GOOD MORNING: There’s just a point — or two — remaining to seal the deal for Jack Nicholson to reprise his “Terms of Endearment” role in its continuation (please don’t call it “sequel”), “Evening Star,” for Rysher/Par. He would only work three days (including Valentine’s Day) with Shirley MacLaine. Nicholson’s skedded to wind “Blood and Wine” with Michael Caine in Miami around Feb. 6-7, so it would also be a close call. Billing for Jack is a contract point in question; he’d never want his billing to indicate to audiences that he was in a full role. Meanwhile, MacLaine, who won an Oscar for her role in “Terms,” is working in Houston despite being silenced by 102-degree flu fever. She insisted on toiling, so producer David Kirkpatrick and director-screenwriter Robert Harling gave her a day with 11 scenes and no dialog. Of course, Shirley was busy talking between takes on all scenes! … Kirkpatrick credits Rysher’s Keith Samples and Par’s Sherry Lansing for getting the deal together on the pic (Rysher finances) that’s based on Larry McMurtry’s book. “It couldn’t have been made without an agreement between those two,” said Kirkpatrick of the $ 25 million pic he produces with Polly Platt. The cast also includes Bill Paxton, Juliette Lewis, Miranda Richardson, Scott Wolf, Ben Johnson and Marion Ross. Kirkpatrick allows, “We have a tough order to follow (‘Terms’). But Larry McMurtry’s book is so moving, everyone who read it was in tears — including the actors at the read-through.” There was so much sobbing, seasoned Oscar-winner Ben Johnson shouted, “Can someone bring in a roll of toilet paper!” Of course there’s plenty of comedy in the pic as well, like a fight between Richardson, as a Texan divorcee, and MacLaine in a plane. MacLaine was at first worried about the sequence — only because of possible similarities in the battle she had in “Turning Point” with Anne Bancroft. Not to worry: in this one, coffee urns and wine bottles are tossed and spilled by the gals!
BARBRA STREISAND ASKED Ron Schwary to come in and assist in producer chores on “The Mirror Has Two Faces.” Schwary, who is exec producer on “Sabrina,” has worked on five other pics with Sydney Pollack, plus a long list of production credits including exec producer of “Scent of a Woman,” producer of “Ordinary People,” etc. He says “Mirror” is “not very far behind and it is going smoothly. Barbra is wonderful to work with.” Jeff Bridges and George Segal are now shooting scenes in the Columbia U. library in N.Y. Saturday, Schwary’s own directorial talents are displayed for the first time on network TV with NBC’s “Sisters.” Yes, Schwary would like to continue directing, via TV en route to “doing good features”… Carroll O’Connor is encouraged by Thursday’s two guilty decisions handed down on drug dealer Harry Perzigian, and O’Connor isn’t letting his actions stop there. “I’ve spoken with FBI and IRS investigators,” says O’Connor, who’s anxious to see the federal government act on this case and on similar street pushers. “The (federal) government does a great job on the big guys (on big drug discoveries) but the outlets are all there with those bastards on the street pushing drugs to kids in the schools. I’m glad the judge gave this decision. It shows people we can go forward to get this done. I’ve got to do something (more) in his (son Hugh’s) name.” Hugh was a suicide because of his drug addition. O’Connor’s wife Nancy, added sadly, “He (Hugh) was such a darling boy.” Carroll is appearing in five “Party of Five” segs for Fox TV. But talks on projects pitched to CBS bore no fruit. “They no longer know who Carroll O’Connor is,” he said … It was SRO at Dublin’s Savoy theater for the preem of Columbia/Castle Rock’s “Run of the Country” filmed by Peter Yates in Ireland’s postcard picture-perfect Cavan County. Thepreem benefited Variety Clubs of Ireland and the Ireland Youth Foundation. The always-busy Albert Finney, a rare preemgoer, showed up to take bows. Also on hand, co-star Victoria Smurfit and Anthony Brophy. Plus Ireland’s Minister of Culture, Michael D. Higgins, responsible for the country’s Section 35, which makes it mucho attractive for U.S. companies to film in Ireland. Yates followed the preem honors receiving a retro in London.
PALM TREES WILL SWAY again at the Cocoanut Grove in the Ambassador hotel tonight as Details magazine tosses a mammoth bash for its “Mondo Hollywood” issue. Denis Leary and Sofia Coppola host and 500-1,000 are expected — most of whom never saw the Grove in its halcyon days … Morgan Fairchild, covering the next TV Guide, gets time off her new, N.Y.-taped “The City” daytimer, to wing here to guest on “Cybill”… James Cromwell, one of my favorites of the year for his performance as “Farmer Hoggett” in “Babe,” will next play Charles Keating in Oliver Stone’s “The People vs. Larry Flynt.” The versatile Cromwell is the son of director John Cromwell and is married to Julie Cobb, daughter of Lee J. Cobb … James Farentino plays George Clooney’s father in three (at least) segs of “ER.” Harry Gold, Gold/Marshak made the deal.