Never mind that Eddie Murphy is only 23. He is about to sign a deal with Simon & Schuster to write his life story, due out in hardback this fall, and will collect an advance in the mid-six figures, plus royalties, to add to the millions he's already made. Also upcoming is a film for Paramount (where he has a five-pic, $15-million pact) to be written by Francis (La Cage aux Folles) Veber. The script is based on an Art Buchwald column about an Oxford-educated, black African king who comes to Washington, D.C. to get aid for his country. During his visit there's a coup d'état back home, and the dethroned, penniless monarch must adapt to life in America. Meantime, Murphy's first single, Party All the Time, will be released this month. On the disc the comedian sings "My girl wants to party all the time," but his engagement to Adelphi College junior Lisa Figueroa, 20, apparently won't be leading to a big celebration for a while. According to Murphy's co-manager Bob Wachs, "Eddie's only engaged. He's not gonna marry."
Noteworthy projects in development at ABC include a half-hour, prime-time animated special to be written by Bette Midler from her book, The Saga of Baby Divine. Midler, whose voice will be used for the main character, will get $15,000 for the teleplay and, if ABC uses the show, a hefty license fee of $500,000 for two broadcasts of the program during a three-year period....
Also in the works is a three-hour movie titled Celebration of a Marriage, which will star Jaclyn Smith, pending her approval of the completed script by Steven Gethers, who's also slated to direct. "It's the story of a 30-year marriage, in which Jackie would play a woman who ages from 19 to 50," says Gethers, who wrote and directed the ABC made-for-TV movie Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, with Smith in the title role.
During the shooting of the last episode of CBS's Mickey Spillane 's Mike Hammer, to air April 7, executive producer Jay Bernstein took a dislike to one scene in which Stacy Keach as Hammer confronts a bad guy in a garage. Among the various problems with it, according to Bernstein, was a poster of Marilyn Monroe on the garage wall. Bernstein wanted a more contemporary look and decided to replace the MM with Farrah Fawcett's hot-selling bathing-suit pinup; as Farrah's former manager, Jay is still fond of that poster, which he takes credit for creating. Says Bernstein, "Farrah graciously granted us permission to use the poster-without charge." Good thing: It cost about $20,000 to reshoot the scene.
The favorite dinner party game in some circles in Europe these days is guessing the father of Nastassja Kinski's unborn child, due in July. Speculation reached the ridiculous when the West German magazine Bunte printed the names of eight potential fathers, suggesting that all had been her lovers. Kinski, 24, decided that was going too far, so she filed suit for 1 million deutsche marks ($385,000) in damages. The men on Bunte's list were Ian McShane, Andre Konchalovsky, Wim Wenders, Dudley Moore, Milos Forman, Gérard Depardieu, Jean-Jacques Beiniex and Roman Polanski. When the topic came up at a dinner party in Paris, Polanski, who directed Kinski in Tess, is said to have jumped to his feet, exclaiming, "I didn't do it!" According to a Kinski confidante, "None of the men mentioned in the article is the father of her child." The source also denies rumors that Egyptian producer-agent Ibrahim Moussa, 43, a longtime friend of Kinski who has been her companion lately, is the father. Nastassja, who recently spent two days in a Rome hospital to recover from fatigue, is reportedly fine and is keeping to her motto: Mum's the word.