Horovitz wonders about 'Little Bastard'

James Dean fans gathered for a cause Monday: a special screening of Turner Network Television’s “James Dean.”

For screenwriter Israel Horovitz, Dean was a high-school hero about whom he was determined to make a film.

“I started with the photograph of his car that said ‘Little Bastard’ and thought, Why would he name his car that? It struck me as such an odd thing to name a car. I had that photo up on my wall and started to research just from that. Why would he do it?”

Equally reverential was helmer Mark Rydell, who told the audience that he was confident he would not disappoint them. “Jimmy was a friend of mine. I feel obligated to treat him with the respect that he deserves,” he added.

Pic preems Aug. 5 on TNT.

Among those mingling afterward for dinner at Le Cirque were AOL Time Warner honchos Gerald Levin, Robert Pittman, Brad Siegal and Joe Uva; TNT’s Steve Koonin and Robert DeBitetto; pic’s exec producer Bill Gerber; star James Franco; plus guests Ellen Burstyn, Alan Cumming, Jeff Greenfield, Ahmet Ertegun, Barry Levinson with wife Diana, Baz Luhrmann, Bette Midler and Charlie Rose.

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