The Insider

updated 07/16/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/16/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

MEETING OF THE GODFATHERS

Granted, director Francis Ford Coppola is probably immersed right now in editing his Godfather III, but we offer him free of charge the perfect story on which to build a possible Godfather IV.

We've confirmed with a source who was there that this story actually happened: Marlon Brando, star of the forthcoming Tri-Star comedy The Freshman (due July 20), was dining with co-star Matthew Broderick and Bruno Kirby (who is also featured in the movie) at a restaurant in New York City's Little Italy when a well-dressed man approached the table, excused himself and told Brando that John Gotti, who was having dinner with friends in the restaurant's back room, would consider it an honor if Brando It was Godfathers Two when John Gotti, left, and Marlon Brando met. came back to say hello.

Brando looked at Broderick and Kirby, smiled, and asked them whether they too would like to meet the reputed Mafia boss. They said yes, prompting Brando to tell the man that he would agree to meet Gotti, but only if Gotti agreed to meet Brando's dining partners as well.

The man disappeared for a few moments, then returned with word from the back-room that Gotti would indeed meet Brando's friends.

The three actors stood up and followed the man into the back room. Looking like it could have been a scene from any Godfather movie, there was the silver-haired Gotti, seated at the head of a large table, flanked by a number of men in dark suits. Brando and the others approached the table, introductions were made, and then Gotti and Brando settled down to, as it were, their Godfather summit.

NO BULL ABOUT IT

Bull Durham co-producer Thorn Mount told the Durham Morning Herald in North Carolina recently that he intended to make a sequel to the 1988 romantic comedy hit about baseball. The item, which was picked up by the wire services, said that the star of the original film, Kevin Costner, had been approached to do the sequel, and that Ron Shelton, writer-director of Bull Durham, was already at work on the new screenplay.

Oh, if it were only true. But it's not. At least not according to Costner and Shelton. Costner tells the Insider he has not been approached and has "no idea what Mount was talking about."

Shelton, who based Bull Durham partly on his own experiences as a minor-league ballplayer, says no such project is in development. "Maybe someday," he says.

SHIRLEY'S FOLLIES?

Shirley MacLaine likes to think she has had more lives than a cat, and one person who seems willing to give her the benefit of the doubt is Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim. In the forthcoming Postcards from the Edge, MacLaine plays Meryl Streep's movie star mother (thought by some to be inspired by screenwriter Carrie Fisher's real-life mom, Debbie Reynolds). The movie is based on Fisher's popular 1987 novel of the same name.

In the film, due from Columbia on Sept. 21, MacLaine sings "I'm Still Here," a Sondheim showbiz anthem from his 1971 musical, Follies. But at the behest of director Mike Nichols, Sondheim tailored some of the lyrics to better suit MacLaine's character, including the following thoroughly modern Shirley lyric: "I'm feeling transcendental. Am I here?"

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