Douglas gets down to business

GOOD MORNING: Although he was wearing his hat as an actor at the post-preem party for WB’s “Disclosure,” Michael Douglas quickly shifted chapeaux to act as producer when he spotted Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ICM agent Lou Pitt in the swarm of celebrants at Spago. Douglas, one of CAA’s prized possessions, pitched Pitt for Schwarzenegger to star in the Douglas-Steve Reuther actioner “Faceoff” at Par … Douglas took off after the party in WB’s plane along with “Disclosure’s” Barry Levinson, Michael Crichton and Donald Sutherland to join other pic players in D.C. for the press junket in advance of the weekend’s Washington Kennedy Center Honors, where Michael joins other family members toasting honoree Kirk Douglas. It will be Michael’s first visit to the White House and a good chance to soak up some presidential posture before he starts Castle Rock’s “The American President” with Annette Bening, Rob Reiner directing. Douglas said he’ll play a “politically liberal” president … Bening was at the “Disclosure” preem at the Bruin with husband Warren Beatty. And no, there won’t be any steamy sex scenes in “The President” as there were for Douglas and Demi Moore in “Disclosure.””I’m looking forward to a nice romantic movie for a change,” Douglas said. Diandra Douglas was at the “Disclosure” screening and when I asked Douglas how she reacted to his intense interlude with Moore, he reminded, “She’s a veteran of those kinds of scenes –‘Basic Instinct,’ ‘Fatal Attraction,’ etc.” He had even invited their 16-year-old son Cameron to see it but he was in school. Moore, however, admitted being too embarrassed to view the pic in the company of husband Bruce Willis: “He’ll have to see it alone!” she told me … Crichton, who now has his “Congo” in front of Par cameras, tabled work on his next novel: Steven Spielberg wants his script of the “Jurassic Park” sequel by the end of December to start shooting in June — 1996.

“MERV GRIFFIN WILL GET A BIG SURPRISE when he sees it,” promises Sun Intl. chairman Sol Kerzner, who’s pouring $ 250 million into his Paradise Island Atlantis Resort & Casino. Kerzner, who now owns 33 hotel-casinos internationally (having started in South Africa), said the place in the Bahamas will be open in time for the winter season but a gala is being planned for next spring. Crews are working around the clock to complete the hotel of 1,156 rooms, a 40,000 -square-foot casino and 800-seat showroom. As in Sun City, Kerzner plans spectacular star shows, championship boxing events and specials such as the Miss World contest. Kerzner’s plans expand to the mainland U.S. and he’s in “pretty advanced” confabs with the Mohican Indian tribe in Connecticut for a hotel-casino — a la Foxwood, which boasts the biggest casino in the world! (Frank Sinatra has played there several times) … Merv Griffin told me he sold his Paradise Island “because I didn’t want to be in business outside of the U.S. We’re buying Sun Belt hotels — all with 90%-and-up occupancy.” They include Scottsdale, Albuquerque, Boca Raton, etc. He has two gambling ships afloat and adds another in St. Louis (Maryland Heights). He’s enlarging resorts in Atlantic City, where he’ll air another syndie’d New Year’s Eve show starring Tony Bennett , Cybill Shepherd, etc. And he plans boxing matches at the BevHilton in April. He unveils “Christmas Tree Lane” in the BevHilton lobby Dec. 10, when trees decorated by stars go on silent auction for the Permanent Charities Committee. Stars set to deck the halls include Jane Seymour, who hosts the noon tree-lighting ceremony with Griffin, starting the weeklong auction. Name decorators include Bening and Beatty, Frances Fisher and Clint Eastwood, Roseanne, Mel Gibson, Whoopi Goldberg, Sharon Stone, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, more to come.

LOOKS LIKE BROADWAY FOR “Like Water for Chocolate.” Alfonso Arau, producer/director of the hit pic (and upcoming”A Walk in the Clouds”) is prepping a musicalized B’way version of the bestseller by Laura Esquivel. He’s talking to the La Jolla Playhouse to join in the development/production and CAA is repping the project. Arau set Clark Bason to initiate business for the musical’s production company … Steve Martin’s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” a smash hit at the Westwood Playhouse, is now held over through March 26. Norman Lear’s been in to see it twice … Tatou departs its Beverly Drive site March 1 and owner Mark Fleischman instead opens the Century Grill 450-seat dinner theater in Century City … Bob Newhart is Tom Snyder’s final CNBC guest Thursday … Lindsay Wagner, much like Cinderella, returned her beautiful, bugle-beaded bionic wedding gown to Westwood’s One Night Affair boutique after her wedding on Tuesday’s “Bionic Ever After” on CBS.

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