Marshall eager to tell his side of ‘Pretty’ story

GOOD MORNING: “Directors could get even!” That was the sudden thought by Garry Marshall as we discussed Buena Vista Home Entertainment’s upcoming (Feb. 1) DVD, “Pretty Woman” 10th anniversary edition. It includes Marshall’s commentaries about making the film with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. Marshall notes that the increasing number of DVD releases of choice pix could give directors the opportunity to make revelations about the making of their films — things they could not say during the making or near the release dates. “After all,” Marshall said, “we wouldn’t want to upset the apple cart if someone misbehaved!” Of course, he assures us that no such problems occurred during the making of “Pretty Woman,” which went on to hit the $178 million box office mark. It also won an Oscar nomination and two People’s Choice awards and had a top-selling album of the year. Marshall is anxious to see the DVD version of his pic since he just got a DVD-accessible TV set. The disc contains his audio commentary about the making of his movie, including off-camera scenes with Marshall and his principals. He hopes that all directors will continue to give insight into the making of their films via this addition to movie enjoyment. Marshall says he wished Alfred Hitchcock had left us his notes — audibly and visually … While Marshall has not decided on his next directing job, he helped director-sister Penny with the readings of her next, “Driving in Cars With Boys,” starring Drew Barrymore. Garry is also busy with his Falcon theater with the next production: Mark Twain’s “Puddin’head Wilson,” a musical to be directed by Meryl Friedman with an all-black cast bowing Feb. 16. It’s followed by “Hansel and Gretel,” starring Joanne Worley as the witch and the voice of the moon furnished by Penny Marshall.

MARTIN SCORSESE WILL BE SURPRISED when he arrives at Cinecitta to begin filming “Gangs of New York.” The historic studio (built in 1937) which has been home to Fellini, Antonioni, Rosselini, and whose stages I have visited on films of John Huston, Francis Coppola, Dick Fleischer, to name but a few, is getting a $25 million redo. And to get a picture of the new, privatized Cinecitta Servizi, its new director of marketing, Carole Andre-Smith, begins visiting Hollywood studio exex Thursday. The new owners include filmakers Aurelia DeLaurentiis, Vittorio Cecchi Gori and Robert Haggiag plus Italian entrepreneurs Vittorio Merloni, and Diego Della Valle. The lot boasts 22 stages. And Stage 5, which is the largest in Europe, just held the world’s biggest gimbals for the interior filming of Universal’s “U-571,” directed by Jonathan Mostow, produced by Dino and Martha DeLaurentiis. Scenes of “The Talented Mr. Ripley” were also filmed at Cinecitta. Also planned for the 99-acre site/or nearby land is a theme park. About $15 million of the expansion budget is blueprinted for new filming technology, post, digital f/x, and printing. The remainder for development of the stages, commissary, etc … Also — the Massachusetts Film Office and its director Robin Dawson are fete-ing Zack Stratis’ first feature film, “It Could Be Worse,” with a Sundance fest reception at the Riverhorse cafe in Park City, Utah, Thursday. The pic was written and directed and shot totally in Mass. by the Everett native, Stratis … Darryl Marshak and Harry Gold (Gold Marshak Liedke) have signed Richard Chamberlain, coming to L.A. in “The Sound of Music.” They also inked William Shatner and Robin Givens. Latter will team with Reuben Cannon to produce a pic based on her bio, “Love Sick.” She’s also at NATPE to promote her current series, “Forgive Or Forget.”

ROBERTO BENIGNI PHONED the Ago eatery’s Agostino Sciandri to tell him to save a table — he’ll be here for the Oscars … At the first Joe DiMaggio Awards, held Jan. 24 at the Marriott Marquis, honoree Henry Kissinger spoke warmly of their long friendship. Henry recalled arriving here from Germany and sitting in the bleachers to watch the Yankee Clipper. The nostalgic evening was chaired by Joe’s confidante and foot specialist Dr. Rock Positano with Jim Ryan as m.c. Also there, Morris Engelberg, executor of the DiMaggio estate. The evening raised close to $500,000 for the REACH program for learning-disabled children at Xaverian High School in Brooklyn … After his appearances on talk shows to promote his book, “I’ll Be Right Back,” longtime talkshow host Mike Douglas got a call from Harrah’s Atlantic City with a bona fide offer to play the Memorial Day weekend date — and other Harrah’s hotels. So — Douglas (74) is talking with Fred Travalena to write him an act! Fred appeared on Douglas’ show 31 times. Douglas’ 6,000, 90 mins-long talk shows continue to air on VH1. Douglas figures he interviewed 40,000 guests. He had been living a happy life of retirement in North Palm Beach, Fla., until all this started happening again. Meanwhile next week, Travalena films a “Beverly Hills, 90210” guest stint playing a comedy club owner. And he tapes a special at the Pasadena Ice House, March 5 … Rod Steiger’s non-stop work sked continues with “The Flying Dutchman,” in which he plays Eric Roberts’ father in the feature to shoot in northern Montana in March. Joan Benedict, Steiger’s lady, costars with him as well … Grammy nominee Denise Rich (“Don’t Waste Your Time”) donated $1.4 million to eight promising young medical researchers working on cures for various forms of cancer. Rich’s daughter Gabrielle died of leukemia.

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