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Woody Allen will be back behind the...

Woody Allen will be back behind the cameras next month--in a comedy--as director, writer and star of “Woody Allen ’89" for Orion. (“Woody ’88" opens next month as “Another Woman” with Allen strictly behind the camera.) We’re told the script has parallel, ultimately converging storylines for major characters, with Martin Balsam and Mia Farrow in the cast . . . . “Church Lady” Dana Carvey makes his major feature debut in “Opportunity Knocks” for Imagine and Universal to film next May. The comedy by Mitch Katlin and Nat Bernstein centers on a con man who has to assume someone else’s identity and when that person returns . . . Mark Gordon and Chris Meledandri produce . . . . Gene Hackman headlines Orion’s “The Package” which starts filming late November in Berlin and Chicago. Andy Davis directs the thriller of international intrigue and assassination.

Make that three Jakes for Joker Jack Nicholson, who’s expressed a desire to play the role of Jake Pepper, the fictional detective on the trail of a serial killer in the film adaptation of Truman Capote’s “Hand Carved Coffins.” Hal Ashby will direct for producer Lester Persky and Keith Barish productions next summer. The decade-in-gestation project has involved such writers as Judith Rascoe, William Peter Blatty and Capote . . . . “Die Hard” director John McTiernan has signed to direct and develop “Robin Hood” at Fox . . . . First out of the gate for the Bandcompany is a new adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Pit and the Pendulum” which director Stuart Gordon will film in Italy in early 1989. Dennis Paoli’s screenplay sets the action during the Spanish Inquisition . . . . Rae Dawn Chong stars as an alien arrived on earth to impart vital knowledge to a spiritually-receptive human in “Starlight,” to film next summer in British Columbia. Jonathan Kay directs the Robert Swift-Hill script. Negotiations are under way with Kiefer Sutherland to co-star.

Martin Sheen walks into “The Cold Front,” a detente thriller set in Vancouver to film next month. Sean Allan’s screenplay centers on an East-West exchange of political prisoners with Michael Ontkean cast as an RCMP officer and Nick Mancuso an international terrorist.


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