Sept.17, 1958

GOOD MORNING: The billing beef between Jack Lemmon and Columbia on “Bell, Book and Candle” may be settled via a “special billing” gimmick. Lemmon’s contract calls for co-star billing. However, Jimmy Stewart’s pact calls for him and Kim Novak to be the only stars listed above the title. Meanwhile Lemmon has not inked his new Gower Street pact — but he’d like a long rest anyhow following “Some Like It Hot.” … 2006 update: the last deal Nina Jacobson completed at Disney was to set Alicia Keys and producing partner-manager Jeff Robinson with a first-look production deal at Disney with the first project to be — a remake of the 1958 “Bell Book and Candle” with Keys to play the witch role originated by Kim Novak. Jay Weston was most surprised to read that news on Daily Variety‘s front page on July 14, this year. In a story in this column June 14, 1993, Weston told me he’d acquired the remake rights to the film from the estate of playwright John Van Druten. And Weston then made a deal with John Patrick Shanley who wrote a script (for $950,000) when Weston says he had his deal with Miramax — which was still with Disney at the time. Weston said his lawyer tells him he still has a deal with Disney. But he said he hasn’t heard anything from them about “Bell, Book And Candle” with Keys and company. But Weston told me he thinks she’d be great. Disney said the project is still in development and Keys is still attached to produce.

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