Martin Short plays the title role in...
Martin Short plays the title role in Universal’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” for producer Ray Stark. Tom Pope adapted the F. Scott Fitzgerald story about a child born as an old man who grows progressively younger with each birthday. Frank Oz directs with production set for April. . . . .
Bob Hoskins and Denzel Washington team up for New Line’s “Heart Condition,” a comedy set for a May start in L.A. The Steve Tisch production casts Hoskins as an intolerant cop whose chief adversary is lawyer Washington. Dual freak accidents result in Hoskins receiving his opponent’s heart, inheriting his ghost--plus the task of solving his death. James Parriott writes and directs. . . . .
Ally Sheedy will next be seen as a psychic abetting the police in a murder investigation in Vestron’s “Fear.” Michael O’Keefe is her police contact in the Richard Kobritz production which Rockne O’Bannon wrote and will direct in April. . . . . Meanwhile, Brooksfilm has signed writer Judith Rascoe to adapt Marsha Norman’s novel “The Fortune Teller,” in which Anne Bancroft will star as a psychic involved with the pursuit of a serial killer. Roger Spottiswoode is attached as director and Mel Brooks and Merv Griffin are exec producers. The Tri-Star release won’t film until the fall. . . . . Richard Gere takes on an adversarial role when Andy Garcia checks into police corruption in Paramount’s “Internal Affairs,” filming next month. Mike Figgis directs the Henry Bean original screenplay. . . . . Anthony Edwards and Forest Whitaker are police partners in Fox’s “Downtown,” a Gale Anne Hurd production scheduled for April. The Philly-set thriller finds the inexperienced Edwards put into the line of fire, with Whitaker reluctantly teaching him the rules of the mean streets. Richard Benjamin directs the Nat Mauldin screenplay. . . . . Writer Mauldin also signed for the plum assignment of creating Disney’s “Roger Rabbit II.” . . . .
Laurel Entertainment’s long-cherished adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Stand” also has a new writer. Director George Romero inked Rospo Pallenberg (“Excalibur”) to do the adaptation. . . . . Actor Jeffrey Combs cooks up more strange experiments in Wild Street Production’s “Re-Animator II,” a May start. Dennis Paoli wrote the sequel which Brian Yuzna directs and co-produces with Keith Walley. . . . . Brad Dourif discovers his smoldering finger is just the beginning of “Spontaneous Combustion,” a Project Sampson film co-written and directed by Tobe Hooper. . . . .
Jason Bateman plays a terminally ill young man whose two best friends take him on a cross-country romp in MCEG’s “Sketches,” going on the road in March. Jonathan Krane produces and Neal Israel directs his original screenplay . . . . Veteran actor Hal Holbrook makes his big-screen directorial debut with “Stagger Wing,” an indie effort scheduled to film in Arkansas May 1. Ron Loveless and Harry Minetree produce the story of a small town transformed by the arrival of a stranger. . . . .
Scripts--separated at birth: In Tri-Star’s currently filming “Music Box,” lawyer Jessica Lange winds up defending her father who’s accused of Nazi war crimes in Hungary, as scripted by Joe Eszterhas. Next April, Vestron’s “The Big Thicket,” centers on a young male lawyer defending his father on a murder charge in Texas. The Turman-Foster production is to be directed by Leslie Glatter. Also scheduled this spring is Interscope/Fox’s “Class Action,” the story of a woman lawyer in the District Attorney’s office. who must go up against her anti-establishment father, a public defender. Michael Apted directs the screenplay by Christopher Ames and Carolyn Shelby.
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