Spielberg blesses Attenborough’s ‘Miracle’

GOOD MORNING: Richard Attenborough sez he asked Steven Spielberg’s permission to play Kris Kringle in John Hughes’ remake of “Miracle on 34th Street.””I know he’s entirely opposed to remakes,” laughed Attenborough, “and he’s responsible for putting a beard on me (in ‘Jurassic Park’). On my credits in ‘Miracle on 34 th Street’ they’ll have to add: ‘By blessings and permission of Steven Spielberg.’ ” Attenborough tells me John Hughes’ script of the 1994 remake “is very clever and up-to-date, and using a little boy (in the Natalie Wood role) is a good idea — it might be a little over-sentimental with a little girl”… Attenborough attended the “Schindler’s List” preem in London with Spielberg and says he was so emotionally “knocked out by it” he was unable to go to dinner afterward with Spielberg. “I have never, ever seen such positive coverage of a film in London,” said Attenborough. While readying for his acting role in “34th Street,” he’s also preparing films which he’ll direct. They include: “Hijinx, “”The Sail Maker” and “Grey Owl.” Tuesday he wings to Amsterdam to receive the Rembrandt award. Spielberg was also a recipient and Richard Dreyfuss also gets the honor next week … To find out what happened with the Frank Sinatra “Legend” award seg at the Grammys, I spoke to Grammy producer Pierre Cossette, director Walter C. Miller and George Schlatter who accompanied Sinatra, was in the wings and who also did the taped Sinatra retro clips. Schlatter takes credit (blame?) for asking them to wind up the seg when, they all claim, a power problem caused computers on the show to make “things pop up and down when they weren’t supposed to.” Meanwhile, Sinatra was obviously emotionally overwhelmed by the lengthy ovation and proceeded to celebrate at “21 ” then joined the EMI party at the Museum of Modern Art. He plays Hershey, Pa., Thursday, Richmond, Va., this weekend … Pierre Cossette, about Bono’s booboo’s: “I’m taking him with me down to Branson — that’s the Bible belt, you know.” Just kidding. But Bono is up for a role in “Strange Days” for Jim Cameron , starring Oscar nominees Angela Bassett and Ralph Fiennes. It deals with the underbelly of the music biz in L.A.

WHERE WAS BARBRA STREISAND while the Grammys were on (and Tony Bennett was winning in the traditional pop vocal category)? She was at Cicada where Mike Medavoy hosted a dinner group for Barbra, Irina Ward, Lauren Hutton, the Eric Idles and soccer star Gary Linnacker. Medavoy has an offer from Harvard — to teach one quarter, a government and business course — one day a week … Among the many showbiz offers for Nancy Kerrigan are those from all the soaps — her favorite is “Guiding Light,” sez Jerry Solomon. She films her first Revlon commercial next week. Would she pursue an acting career? “She’s an entertainer, but acting’s a little premature.” As for the early barrage of brickbats, Solomon reminds, “People lose sight of the fact eight weeks ago she couldn’t walk and eight weeks later she gives the best performance of her life. She’s living under a microscope. I hope people won’t forget what she’s done”… The first Chaplin to be born in the U.S. in 50 years is Osceola Byron Malachi Chaplin Salkind, born Feb. 24 in Orlando, Fla., to Jane Chaplin (youngest of the Chaplin daughters) and Ilya Salkind. He is their second child. Son Orson was born seven years ago in England. The last Chaplin born in the U.S. was Geraldine. Jane and Ilya are office’d at Universal Studios Florida prepping pix … Ann-Margret has six offers for MOW versions of her autobiog, “A-M: My Story” (Putnam). Husband Roger Smith sez it won’t be easy to find someone to play her. What’s wrong with A-M? Her USA movie,”Nobody’s Children” was shown as a UNICEF benefit Wednesday p.m. and is Women in Film’s fest screening Saturday. It’s also been chosen for the Houston Film Fest.

LATEST L.A. TV NEWSHEN to make the bigscreen is KCBS’ Bree Walker, in the Charlie Sheen starrer “The Chase”… Cartier underwrites the entire Oscar bash at Maple Drive for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. This year’s party is in memory of Patrick Lippert who produced last year’s fundraiser … The Oscar party at Ed Debevic’s benefits the L.A. Regional Foodbank … And the Acad bash at Chasen’s is hosted by the Film Welfare League. The Hal Gershmans underwrite this party … The Crippled Children’s Society benefits from the Oscar gala at Sofitel’s Ma Maison with Renaud West producing … Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks celebrated the Year of the Dog at Madame Wu’s … Rustica’s catering the opening party of Oxford Clothes at Dick Carroll’s on Rodeo Drive tonight … And down the street, Yves St. Laurent hosted the Design Industry Foundation for AIDS’ kickoff party in advance of the celeb-designed denim jackets auction in June.