Touchstone revives ‘Other’

Touchstone Pix is looking for a mid-May start on the just-revived “Significant Other,” with Jon Avnet and Jordan Kerner producing and Luis Mandoki directing Andy Garcia and Meg Ryan in the lead roles.

Based on an original script by Ron Bass and Al Franklin, the movie is a dramatic love story about a husband who discovers his wife is an alcoholic and their attempt to save their marriage after she goes into rehab.

‘Born’ wrap

Mandoki, who just wrapped Disney’s upcoming spring release”Born Yesterday,” starring Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, is currently overseeing a production polish that Bass and Franklin are readying. He previously directed “White Palace” and “Gaby.”

According to Touchstone/Disney prexy David Hoberman, “Significant Other” will wind up being based on a combination of the Bass/Franklin polish and an earlier rewrite of the pair’s original script by Susan Shilliday.

Avnet, who directed and, with Kerner, produced Universal’s “Fried Green Tomatoes,” said he believes the subject matter of “Significant Other” has “an enormous impact throughout our country and the world on every level.”

The filmmaker also produced Disney’s hit “The Mighty Ducks” with Kerner and, earlier, Paul Brickman’s “Risky Business” (with Steve Tisch) and “Men Don’t Leave.”

Disney hopes to release “Significant Other” by the end of this year, in time for Oscar consideration.

“Significant Other” has long been in development at Touchstone. Originally, Tom Hanks and Debra Winger were to star under the direction of Alan J. Pakula. In February 1991, Pakula bowed out over creative differences with Winger. Director Lasse Halstrom (“My Life as a Dog”) was also attached for a while.

Hoberman said Disney went to Garcia after Mandoki and Ryan signed on. “Now, hopefully it will all get done,” said Hoberman.

The producers are currently in negotiations on the sequel to Universal’s “Fried Green Tomatoes” and they’ve been set to produce Disney’s sequel to “Mighty Ducks.”

Kerner said he and Avnethave a big meeting set for Monday with Disney honcho Michael Eisner, and that “Mighty Ducks” is “very near and dear to his heart.”

Brill signed for sequel

Said the producer, “We’re going to meet with Michael next week to hear his thoughts for the sequel. He loves hockey and Disney just bought the team (a future Anaheim National Hockey League franchise).”

Original “Ducks” screenwriter Steve Brill will work on the sequel, but a new director will be sought since Stephen Herek is helming Disney’s “Three Musketeers.” Depending on how the script turns out, Kerner said Brill may get a shot at testing for the director’s role on the sequel. The producer added that “Ducks” star Emilio Estevez is also on board again, though his deal still needs to be made.

Kerner said Disney hopes to put “Ducks 2” into production in mid-June “to have it ready for Christmas ’93.”

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