Michael Jackson, having dumped manager Frank Dileo and given up concerts to pursue movies, has aligned himself with Mike Ovitz, one of Hollywood's heaviest-hitting agents. Ovitz, whose clients include Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand, heads the powerful Creative Artists Agency. Informed speculation has Michael forgoing a formal management deal with Ovitz, letting his lawyer, John Branca of Ziffren, Brittenham & Branca, handle business while Ovitz hunts for scripts. "Michael has long been a CAA client," says Jackson's spokesman. "If he's looking to motion pictures, it only makes sense he'd go with Ovitz."
NO LONGER YOUNG
Tour guides at Universal Studios in L.A. have been warned not to mention that Dick Tracy, Warren Beatty's new movie, is being filmed there, because the studio wants to keep the movie's cartoonish look under wraps. "It's hard to keep it a secret," says one guide. "There's an elaborate set with a big sign: DICK TRACY. And Warren Beatty walks around the lot in his bright yellow Dick Tracy suit." Sean (Cousins) Young, left, who was cast as Tess True-heart, departed after two days of shooting. Beatty said they agreed that her casting wasn't consistent with the way the rest of the film was going. She has been replaced by Glenne (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) Headly.
CHAN IS BACK
B.D. Wong, right, a Tony Award winner for M. Butterfly, will play the great-grandson of Charlie Chan for Cinecorp Productions. Producers Gene (Ironweed) Kirkwood and John (American Pop) Hyde have signed Butterfly's playwright David Henry Hwang, for the screenplay. Wong will be one of the few actors of Asian descent ever to play Chan. The Chinese detective has been played mostly by Occidentals, including Warner Oland and Sidney Toler. Wong's agent, Edward Betz, says, "It's important to B.D. that Chan is modern and happening, and culturally and ethnically correct."
Network TV censorship standards may have loosened up of late, but not enough for Joe Roth, a producer of Skin Deep, a new comedy starring John Ritter right, and directed by Blake (10) Edwards. Roth wanted to run an ad for the movie featuring a scene in which Ritter's character fights another man in pitch darkness, the only thing visible to the audience being the fluorescent condoms both men are wearing. The ad's tag line: "The comedy that glows in the dark." Roth was willing to air his ads after 10 P.M. but says, "All three networks said, 'No way.' It doesn't make sense. I'm seeing people on mini-series in those time slots tied up in bed doing all sorts of things. Our spot wasn't even one-third as explicit."