Berman has designs on Fox entertainment job
How close is Fox to tapping Gail Berman its new prexy of entertainment? Ask her interior designers.Fox sources confirm that Berman’s soon-to-be new office is already sporting a fresh coat of paint, and that decorators have already paid a visit — armed with an array of color swatches. The Regency TV topper is expected to be named to her new Fox post as soon as this week, most likely in time for next week’s affiliates confab in Arizona. Meanwhile, speculation has already begun as to who will take over Berman’s job at Regency. Among the names most frequently mentioned: CBS comedy development chief Gene Stein and Spelling exec Jonathan Levin.
— Josef Adalian and Michael Schneider
Par to repackage ‘Wonder’Not ready to admit defeat, Paramount Pictures will re-release “Wonder Boys” this October with a new marketing campaign that will emphasize its entire cast and positive reviews. It’s an effort to simultaneously snare Oscar noms and reignite public interest, said Robert Friedman, Par’s vice chairman. “Nobody here was overwhelmed by the grosses when compared with the critical response,” said Friedman. “So we thought, ‘Why not try something else?’ ” “Wonder Boys” brought in a meager $18.7 million earlier this year — leaving many in the media scratching their pates. With a raft of glowing reviews and a clutch of Oscar winners like Curtis Hanson (helming his first picture since “L.A. Confidential”) — coupled with topliners Michael Douglas and Frances McDormand — why didn’t “Wonder Boys” do better at the box office? Asked if he felt Par’s marketing of the picture failed to connect with its intended audience, Friedman replied curtly, “That’s your opinion.” The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern praised Douglas’ work in the movie, but slighted Par’s marketing: “a raffishly eccentric role, and he’s never been so appealing. (Don’t be put off by the movie’s cryptic poster, which makes him look like Michael J. Pollard.)” And the Los Angeles Times’ Kenneth Turan singled out its one-sheet for scorn: “The film’s ad poster brings Elmer Fudd to mind.” While the new print campaign will give more prominence to co-star Tobey Maguire (after his star turn in Miramax’s “The Cider House Rules,” he seems to be up for virtually every role in Hollywood these days), “Wonder Boys” will now have one thing going for it this time that it lacked the last: those gushing reviews. “It’s going to be a ‘Cider House’ effort to get them in the door. Tobey didn’t get them to come. Charlize (Theron) didn’t, and the story didn’t. ‘Cider House’ used its reviews,” said one Par insider, “and that’s what we’ve got to use here. If that doesn’t work, then we can stop kidding ourselves.”
— Claude Brodesser
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