Spielberg-Hanks pairing in the cards?

GOOD MORNING: A teaming of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks? “Inevitable,” sez someone who should know. Spielberg was congratulating Hanks Tuesday night at the Century Plaza Hotel after the preem of TriStar’s “Philadelphia.” Hanks was returning the congrats to Spielberg for his “Schindler’s List.” Coincidentally, audience response at the finale of both movies is similar — stunned involvement. And Hanks, who lost 35 pounds for the role of a lawyer dying of AIDS, looked as tragic in his movie as Spielberg’s holocaust victims. Hanks still sports a nearly shaved head, from his recently completed “Forrest Gump” role. And he still has to regain some of the weight he intentionally lost to look ravaged in the finale of “Philadelphia.” There seems little doubt that he will be an Oscar nominee — along with Spielberg’s “Schindler,” Liam Neeson. “It’s OK if they give us both seats up front (at the Oscars),” smiled Hanks … While those involved with Hanks and Spielberg are looking to put ’em together, Ron Howard’s developing “The Postman” for Hanks at WB, Harold Ramis and Cameron Crowe are working on a pair at Columbia … Spielberg told me, “It’s great the business allows us to make movies like these” (the AIDS-themed “Philadelphia” and the holocaust-set “Schindler’s”) … Before “Philadelphia” unspooled at the Cineplex Odeon Century City, AIDS Project L.A. chair Steve Tisch spoke emotionally about the battle against AIDS and the fight for simple human dignity. He also read a pledge of support from President Clinton …”Philadelphia” director Jonathan Demme, also very emotional, invited the many audience members who were involved in the making of the movie to take a bow. He announced the evening raised $ 250,000 for APLA … This has been some busy week for co-star Denzel Washington, who also attended the preem Monday night of “The Pelican Brief,” in which he co-stars with Julia Roberts. He told me he’s got time off until the March-April start of “Devil in a Blue Dress” for director Carl Franklin — and producer Jonathan Demme … The execs on hand at “Philadelphia” included TriStar’s Mike Medavoy, Marc Platt and Stacy Lassally, also Sony’s Peter Guber and Alan Levine and Columbia’s Mark Canton. Cast members there included these rare actors, Roger Corman and Charles Glenn. Corman had given Demme his start in “Caged Heat.””Philadelphia” was Charles Glenn’s first acting outing. The marketing exec (Bregman/Baer Prods.) had first met Demme at Par on “Handle With Care,” then handled his Orion pix. He looked at home in his new career … Among the stars on hand for the preem, Cindy Crawford and husband Richard Gere — he’s just back from his trek to Tibet.

AS THE MENENDEZ BROTHERS’ trial nears its finale, the CBS four-hour mini (tentative title, “Deadly Games”) readies for its start the first week in January in San Diego and L.A. “We are waiting until it goes to the jury (both). We felt we could not in good conscience start until the jury retires,” said producer Zev Braun. He promises the mini “will not be a show ripped from the headlines.” In the first two hours, it covers events leading up to the murders; the investigation and trial follow. Larry Elikann directs with Edward James Olmos as Jose Menendez, Damian Chapa as Lyle, Travis Fine as Erik. Olmos tells me he has been seriously researching his role. “I found that people who worked with (Jose) admired him. Others, on the other side, found him ruthless.” Olmos said he talked to family members, to “his tailors, and I even tried to find out what he liked to eat for breakfast. I’m also trying to find his girlfriend.” When asked whether there would be scenes of the abuses claimed in the trial, Olmos said, “We don’t know whether they existed or not — we’ll never know.” Olmos, while awaiting the start of the mini, has been traveling around the country lecturing on violence to junior and high school students and showing a documentary, “Lives in Hazard.”

THE NEW YORKER GOES TO THE MOVIES the week before the Oscars (March 21), with top writers and artists contributing … Among celebs at the Shubert to catch “Sunset Boulevard”: Robert Redford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mike Nichols, Diane Sawyer, Herb Ross and Meryl Streep (twice) … Charm McCardle’s Teddy Bear Hug Boutique is open today, one day only, at the MPTV Country House & Hospital, with all proceeds going to residents and patients. … Cheech Marin has recorded a new version of the 1972 hit “Cisco Kid” with the original War members for the TNT movie “The Cisco Kid,” in which Marin plays Pancho to Jimmy Smits’ Cisco Kid. They also filmed a musicvideo of the tune — both music and movie are out Feb. 8. Marin’s now playing a gypsy in a children’s feature, “The Magic of the Golden Bear,” for Live Entertainment … Mary Ann Mobley received the Jill Ireland Humanitarian Award from the Komen Foundation as well as the Crohn’s Colitis Foundation award, which includes a $ 35,000 research grant in her name .

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