It was bubble, bubble, toil and trouble for Warner Bros. two days before shooting began on the recently wrapped The Witches of Eastwick, starring Jack Nicholson, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer and Cher. Sarandon was told that Cher wanted her exorcised from the role for which she had been signed and rehearsed. Before anyone could say abracadabra, Sarandon's role as one of three witches was transformed into Cher's, and Sarandon had another part. That's what is known as the magic of Hollywood.
After the success of Blue Velvet nobody questions filmmaker David Lynch's talent for taking blue movies into the black. His future plans seem true to color. According to one member of the Lynch mob, the master of the twisted tale is now pursuing the "blue people," the name given to an obscure clan from the backwoods of Kentucky who are so called because "they have inbred all to hell and their skin has an eerie blue tint to it." While researchers are heading for the hills, the director is whittling away at his first comedy, Ronny Rocket, a musical version of Frankenstein, which stars a dwarf. It seems ever since Lynch arrived in Hollywood, local color hasn't been quite the same.
When Michael J. Fox produced and directed The Iceman Hummeth, a four-minute film for David Letterman's Second Annual Holiday Film Festival, little did Fox know he would end up impressing one of his old bosses from Back to the Future. The day after the airing of Fox's comic short about ice hockey and classical music, Steven Spielberg made him an offer Fox didn't refuse: to direct and star in a Spielberg production. Frugality was one of Fox's gifts as a director, and that no doubt impressed Spielberg the producer. The Iceman Hummeth was brought in at $32,000, about $8,000 under its original budget. This may spell the beginning of 21st Century Fox.
Fred Flintstone will get a Hollywood-style promotion from cartoons to the movies when Jim Belushi plays the strongman in The Flintstones, due out in 1988. Although producer Rob Cohen says Shelley Long is one of his picks for Fred's wife, the role of Wilma has attracted interest from Vanna White to Whoopi Goldberg. "Ain't there no blacks in Bedrock?" Goldberg asked Cohen. At this stage there's no bedrock in Bedrock, the Flintstones' hometown. Plans are to find an actual quarry in which Fred and Barney can work and set up production. And who'll play Fred's sidekick, Barney Rubble? Rick (Little Shop of Horrors) Moranis is talking over the role with Cohen.
The motion picture academy will discuss next month whether to take back the Oscar it gave Stevie Wonder for I Just Called to Say I Love You, which was voted best song of 1985 from the film The Woman in Red. A sour note was already struck last fall when Wonder was slapped with a lawsuit claiming that he had stolen the tune from songwriters Lee Garrett and Lloyd Chiate. Although Wonder successfully proved in a federal court that he had written his song several years earlier, that brouhaha led to the revelation of an Oscar no-no: that the tune had not been written expressly for the film in which it was nominated. Now Wonder's on hold waiting for the academy just to call to say....
Now that Michelle Phillips' autobiography, California Dreamin', will be made into a movie, the former Mama wants her daughter Chynna, 18, to play her as a young woman. "Why not Chynna," asks co-producer Phillips, who shrugs off questions of nepotism. "She looks just like me and she's a good actress." Phillips' pick for Mama Cass Elliot, who died in 1974, would be Beach Boy Brian Wilson's daughter, Carnie, 18. "Carnie has the same personality that Cass did," says Phillips. She probably gives off good vibrations as well.
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