GOOD MORNING: Who better to work movie magic than the Orlando Magic’s Shaquille O’Neal? I found the gentle genie of Disney/Interscope’s “Kazaam” in his trailer, parked outside a warehouse converted into a soundstage in Culver City, thus saving the expense of shooting inside a major studio … The 7-foot 1 -inch, 305-pound affable actor had stretched out his long legs and size 23 feet as he watched an old Jackie Chan movie between takes. “I hate this waiting,” said the active Shaq. But he loves playing the rappin’ genie who springs from a boombox to obey the commands of young thesp Francis Capra (“Free Willy 2”). Any chance for any slamdunks in the pic? “I do it to a couple of villains,” he laughed. The movie is strictly family fare, and Shaq’s (or rather, Kazaam’s) magic brings together a family in the inner city. The talented O’Neal made his movie bow in “Blue Chips,” a basketball-set story starring Nick Nolte. He has since starred in front of the cameras in commercials for Pepsi, Reebok and Taco Bell. He is the most wanted personality for endorsements. He has two successful rap albums, and wrote and rapped a number, “Stomp,” for Quincy Jones. The offers in all media pile up. As for movies, he’s thinking about these after the next basketball season winds: “Shaq Fu,” “Steele” and “Hardware Man.” They are all action movies, he promises. He’s starting his own record label, Tooism, and is building a recording studio in Orlando, his adopted hometown. His plans are “to be an entrepreneur”– as if he isn’t one already! He’s partnered with the Planet Hollywood creators in their newest venture, sports-themed eateries called All Star Cafe, the first to open in December in Times Square. Partners include Joe Montana, Andre Agassi, Wayne Gretzky and Ken Griffey Jr. … In “Kazaam,” Shaq works with “live” actors, as well as in bluescreen special effects … Paul Michael Glaser, who directs, has nothing but the highest praise for Shaq. The movie is from an idea by Glaser, and it went from idea to the soundstage in 10 weeks — including a turnaround from WB, where Michael Jordan is shooting his movie-cum-cartoon “Space Jam”… Director Glaser’s son Jake visits the set regularly — the youngster is feeling OK, says Glaser, with sadness creeping into his voice as we recall his family’s tragedies — but Glaser is positive about his and his son’s future. Paul works wonderfully with a mother-son scene I watch between Ally Walker and young Capra … Shaq gets to show some of his magic — on Jay Leno when the latter visits today. O’Neal will “shrink” him to a couple of inches! Stay tuned to see it on “The Tonight Show.”
JUDGE ITO ASKED Aaron Spelling to donate the new tapes of “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Melrose Place” segs for the O.J. Simpson jurors’ viewing. Of course they’ll get ’em. Wednesday, ASP celebrates the 100th seg of “M.P.”– it usually takes five years to hit that mark! … There will be added security at screenings of “Showgirls” to guarantee the NC-17 admission restrictions … Lana Turner’s copious collection of jewelry will be auctioned Nov. 2 by Christie’s at the Peninsula Hotel here. Turner had “a passion” for baubles, daughter Cheryl Crane told me, as she described the large amount of real and costume stuff Lana had amassed. A second auction, Turner’s Hollywood memorabilia, a true history of movie costumes, scripts, autographs, etc., will be held at Christie’s N.Y. Dec. ll … Jim Belushi, having wrapped Trimark’s “Race for the Sun” in Australia plus “Sahara” for Showtime, has been invited to perform for President Clinton and Vice President Gore Thursday at the House of Blues, where the D.C. duo will segue following the Century Plaza Hotel Demo fundraiser. Belushi hopes to get Clinton to join him on stage when he perfs with the Sacred Heart HBO house band.
BRANDON TARTIKOFF USES the tried-and-true phrase “an amazing discovery” before the National Infomercial Marketing Assn. as he delivers the keynote address to ’em today in Las Vegas. He’ll also tell ’em, “Infomercials have to operate on the same basic principles as network-cable entertainment shows.” Howcum Tartikoff’s making the info address? New World owner Ronald Perelman’s private holding company holds 50% of infomercial powerhouse Guthy-Renker. And, because he says he has “arms of steel, teeth that are bright and spray-on hair.” P.S. Brandon hopes to leave Las Vegas with a couple of infomercials!