The Insider

updated 07/23/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/23/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

SILENCE IS STILL GOLDEN

Earlier this year, we estimated that Bruce Willis stood to earn $10 million-plus for supplying the baby's voice in last year's surprise hit movie Look Who's Talking. Willis was in that enviable position because he was getting a percentage of the film's gross as opposed to just a straight salary.

That's a lot of money to pay somebody to perform a voice-over in English, but Willis's deal also guarantees that he gets paid for saying absolutely nothing in four other languages—French, Italian, German and Spanish.

In the French version of Look Who's Talking (retitled Allo Maman lci Bébé, which translates as "Hello Mommy, It's Baby"), the baby's voice is provided by one of France's most successful actors, Daniel Auteuil. Italian comedian Paolo Villagio got the call for the job in the Italian version; in Germany it's being handled by a popular TV talk show host, Thomas Gottschalk, and in Spain the role went to comedian Mancho Borrajo.

Naturally, they all got paid. But so did Willis, whose deal, according to his reps, was worldwide. "We paid extra to the other people," confirms Steve Klain, vice president of international marketing for Columbia/Tri-Star, "because we wanted to make the movie better in those countries." Klain estimates that since March, Look Who's Talking has grossed "over $120 million outside of the U.S. and Canada." Domestically, the figure is now approaching $140 million.

JANE PLAYS HOUSE WITH TED

Wondering about the Jane-Fonda-Ted Turner relationship? We can tell you that it has progressed to the point where Jane has begun decorating a log house that Ted is having constructed on his ranch in Bozeman, Mont.

Fonda's rep, Pat Newcomb, confirms that Jane will be serving as an interior decorator for Turner's house. "Decorating is something Ted never thinks about," says Newcomb. "To him, a table is a table and a chair is a chair. Jane loves doing it. She has excellent taste—eclectic. Everything will be comfortable, but she doesn't want that decorated look."

ESZTERHAS TRIUMPHS

Last October, Joe Eszterhas, screenwriter of Jagged Edge and Betrayed, became a cause célèbre in Hollywood when he accused Michael Ovitz, head of the Creative Artists Agency, of threatening to sabotage his career if Eszterhas left CAA to become a client of the rival International Creative Management. Because Ovitz is often characterized as the most powerful man in Hollywood, the notion of a writer publicly standing up to him was looked upon as either foolhardy or brave.

Ovitz, for his part, denied threatening Eszterhas, saying that all he was doing was simply trying to talk an important client out of leaving the agency. But Eszterhas did leave and signed with ICM, causing many in Hollywood to wonder whether his career would take a downward turn.

It didn't. In fact, Eszterhas recently became the highest-paid screenwriter of all time when his latest script, a mystery called Basic Instinct, sold at auction to Carolco Pictures for $3 million, eclipsing the old record set in April when producer David Geffen paid $1.75 million to Lethal Weapon writer Shane Black for his next script, The Last Boy Scout.

Instinct is about a male cop and a female writer who becomes a murder suspect. Scripts have been sent to other ICM clients, including Mel Gibson and Michelle Pfeiffer, as possible leads.

Still, CAA may have gotten its revenge, at least indirectly. Recently, two of ICM's prized writing clients, Robert (Days of Thunder) Towne and Bo (Melvin and Howard) Goldman, both left the agency to join Ovitz at rival CAA.

From Our Partners