GOOD MORNING: Marlon Brando’s beckoned to play Johnny Depp’s shrink in “Don Juan De Marco” for New Line, Jeremy Levin directs. For those who are curious if Marlon knew Barbra Streisand was to “duet” with him in her MGM Grand show, Brando says she phoned him. And he was happy to give his OK to share the cleverly duetted “Guys and Dolls” screen with him on the touching “I’ll Know” tune. It was a show stopper, I can tell you — the audience of 13,000 screamed when Brando appeared on a big screen and warbled to her … The latest site rumored where Streisand would TV-tape a final concert — Carnegie Hall … Another Jimi Hendrix feature is in the works — this one to start Jan. 24. It’s called “Jimi, an historical fantasy inspired by Jimi Hendrix.” The cast so far includes Rae Dawn Chong, Eddie and Edward Albert (playing father and son), Bernie Kopell as Jimi’s agent, and introducing 18-year-old singer Holiday Hopke. Hendrix is yet to be cast. Daniel Rivera produces and directs. (Touchstone is planning its Hendrix biopic, “‘Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky,” from the book by David Henderson with Laurence Fishburne to star) … Following his Hendrix pic outing, Kopell stars in Ron Luckman’s drama about gays in the industry, “A History of Shadows”– in the days when no one came out of the closet. A May opening’s planned at the Tiffany … Rod Steiger plays Eric Roberts’ father in Jerry Weintraub’s “The Specialist” starring Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone and Jimmy Woods for director Lucho Llosa. Francine Gersh of the Gold-Marshak Agency set Oscar winner Steiger … Cesar Romero completed his last film, “The Right Way,” Dec. 19, a day before he became ill. Producer/director George Taglianetti tells me Romero, who plays a Mafia Don, was “great — he delivered great chunks of dialogue perfectly” although it was only a one-day role. The cast includes Joe Campanella, Claire Kirk and Joe Santos … Lee Hall, wife of actor Huntz H., died Tuesday at the Motion Picture & TV Country Hospital. Funeral services will be Sunday at Mt. Sinai … The Dead End Kids’ star is unveiled on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame Feb. 1 … Kenny Rogers wings from Vegas to the Georgia family ranch where son Christopher (10) is recuping from injuries (liver, back) suffered when a tree fell on him! Kenny continues on to Big Bend, Texas, to start an eight-week shoot on “Gambler V: The Last Days of The Wild Bunch” with Bruce Boxleitner.
BIG TV PLANS FOR SIEGFRIED AND ROY. During my Las Vegas stay for the performances by solo artists Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra at the MGM Grand , I also caught up with the daring duo, at the Mirage, where $ 72.85 buys a ducat for their $ 28 million, 64-cast-member extravaganza. They’ve grossed $ 157 million in their four-year stand at Steve Wynn’s palace. And now, after a 16 -year absence from TV, they are readying a special for ABC. It will be filmed this spring on their 88-acre ranch plus their “Jungle Palace” home as well as interiors at the Mirage, where their spectacle remains a must-see. The TV’er will not be the traditional format, they told me when we met in their lavish quarters backstage — as two of their incredibly beautiful tigers watched from their places of honor in the S&R apartment. Their manager, Bernie Yuman, and Kenneth Feld will produce the TV show. They believe it will have the same universal appeal their live show boasts. F’rinstance, their Japan tour grossed $ 55 million. And their Radio City Music Hall four-week stand broke a 57-year record. The filmed TV’er will be sold internationally and will involve post-production special effects as well. “It will be more like a movie than a variety TV show,” Yuman said. I asked whether S&R fan Michael Jackson would cameo in the TV’er. He wrote their theme song, “Mind Over Magic,” and sings it in their Mirage show. Also, Siegfried and Roy produced the illusions for Jackson’s 1988 World Tour. But here are no plans for guestars or cameos.
“A TRIBUTE TO THE WRITERS” series starts Jan. 19 at the WGA theater with the initial tribute to Mel Shavelson and Jack Rose. Featured will be remarks by Billy Wilder, Hal Kanter, Ray Evans and Jay Livingston, Renee Taylor and Joe Bologna, Danny Arnold, Del Reisman and — some surprise guests. Plus a screening of “Houseboat,” their 1958 Cary Grant-Sophia Loren starrer … The Creative Arts Temple, headed by rabbi Jerry Cutler, holds its Extravaganza benefit Jan. 27 at Beverly Hills High, with Red Buttons, Barbara McNair, Herb Jeffries plus Jackie Kahane as m.c., Sid Engel as conductor … On Jan. 18, Tony Bennett and the “New York It Ain’t Over” committee host a toasting at Elaine’s honoring NARAS president Mike Greene, producer Pierre Cossette and Loews Corp.’s Jonathan Tischm who were instrumental in getting the Grammys back to N.Y.