After winning a battle with New Line Cinema to cast Pauly Shore in “London Calling,” a fish-out-of-water comedy set in England, Disney Studios is replacing Shore in the film with “Cool Runnings” co-star Doug E. Doug.
Sources said Tuesday that Shore is ankling the Hollywood Pictures production for the starring role in the rapidly developing Disney farce “In the Army,” which will be directedby Dan Petrie and features Shore as an unlikely military recruit.
The star switch on “London Calling,” produced by Brad Weston, Bob Beitcher and Michael Rotenberg, comes after Disney tangled with New Line Cinema over the project more than a year ago. New Line then owned the property, at the time called “Totally London,” and was ready to produce the movie with Shore attached as star. The pic was about an au pair (Shore) who goes to work for the family of a British duke.
But Disney blocked production plans for the New Line comedy by enforcing a multipic contractual obligation it had with Shore, paving the way for “Son in Law” and putting “Totally London” on the shelf. Disney later bought “Totally London” from New Line for a reported $ 250,000 (Daily Variety, Dec. 15, 1992).
The project is currently being rewritten by Ryan Rowe, who has been hired to reposition the screenplay expressly for Doug. In the current rendition the au pair works for the family of a jaded English rock star. Disney has reportedly considered Phil Collins, Paul McCartney or David Bowie as potential co-stars in the pic.
At Disney, “London Calling” has been kept on the front burner because of Hollywood Pictures production VP Gail Lyon and creative exec Jim Wedaa, who guided the movie toward its current configuration with Doug attached.
Doug signed a multipicture deal with Hollywood Pictures when he was cast in “Cool Runnings”; his appearance in “London Calling” would apply toward the contractual obligation. Doug,who stars in the Disney-produced TV show “Where I Live,” was discovered by the William Morris Agency’s Bill Gross.
Production credit on “London Calling” represents a coup for Rotenberg, who manages Shore’s career. It would mark his first feature producing credit without Shore involved.