Coppola preps AIDS-themed pic

GOOD MORNING: “We’re calling it fiction–but–,” says Francis Coppola about preparations for the AIDS-themed feature “Cure.” “We sent our research people all over. And, in a way, we have a broader aspect of it (AIDS) than anyone.” He feels the film, being written by Diane Johnson, “will bring about knowledge.” Coppola hopes to direct the Zoetrope movie. It is in the development bin along with the J. Edgar Hoover biopic he’s doing with Quincy Jones and “Pinocchio” with Brian Henson and “The Secret Garden,” which starts this month. As he’s said to us before, “I like this period–I like to work with writers.” But this is also the time he enjoys–editing. He took a rare moment off editing Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” His daily sked: “I get up early, have a cup of coffee and a banana, work till a light lunch, work till a light dinner, work until 11 p.m.” He has a lock cut date of May 25. “I enjoy this time–it’s a chance to be with my movie.” The release date is not until fall, but he reminds that time is budgeted for this editing period–and he anticipates no “emergencies” to deliver well on time. He and Quincy Jones are planning a three- or four-day retreat to prep the J. Edgar Hoover movie. Coppola promises, “It’s a very unusual concept. I like Quincy’s collaboration — he’s refreshingly new.” Coppola says the music of the era will also be a part of this movie. “He (Hoover) was a very controversial and complex figure–like ‘Patton.’ (The Barber brothers are scripting.) We will examine all of Hoover’s aspects,” Coppola promises. “It’s the movie of a complicated man.

“A DIFFERENT LOOK OF LOS ANGELES” is promised in ABC’s “Criminal Behavior” by producer Preston Fischer. “Different” from L.A.’s look this week, of course. But also different, says Fischer, from any previous film shot in the city. And a different look at Farrah Fawcett–“feisty, tough.” Fischer, who has filmed on locations in Kansas City (“Burden of Proof”) and Montana (“Morning Star”), notes , “One of the wonderful things on location is the esprit de corps you get outside the city.” He admits it was difficult getting cooperation from the city to film in L.A. and adds, “It’s stupid.” A project Fischer’s readying, “Hollywood Outtakes,” is a special for CBS. “It’s not bloopers but full scenes removed for many reasons including–censorship.” Directors who have already contributed footage, says Fischer, are Sylvester Stallone, John Singleton, Leonard Nimoy. He has not as yet been able to get footage from Steven Spielberg or Robert Redford. He’d like Jodie Foster to host the show. … Another project Fischer’s prepping, “The Last Horse Soldier” for TNT, is about a WWII unit which fought on horses stolen from the Germans. “It’s cowboys at war,” said Fischer. “It’s perfect for Ted Turner.” Another sample of the power of television: following the airing of ABC’s “Something to Live For: The Alison Gertz Story” starring Molly Ringwald, the Centers for Disease Control received a reported 189,000 phone calls. The web gave an 800 number at the telepic’s finale. The CDC received 118,000 calls after Magic Johnson’s announcement. Producers Jack Grossbart and Joan Barnett have also received hundreds of requests for copies of the film–from schools and other health organizations The fear of AIDS is used as a tool by the government to break down civil liberties in “Daybreak.” The movie’s set 10 years in the future, produced by John Bard Manulis and directed/scripted by Stephen Tolkin. Although the movie doesn’t start until mid-May, Manulis filmed John Savage, who plays the president, last week in N.Y. (the Federal Hall subbed for D.C.). Savage is now in Europe working for political causes–offscreen, that is “Swing Kids,” which Manulis and Mark Gordon produced, filmed in Prague, was wrapped. Teaser is set for theaters this week.

THE DEAL FOR “WAYNE’S WORLD II” at Par is nearing completion–to film in April ’93 The latest count is 10– enticing offers to David Letterman–whose NBC pact has until April ’93 Jack Jones takes over the lead from Barry Williams in “City of Angels,” when the national company moves to Toronto. … Perfidy Prods. has the rights for the U.S. preem of Mary Orr’s “The Wisdom of Eve” (which became the movie, “All About Eve”). The French stage production, “Pleins Feux,” as noted here previously, stars Line Renaud. “Eve” bows here at the Court, May 14 Henry Mancini, readying to score Blake Edwards’ “Son of the Pink Panther,” has also completed six songs with Leslie Bricusse for “Tom & Jerry, The Movie.” … Mancini joined Andy Williams in Branson, Mo., for the opening of Andy’s new theater complex. And they of course duo’d on “Moon River.” Williams will add a hotel and restaurant to his theater Harry Belafonte winged to Paris to record a song with Michel Legrand for the latter’s new album. Belafonte then hies to his home in St. Martin, where house guests will include the Sidney Poitiers. … Victoria Principal, readying “Of Human Bondage” for her banner, set Daniel Freudenberger to script. Principal stars, of course. … Comedian-thesp Larry Miller (“Pretty Woman”) stars in NBC/Republic’s pilot, “Country Comfort.” … Steve Tisch set six unknowns for his CBS pilot, “Freshman Dorm.” The thesps, Arlene Taylor, Robin Lively, Paige French, Matt Fox, Kevin Mambo and Casper Van Dien, may not be unknown for long–Tisch was responsible for casting the unknown Tom Cruise in “Risky Business” a few years back.

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