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BIG BELLYACHE

Cannon’s “Street Smart,” a contempo drama about an ambitious journalist who fakes a big story, hasn’t been much fun for star Christopher Reeve.

First, there were Teamsters picketing the NYC location for alleged “wages and benefits below area standards.” Reeve is on the Council of Actors Equity and “in sympathy” with unions, but a no-strike clause in his contract forced him across picket lines.

Then, last Monday, Reeve was sidelined with appendicitis. Director Jerry Schatzberg’s been shooting around him--Reeve’s expected back this week.

A Cannon spokeswoman claims the company is listening to union demands and that “Street Smart” is now “a union shoot.”

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But Reeve still contends that Cannon is “having a meteoric rise, but they’re doing it by stabbing the below-the-line (crew) people in the back--or just being arrogant about them. Yet they’ll pay Sylvester Stallone $10 million--or whatever--to do ‘Over the Top’ (estimates of Stallone’s salary go as high as $15 million). They’ll entice the big names with heavy deals"--he admitted he’s being “very well taken care of financially” by Cannon--"and meanwhile, below-the-line, they’re just as chintzy as they’ve always been.”

Budget for “Street Smart” has been publicized as $7 million, but Reeve and Schatzberg think its closer to $5 million.


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