Life Of ‘Reilly’ Getting Longer

“Mary Reilly,” TriStar Pictures’ Jekyll-and-Hyde love story starring Julia Roberts and John Malkovich, which is currently in post-production, will venture back to U.K. stages next month to shoot a new ending. It would seem the studio was less than pleased with the one they shot.

The project, directed by Stephen Frears and produced by Ned Tanen and Nancy Graham Tanen, had to leave the Pinewood Studios in England before an ending could be agreed upon because another production was scheduled to use the stages; “Mary Reilly” ran over schedule, said sources with knowledge of the situation. The sets were broken down and stored.

In the roughly five-month interim, Roberts started production on the Warner Bros, pic formerly known as “Grace Under Pressure,” currently untitled. The film began Nov. 21 and wraps Feb. 7.

A date to finish “Mary Reilly” will be determined when schedules can be worked out between Frears and the actors. “Everyone was tired, and I think they wanted to find out what they had before deciding on an ending,” said one source.

Neither Frears’ William Morris reps nor the actors’ ICM reps would comment. TriStar executives also declined comment. “Mary Reilly” is being shot from a script by Christopher Hampton. Frears and Hampton are the same team that created the critically acclaimed “Dangerous Liaisons.”

Sources said that during the production, there were disagreements between the filmmakers over what the ending of the film should be. “There were some artistic conversations,” said Ned Tanen. His only other comment was, “We’re only going to be shooting for two or three days.”

In the film, Roberts’ character figures out that her lover is also a madman. Which ending will the filmmakers choose: Does she accept him with pure, unconditional love, or does she murder him and leave him dying in a bloody pool? Hmmmmm.

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