The Insider

UPDATED 08/22/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/22/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT

ENCHANTED FORREST

A lot of attention is being paid (and rightly so) to the amazing special effects in Forrest Gump, such as Forrest's meetings with John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.

But some of the box office hit's best effects are the ones that viewers hardly notice. Tom Hanks looks like a champion Ping-Pong player, for example, not because he's a world-class athlete but because the balls he "hit" were later added digitally.

And Gump only looks like he's running downfield in front of a screaming crowd of tens of thousands at the University of Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium; the scene was actually shot using 1,000 extras at a small stadium in Los Angeles, with additional tiers of fans layered in during postproduction.

Why didn't the filmmakers just shoot the scene at Alabama's home field? Because the university from which Gump supposedly graduates refused. "The indication is if you play football, even a slow-witted person could graduate," says Dr. Cully Clark, an aide to the university's president. "That has never been the case."

O.D.'d ON O.J.

We hear that Nicole Simpson's father, Lou Brown, who has been trying to sell the book and TV movie rights to his late daughter's life story, has abandoned the project for now.

According to a source close to the family, Brown had wanted to strike a deal to "protect Nicole's name and get at the truth, and to set up a trust for the children to help with their education and raising them." But Hollywood response has been tepid. "By the time the movie would be made after the trial, America will be tired of the whole subject," says a studio production v.p. who rejected Brown's offer, noting that there's already one movie on O.J. Simpson in the works at Fox. "There's so much already known, I'm not sure what would be new."

LESS IS MOORE

Robin Williams in Aladdin. Jeremy Irons in The Lion King. Mel Gibson in the upcoming Pocahontas. It seems the way for stars to really impress their own children these days is to do the voice for a character in a Disney animated film.

Now Demi Moore, that raspy-voiced mother of three, has signed on to play Esmeralda, a beautiful Gypsy and Quasimodo's object of desire in Disney's animated version of the Victor Hugo novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The film is scheduled to be released in the summer of '96.

And it's clearly a project Moore is doing for love, not money. A source tells us that the 31-year-old actress, who reportedly gets $2.5 million per picture, will receive $504 a day for this effort, the standard rate for voice-over work in animation.

Mitchell Fink is on vacation.

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