GOOD MORNING: Director Bob Altman and producer Wren Arthur were working the first day of shooting their election-themed “Tanner on Tanner” when word came out that a security threat could possibly delay election day. They’d just completed a scene with Al Franken and Michael Murphy on a racquetball court in lower Manhattan. Altman’s comment about an election delay: “We’re trying to make a point (in the film) of a security threat — if Bush is not defeated!” Wren confirmed they are proceeding with production as skedded and any talk of delaying their shoot at the Democonvention “is absurd.” In the scene with Franken, Michael Murphy, playing a former congressman from Michigan, expounds on his desire to get out of Iraq and volunteers his ideas for Kerry’s campaign. Wednesday’s shoot is the “Rough Cut Film Festival” dinner celebration at Elaine’s — with guest Mario Cuomo.
WHILE LANCE ARMSTRONG and the American team continue on the (21-day) Tour de France heading toward Paris, Jake Scott is back in Hollywood editing an Armstrong Nike commercial. He and his team completed their eight-day Fireflies Ride from Geneva to Cannes biking over three of the same Alps mountains. Scott’s brother Luke suffered a fractured sternum and other bruises early on the trek. Jake will meet up with Lance in Spain following the race to add more footage to the Nike commercial. Currently airing is one titled, “Magnet.” The Scotts’ bike trek raises money for stem cell research on leukemia and a wing at Hammersmith Hospital in London. Jake says, “My family has a history of cancer and it profoundly affected me to do something.” The entire family, Ridley, Tony, Jake, Luke and Jordan and their company RSA, are involved as supporters of the Fireflies Ride. Ridley told me, “Cancer is not exclusive to our family. I pay a great deal of attention to it.” He is busy editing his Crusades-themed “Kingdom of Heaven” for Fox, having climbed the Pyrenees in this film, which took him back to Morocco for the third time, following “Black Hawk Down” and “Gladiator.” He says Morocco’s king was most helpful in this production. “I got to visit him three times,” says Scott, adding, “all the Muslims were great to us.”
STEPPING UP IN HISTORY: Simon & Schuster has set Randall Wallace’s “Love and Honor” as their lead book for September. Wallace (“Braveheart,” “We Were Soldiers,” “Pearl Harbor”) has set this one in the American Revolution with an American officer’s romance with Catherine the Great — to be played by Angelina Jolie. Wallace produces, directs and screenplays. He has checked out location sites in Saint Petersburg. And he tells me he’s also eyeing a site in Mexico — not for a movie but for the next effort of Hollywood for Habitat. He and his group recently completed building a six-home tract for low-budget families in L.A. He created the group four years ago and it has since grown. Members of the William Morris and UTA agencies participate in the actual building of the homes. “I wanted to find a way to feed my soul,” he told me. “I though it would make me a better person. Your hands may get dirty, but your heart is clean.”
MARTIN LANDAU AND Mark Rydell were directed by Jeff Hayden in a staged reading of Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys” as part of the Actors Studio Millennium at the Tiffany theater last weekend. Those on hand included Neil Simon and wife Elaine Joyce, Shirley Knight, Diane Ladd, Ralph Waite, William Devane, Lesley Ann Warren, Barbara Bain, George Furth , Michael Madsen, Lee Grant, Sondra Locke, Charlie Robinson and Eva Marie Saint (Hayden’s wife). And Patricia Morrison was on hand for the Actors’ Fund screening of Irwin Winkler’s “De-Lovely” at the DGA. She starred on B’way in Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate.” Morrison, recuped from hip surgery, told moderator-producer Charles Winkler of her first meeting with Porter. “I was in awe of him. I went to sing for him at his glamorous Rockingham estate and I was petrified.” … Jane Withers kicks off her cross-country tour with part of her (12,000!) doll collection July 22 in L.A. heading out to an eventual auction of 500-700 Aug. 1 in Kansas City. Withers, 76, has been collecting these dolls — and searching for a loving home (museum?) for them for more than half a century. They’ve been in (expensive) storehouses all this time. To get a description of the historic collection, log on theriaults.com … Carol Channing introduces her groom of a year, 84-year-old Harry Kullijian to showbiz, July 23-24 when she stars in “Razzle Dazzle” at the Renberg Theater in Hollywood benefiting HIV-AIDS. Channing (83) has taught him the “Tea for Two” routine she did for years with George Burns. The show, including Toni Morrell, is produced by Karen Cadel and Richard Gordon … David Hasselhoff winged to London to make his West End bow in “Chicago” as lawyer Billy Flynn. Hasselhoff stared on B’way last year in “Jekyll & Hyde” … Ernie and Veronica Chambers announce the marriage of daughter Kathryn to Michael Mollica Nov. 5 at N.Y.’s St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. The bride-to-be is senior manager of partnerships for Richard Branson’s Virgin Entertainment Group. Mollica is a senior underwriter for AIG, the largest insurance company worldwide … Scotty and Michelle Crane welcomed a son Jack Gardner C. June 2 in Seattle. Grandmom is Sigrid Valdis, widow of Bob Crane … Jennifer Convy, daughter of Anne and the late Bert Convy, debuts her “Find & Design” show on the Art of Entertainment network (formerly A&E) Sunday and is celebrating another 13-week pickup — before the start of the initial skein. Convy has also completed a “Safari Style” special for the Fine Living network bowing Aug. 8. She traveled the game reserves in South Africa to exec produce and host.