Frankenheimer’s “Island": John Frankenheimer will become the new director of New Line Cinema’s Marlon Brando-Val Kilmer starer “The Island of Doctor Moreau,” a New Line spokesman said Monday. Production of the film in Queensland, Australia, has been shut down for a week following the firing of director Richard Stanley earlier this month after only five days of principal photography. Frankenheimer’s films include “The Manchurian Candidate” and “Black Sunday.” Frankenheimer also directed the 1991 film “Year of the Gun” for “Island’s” producer, Ed Pressman. Production is expected to resume shortly.
Planet Beverly Hills: Grand opening festivities for Planet Hollywood Beverly Hills--a new member of the global restaurant chain whose principal shareholders include Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore--are slated for Sept. 17, with an opening night block party on tony Rodeo Drive. The new Planet, at Wilshire Boulevard and Camden Avenue, will open the next day. Along with dining, the restaurant will offer patrons a collection of film and television memorabilia, including “items from the four shareholders’ movies.”
Another Orbit for Hollywood: Hollywood has also landed its star ship in Temecula, in the heartland of Southern California wine country. On Sept. 13, Temecula will become home to “the only international film festival dedicated to the romantic comedy genre” with the world premiere of “Lover’s Knot,” starring Bill Campbell, Jennifer Grey and Rim Curry. The festival, which runs through Sept. 17, will feature 21 romantic comedy films in three categories: U.S., foreign, and student.
Producers Sued: The family of a man who was killed after revealing his affection for another man on television’s “Jenny Jones Show” sued the talk show’s producers for $25 million Monday. Scott Amedure died March 9 from two shotgun blasts fired by Jonathan Schmitz, police say. Three days earlier, Amedure, 32, taped the talk show in which he revealed his crush on Schmitz, 24, who was also a guest on the show. Schmitz claimed the edition of the show, which was never aired, had embarrassed and humiliated him. He is charged with first-degree murder. The Amedure family’s attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, said at a Detroit news conference that Amedure was plied with vodka before the show and encouraged to shower Schmitz with hugs, kisses and flowers. The suit filed in Oakland County (Mich.) Circuit Court charges the show’s distributor, Warner Bros, and its producer, Telepictures, with gross negligence and willful and wanton misconduct. It does not name host Jenny Jones as a defendant. Warner Bros and Telepictures are both divisions of Time Warner. Barbara Brogliatti, a company spokeswoman, called Amedure’s death a tragedy but said the company stands by its actions.
After the Trial: Cable’s CNN, which has scored a ratings boom with its coverage of the O.J. Simpson murder trial, has already announced its plans for post-Simpson trial programming. Starting the day after the Simpson case goes to jury deliberation, the network will team its Washington news anchors Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff with veteran London Anchor Hilary Bowker in “CNN Worldview,” which will air locally from 3-4 p.m. The network will also add “CNN Today,” anchored by Lou Waters and Bobbie Battista, from 10 a.m.-noon. CNN’s post-O.J. trial programming also will feature the new program “Burden of Proof,” discussing the legal ramifications of top news stories, from 9:30-10 a.m.; an expanded, hourlong “CNN Talkback Live” from noon-1 p.m.; the return of “Inside Politics” from 1-1:30 p.m., and an expanded half-hour presentation of the network’s commercial-free student-oriented show, “CNN Newsroom,” from 1:30-2 p.m.
Oprah Grabs Pulitzer Winner: Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films has optioned “The Keepers Of the House,” Shirley Ann Grau’s 1964 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that chronicles the saga of a wealthy, white landowner who fathers three children with his young, black housekeeper and secretly marries her. The project is among six made-for-television movies to be produced by Harpo Films for ABC-TV under a new “Oprah Winfrey Presents” banner.
Story-telling Stars: Instead of spaghetti sauce and salad dressing, actor Paul Newman will be selling stories as he and wife, Joanne Woodward, and other Hollywood stars participate in a recording to raise funds for children with serious and terminal illnesses. In collaboration with Dove Audio Inc., Newman will release “I Will Sing Life: Voices From the Hole in the Wall Gang,” a collection of personal stories told by seven children who attend Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and other stories told by stars. Besides Newman and Woodward, the six-hour recording will feature Danny Aiello, Karen Allen, Jacqueline Bissett, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Michael Douglas, Whoopi Goldberg, Dustin Hoffman, Rhea Perlman, Sidney Poitier, John Ritter, Linda Ronstadt, Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, Cicely Tyson, Robin Williams, B.D. Wong and Michael York. The recording will go on sale in September. Proceeds will go to Newman’s Teddy Bear Fund, which distributes contributions to various charities, including the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for terminally ill children near Disney World in Florida.