Negotiations are under way for Dustin Hoffman to play the title role in Warners’ on-again, off-again “Phantom"--the opera story updated to Nazi-occupied Germany. Originally at Lorimar, the script’s recently been revamped by James Dearden (“Fatal Attraction”), with filming to begin in April. Wolfgang Petersen directs and co-produces with C.O. Erickson. . . . Family ties: Actor-producer James Keach makes his directorial debut with “The Forgotten,” the story of Vietnam MIAs released after 17 years’ imprisonment. But a sinister plot develops when the soldiers are debriefed in Berlin. It stars Keith Carradine, Stacy Keach and Steve Railsback, who co-wrote/co-produces with Keach, James. Mimi Maynard and Sandra Will, respectively the wives of James Keach and Carradine, also have roles. Production starts late January for Paramount. . . .

Emily Lloyd will star in “Letters for Iris,” the story of a young woman who becomes a nanny as a means to avenge a terrible wrong. Israel Horvitz wrote the yarn, which films late spring in Boston, for producer Robert Lawrence. Burt Young joins Joseph Mantegna and Faye Dunaway in Zoetrope’s “Wait Until Spring, Bandini,” filming in Utah next February. Fred Roos, Erwin Provoost and Tom Luddy produce the story of immigrant life in the 1920s. Dominique Deruddere is writer-director. Tom Waits will score. . . .

--From Leonard Klady