‘Man’ imagines future riots, peace

GOOD MORNING: Wednesday, the eve of the first anniversary of the L.A. riot, I found myself talking with producer Joel Silver about the “fourth month of L.A. Riot III” in the year 1996 — on the set of WB’s “Demolition Man.” That’s the opening scene of the Sylvester Stallone-Wesley Snipes co-starrer. But the major part of the movie is set in 2032. That was the setting we observed on the location — conveniently the Wilshire Courtyard, in which Daily Variety is headquartered. And which looks architecturally plausible for 2032. The location is renamed “San Vicente and Robertson” for the movie. Silver said they do not intend to stress the “Riot III” angle, but rather the peaceful attitude of the multirace residents in L.A.’s 21st century — peaceful except for the lead characters, Stallone pursuing the heavy, Snipes, in a non-stop chase in giant sets with special, special effects, etc. Director Marco Brambilla, making his feature debut after prize-winning commercials for Coke, Pepsi, Nike, IBM, etc., says the movie will have a comic book look — a la “Batman”– and credits WB’s complete cooperation on his creativity … Stallone, as a member of the SAPD (L.A. becomes “San Angeles”), worked the scene with fellow cops, co-star Sandra Bullock and Benjamin Bratt. The latter, coincidentally, co-stars in “Bound by Honor,” Taylor Hackford’s no-punches-pulled epic (nearly three-hour) movie of the Latino experience in today’s South L.A. Silver gave Bratt two days off “Demolition Man” to p.a. “Honor” in N.Y. … On the set, Stallone, impressive in his cop’s uniform, told me he’s planning to move from L.A. to Florida. “It’s become anarchy here,” Stallone said. “They say we need 1,000 more cops — but there are 1,000 new gang members every week!” Stallone is in fighting trim, having dropped 12 pounds for his many bouts in this pic. He just wound a brutal battle with wrestler Jesse Ventura. “Now we have to make it even tougher in my fights with Wesley Snipes!” Although his arm is recuped, Stallone admitted to me medics wanted to operate. Producer Silver says he can’t understand how Stallone can take the punishment in film after film.

IT’S NO PROBLEM TO MEET the Oct. 8 opening date with his two units, Silver assures. Unlike the pressure to have “Beverly Hills Cop III” ready for summer — or why he walked. Silver says he had a good script, approved by Eddie Murphy, and would have made a good movie if given enough time. Now, he wonders when/if the movie will be made. (A new script’s still awaited by new producers Mace Neufeld and Bob Rehme) … The budget on “Demolition Man” is about $ 30 million, but that doesn’t include items such as Stallone’s salary … Director Brambilla says the movie will take advantage of the newest computer composite technology and the latest Dolby digital sound. And his talents from his commercials will be evident in the way he uses his camera angles as well … Silver, an always-on-the-set producer, was tethered to a telephone, as usual, talking his many planned projects, which include the Macaulay Culkin starrer “Richie Rich,” the Arnold Schwarzenegger “Sgt. Rock” and the three “Tales From the Crypt” features. The HBO TV “Crypt” shooting this week will star Brooke Shields. No, Silver will not direct another “Crypt”– he’ll never direct ANYthing! … The versatile Wesley Snipes, villainous in “Demolition Man,” is being paged by Walter Yetnikoff, taking up his producing reins, to star in the Miles Davis biopic … I met up with “Bound by Honor’s” Taylor Hackford on our flight back from N.Y., where Hackford and his young co-stars Benjamin Bratt and Damian Chapa had continued their three-week, 13-city tour for the movie. “We all feel passionately about it,” Hackford said of the Hollywood Pictures movie, which had its April 30 L.A. date postponed due to worries about reaction to the Rodney King jury deliberations.

SPIKE LEE IS TALKING to network toppers about his ideas for TV series — he’d do ’em between movie projects. Lee spoke to two web bosses here Wednesday, two more confabs are upcoming … The King of Pop meets the Prince of Monaco: Michael Jackson will accept three awards on ABC’s “The World Music Awards,” airing June 1. Prince Albert makes the presentations on the show, exec produced by Gary Pudney … First the good news: Glenn Ford joins fellow Western vet thesps Bob Mitchum and Charlton Heston in “Tombstone.” Next, the bad news: Friends have learned the month-old marriage of Glenn Ford-Jeanne Baus is headed for divorce court … David Barry Gray, who co-stars in “Mr. Wonderful,” had to turn down a “Geronimo” offer as the pic conflicts with his currently filming “Cops and Robbersons”… Dominick Dunne mesmerized a celeb group of Buzz’s party at the Chateau Marmont, where he read excerpts from his “A Season in Purgatory” (Crown) — prompting Michael Viner and Deborah Raffin to ask Dunne to read his own tome for their Dove Books on Tape … Jamie Wyeth presented Elaine Kaufman with a portrait for the 30th anni of her N.Y. eatery, Elaine’s. Longtime faithful on hand for the toasting included Marty and Cornelia Bregman, Bobby Zarem, the George Plimptons, Michael Feinstein, Jerome Lawrence, Catherine and Robert Altman.