Marineland of the Pacific becomes HQ for ‘House’

GOOD MORNING: There’s nothing fishy about this story. The shuttered Marineland of the Pacific is being converted into complete movie production headquarters for New Line’s “Life as a House.” Irwin Winkler’s troupe starts filming Monday in Palos Verdes, Marineland’s former home boasting 4,400 feet of ocean frontage — ideal for this story in which Kevin Kline builds his dream house. Joining Kline and Kristin Scott Thomas in the pic will be Mary Steenburgen and Hayden Christensen, who stars as Anakin Skywalker in “Star Wars: Episode II.” His romantic interest is Jena Malone, Susan Sarandon’s daughter in “Stepmom” … The Marineland site will not only boast Kline’s house but an entire neighborhood in a set designed by Dennis Washington at a cost “less than a million dollars,” sez Winkler — whose entire “Rocky” cost $1 million and was shot in 29 days. Rob Cowan coproduces “House” with Winkler, who also directs the script by Mark L. Andrus … As for the future of the Marineland site, a new entertainment area is planned there by James York of Longpoint Associates … “Charlie’s Angels” screenwriter John August has also fancied “Fantasy Island” as one of his favorite TV series, sez Leonard Goldberg who will wait for August to complete his several other projects in order to get the “Island” feature afloat. The “Island” feature project has been at Col TriStar over two years when rights were acquired from Gene Levitt, creator of the Spelling/Goldberg series. The pic was/is to be made by Marc Toberoff, Lucas Foster, Gene Levitt and Goldberg.

“IT’S ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE,” Shirley Temple tells me about the report she nixed use of her name in the upcoming Showtime “Bojangles,” life of Bill Robinson. Gregory Hines stars in the vidfeature, with Lea Gold playing Temple. Director Joe Sargent told me they were not allowed (by Temple) to use her full name in the pic. Sargent, who also directed HBO’s biopic, “For Love or Country: the Arturo Sandoval Story,” said he had no further information beyond the fact Temple nixed use of her name. But when I checked with Shirley she was adamant, adding, “I was never asked. And I don’t understand why they didn’t ask me,” she laughed. Meanwhile, her name is, of course prominent in the ABC two-hour movie, “Child Star, the Shirley Temple Story” now filming in Australia where Disney re-built a studio for Paula and Melissa Joan Hart’s Hartbreak Films. Ashley Orr plays Temple, Hinton Battle plays Bill Robinson — and yes, they dance a la Temple and Robinson in “The Little Colonel.” Nadia Tass directs the pic to air in May. Paula allowed their pic “got off to a rough start but has come together” … Producer Zev Braun reminds that a presidential election mish-mash was aired Oct. 29, 1979, with the first part of his four-part NBC “Freedom Road” version of Howard Fast’s novel. It dealt with the Rutherford Hayes-Samuel Tilden election, in which neither won the electoral college vote. Tilden was the popular winner, but Hayes became President. Muhammad Ali, Kris Kristofferson and Edward Hermann were among the stars in the Jan Kadar-directed mini … Johnny Grant, honorary mayor of Hollywood (for 22 years), had his likeness in the Hollywood Wax Museum unveiled this week … Veteran Honolulu newsman Eddie Sherman winged in to receive a pacemaker at Cedars-Sinai, and is OK and returned to Hawaii this week.

PARALLELS OF THE POLITICAL climate were among subjects talked post-“Quills” preem at the Academy. On hand for the Fox Searchlight pic were director Philip Kaufman and wife (of 42 years) Rose; producers Peter Kaufman, Julia Chasman and Nick Wechsler, plus the pic’s stars Geoffrey Rush and wife Jane Menelaus, Amelia Warner with Colin Farrell (“Tigerland”). Costar Kate Winslet, tending her new baby, sent love; costars Joaquin Phoenix and Michael Caine were on location (Berlin and London, respectively). Along Came Mary decked the Acad party with blood-red roses to match the ink of the Marquis de Sade’s quill. And, of course blood-red roast beef … Musical notes: Alan Bergman returns to play the Algonquin Nov. 28-Dec. 2, with special guest Karen Mason — both singing songs by Alan & Marilyn Bergman … And Corky Hale, her piano, harp, et al., play the Algonquin Dec. 5-9, with two shows Dec. 8 and 9 … Estelle Reiner unveils her CD, “Ukulele Mama” at the Gardenia in Hollywood, Dec. 1 … David Mamet’s feature “State and Main” preems Dec. 4 at the Chelsea West Cinemas to benefit the Atlantic Theater Company — which Mamet and William H. Macy bowed with workshops and has, since its inception, produced over 90 plays … Playboy Playmate Carrie Stevens, featured in WB’s “Rock Star,” launches a grief support website Nov. 24 — in memory of her friend and lover Eric Carr, deceased drummer of the rock band KISS. Stevens says that following Carr’s death, she could find little help and understanding while in her bereavement. Her nonprofit will be geared to young people who have suffered a loss, but will be open to all … Thesp Peter Mark Richman’s novel “Hollander’s Deal” (xlibris books), about B’way and Hollywood in the late ’40s, is for sale on the several book websites … Congrats to TV sports producer Harold Hecht Jr. and Tiffany Minami, head of marketing at the Motion Picture Bond Co. who bonded together (in marriage) Nov.19 at the Bel Air Bay Club … HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

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