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Sigourney Weaver will star in “Handmaid’s Tale,”...

Sigourney Weaver will star in “Handmaid’s Tale,” novelist Margaret Atwood’s futuristic yarn of a society where, because of disease, only specifically designated women are allowed to procreate. Producer Daniel Wilson has director Volker Schlondorff (“Tin Drum”) and a screenplay by Harold Pinter. Cinecom produces with a start date set for early 1989 . . . .

While “Handmaid” evokes echoes of the AIDS crisis, spy-turned-actor-now-turned-writer Steven Seagal has completed the script for “Pandora,” a thriller for Warners that has the virus as the creation of a maverick military madman. Seagal will play a scientist who uncovers the truth, abetted in battling the conspiracy by a doctor to be played by his real-life wife Kelly (“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful”) Le Brock . . . . Teri Garr plays a woman who changes Richard Dreyfuss’ luck in Paramount’s gambling comedy, “Let It Ride.” David Giler produces the Nancy Dowd script. Goes before the cameras mid-month in Florida.

Matt Dillon is the “Drugstore Cowboy” in producer Nick Wexler’s ‘70s slice-of-life, redemption drama for Avenue Entertainment, filming in Portland this month. The Gus Van Sant-Dan Yost screenplay, based on a story by James Vogel, will be directed by Van Sant, with Kelly Lynch, Heather Graham, Amanda Plummer and novelist William Burroughs in the cast . . . . “The Boxer and the Death,” a 1963 Czech film set in a Nazi death camp, will not only get a belated American premiere next month, but will be remade by producers Jonathan Prince and John Pepper. However, the new version, written by Jacqueleine and David Seidler, will be set in Argentina during its “dirty little war” . . . .

Producer Arnold Kopelson will film “Triumph,” the story of a concentration camp prisoner forced to box for his Nazi captors, in Auschwitz, Poland next January. Robert Young directs Jean-Marc Barr as the fighter and Winona Ryder co-starring in the screenplay by Larry Heath .

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Roy Scheider and Klaus Maria Brandauer will face off in Kodiak’s “The Fourth War,” as rival generals itching for combat across an unspecified demilitarized zone. Production on the Steven Peters’ screenplay is scheduled for early 1989 in Europe, with negotiations under way for John Frankenheimer to direct . . . .

Adam Rifkin will write and direct “Planet of the Apes: The Final Battle” for Fox in ’89. The next chapter will be a human-ape rights tale centering of the child of Cornelius’ son and Taylor’s daughter--the characters originally played by Roddy McDowall and Charlton Heston . . . ‘nuff said . . . .

CineCorrection: writer Ted Gershuny’s “Silent Night, Bloody Night” was incorrectly identified as a Santa slasher movie last week--its fiend is an ax murderer . . . . Title of the Week: “It’s a Wonderful Knife,” a black comic whodunit written by Jack Zurla now in pre-production.


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