Hoffman off list of ‘Little’ helmers, seeks new pic

Negotiations for Dustin Hoffman to direct “Little Big League” have broken down, but the actor is still in the hunt for his first project behind the camera , sources confirmed yesterday.

As reported (Daily Variety, Jan. 11), Hoffman was in serious discussions late last week with Castle Rock Entertainment and producer Mike Lobell to helm the movie about an 11-year-old boy who inherits the Kansas City Royals from his grandfather and names himself manager.

While there were minor disagreements over Hoffman’s price, negotiations broke down over “creative freedoms” Hoffman wanted.

Creative Artists Agency’s Jon Levin and Jay Maloney, who represented Hoffman in “League” negotiations, did not return phone calls yesterday.

Hoffman’s attorney Bertram Fields said he was not notified yesterday that “Little Big League” negotiations had broken down. To the contrary, he said that as late as Tuesday night the negotiations for Hoffman to direct the Castle Rock film seemed to be on track.

Sources in Hoffman’s camp indicated that the star is continuing the search for a project to be his directorial debut. Two known contenders are Sandollar Prods.’ “The Prince and the Pauper” and a screen adaptation of Avery Corman’s novel “Prized Possessions.” Both are in the development stage, while “League” is ready for the cameras.

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