Sean Penn has been telling friends and associates for months that he was so happy directing The Indian Runner, a family drama he also wrote, that he may never act again.
Well, it turns out he may run into difficulties directing again—at least on a mainstream studio project. All the major studios in Hollywood, and most well-known independent producers, are bound to the Directors Guild of America, meaning that nearly all movies are directed by DGA members.
In Penn's case, sources both inside and outside the DGA tell us that Penn recently resigned from the guild over the wording of his screen credit on The Indian Runner. Penn wanted the credit to read "writer/director," with only a slash between the two job titles. This is contrary to the guild's basic agreement with the studios, which specifies that the writer and director's credits must be separate, as in "written and directed by."
DGA spokesman Chuck Warn refused to comment on Penn's resignation but insisted that the words "directed by" will appear on the screen credits of The Indian Runner.
FEMALE STAR NEEDED
Another first-time director, Jennifer Lynch, the 23-year-old daughter of David (Twin Peaks) Lynch, isn't concerned yet with how her credit will read. She would just like to see her film, Boxing Helena, get started.
Madonna was to have starred as the title character, a woman who loses her legs in an accident, but when she dropped out in December, the role went to Kim Basinger. Now, with production set to begin in July, Kim has bailed out too. A source close to the actress says it's "because she didn't like the script," adding that Kim "had no hidden agenda and has no other project set." Still, Lynch is again without a leading lady and refuses to comment on her next move.
COLD FEET, AND MORE
Because we believe we cannot stoop too low when it comes to getting the scoop on Kevin Costner, we offer the following: Costner, who previously showed us his backside in Revenge and Dances with Wolves, had a posterior double stand in for him during a nude swimming scene in his latest movie, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
We asked a Warner Bros, representative if Costner had come down with a sudden case of modesty. "Not at all," she says. "The water was freezing, and it was agreed on the set that a double would be used so Kevin wouldn't have to go in." Poor baby.
HONEY, I MISSED THE FLIGHT
Call us purist, tell us we're splitting hairs, but if Billy Crystal's character at the end of City Slickers is supposed to be returning home to New York City, why do we see his family meeting him at Los Angeles International Airport and not JFK?^
"It's the miracle of movie magic," says a spokesman for Castle Rock. "The production was based in Los Angeles. If you can avoid the expense of taking your characters to New York, you do it. We didn't think using LAX hurt the story. And besides, an airport is an airport."