GOOD MORNING: Marlon Brando was in front of the cameras two days for a unique appearance — to tell what he foresees for the future. The two-day shoot was for director Tony Scott and his RSA commercial banner. They are also setting Woody Allen and Spike Lee to direct segs with other famous personages giving their views of things to come. The films are for Italia Telecom, to air overseas … But Marlon will be on camera two-three weeks starting in May when he costars with Robert De Niro and Edward Norton in “The Score” for Paramount/Mandalay, with Frank Oz directing and Gary Foster and Lee Rich producing … Oz had a two-hour meeting with Brando last week and the director sez he was totally taken with Brando, who insists there be “none of this legend stuff.” Oz laughed when I asked how you direct Brando. “What do you do when you get Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro and Edward Norton together on stage? You just stand back and get the hell out of their way!” The film shoots in Montreal, with a major heist scene taking place in the city’s giant Customs House. And no, the film’s not about drugs. Oz says “I’ve seen enough movies about drugs.” Haven’t we all? In the pic, De Niro is doing his final heist for longtime friend, fence and master manipulator, Brando, with Norton now stepping in De Niro’s sleeves. The pic is in the $50 million-$60 million class with all three principals getting their usual salaries (De Niro’s is $15 million).
WELCOME TO THE DIGITAL WORLD: Miramax, USA and Lions Gate are interested in the 10-film slate of the Independent Film Channel and John Sloss’ co-venture, Independent Digital Entertainment (InDigEnt). Jonathan Sehring, president of the Independent Film Channel, fresh out of a meeting in N.Y. Wednesday, told me InDigEnt will be to movies “what MTV has been to music.” It will also get into film distribution and exhibition. Ethan Hawke is directing its digitalized “Last Stop in Paradise” with Kris Kristofferson, Natasha Richardson, Uma Thurman and Marisa Tomei. And Campbell Scott has directed their “Final.” Sehring says they are talking digital pix with Steven Soderbergh, David Lynch and Jonathan Demme, among others … Of course, IFC will be on hand Sunday to cheer Hilary Swank and Chloe Sevigny in Fox Searchlight’s release of IFC’s “Boys Don’t Cry.” The IFC is partying them on Saturday at the Independent Spirit Awards, which they’ll also air and Webcast … Swank has now also completed Sam Raimi’s “The Gift,” for which she says she gladly worked for scale. She’s readying for the costumer “The Affair of the Necklace,” also low-budgeter. In the former, her look is “trashy,” the latter elegant, “with a great hairdo” — and no nudity … Today Raquel Welch finds out what her look will be for the CBS dramatic series “American Family” about a Latino family in East L.A. Costumes and makeup will give her a new look and she tells me she’s “excited to embrace my Latino heritage — even though I’m only half Latin.” Her father is from Bolivia. In the series, she has a 20- to 30-year-old daughter, Edward James Olmos is her brother, and other family members are Sonya Braga as her mother and Esai Morales as a parolee. “This is so refreshing,” she promises. The Gregory Nava series “will cast a new, true light on this important part of our culture.” Lest you think a lot of the real Raquel won’t show through, her character calls for her to have hoped for an acting career — and tells me she’ll show off her Latin dancing talents as well.
WHERE WILL WHOOPI GOLDBERG be at Oscar time? She’ll be at home in L.A. doing a play-by-play commentary on the show on her Web site, Whoopi.com. That would make an interesting cut-in to the show, eh? … Among those who will be at the Shrine: Nicole Kidman, who is winging in from the Sydney location of “Moulin Rouge” to be at the side of husband, nominee Tom Cruise. They return next day to Australia … “West Wing’s” John Spencer (chief of staff Leo McGarry) and Richard Schiff (director of communications Toby Ziegler) wing to D.C. Saturday to accept the Maggie award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America for outstanding coverage of reproductive rights and health issues in a TV drama series — for the courageous pilot in which the president sent a strong message to the leader of an anti-choice group. Clinton will also tape a message to the group at the Grand Hyatt … Gerald McRaney receives the USO’s Merit Award from Gen. Hugh Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the Armed Services, Wednesday at D.C.’s Ritz Carlton. The thesp is honored for his “volunteered time and talents that benefited our armed forces.” Angie Dickinson will be attending … Gary Socol’s play “The Shadow of Greatness,” starring Richard Chamberlain, bows July 25 at the Berkshire Theatre Festival (Stockbridge, Mass.) for a three-week run — and hoped-for move to B’way. It’s only the second original play Chamberlain has ever done. Martin Rabbett directs … Carl and Estelle Reiner winged to N.Y. for the reading of daughter Annie Reiner’s comedy, “The New Living Room” at the American Place Theatre. Renee Taylor, Joe Bologna, Megyn Price and Marc Maron performed. It was also Carl’s 78th birthday … Paramount has created the A.C. Lyles Internship and brings out two Florida State U. Film School students annually for a six-month stay in which they work at many of the studio’s departments and are paid $8 an hour. A.C.’s alma mater is Par, where he’s worked 72 years — since he was 10 years old!