Ted Turner and Jane Fonda were recently seen powwowing with Bill Murray in the owner’s box as Turner’s Atlanta Braves scalped the Indians in the World Series, but the actor’s turn in a Turner Pictures movie is suddenly murky.
Turner Pics had courted Murray to play legendary White Sox owner Bill Veeck, and sources said the label was this-close to closing a deal that would have paid Murray a ballplayerlike salary of $10 million to star in “Veeck as in Wreck.” The film, scripted by Ted Mann and to be directed by John McNaughton, is about the flamboyant baseball owner who once sent a midget to bat and developed movable outfield fences and the exploding scoreboard, among other innovations.
Now the deal has taken a tomahawk chop, and is in danger of falling apart over a couple hundred thousand dollars. An exclusive negotiation period is over, and now two other studios are talking. Murray’s enthusiastic about doing the $35 million pic, and has just spurned advances from Warner Bros, to star in “My Favorite Martian,” a screen adaptation of the TV series. That role would have paid much better than $10 million, said sources.
Turner sources said they still hope to win the movie.