Given that Basic Instinct has already grossed some $260 million worldwide, it's no surprise to learn that Basic Instinct II is on Carolco Pictures' drawing board. Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, who reportedly banked a record $3 million for the first Instinct, confirms that he has been chatting about a sequel with Sharon Stone and Carolco executives. Stone, who was estimated to have earned in the vicinity of $500,000 for the original Instinct and would command up to $8 million for the sequel, next stars in Sliver, a thriller also scripted by Eszterhas from a novel by Ira Levin. For this she'll receive $2.5 million plus a percentage of the gross.
Don't hold your breath, though, waiting for Michael Douglas to sign on to Instinct II. Industry sources are betting his asking price for the sequel (he reportedly collected $14 million the first time around) will be too steep for Carolco, which is currently teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.
Speaking of sequels, Burt Reynolds wants to do a sequel to Deliverance (1972), the canoe-trip-from-hell thriller that made him a star. "It's on our wish list," says Scott Jackson, an assistant to Reynolds.
But, no way, vows James Dickey, 69, who wrote the novel on which the film was based. "I don't believe in repeating myself. There will never be a Son of Deliverance," he says, adding that he has passed up big bucks to do a sequel and would sue anyone who tried it without his OK.
MICKEY MOUSE PHONES
What did Disney executives do last week when most of the phones on the studio lot in Burbank went on the fritz? Many made a mad dash to the parking lot and used their cellular car phones, while less hysterical types simply went home.
BEATING THE BUSH
In Universal's Sneakers, a caper film about security experts that stars Robert Redford and opens Sept. 11, Redford and director Phil Alden (Field of Dreams) Robinson take a swipe at President George Hush in a scene in which Redford's character encounters a homeless man. The guy is sitting in front of some satirical posters of Bush, and he begs Redford, "Spare a quarter? The government's taking away my home. Help me out?" The script called for Redford to simply give the fellow a coin. But Redford redid the scene at Robinson's behest, and it now ends with Redford pointing to the Bush poster and telling the man, "Talk to him!"
No word yet on whether the White House is demanding equal time.