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Jack Nicholson will headline and direct...

Jack Nicholson will headline and direct the oft-delayed “Chinatown” sequel, “The Two Jakes,” for Paramount in early 1989 following his stint as the Joker in “Batman,” filming shortly in London. No word yet on who’ll play the other Jake in the Robert Towne screenplay for producer Harold Schneider. Meanwhile, the “Batman” casting of the week is Second Citian Catherine O’Hara (“Beetlejuice”) as one of Joker’s victims. . . .

Theresa Russell nabs the vice squad cop lead in the Sondra Locke-directed “Impulse” at Warners. Goes before the cameras at the end of the month. . . . Two Evan Connell novels--"Mr. Bridge” and “Mrs. Bridge"--will be combined as “Mr. and Mrs. Bridge” by Merchant-Ivory Productions to film next May in K City. Joanne Woodward will star as Mrs. Bridge, with real-life husband Paul Newman in a supporting role. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala adapted the chronicle a 40-year relationship, which James Ivory directs.

Jami Gertz and Martha Plimpton star in “Silence Like Glass,” the true story of the friendship that develops between a cancer-stricken ballerina and another woman in a hospital ward. Carl Schenkel produces and directs the story by Bea Hellman, based on her personal experience. Films next month in Munich and NYC. . . .

Oscar-winner (for “Moonstruck”) writer John Patrick Shanley is developing the comic-fantasy “Joe vs. the Volcano” at Warners. Contemporary yarn of a man who sells his soul to the devil will mark his theatrical directing debut. . . . Also making his directing debut is writer David Odell, who’ll film his original screenplay “Martians Go Home” for producer Ed Pressman next month. Offbeat comedy starring Margaret Colin centers on an avant-garde composer whose latest work attracts obnoxious aliens from outer space to his doorstep.

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Liv Ullman and Eli Wallach star for Oscar-winning director Fons Rademakers (“The Assault”) in Cannon’s “The Rose Garden,” filming in West Germany in late 1988. The Paul Hengge screenplay casts Ullman as a lawyer defending Wallach, a concentration camp survivor, in an assault case against a former Nazi officer. . . .

Robert Camilletti joins the cast of Universal’s “Born on the 4th of July,” to begin filming in Dallas this month. Tom Cruise top-lines for director-writer Oliver Stone. . . . Casting Call: “Barbara Benedek Untitled,” the Jon Kaplan-directed film formerly known as “Parental Guidance,” is looking for a “very, very special baby” to co-star with Glenn Close and James Woods next month. It should between 18 and 24 months (but “could be older and play younger”) and must be able to say the word “Picasso.”


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