The Insider

updated 07/30/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/30/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

NEEDED: A LEADING MAN

Call it the movie role nobody wants. Hollywood Pictures can't seem to find a male star to fill the leading role of the white executive who falls in love with the black cleaning lady in French director Co-line Serreau's Randall & Juliette. (The picture is an English-language remake of Serreau's 1989 comedy hit, the French-language Romuald et Juliette, released here as Mama, There's a Man in Your Bed.)

Richard Dreyfuss, 42, was set to star but abandoned the part during rehearsals over "creative differences" with Serreau (PEOPLE, July 2, 1990). Kevin Kline, 42, considered taking over from Dreyfuss but decided against it. Likewise Richard Gere, 40, who also declined the part. Now we hear an offer has gone out to Bruce Willis, 35, who is golden in Hollywood now that Die Hard 2 is shaping up as the summer's biggest hit. Hollywood Pictures, a division of Disney, has indefinitely postponed the movie's shooting start, once scheduled for early July.

Meanwhile, Sheryl Lee (The Mighty Quinn) Ralph, 32, who is set to co-star as the cleaning lady, says, "The studio should stop negotiating with these men and let me have dinner with them. I'll settle it."

STUDIO WANTS MORE MOORE

Speaking of the superhot Willis, his wife, Demi Moore, isn't doing too shabbily cither. Paramount is so thrilled with the 27-year-old Moore's work in the surprise hit Ghost that the studio is after her to star in its romantic fantasy The Butcher's Wife, which starts filming in September.

The movie, to be directed by Terry Hughes (a veteran director of NBC's Golden Girls), is about a woman who finds herself mystically, and romantically, drawn to a New York City butcher.

If she's so mystical, could this woman please divine for the rest of us what Willis intends to do about Randall & Juliette!

WAHL'S A $3 MILLION MAN

The divorce between Ken Wahl and TV is just about final now. Having already stated his intention not to appear in any new episodes of CBS's Wiseguy series (undoubtedly making it difficult for producers to create a seamless transition to the appearance of Steven Bauer, 33, the show's new leading man when Wise-guy returns in midseason), Wahl is free to continue his assault on the movies.

Wahl, 30, recently wrapped his first post-Wiseguy movie, an action adventure film called The Taking of Beverly Hills. (The film uses posh Rodeo Drive as its backdrop, though it was shot mostly on a fake Rodeo Drive set built near Mexico City.) Wahl's next movie project is expected to be Along Came Jones, a film about a drug enforcement agent from South Dakota who comes to Los Angeles to head up an investigation and falls for a female drug smuggler. A source close to Wahl says his salary for Along Came Jones will be "in the $3 million range," which puts him on par with Patrick Swayze and Nick Nolte.

So who needs TV? "I would have to be destitute, poverty-stricken, for me to ever think about doing a TV series again," says Wahl. But the actor does not rule out making a made-for-TV movie or a guest appearance on someone else's series, saying, "I'll go on Sesame Street, if they have something interesting for me to do.' "

FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS

Don't look for Die Hard 2 to ever be any airline's in-flight movie. If a key scene in Rain Man, where Dustin Hoffman freaks out at an airport, was cut from in-flight versions, what does that portend for a film where one jet crashes and another blows up? Still, Twentieth Century Fox plans to submit Die Hard 2 for inflight consideration. A Fox spokesperson says, "We'll send Die Hard 2 in, but we're not expecting the airlines to come back asking that just one uncomfortable scene be edited out. They'll no doubt have problems with language and violence, too."

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