"Scrooge," Or Maybe Not

While we're on the subject of Christmas movies:

Tom Mankiewicz ("Dragnet") will direct another remake of "Miracle on 34th Street"--the perennial classic first filmed in 1947, starring a young Natalie Wood and an old Edmund Gwenn, who won a best-supporting Oscar as Kris Kringle. (A 1973 TV version starred Sebastian Cabot as Kris.)

The new version, for Fox, won't shoot until late next year. Explained Mankiewicz: "We have to wait for Christmas decorations to go up in New York." He added that negotiations are under way to film Macy's Thanksgiving parade.

Neil Cuthbert is scripting. The story--about a little girl who's too "adult" to believe in Santa--will be contemporized. But, stressed Mankiewicz, "We'll retain the spirit of the original. We don't want to be remembered as the people who ruined 'Miracle on 34th Street.' "

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