‘Robin Hood’ to shoot first arrow at Cannes

LOS ANGELES – After making animation — or at least the people who create it — the stars of the red carpet last year with “Up,” the Cannes Film Festival is going with a more traditional opening night this year.

The festival announced Friday morning that “Robin Hood,” Ridley Scott’s take on the folkloric hero, will open its annual extravaganza on the Croisette. Russell Crowe stars as the iconic character, firing arrows, tangling with the sheriff of Nottingham and generally making mischief.

The movie’s a pretty logical choice for Thierry Fremaux and the people who program Cannes: It offers a patina of seriousness, with Scott a multiple Oscar nominee, but also the media-ready glitz that the festival prefers for its opening night, with a glamorous international cast that includes Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt and Max von Sydow. And it jibes nicely with Universal’s release date for the Brian Grazer-produced film: May 14, two days after the festival opens.

How does this choice fit with past Cannes openers? It marks the fifth straight year that the festival is opening with an English-language film (Dominik Moll’s French-language “Lemming” was the last time it didn’t) but the first time since “The Da Vinci Code” in 2006 that it’s going with an action movie.

Clock to stop on Fox’s ’24’

LOS ANGELES – The drama “24” won’t be ticking much longer on TV.

Fox announced Friday that its action-packed real-time show starring Kiefer Sutherland as anti-terrorism agent Jack Bauer will wind down at the end of its current eighth season on May 24.

Sutherland said in a statement that the show’s cast and crew “always wanted ’24’ to finish on a high note, so the decision to make the eighth season our last was one we all agreed upon.” He also said he was looking forward to creating a film version of “24.”

The show has received 68 Emmy nominations, winning for outstanding drama series and for Sutherland as lead drama actor in 2006.

“This has been the role of a lifetime, and I will never be able to fully express my appreciation to everyone who made it possible,” Sutherland said. “But when all is said and done, it is the loyal worldwide fan base that made it possible for me to have the experience of playing the role of Jack Bauer, and for that I am eternally grateful.”

Premiering Nov. 6, 2001, “24” used an innovative real-time, split-screen format to present fast-paced interwoven storylines. Each episode covered one hour of the season’s 24-hour story arc.

Judge won’t block ‘Jersey’

TOMS RIVER, N.J. – A New Jersey judge has again denied a request to block the release of episodes of the MTV reality series “Jersey Shore.”

State Superior Court Judge Joseph Foster rejected the request of three people who say their reputations will be damaged because they’re shown fighting with cast members.

An attorney for the three complained after a published report said MTV planned a global release of the series, which focuses on the escapades of eight 20-something Italian-Americans at a shore house.

Last month the judge denied a man’s request to block the DVD release of the show’s first season. The man says he was beaten during an episode.