GOOD MORNING: “This is my farewell to this kind of film,” Sylvester Stallone told me as he was readying to depart Rome after 101 days on Universal’s “Daylight” and head back to the U.S. (Florida) Saturday to continue exteriors in N.Y. “I am positively not doing either ‘Man With a Football’ or ‘Soldier’ or anything else that’s been rumored for me,” he added. “This (‘Daylight’) is the best of that genre of movies. But it’s not just an action movie. There’s plenty of drama. And it is done with such technical accuracy — exactly what could happen.” (It’s the story of catastrophe in a N.Y.-New Jersey tunnel with the tunnel fictionally named the Manhattan Tunnel — but an exact replica, they say, of the Holland Tunnel). “I think a lot more people will take the bridge after seeing this!” he admitted. Stallone promises, “I will take a different direction in my career. I’ve done as much as I can do in these (actioners). I want to be in more responsible stories, I don’t want to be the ‘Samson’ of the movies any more.” He reminds that his characters Rocky and Rambo, for example, were “simple men who had indomitable spirit. I no longer want to be relegated to the physical. (He will be 50 on his next birthday, July 6.) I think I’ve gone as far as I can go with these kind of films.” He’s in the process of once again writing. He insists he’s willing to make the conversion to the smaller setting — but said that doesn’t mean he’s going to make any little arthouse movies. As for the huge $60 million, three-picture deal at Universal, he said, “It has never been about the money with me, it was good agenting.” (Ron Meyer, then at CAA, now at MCA.) So how does U feel about his change of heart? He said, “I talked to them just today about my feelings. And everything’s fine — just get the good stories.” There’ll be no more of the predictable pics for him, he said. He claims “Daylight’ is the “most enjoyable movie I’ve made in 20 years and as good as I can do.” He credits director Rob Cohen. Stallone said, “Memorable movies are the ones in which an emotional moment touched you — that’s what stays with you. Not the special effects.” He mentioned scenes from “Lion in Winter,” “The Elephant Man” and the recent “Sense and Sensibility,” “Apollo 13,” “Seven” as samples of pics that touched him — not necessarily roles he would have played, natch. But don’t ever look for him in costume with satin pants, writing with a quill! Before starting the three-pic/$60 million Universal deal, Stallone has one film (as yet unchosen) owed WB as well … Stallone praised the cast of “Daylight” for their bravery — femme star Amy Brenneman, he said, was seconds away from an oil tanker, which crashed into a car in the tunnel that had become a raging torrent. And Barry Newman, who said he plays “the George Kennedy-type” role of the tunnel supervisor, tells me Stallone was super heroic, doing many of his stunts — like dashing between giant revolving blades of a monster machine … Rafaella DeLaurentiis is exec producer of the $80 million epic, with John Davis, David Friendly and Joe Singer producing.
“IT’S GOOD FOR ALL of us,” said Robert Halmi, following critical and Nielsen reaction to his “Gulliver’s Travels.” “Not only for the ratings — but it opens up the window (for more classic$).” He said money was the “least of my problems” (for the $27-plus million mini). “It will air every year” and a fancy video package is upcoming. It also helps his 70-80 movies a year in the world market. Halmi, who calls himself “the last of the entrepreneurs,” is showing “Gulliver” at the Monte Carlo fest, which opens Saturday. He starts his all-star “Jake’s Women” in London April 6, Candice Bergen starts “Tim” May 7, then “Barefoot in the Park,” “In Cold Blood,” etc. … From Australia, Bob Wagner reports the “Hart to Hart in High Season” is getting great cooperation for the Family Channel’s two-hour telepic with Jim Brolin and Emanuel Yarborough (680 pounds) as the heavies, and assists from alligators, snakes and a koala that replaced a jumpy kangaroo. Wagner celebrates his 56th birthday there Saturday. The Harts wing to Germany for their next show.
DONALD O’CONNOR UNDERWENT angioplasty on his right leg — but is feeling fit as a fiddle. I spoke with him Thursday at Paramount, where he lunched with longtime pal A.C. Lyles. O’Connor bowed at Par in ’38 in “Sing You Sinners”– when he was 11 years old — and did 12 pictures a year! … Faye Resnick’s due to give her deposition Saturday in the O.J. Simpson civil suit — after which she disappears in Europe … It was the wearing of the green Astroturf — instead of the red carpet — for U’s gala “Happy Gilmore” preem at the Cineplex Odeon and party followng at the Hard Rock Cafe on CityWalk. Guests paraded on the turf for the golf-themed comedy with golf carts driving up Adam Sandler, Chris McDonald, Julie Bowen, Frances Bay, Carl Weathers and movie newcomer Bob Barker. Pals there included Michael Keaton, Alicia Silverstone, Courteney Cox, Brendan Fraser, Chris Farley and Jon Lovitz, who ice skated, putted for the fans and fotogs.