‘Mortal Kombat’ conqueres mass media

GOOD MORNING: The “Mortal Kombat” machine rolls on. An animated futuristic sci-fi’er series, “Shadow World,” is now in the works, reports “Kombat” producer Larry Kasanoff — utilizing many of the writers from the “Star Trek” series. A CD-ROM, “The Ultimate Guide to Mortal Kombat,” also is being prepped. “It’s the ultimate strategy,” says Kasanoff, “you are the producer!” The movie’s album (TVT) already has gone platinum — and they didn’t think they’d be able to get it out in time. And the book, “Mortal Kombat — The Movie” ($14.95), written by Daily Variety’s Michael Goldman with pix by Richard Aaron, already has gone into its second printing. The movie’s passed the $46 million mark. And the “live” show, which bows at Radio City Music Hall Sept. 14, is skedded for 187 cities in six months — two companies of 50 personnel. Then, there’s also “Mortal Kombat — The Journey Begins” going out to homevideo. Next feature for Kasanoff is “G.I. Joe” and he and director Michael Gottlieb (“A Kid in King Arthur’s Court”) team on “Cooties”– it’s about a kid and creatures. “He has to get a girl to kiss him — in one week,” smiles Kasanoff. About all this success, he says, “I must admit I’m shocked”… The sked didn’t work out, they say, so Bette Midler’s bowed out of Woody Allen’s next untitled pic. Midler was to sing a couple of songs in it. Meanwhile, she starts “First Wives’ Club” with Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton at Par. And hopefully Midler’s next will be “That Old Feeling” at MGM, also hopefully with Gene Hackman … The Whoopi Goldberg TriStarrer “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” is now “High Strung.” Herb Ross produces-directs from a script by Bruce Vilanch …”Saturday Night Live’s” new music also will boast an opening music star — the singer once known as Prince is initial musical guest this fall.

JERRY WEINTRAUB HAS A BUDGET of $45 million-$50 million for his WB “Avengers” to film in London with Nick Meyer directing. Weintraub hopes it will be the start of a bigscreen series. He’s back from Kennebunkport, Maine, where Jerry and Jane vacationed with neighbors Barbara and George Bush. Latter’s readying for a trip to Japan, China, Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Weintraub is readying to chair the 30th Chabad L’Chaim — To Life telethon, airing Sept. 17, live from KCOP. Jerry and Jan Murray co-host and Weintraub promises some “big surprises” for the anniversary show “on which we get down on our knees and pray” for funds … Barbara Grant (Mrs. Richard) Cohen takes the pledge of allegiance as an American citizen today with a gathering at home — and then they head off to vacation at their home in St. Jean, Cap Ferrat … Arthur Miller visited the set of his “The Crucible” feature filming on Hog Island, Mass., and joined cast members for a reading of his screenplay. His son, Robert A. Miller, is producing with David Picker, Nicholas Hytner is directing. Daniel Day-Lewis, on the location four weeks, has been working as a carpenter, sez producer Miller, to build the house of his character, John Proctor. Winona Ryder and Paul Scofield co-star … Bob Hope joins President Clinton at WWII 50th-anni doings in Honolulu. Also winging over is Maxene Andrews, who with her sisters entertained troops far and wide during the war.

NO STRANGER TO BASEBALL (“Mr. Baseball”), Tom Selleck wings to Baltimore to help Cal Ripken Jr. at his record-setting game Sept. 6. Selleck will present an award to Ripken … The ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) Foundation honors Ann Miller and Ernest Borgnine Sept. 18 at the Four Seasons. This Sunday, Miller receives her Cinecon Award from her MGM director George Sidney at the Hollywood Roosevelt … Dina Merrill joined Peter Boyle and David McCallum in “Milk and Money ” filming in N.Y. Dina’s husband, Ted Hartley, is here recuping from surgery on a broken shoulder suffered in a fall … First Chasen’s, then Ship’s and now Alberto’s, 27 years on Melrose, closes Sept. 2. They say they’ll expand in Rancho Mirage … The Roxbury is negotiating to buy San Francisco’s Ernie’s site , to rename it the Roxbury Club North. Ernie’s closing party is now delayed to Sept. 30 … Friends and family of producer Al Adamson, who was found brutally murdered at home in Palm Springs, will hold a memorial for him Sept. 8 at the Sportsmen’s Lodge … Vanessa Brown is launching her career awareness program, “What Do You Want to Be Tomorrow?”… Manager Kal Ross is back in the biz after a three-month illness … The Hard Rock Cafe here is the site Sept. 19 for Cosmopolitan’s 1997 Bachelor of the Month Calendar. There’s the beef … As a result of Frank Sinatra Jr.’s stint singing with a symph orch at the Carnegie Hall concert toasting his father, Jr. now has offers to tour singing with symphs around the country, He’s now at the Boulder Station Resort with his own big band. No, there’s no news on a date for Sinatra pere to perform again … Veteran broadcaster Paul Wallach starts a syndie’d radio guest-talk show from Gladstone’s in Universal CityWalk starting Sept. 11, locally on KGRB.

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