Silver sez he’ll stick to production

GOOD MORNING: “It’s my first–and last directing job. I just wanted to feel what it’s like to direct. I’m a producer.” So said Joel Silver, successful feature producer and also an executive producer –along with Dick Donner, David Giler, Walter Hill and Robert Zemeckis–of HBO’s “Tales From the Crypt.” Silver directed the “Split Personality” seg of “Crypt,” which debuts Wednesday. It stars Joe Pesci, of Silver’s ‘Lethal Weapons,” and Burt Young. Budgeted at the regular series seg price of $ 600,000, it looks far more expensive under director Silver’s reins. “None of us took any money,” he said figuratively. They locationed at a unique Lloyd Wright house in Palos Verdes. Silver spoke to us from a South Carolina Frank Lloyd Wright house as he readied to wing in for tonight’s screening of his directorial debut. He had just visited with Sylvester Stallone in Italy as they have a November start date for WB’s “Demolition Man.” It will shoot in L.A. and San Diego with Michael Brambill directing. Of the pic, set in the year 2040, Silver says “It’s a user-friendly movie–not grim.” He’ll also be starting, with the Coen freres, “The Hudsucker Proxy” with Tim Robbins and Jennifer Jason Leigh and–Paul Newman. And then Silver starts his heavy 1993 production slate–as a producer only, he reminds. … Brian Dennehy also winged in last night, from his Santa Fe, N.M., home for the screening of HBO’s “Teamster Boss” in which he stars as Jackie Presser. Dennehy appears (as Presser) in historical film clips cut in with Ronald Reagan. Presser was the only major labor leader, you recall, involved in the Reagan campaign. And there’s a scene with Reagan addressing the Teamsters’ convention in the HBO movie. Dennehy admits, “I’m a great Reagan fan–and after listening to his speech at the (GOP) convention I think they should have nominated him.” P.S. Dennehy is one actor not involved with any of the candidates. “I get involved in issues,” said Dennehy, who’s made Congressional committee appearances on pesticides, the homeless and colorization of movies.

CAA’S GRAND ENTRY HALL was the site Tuesday for a grand evening honoring Magic Johnson and L.A.’s 1992 Olympic Athletes–and benefiting the Magic Johnson Foundation for funding of the Ariel Project–for the prevention of HIV transmission from mother to infant. It’s named for Elizabeth and Paul Michael Glaser’s daughter, who died of AIDS. Johnson told me Elizabeth Glaser was the one who made him knowledgeable about it and Pediatric AIDS CAA underwrote the evening, which raised $ 75,000 from the 275 who attended Johnson, standing tall among the giants of the industry, impressed the showbiz crowd with his warmth and sincerity–when you talk to him, he looks at you–and listens. Michael Ovitz intro’d Johnson, kidded, “Every Friday we line up all (our) agents and the tallest one gets fired.” Johnson credited Ovitz with teaching him about business–and life. CAA put together his Pepsi deal, which includes a distributorship in D.C. (Look for Magic’s major involvement in a South Central L.A. business improvement program.) He signed a new deal with Miller and they also put up $ 500,000 for a HIV education project. … Johnson continues with Pepsi another year and is spokesman with Skybox trading cards. He is not planning to be involved in TV or feature production. But George Schlatter, one of the guests at the CAA event, is talking a two-hour ABC spec with Johnson–they worked together on Magic’s first TV’er “Speak Up America.” Now in Maui with manager Lon Rosen, Jerry West and their adult, basketball fantasy camp, Johnson makes his decision about the Lakers on his return. He says he feels fine. His book “My Life” (Random House), written with Bill Novack, is out in October.

TOM CRUISE AND WIFE NICOLE KIDMAN intro’d the L.A. Olympians at Magic’s event , who included: Michelle Campi, Oscar de la Hoya, Trent Dimas, Janet Evans, Suzy Hamilton, Dave Johnson, Doug Kimbell, Pablo Morales, Betty Okino, Pepe Reilly, Steve Timmons, Kim Zmeskal and–Earvin Johnson, who said to the diminutive gymnasts, “You had me in the palm of your hands.” Cruise told me he’ll accompany Kidman on her Boston locations for. … Tom Selleck, among the CAA clients there supporting the AIDS fundraiser, told me he’d seen “Columbus” in which he had a weeklong role as King Ferdinand and thought the movie old-fashioned. But he thinks it will be popular in Europe. He and Marlon Brando were furious about members of the crew receiving rubber checks (since made good). Selleck nixed requests (from WB) to p.a. “Columbus.” Didn’t think it right since he has such a small role. But Selleck is very high on his “Mr. Baseball” movie for Universal and he’ll touch all bases to promote it. … Later Tuesday night, Shelley Winters celebrated her 70th birthday with a barbecue party on her front lawn. She invited “half of the Actors Studio” and on hand was its topper Ernie Martin plus Martin Landau, Sally Kirkland, Rodney Dangerfield, Rip Taylor, Henry Silva, Robert Forrester, Don Stroud, Paul and Betty Mazursky, Sean Penn, Tina Louise, Barry Primus (who admitted his “Mistress” almost went directly into video, but is a N.Y. hit and goes into 17 houses next week), Richard Hack, Shelley’s sister Blanche and stand-in June.

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