He usually gets his pick of scripts, but Dustin Hoffman may have to take The Ditto List, a pet project he had been developing at Columbia Pictures, to another studio. The plan was to reunite the actor with The Graduate director Mike Nichols, who was enlisted by Hoffman for the comedy about a divorce lawyer. (Nora Ephron has written the screenplay.) The word is that Hoffman and Columbia's new studio head, David Puttnam don't want to work together. Why? Because Puttnam, the British producer of such hits as Chariots of Fire, Local Hero and The Killing Fields, and Hoffman, a notorious nitpicker, clashed when they collaborated briefly on 1979's Agatha. For the moment, anyway, the film is not on Columbia's roster. His 16-year-old daughter was raped at knife-point several years ago, and now director Robert (Short Eyes) Young has had revenge—cinematically. In his latest movie, Extremities, starring Farrah Fawcett, the attempted rape of a young woman and her subsequent, vicious retaliation is graphically depicted. "I had anger in me," reflects Young, 61, "but I didn't know how much. Directing the film forced me to relive my daughter's rape...the emotions I went through allowed me to work through it for the first time."
When it comes to an offer of a quick—but free—European trip, count Rosanna Arquette in. The actress, whose movie, Nobody's Fool, opens in November, is flying straight to Madrid as a favor for Cary Brokaw, president of Island Pictures, to utter just one line in the movie Straight to Hell. Directed by Alex (Love Kills) Cox, the film also features cameos by Elvis Costello and Iggy Pop. And what's the line that prompts Arquette's 3,500 mile journey? Simple: "I ain't gonna sleep in no shed."
Director John (Ferris Bueller's Day Off) Hughes, king of the teenage-angst saga, is going to progress to young adulthood with his next movie, She's Having a Baby. Hughes has signed Kevin (Footloose) Bacon and Elizabeth (Racing With the Moon) McGovern to star.
You could say that Australian actor Vernon (Commando) Wells was floored when Steven Spielberg's Amblin production company called him to discuss a part in Spielberg's new film, Inner Space. When Wells sat down with the august production group to talk business, their heavy glass conference table collapsed, leaving Wells resting on his laurels on the ground. Wells graciously dismissed his fall from grace and subsequently got the part of the villainous Igor.
Sly Stallone and wife Brigitte Nielsen are leaving soon for Europe to see Nielsen's 2-year-old son, Julian Winding. He is in the custody of Nielsen's ex-husband, Kasper Winding, and frequently stays with Brigitte's parents in Denmark. A spokesman for Stallone vehemently denies published reports that Sly and Brigitte are suing to gain custody. Not long ago, meanwhile, callers to Kasper's Copenhagen home heard Julian's voice on a phone-answering machine saying, "Bye, bye." The telephone number has since been disconnected.
While sitting for his portrait, 28-year-old Prince Albert of Monaco complained to artist Mary Baker-Fiegel that she was painting him without enough hair apparent. "He looked at the portrait and said, 'I know my hairline is receding, but not that much,' " recalls Baker-Fiegel. "So I changed it a millimeter. It didn't make much difference to the picture, but he seemed a lot happier." In a further departure from princely tradition, Albert showed up for his sitting wearing a short-sleeved shirt, and flexed his royal biceps before Baker-Fiegel's paintbrush. Though Albert, we hear, is extremely pleased with the final product, his friends are a bit embarrassed. "Put an ax in his hand, and he would look like a lumberjack," sniffed one guest at a palace reception, where the painting was unveiled.
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