Caine gets busy with Law on ‘Sleuth’ redo

GOOD MORNING: What’s it all about, Alfie? Jude Law just wound filming Par’s “newly minted” version of the 1966 classic “Alfie” which won Oscar nominations for the film, song, and for Michael Caine and launched the then 33-year-old Caine on a non-stop film career.. Now, Caine tells me he and Jude Law (33) will team in another remake, 1972’s “Sleuth” with Caine playing the Laurence Olivier role and Law playing Caine’s original role. Briefly in L.A. between (many) film starts, Caine said he’d recently dined with Law in London and talked about the new “Alfie,” which had locationed in Manchester — doubling for N.Y.(!) Caine likes the idea of teaming with Law on the Stephen Frears-directed “Sleuth” update sometime next year. But first, Caine winds p.a.’s here for Norman Jewison’s “The Statement,” then heads to Albuquerque, N.M., for a one-week stand as Christopher Walken’s father in “Around the Bend,” in which Caine says, “I’m really very old — 90.” He then has an eight-week stint as Batman’s (Christian Bale’s) guardian and butler — starting with Batman as a baby. “I get to age backwards in that one,” he laughs. Caine’s also been talked for “Miss Congeniality II,” but it depends on scheduling … As for “The Statement,” in which he plays a French Nazi collaborator, Caine says it was important to play the role and make the film. “The young people don’t know what happened and the old ones–they’ve forgotten.” He’ll present the Billy Wilder Award from the national Board of Review to Jewison on Jan. 13.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES, A LA MARILYN Monroe, sang “Happy Birthday” to father-in-law Kirk Douglas on his 87th birthday, Tuesday. Zeta-Jones phoned in the greetings from Oslo where she and Michael Douglas are presenting the Nobel Peace Prize to Iran’s Shirin Ebadi. Coincidentally, Kirk told me he’s praised Ebadi in his just-completed (ninth) book, “Rivers Of Hate” for Ebadi’s work in elevating women in Iran. Kirk’s birthday was also auspicious for Kirk as son Peter and wife Lisa welcomed their fourth child, son Jason with grandparents Anne and Kirk on hand in Montecito. Douglas also got a birthday call from President Jimmy Carter. Wednesday morning, Anne and Kirk dedicated their 241st(!) school playground, this one in the San Fernando Valley … While we’re in a birthday mode, happy 80th to Bob Barker who celebrates Friday — with a day off taping “The Price Is Right.” He gets a CBS primetime special Saturday, 8-9 p.m. Barker’s pact is up Dec. 31, and when asked whether he’ll renew for a 33rd season, he said “I’m not sure about it.” But he sounded like he’ll be back for more than one year … While George Stevens Jr. readies to edit the Kennedy Center Honors for its Dec.26 CBS airing, he’s also exec producing, with son Michael producing, Sunday’s “Christmas in Washington” live on TNT. Glenn Weiss directs, Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) hosts the musical show before an audience including George W. and Laura Bush who host the cast to dinner at the White House following the TV’er … Garry Hart, president of Paramount Television Prods., receives the Jewish Television Network’s Vision Award tonight at the Beverly Hills Hotel with Ted Danson and Kelsey Grammer presenting the award to Hart. Grammer also narrates the docu, “No Safe Place.” Hart told me it “puts a face on what’s going on in Israel. I was terribly moved.” Everyone at the dinner will receive a DVD. Hart was disappointed NBC didn’t place a full order for Par’s “Homeland Security” pilot, but will air it as a two-hour movie. “I’m very proud of it,” Hart says.

REVOLUTION’S GOING to college — screening its 1953, Wellesley-set, Julia Roberts starrer, “Mona Lisa Smile ” to students of Loyola Marymount, Scripps, Cal State Northridge, Harvard, Boston U., Emerson, Simmons, next NYU and a wrap at Wellesley where the pic locationed as well … Jack Paar, recovering from a stroke, is due to depart the hospital today to convalesce at home … More than 200 well-wishers gathered at the home of John Goldwyn Tuesday to help Sound Art, the creation of his sister Catherine Goldwyn. In its first year, Sound Art has taught music to more than 3,000 kids in 65 L.A.-area schools. Plans include increasing the number of youth taught to 10,000 at 150 schools by next year. Students from the 112th Street Elementary School in Watts who participate in Sound Art classes, performed as did the rap group Black Lounge … John Rubin, Emmy-winning writer, director, producer — and son of Kathleen (Hughes) and Stanley Rubin — is named TV science writer of the year by the National Assn. of Science Writers. His “Elixir of Death” airs on the History Channel tonight. It tells the horror of effects from the drug sulphanilamide … “Finding Home” inaugurated the opening night gala at the Monaco International Film Fest with the Royal Family on hand well as honorary president Gina Lollobrigida, and the pic’s director Lawrence Folkes and wife, producer Victoria Paige Meyerink … Gena Rowlands presents the Applause Award given by the Motion Picture Mothers to a family member for accomplishments in entertainment to son Nicholas Cassavetes, Saturday at the Beverly Wilshire. In 1988, Gena received the award from her mother, the late Lady Rowlands. Arnold Schwarzenegger movie items from “Terminator 2” join Black Beauty, the car Bruce Lee drove in the “Green Hornet” TV series among the movie and TV memorabilia up for auction Friday by Joseph Maddalena’s Profiles in History company at the Westin Hotel near LAX … Donelle Dadigan, president and founder of the Hollywood Museum in the historic Max Factor building on Highland Ave. in Hollywood, won the raffle prize at the “On Air With Ryan Seacrest” launch party at Hollywood & Highland — a cannonball from “Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World.” It now joins the 5,000 exhibits in Dadigan’s museum across the street … Leonard Nimoy signs copies of his “Shekhina” photos tome Saturday at an exhibit of the pix at the Copro/Nason Gallery in Culver City … Tom Skerritt, who recently played a very conservative senator in “West Wing,” was appointed commissioner of the Arts Council in Seattle by Mayor Gregory J. Nickles. Skerritt’s also working to start a film school up there with writer Stuart Stern … Over at the Beverly Hills hotel, the Dorchester Group’s chief operations officer Rupert Obertelli hosted a toasting with general managers of international group members including: Dominique Borri of the Hotel Meurice, Franccois Delahaye and Isabelle Maurin of the Plaza Athenee of Paris, well as general manager of the Principe de Savoiia of Milan, and the BevHills hotel’s Gregory Zuniga. A lavish spread featured specialites of each hotel and country.

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