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December 18, 2014

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Strip Scribbles: Justin Timberlake’s ‘Runner Runner’ premieres tonight at Planet Hollywood

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John Shearer/Invision/AP

Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z perform at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards in L.A. on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013.

Runner Runner

Homefront

Britney Spears’ admitted first kiss Justin Timberlake (from those Mickey Mouse Club days of yesteryear when she was 13) tonight joins his “Runner Runner” co-stars Ben Affleck and Gemma Arterton at Planet Hollywood for the world premiere of their offshore, online poker thriller.

J.T. plays a Princeton grad student who travels to Costa Rica to track down a gambling tycoon — played by Ben — he believes busted him out of his tuition funds. Justin has to face his biggest gamble: trying to outmaneuver the FBI and the tycoon as they try to bring each other down.

I’m hearing that Planet Hollywood’s next star-studded movie premiere will be the new, violent “Homefront” with James Franco as a meth dealer with co-stars Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth and action hero Jason Statham as an undercover cop. Here’s the YouTube trailer of “Homefront,” which we’ll see on the Strip before its wide release on Thanksgiving Day on Nov. 28.

NEAR-DEATH STUNT: Jason revealed Tuesday that a stunt gone wrong landed him trapped inside a truck that plunged into the Black Sea while filming “The Expendables 3” in Bulgaria. That movie with Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kellan Lutz, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas and Las Vegas fighter Randy Couture also will get a star-studded Planet Hollywood premiere, I’m told.

The Expendables

Jason has told me previously how he does all of his own stunts and has never run into trouble. A week ago, though, it was a different story when the truck he was driving toward two cameramen on a camera vehicle lost its power-brake system. Jason swerved to avoid plowing them down with him into the sea, but he wound up underwater.

Jason, a former British Olympic diver, was quickly submerged as water poured in through his open window. His “Expendables” boots trapped him under the pedals. He held his breath long enough to free himself and then swam out through the window barely alive. Panicked screams erupted from cast and crew, but Sly let cameras roll on the mishap. The near-death story will make for a fascinating interview with my British pal when I talk with him at Planet Hollywood in November.

BRITNEY BUCK$: Planet Hollywood officials are spending nearly $20 million for the new-look and soon-to-be newly named PH Live theater for Britney’s “Piece of Me” resident show. Not only will it feature two mosh-pit dance areas inside the inverted anchor-looking stage, but also VIP nightclub banquettes and tables around the edge of the upside-down anchor, which Britney and her dancers will use to get up close and personal to audiences.

VIPs will have dedicated champagne server attention, plus, a personal escort through a special entrance to their tables from outside the theater. Package pricing for a meet-and-greet with Britney in the VIP club-like front part of the theater post-performances are expected to be announced soon.

Don’t expect to see Britney riding a helicopter in the dark ever again — desert publicity stunts or not. Feeling better after the queasy flight into Jean early Tuesday morning, she tweeted later that day, “First and last helicopter flight like that. Never again — too queasy, too early for morning TV.”

ELTON’S BUSY! Sir Elton John returns to his residency run through Oct. 12 tonight at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace. While here, he’ll release his first solo album since 2006: “The Diving Board,” the 30th solo album of his incredible career, is out next Tuesday, and at least two numbers will be in the next run of shows at Caesars.

It’s a very busy weekend for Elton while at Caesars: He’ll perform at the 2013 iHeartRadio Music Festival in MGM Grand Garden Arena, jet to the 65th Emmy Awards on CBS on Sunday and appear on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” next week.

Elton John

OPENINGS GALORE: In addition to Motley Crue’s “Intimate Evening in Hell” premiere at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel tonight (my interview with frontman Vince Neil was posted today) and “Runner Runner,” “Sister Wives” reality TV stars debut their new jewelry line My Sister Wives Closet at Silverton Casino Lodge’s Guilt Gift shop.

Polygamist Kody Brown, his four wives and some of their 16 children will be at Silverton for an autograph-and-photo session. The TLC series began in 2010; might this year’s new season include a new fifth wife?

STRIP ZIP: Just asking how close we are now to the opening date of the proposed VooDoo zip line providing Strip views while speeding between the Rio’s twin towers? It’s another form of competition with the 550-foot High Roller observation wheel nearing completion at The Linq. VooDoo is a 70-second, 33-mph ride 400 feet high that will cost $25 by day and $37 by night and should be in operation within 60 days.

CHARITY SUPPORT: You are invited to join five Las Vegas celebrities and me at the pre-opening of Sammy’s Restaurant, Bar & Grill in Henderson next Tuesday. The $25 ticket gets you food and drinks, and the restaurant donates the purchase to charity; mine is Keep Memory Alive. Come say hello to us; RSVP here.

TONIGHT’S TIPS

Elton John is at the Colosseum.

Motley Crue is at the Joint.

Seven Dust, American Fangs, Serosia and 10 Years are at Hard Rock Live on the Strip.

Diplo and Major Lazer are at Eclipse at Daylight Beach Club at Mandalay Bay.

Thousands of bike enthusiasts will attend the largest cyclocross race in the U.S. at the Seventh Annual Bar Cross rally with world champion Sven Nys at Desert Breeze Soccer Complex. Riders from 13 nations will mix bike speed with mountain terrain while carrying their bikes over barriers and obstacles.

And Ghostbar at the Palms has its “Outfitted” party for ladies.

TOMORROW’S TEASE

Reports and photos from “Runner Runner” and Motley Crue, plus, our preview of the 2013 iHeartRadio Music Festival with Britney, Miley Cyrus, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Chris Brown, Paul McCartney, Drake and more.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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