01/13/1992 at 01:00 AM EST
The new movie Grand Canyon opens with a scene that critics have called unintentionally poignant, showing Steve Martin and Kevin Kline's characters watching Magic Johnson and the other Los Angeles Lakers at a game in L.A.'s Forum. The footage was shot last season, prior to Johnson's learning that he was HIV positive—news that prompted him to retire from basketball in November.
Did director-writer Lawrence Kasdan consider cutting or altering the scene after Johnson's dramatic announcement?
According to Kasdan's spokesperson, the director was scoring the movie on the day Johnson retired. "Larry thought about taking the scene out, for about 20 seconds, and decided, no, he couldn't do that," says the rep. "Then there was a moment when he realized that people might misconstrue that he left the scene in because of Magic's announcement. That's the last thing Larry would want people to think. In the end he left it in because it belonged in the movie."
WHY JOHN LARROQUETTE ISN'T IN JFK
Given the fact that there are more than 200 speaking roles in Oliver Stone's new movie, JFK, John Larroquette probably won't be missed. Except by Larroquette, who has starred on NBC's Night Court for nine seasons.
The actor filmed a scene in which he portrayed a talk show host who interviews New Orleans DA Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) about the Kennedy assassination. The scene, based on an actual interview Garrison did with Johnny Carson, didn't make the final cut.
Larroquette says he knew going in that if the movie went too long (it runs more than three hours), the scene would be excised. "It was absolutely fun doing it, and that's not hyperbole," he says. "Sure, it would have been nice to have my name in the credits, but I was part of it. It's important that Oliver saw it, even though nobody else will."
ONE QUEEN ISABELLA DOWN, ONE MORE TO GO
Currently there are two movies in production about Christopher Columbus, but ironically both began shooting without an actress in the role of Queen Isabella.
Anjelica Huston had been negotiating for the part in Paramount's Columbus, with Gérard Depardieu in the title role (PEOPLE, Dec. 2), but the actress backed out.
The role was subsequently offered to Glenn Close, who likewise said no. Sources now say that Sigourney Weaver has agreed to play the Spanish Queen.
Meanwhile the competing Columbus project, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, lacks an Isabella. (It stars European actor George Corraface as Columbus, plus Tom Selleck and Marlon Brando.) Possible candidates for Isabella we've heard mentioned include Karen Allen and Diane Ladd.