Crystal's Home Run

10/08/1998 12:00AM

What's next for Oscar host Billy Crystal? After being the highlight of Sunday night's ceremony, the comic and movie actor ("Analyze This") is now planning to direct. The project, for HBO, is called " '61" and is about New York Yankee greats Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. Filming begins in May. Crystal told Variety columnist Army Archerd that " '61" is a personal one for him. He first met Mantle on a 1977 talk show, and he and sports announcer Bob Costas wrote the eulogy to Mantle. Right now, Crystal is casting about for players -- of both the acting and baseball playing variety. "And hopefully not like Tony Perkins in 'Fear Strikes Out,' " he says.

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