GOOD MORNING: Is art imitating life, or … ? Bruce Willis is about to start Castle Rock’s “The Story of Us” in which he and Michele Pfeiffer, wed 15 years, and with two children, try to decide if their marriage is worth saving. Rob Reiner says he and Willis have been going over the Alan Zweibel-Jesse Nelson script regularly and have a meeting on it again on Monday. Willis had agreed to the film before he and Demi Moore separated. Reiner is not only working with Willis as they hopefully ready to start the film — but Reiner will also play Willis’ best friend in the movie, which will also star Rita Wilson, Paul Reiser and Julie Hagerty. Reiner philosophically notes this film “is a celebration of whether a marriage is worth fighting for — and everybody who has gone through it (a marriage of some length) has had to make that decision at some time.” Including Reiner, who had to make that decision himself at one time. And the time is now for Willis — on screen and off. Reiner is spending the rest of his time these days working for a “Yes” vote for Prop. 10: the Calif. Children and Families Initiative for early childhood development programs … National Public Radio’s Robert Kaplow is working on the script for Carl Reiner’s feature about Orson Welles, “Boy Wonder.” Kaplow is also writing the script for an Andy Rooney half-hour sitcom based on his (Rooney’s) writings. Deborah Raffin and New Millennium are developing the series … Can you believe there are still some guys out there who give producer-directors development checks — that bounce? Ask Arthur Hiller who was supposed to be shooting in Texas as we speak. Just lucky I guess — or have you checked the weather in Texas lately?
THE WHITE HOUSE HAS REQUESTED a print of “Saving Private Ryan.” Or will the Clintons see it while visiting with the Spielbergs in the Hamptons? … London loves the legit Americans in “Art.” At least that’s what a very happy Stacy Keach reported between shows of the Tony-winning Yasmina Reza play at the Wyndham. Keach, George Wendt and David Dukes are the Yanks taking over roles previously played by Albert Finney, Tom Courteney and Ken Stott. Keach admits he was originally skedded to be in the N.Y. cast replacing Alan Alda when the Brit offer came up for an American trio. And Keach says a British trio is coming to B’way. There are as many Americans as Londoners going to see their “Art” company, Keach reports. “We are a tourist attraction!” Booked for 14 weeks, he predicts the 90-minute one-act’er will become another “Love Letters.” Next for Keach: a Teddy Roosevelt vidbiopic … Brian Dennehy, who just did a two-day stint with Carol Burnett in “Love Letters” at the Sundance Institute, will star as Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman” at Chi’s Goodman Theatre, with Robert Falls directing. They previously teamed at the Goodman on “The Iceman Cometh,” “Galileo” and “Touch of the Poet.” Previews start Sept. 29, plays through Nov. 8. Dennehy’s now also in ABC’s four-hour Tom Clancy “Net Force” with Scott Bakula, Kris Kristofferson and Joanna Going for Cates/Doty Prods. with Rob Lieberman directing … Mackenzie Phillips, starring in the Disney Channel’s upcoming series, “So Weird,” describes the show to me as “The Partridge Family Meets the ‘X-Files.’ ” Phillips, who admits she has been totally sober since 1992, gives thanks to exec producer Henry Winkler for her second chance at a series — and despite her history — for Disney! A grateful Phillips says, “He told me, ‘People need to see you again.’ ” And they’ll hear her sing as well as a rock ‘n’ roller with two children. Mackenzie, the mother of 11-year-old son, Shane Fontayne, proudly says, “I am the quintessential mother.” Mackenzie adds that she, Chynna and Michele and papa John Phillips are now also on the best of terms.
THE UNSINSKABLE DEBBIE REYNOLDS: While readying for the auction Wednesday of her Las Vegas hotel (the latest sale offer fell through two days before closing), Reynolds winds playing a witch in “Halloween Town” for Disney TV in Portland. She had earlier completed “A Christmas Witch,” vidpic as well. Reynolds (66) has nitery dates lined up including Chicago and a Thanksgiving stand at the Riverside in Laughlin … Alan Carr has shed 67 pounds and is now OK to accept a kidney transplant. He is studying publishers’ offers for his autobiog. Par has OK’d an order for a new draft by Lynn Giler on Carr’s next feature, “Personal Shopper” … Joe Roth has called the Disney direct-to-video sequels to the studio’s hit features as “empowerment tools,” and the latest straight-to-video feature is “Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World” hitting the stalls Aug. 25. Among the newly added voices are Billy Zane, Jean Stapleton and Donal Gibson as the voice of John Smith … On hand for Lainie Kazan’s bow at the Catalina Bar & Grill, Lorna Luft led the cheers when Lainie sang “The Man That Got Away” — Lainie was Barbra Streisand’s understudy in B’way’s “Funny Girl” and went on when Barbra had strep throat. … Over at St. Paul de Vence, photog Terry O’Neill was birthday serenaded at the home of Evie and Leslie Bricuse. Flying in from all points to focus on the event: Roger Moore and Kristina Tholstrup, Michael and Shakira Caine and Jan and Johnny Gold.