Penn in Hand

Sean Penn may be making his big-screen directing debut with “She’s Da Lovely,” from an original screenplay by John Cassavetes--if a pending deal is completed. Penn would co-direct with Cassavetes repertory actor Seymour Cassel (“Minnie and Moskowitz”), who told us they hope to shoot in late spring.

Penn would also star, as a newlywed institutionalized because of his insane jealousy for his bride. Upon release, he discovers she’s as nutty as he is--and they fall in love all over again.

“It’s a great acting opportunity for Sean,” said Cassel. “It’s very funny and very emotional.”

Cassavetes said he’s thrilled by Penn’s interest: “I just wish he’d sit down, sign the papers and complete the deal.”


Meanwhile, Cassavetes is busy writing the sequel to his 1980 success “Gloria” for Columbia.

Gloria will again be played by Mrs. C.--Gena Rowlands. Gloria’s days of being a gun moll are long over--she’s married to an MD in Portland, Ore., and is a mother and member of the social set--when a squad of mob hit men pull up in limos and open fire during one of her tea parties. Thereafter, she tries--without success--to persuade her family that she had a shady past and that they are in danger.

Cassavetes said he may or may not direct “II.”