Douglas, Reuther Join Forces Again
With Hollywood film production already running at a feverish pace, add another competitor to the power rolodex. Actor/producer Michael Douglas on Thursday announced that he has formed a company with veteran entertainment executive Steven Reuther.
Douglas Reuther Productions is negotiating with possible equity partners, in addition to working on a domestic distribution agreement. One source denied speculation that the company is close to a striking a deal with Warner Bros.
Douglas, whose production credits include the Academy Award-winning “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” is disbanding his Columbia Pictures-based Stonebridge Entertainment. Reuther, who recently resigned as president of New Regency Productions, previously worked with Douglas on “War of the Roses,” “Made in America” and “Falling Down.”
Lyle Lovett has another new partner besides actress Julia Roberts--PolyGram Music Publishing Group. Lovett is the first major performer signed by the company’s new president, David Simone, who has been brought in to bolster PolyGram’s roster in the publishing area.
PolyGram beat out larger companies such as Warner/Chappell Music for the Lovett catalogue, which has been administered by Criterion Music. Ken Levitan, his manager, says Lovett chose PolyGram because of his friendship with Simone, who used to work at MCA, and because PolyGram offered “a wonderful environment as a place to house Lyle’s songs.”
Lovett’s recording contract with MCA is not affected by the deal. Simone says he plans to work with other divisions at the London-based conglomerate, including PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, to find new ways of exploiting songs by Lovett and other publishing clients--including U2, k.d. lang and the Cranberries.
As Tom Hanks accepted the best actor Oscar for “Philadelphia” on Monday, former TriStar Pictures Chairman Mike Medavoy watched from a hotel room outside Palm Springs. Medavoy, who gave the go-ahead to the film at TriStar, says he left town to escape all the Oscar hubbub.
After arriving at his hotel, Medavoy says he spent most of the evening “watching the stars and just gazing out into the air.” He switched on the telecast just in time to catch Hanks’ emotional acceptance speech. After a half-hour, and not feeling well, he “turned off the TV . . . and went to sleep.”
Medavoy, who left TriStar two months ago, says he is in no hurry to rejoin Hollywood’s rat race. But that doesn’t mean that he’s turned a totally deaf ear to the pitter-patter of little paws.
He confirmed published reports of business conversations with Peter Hoffman, the former Carolco executive who heads the production/dealmaking firm Cinevisions; and Arnold W. Messer, who used to run Columbia/TriStar International. Medavoy says he has also met with “foreign entities,” though he refused to identify the companies or the nature of the discussions.
“I’m kind of looking at everything to see what I should do, and want to do,” he adds.
American films may not be much in evidence at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, based on recent reports. But organizer Julie Sisk says the American Pavilion definitely will return.
The pavilion is a lively gathering place for industry-oriented panel discussions, celebrity appearances (this week’s Oscar winner for best actress, Holly Hunter, opened the center last year), the crowded bar scene and the nighttime parties, including a raucous New Line Pictures event last year for “Menace 2 Society.”
Sisk says she is still lining up sponsors. Also at issue is whether the pavilion will return to its usual location next to the festival headquarters, since organizers are considering a change of venue. Either way, says Sisk, the show will go on.
Count Bruce McNall as one forgiving guy. The Los Angeles Kings owner and sometime movie producer was conspicuously not absent from the exclusive Vanity Fair party on Oscar night, even though he’s accused in the magazine’s current issue of being a former coin smuggler.
McNall has downplayed the significance of events described in the magazine. A spokesman says that the Kings owner came to the party because he was invited. McNall spent much of the evening with a fellow ice hockey magnate, Walt Disney Co. Chairman Michael D. Eisner.
Other East/West Coast powerbrokers at the party, co-hosted by producer Steve Tisch and Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter: Advance Publications’ S.I. and Donald Newhouse, financiers Ronald Perelman and Marvin Davis, QVC Chairman Barry Diller, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, Universal Studios Chairman Tom Pollock and Robert Daly and Terry Semel of Warner Bros.
From Washington there was presidential spokeswoman Dee Dee Myers and political power couple James Carville and Mary Matalin. Behind the scenes Hollywood figures included producers John Davis, Joel Silver, Ted Field, Leonard Goldberg, David Friendly, Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, and talent agents Jim Wiatt, Jay Moloney and Rick Nicita.