×

Hopper considers helming Dean biopic

GOOD MORNING: Dennis Hopper, who appeared with his friend James Dean in “Rebel Without A Cause” and “Giant” in 1955 and 1956, meets this week with Leonardo DiCaprio to discuss directing him in “James Dean” for producer Marvin Worth at WB. Hopper told me he wasn’t yet certain about directing the movie about his pal –“It better be great,” he laughed. Hopper starts his fifth decade in movies next year — he began with “I Died a Thousand Times,” a 1955 remake of “High Sierra.” Hopper went on to directing pix including “Easy Rider” and “Colors” and an Oscar acting nomination for “Hoosiers.” This year Hopper’s “Speed” heavy has won him critical praise and even some Oscar nom talk. He returned from four months in Hawaii on “Waterworld” to shoot interiors starting today, continuing to February. This heavy, he says, makes all others seem like “powder puffs.” And, over the weekend he filmed his fifth comedy commercial for Nike. It will be aired during the Super Bowl. He also films a commercial for Home Box Office to air during Super Bowl. In the latter, he appears as himself. Since his head is shaved for his super-heavy role in “Waterworld,” Hopper wears a funny hat for the Nike blurbs and wig wizard Ziggy Geike topped Hopper for Home Box Office. The commercials pay more than his million-$ feature fee!

MICHAEL EISNER, RECUPED from his heart surgery, took his family (wife Jane and their three sons) to Orlando over the weekend to join celebs at the gala opening of Planet Hollywood in Disney World and Eisner lingers this week to ogle other new attractions in the park: “Honey I Shrunk the Audience,” as well as “Innoventions” at Epcot Center, where major U.S. companies contribute their latest inventions and gadgets soon as they come out of the labs. Eisner heads to EuroDisney in the spring when a major Space Mountain attraction bows for the Europeans. “It is the most aggressive attraction yet,” the enthusiastic Eisner asserts. “At the end, you’re shot out of a cannon!” He emphasizes of EuroDisney, “The European economic crisis is over. Our demise was exaggerated. And word of mouth will make it successful — as it has at all the parks”… Robert Ellis Miller, who first directed at WB in 1966 with Jane Fonda and Jason Robards in “Any Wednesday,” is reining the two-hour CBS “John Boy’s Wedding; A Walton Reunion” in the church on the WB backlot. The surviving cast has returned — as well as creator Earl Hamner “who is incredibly helpful, ” notes Miller. Miller, who has segued from TV (“Naked City,””Dr. Kildare”) to the bigscreen, sez he does TV movies only “when I can find a very good script”– and this is one of ’em … Russian producer Serge Majarow, who was murdered in Paris earlier this month, had optioned Tim Halliman’s novel “The Man With No Time” (William Morrow) from Warren Cowan. It was to be Majarow’s first English-language film. A couple of months ago, his office asked Cowan to extend the option for an additional 12 months (at no additional fee). Cowan agreed — he never heard further … Dan Gordon, scripter on “Murder in the First,” will see his novel version out next month — it’s the first of a two-book deal with St. Martin’s Press. And Gordon also wrote a legal thriller (untitled) for Kennedy/Marshall Prods. at Par. The contemporary story, a fascinating look into the legal system, is an ensemble piece with top roles for top players. The busy Marshall will probably direct in 1995 — they already have a terrif first draft.

MICROSOFT’S BILL GATES had dinner at CAA with Mike Ovitz and heads of the three phone companies wired into the agency: Ivan Seidenberg of Nynex, Roy Smith of Bell Atlantic and Phil Quigley of PacTel. This is the big connection for 1995 … Playboy is back in live showbiz — at Harrah’s Reno with “Playboy’s Ecstacy, ” which bows Saturday with Greg Thompson’s production featuring dancers, singers , magic, etc. … Steve Allen, who played the Sahara last month, is back in Vegas with wife Jayne Meadows in a scene with Joe Pesci for Martin Scorsese’s “Casino,” in which the Allens play themselves … Mickey Rooney reteams with his MGM stablemate Debbie Reynolds as he brings his variety show to Debbie’s hotel Star Theater beginning Jan. 3. Jan Chamberlin (Mrs. Rooney) sings in the revue … Connie Stevens partied Doug McClure after his Walk of Fame ceremonies Friday. Pals on hand included Bob Stack, Bob Fuller, Jim Drury, Dale Robertson, Pat Wayne, Dick Van Patten, etc. McClure, back at work (“Kung Fu” in Toronto), happily reports, “My lungs are now 100% clear” of cancer … Margot Kidder and Ben Gazzara will co-star in Lanie Anderson’s new play, “Flowers and Photos,” for the Theater Guild, about the relationship between Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keefe. Rehearsals start in February in New York. Kidder wings in from her new home base in Prague to prepare.

More Voices

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    WGA, Agents Face Tough Issues on New Franchise Pact (Column)

    The Writers Guild of America and the major talent agencies are seven weeks away from a deadline that could force film and TV writers to choose between their agents and their union. This is a battle that has been brewing for a year but few in the industry saw coming until a few weeks ago. [...]

  • FX Confronts Streaming Thanks to Disney

    Kicking and Screaming, FX Is Forced to Confront Future in the Stream (Column)

    During his network’s presentation at the winter Television Critics Assn. press tour, FX chief John Landgraf made waves — and headlines — by mounting perhaps his most direct criticism yet of Netflix. Landgraf, whose briefings to the press tend to rely heavily on data about the volume of shows with which FX’s competitors flood the [...]

  • Longtime TV Editor Recalls Working for

    How a Bad Director Can Spoil the Show (Guest Column)

    I have been blessed with editing some of TV’s greatest shows, working with some of the industry’s greatest minds. “The Wonder Years,” “Arrested Development,” “The Office,” “Scrubs,” “Pushing Daisies” and, most recently, “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” I have earned an Emmy, ACE Eddie Awards, and many nominations. Related Hollywood-Pedigreed L.A. Home of 'Everybody Loves [...]

  • Stock market Stock buyback

    Stock Buybacks Leave Firms Without Funds to Invest in Future (Column)

    Corporate giants on the S&P 500 have spent more than $720 billion during the past year on stock buybacks. Media and entertainment firms account for only a fraction of that spending, but even $1 million spent on share repurchases seems a foolhardy expenditure at this transformational moment for the industry. Related Hollywood-Pedigreed L.A. Home of [...]

  • Hollywood Has Come Far With Diversity

    An Insider's Look at Hollywood's Diversity Efforts and How Far It Still Needs to Go

    I am a white man working in Hollywood. I grew up in Beverlywood, an all-white, predominantly Jewish, Los Angeles neighborhood sandwiched between 20th Century Fox Studios and MGM, where my elementary school had only one black student. Related Hollywood-Pedigreed L.A. Home of 'Everybody Loves Raymond' Star Doris Roberts Comes to Market Judge Extends Stay on Fox-Dish [...]

  • Venice Film Festival A Star is

    How Venice, Toronto and Telluride Festivals Stole Cannes' Luster (Column)

    In all the years I’ve been attending film festivals, I have never seen a lineup that looked as good on paper as Venice’s did this fall, boasting new films by Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”), Damien Chazelle (“First Man”), Paul Greengrass (“22 July”), Mike Leigh (“Peterloo”) and the Coen brothers (“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”) in competition, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content