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Arnold’s in a family way for new film

GOOD MORNING: “I want my baby!” Arnold Schwarzenegger shouted to Danny DeVito in front of an astounded group of expectant mothers on Stage 4 at Universal Thursday. It was, of course, a scene for “Junior” and the ladies in the scene were indeed pregnant — including the movie’s unit publicist, Jane E. Russell, whom director Ivan Reitman recruited for the scene in the movie’s fertility clinic waiting room, where gynecologist Larry Arbogast (DeVito) was trying to reason with four months “pregnant” Dr. Alexander Hesse (Schwarzenegger). As you can already tell, this movie is even farther out than their “Twins”! … Schwarzenegger’s baby has been conceived thanks to the two doctors’ fertility wonder drug, Expectane, developed with research scientist Diana Reddin (played by Oscar winner Emma Thompson). While DeVito’s now convinced the drug works — even on Arnold — he wants the baby aborted. “My body — my choice!” shouts Schwarzenegger, whose real-life politics on abortion are diametrically opposed to choice. “No politics!” Arnold smilingly warns me … Schwarzenegger’s usually perfect profile now bulges as in the fourth month of a woman’s pregnancy. His three children have seen him in his strange role. “They freaked out,” he said, but he and wife Maria explained, “Daddy was only making believe.” “It was something,” he says, “one week after I finished jumping through glass, fire, falling out of buildings in ‘True Lies,’ I’m in the delivery room (for a Caesarean section) in this one!”… Has there been any negative reaction from women’s groups about “Junior’s” theme? “Some — but only for the wrong reasons,” noted Chris Conrad, who co-scripted with Kevin Wade … Arnold winds “Junior” next week and then heads out on the p.a. and preem trail for “True Lies,” which he says was a tough film: “Jim Cameron always wants to do something perfect — and different.” Arnold’s pleased with the “Lies” test screenings and says no new ending was ever filmed. “There could only be one ending,” he said.

THEY’RE TAKING NO MONEY up front — Schwarzenegger, DeVito and Reitman on “Junior.” But they share with Universal from the first box office buck. Reitman has done this a number of times before –“Ghostbusters II,””Kindergarten Cop” and “Dave” as well as “Junior.” Reitman thinks more movies will and should be made this way. Arnold believes inexpensive pix should follow this formula, but big-budgeters should pay stars upfront (as well). Yes, he received his usual salary (?) plus percentage for “True Lies,” which he believes cost “around $ 80 million” compared to the “high 20s” for “Junior”… Schwarzenegger says he positively has not decided on any pic to follow — to precede the tabled “Crusades.” One thing’s certain, however: he’ll be highly involved with the weekend’s Special Olympics events … Danny DeVito spends every moment between takes on “Junior” preparing “Mathilda,” which he’ll direct and star in for Universal. He and producer Martin Bregman are teamed on the pic based on Roald Dahl’s book. Danny’s wife, Rhea Perlman, may co-star and an 8-year-old girl will be the third lead. Meanwhile, Danny’s particularly proud of his Jersey Films’ record with young directors: Ben Stiller on “Reality Bites,” Quentin Tarantino on “Pulp Fiction” and next, David Baifelman directs “Feeling Minnesota” starring Keanu Reeves for New Line … Ivan Reitman’s many activities are now headquartered in an ultra-modern, 18,000-square-foot building next to the Amblin compound at Universal. The first floor boasts a 35-seat projection room, large conference room and offices for the many project producers-directors, the second floor has Ivan’s offices and the third contains editing and other post facilities. The projects include the CBS animated “Beethoven,” plus plans for the third, bigscreen, live-action pooch pic. And the planning department for his HBO version of “The Late Shift” to be written/directed by George Armitage, for which producer Reitman would like Letterman and Leno to appear as themselves!

THE STOP SIGN ON “SUNSET BOULEVARD” left Faye Dunaway in shock and deeply hurt. The notice was also a heartbreaker for Karen Mason, Glenn Close’s understudy, who was to go on in the lead after the Sunday Close closing until Faye Dunaway’s (now KO’d) July 15 start after her movie winds. Mason had already gone on 13 1/2 times (once, second act only) for Glenn … Phil Harris celebrates his 90th birthday today, and he receives his star on Palm Springs star walk. Wife Alice Faye (79) is plaqued alongside him … Michael Dante, who has led fundraising celeb golf tourneys in the desert, is also honored with his star … Sharon Stone unveils Bill Mack’s sculpture of her likeness Sunday at the Hal Gershmans’, launching sister Kelly Stone’s Planet Hope fundraising plan for the homeless to take over closed military bases.

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