paid him upwards of $100 million in blingtastic riches, but he turned the offer down, worried that the iconic Superman role would define him forever. No worry of that now — what we'll remember Josh by if he never hits it big again is that he was Kate Beckinsale's back-up daddy in the strangely hypnotic Pearl Harbor and the guy who wouldn't sleep with Shannyn Sossamon in 40 Days and 40 Nights because of Lent or whatever, which, for all you stifled indulgers, is almost over...just like Josh Hartnett's movie career. [Deadline]

  • Mia Wasikowski is making the rounds through classic literary roles — the Jane Eyre star will play Emma Bovary in a film adaptation of the eponymous 19th century novel by Gustave Flaubert about a woman who marries a small-town doctor to escape her father's pig farm and engages in some sexy sexy extra marital affairs. More good news about the Madame Bovary movie: it will be directed by Sophie Barthes, from a screenplay adapted by yet another lady, Rose Barrenehce. [Variety]
  • Occasional Saturday Night Live date rapist Christopher Walken made a pretty tasteless joke when he said that he'd buy a yacht if he ever won the lottery. You'd think he would have had enough yachting for one lifetime, though, after being on Robert Wagner's yacht when Natalie Wood mysteriously fell overboard in 1981. Yay, gallows humor. [TMZ]
  • Some nosy unnamed source has said that Cory Montieth is having a really positive impact on his television and boudoir co-star Lea Michelle. Says the source, whose business it's probably none of:

    Cory is definitely having a positive effect on Lea. She's much less miserable these days. Even when she was with Theo [Stockman], she was always depressed being so far away from him and not getting to see him. She likes having someone with her that's actually there. Long distance is not her thing.

    Yeah, long distance is rough, but maybe working with someone and seeing that person constantly is, like, the other extreme. Maybe Lea should find someone who can be there for her, but won't suffocate her, someone with a lot of time on his hands all of a sudden, someone, perhaps, like Josh Hartnett. [Us]

  • After Judge Stephanie Sautner finally unclasped the very last of her gossamer fetters, Lindsay Lohan heeded Sautner's sage advice to stay away from the party scene and concentrate on her work by definitely not throwing a just-off-of-probation party at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont, where she didn't change outfits fives times and wasn't visited by friends Kimberly Stewart, Nicky Hilton, and Brandon Davis. None of that happened, but if it did, you can be sure that Linds didn't touch a drop of alcohol and that, all in all, the gathering would have been pretty tame. [X17]
  • The judge in the curious case of Paula Deen's sexual harassment suit has denied Deen's attorney's request for a gag order that would restrict any pretrial comments. So many jokes about food...it's like getting a sugar rush from one of Paula's Starburst fruit salads. Deen's attorneys have also asked the court to dismiss the one-year-old suit filed by former general manager of Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster house Lisa Jackson, but Jackon's attorney says that's probably not going to happen either. Looks like Deen could use some comfort food. [E!]
  • The sad, unavoidable truth is that cocaine was found in Whitney Houston's Beverly Hills hotel room, though investigators aren't sure how much since the "white, powdery remnants" were pretty scarce. Beverly Hills detectives are not investigating rumors that someone removed cocaine from the room because they're convinced it wasn't removed. [TMZ]
  • Conservative radio and television cockatoos all over this great and partisan country are trilling happily in the wake of Keith Olbermann's split with Current TV. [LA Times]
  • Though country singer George Jones, whose song "Cup of Loneliness" you might have played on YouTube (sorry, copyright laws) after watching the famed "Mountain King" episode of Mad Men, is still in the hospital with an upper respiratory infection, his publicist has denied rumors that Jones is suffering from pneumonia. [AP]
  • While we're talking tangentially about Mad Men, we may as well introduce Ben Feldman, who's joining the show this Sunday maybe as a new employee at SCDP. [Deadline]
  • How to Make It in America star Lake Bell is engaged to wild-eyed tattoo artist Scott Campbell. Many tidings and discreetly hidden Chinese characters for the happy couple. [E!]
  • Everybody can relax about Anne Hathaway's rumored starvation diet — her rep Stephen Huvane has put the kibosh on any such wild speculation. "The story is a huge exaggeration," Huvane told the Huffington Post. "Anne is on a special diet, but is not looking to lose that much weight and she's consuming more than 500 calories a day. She just needs to look more frail as she is playing a prostitute who is dying of tuberculosis." See? She's totally healthy, she's just trying really hard to look like a consumptive prostitute. I don't see a problem with this at all. [HuffPo]
  • Lauren Scruggs has received a substantial settlement check for the Dec. 3 propeller accident that sliced off her hand and forced doctors to remove her left eye, and seemed about as happy to receive the restitution as someone who's been permanently disfigured by a horrifying accident can be. [TMZ]
  • In a sad turn, after receiving a paltry check for stripping to her undies for a photo shoot, Nadya Suleman, mother of 14, will go on welfare and receive about $2,000 a month from the State of California. [TMZ]
  • Neckless wrestler and erstwhile action star John Cena has spoken out against bullying, becoming the latest celebrity to share some stuff about his awkward adolescence. When he was a young lad of 15, Cena says he listened to rap and wore "hip-hop clothing," for which he was bullied relentlessly until he lifted enough weights for his peers to be intimidated by his musculature. [AP]
  • Russell Brand says he "doesn't hold onto to anything negative" because he's a total butterfingers. [People]
  • So this is happening: the movie wizards over at Universal have decided that what the cinema really needs is a sequel to the 1988 movie Twins, which starred the hilariously mismatched duo Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. The latest installment will be called Triplets and the third brother will be none other than Eddie Murphy, whose comedic talent must be scarily prodigious for studios to keep giving him roles after so many box office disasters. I wish he'd just go back to stand-up, but this is the hand the general public has been dealt, so everyone go see this movie so that Eddie Murphy can have enough confidence to take on a few vanity projects. [THR]