Scripter Gelbart out after 2 drafts of ‘Professor’

GOOD MORNING: Another classic case of creative differences, sez Larry Gelbart , who has departed “The Nutty Professor” after completing two drafts. The differences were between Gelbart and director Tom Shadyac (“Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”). “I’m sorry, but it became two different movies,” Gelbart said. Daily Variety reported (Sept. 19, 1994) that Gelbart was to receive $ 1 million for the Imagine/Universal pic to star Eddie Murphy. Yes, Gelbart says, he was paid. So he’s back working on “Frank” for Jerry Zucker, from Andy Breckman’s original. He’s also writing, with his son Gary Markowitz, “John Deere,” based on the true story of a long-distance lawn mower trek. This one’s for Ray Stark. And Gelbart’s readying the film version of his play “The Sly Fox”… Mike Myers is leaving “Saturday Night Live” after six years and countless comedic characters — headed by Linda Richman in the “Coffee Talk” seg. He says, “The commuting is killing me. I’m not leaving with any malice. NBC has been very gracious.” He adds he and wife Robin Ruzan want to stay here in L.A. “and nest.” Talking of Myers’ characterizations, Judge Lance Ito thinks Myers’ “SNL” portrayals of him are “not bad.” At least that’s the word Myers says has gotten back to him. Myers — and Robin — were anxious to let me know they are not in mourning over the cancellation of plans to do their “Coffee Talk” feature at WB. Both of ’em were on the phone to me. Her mother, the real Linda Richman, the inspiration for the character, is here visiting. “And she’s not disappointed either,” said Mike. “She’s just hoping we’re happy.” The main theme of the movie, they say, was that “Linda Richman went to Israel on a spiritual journey. You know I am Christian and Robin (Linda, too) is Jewish. The movie was to be a spiritual labor of love — and not a question of making tons of money. Who knew it would become too high a budget by shooting it in Israel? So I swear, I said, ‘Let’s not do it,’ when the studio started cutting away at the $ 18.5 million level.” Myers said they had wanted to start shooting last August when there was a lot of heat on Myers and “Coffee Talk” fan Barbra Streisand. “And a lot of actors (like Phil Hartman) wanted to be in the movie, and a lot of studios were in the bidding war.” But as time wore on, Mike and Robin cooled on “Coffee” because of the budget cut and delays, so he’s writing a new movie. It’s “Day Job” (or “Joe Job”), about a guy in his day job, plus a rock band at night. He’s writing this one alone. Robin and her mom are coffee-talking about a hoped-for expanded family.

KATE BURTON KEEPS THE TRADITION alive on stage and film. She recently wound the bigscreen “August” in Wales for Anthony Hopkins and she now returns to the stage — for three roles — in Neil Simon’s newest play, “London Suite.” It’s rehearsing in Seattle before heading to N.Y., where it bows April 9 Off Broadway , at the Union Square Theater. Simon’s “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” bows here at the Ahmanson-at-the-Doolittle with Howard Hesseman joining the cast. The “Laughter” TV series is being readied by Simon for ABC. And to launch the Random House publication of “Laughter,” Simon will be “in conversation” on the book and play with Gil Cates at UCLA’s Westwood Playhouse. Simon says Cates also invited him to be on the permanent staff of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film & TV. With all these activities, Simon laments, “I haven’t been able to get back to writing my autobiography.” He’s too busy living it … Boss Film Studios is creatingits most technically advanced real-time motion capture system (also known as performance animation) to date for MGM’s “Species” thriller. Boss is “pushing the envelope past anything that has been done,” says Richard Edlund, Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor on the pic, which stars Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Forest Whitaker, Marg Helgenberger and — aliens.

MONIQUE MOSS opens her own praisery today after 10 years with Michael Levine’s pubbery … Ben Kingsley returned to London from India p.a.’s for “Schindler’s List” to win the Evening Standard’s best actor award — for “Schindler’s List”… Composer Elliot Goldenberg, who won the Golden Globe for his “Interview With the Vampire” score, segues to “Batman Forever” and Sony Classics’ “Voices From a Locked Room” to compose the Pacific Symphony Orch’s symphonic piece in honor of the 20th anni of the end of the Vietnam war, debuting April 26-27 … Aerosmith gets a tribute in Las Vegas’ upcoming Hard Rock Hotel, which will include the Aerosmithsonian, a collection of you-know-what memorabilia … It’s a 180-degree turn for “National Lampoon’s” Beverly D’Angelo, who plays a seductive murderess who torments Mackenzie Astin in Bruce Cohn Curtis’ romantic thriller “Widow’s Kiss” for Rysher Entertainment.

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