Steven Bach's much-anticipated book, Final Cut: Dreams and Disaster in the Making of Heaven's Gate, due in July, chronicles in excruciating detail the excesses of Michael Cimino, who directed the $44 million flop. For example, of some 1.5 million feet of film exposed on Heaven's Gate, 1.3 million feet were actually printed—which, for comparison, is about four times the amount printed for Return of the Jedi. Though United Artists had originally hoped to bring in the film for less than $10 million, Cimino's production expenses alone totaled $1 million a week for Heaven's six months of filming, writes Bach, who was fired as the production chief of UA in 1981 after the movie bombed. Perhaps Bach's most remarkable claim pertains to the Montana acreage Cimino chose for the movie's big battle scene. At the studio's expense, Cimino cleared the land and installed a costly irrigation system in order to grow grass on the battlefield. Bach, who says he learned of these improvements after the fact, hoped to recoup costs by selling the irrigation pipes to the property's owner after filming was complete. Much to the studio's surprise, the landowner turned out to be Michael Cimino. When this matter was presented to Cimino's attorney, Eric Weissmann, notes Bach, the lawyer "agreed instantly that it was 'less than appropriate' for Michael Cimino's own land to be charged back to the picture...or any improvements thereto, or irrigation systems thereon or thereunder." The battle scene was moved to another location. (Asked to respond to Bach's book, Cimino, through a spokesman, said he had "no comment.")
Alexander Godunov, who normally dances to the music, will conduct it in the next Steven Spielberg movie, The Money Pit, co-starring Tom Hanks, Shelley Long and Maureen Stapleton. After three weeks of conducting lessons with Samuel Karch-malnick at UCLA, Godunov successfully led a 55-piece orchestra through Haydn's Symphony No. 94. Now he wants to try his baton as a guest conductor for symphony orchestras....
All the world's a rink for Olympic figure skaters Scott Hamilton and Dorothy Hamill. Each hopes to stage a theatrical production on ice about a storybook character: Hamilton will play Peter Pan and Hamill Mary Poppins....
Gene Hackman, who's now filming a feature called Power with Richard Gere and Julie Christie, plans to bow on Broadway later this year in a drama titled Precious Sons.
As everyone knows, professional wrestling has all the elements of a great cartoon except one, animation. Cleverly grasping that paradox—in a half nelson, perhaps—CBS has scheduled a fall Saturday morning kiddie show starring the likes and likenesses of Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant and Rowdy Roddy Piper. "The show will feature cartoon adventure segments followed by real wrestlers offering advice to kids—from a very positive standpoint, of course," says World Wrestling Federation ringleader Vince McMahon. "It will show the charismatic things that happen to wrestlers outside the ring." And what is the charismatic Hogan's favorite cartoon? "Oh man, let me think," he replied when asked that question. "Oh, well, Heckle and Jeckle. Yeah, man."
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