Priscilla bio planned for screen

GOOD MORNING: The Presley saga goes on. Latest development: a feature version of “Childbride — The Untold Story of Priscilla Beaulieu Presley” (Harmony Books), by Suzanne Finstad, will be produced by Bud Grant’s Third Coast Entertainment Co. — despite threats of suits and countersuits by Priscilla Presley and Currie Grant against each other. Currie Grant (no relation to Bud) was a principal in the introduction of the then-14-year-old Priscilla to Presley when he was in the Army stationed in Germany. Revealing tapes by both Priscilla and Currie Grant are chronicled the book. Producer Bud Grant is not concerned with their legalistics and tells me, “The book is in all the nation’s book stores. If Priscilla was going to file suit (against it, Currie Grant and the author), she could have done it before the book was published. We’re going to make this movie. It will be huge foreign and also on video. We are only going to make what’s in the book. ” He reminds that all statements made by both Priscilla and Grant are documented on the tapes that both made with the author. Grant (Bud) recalls when he was head of CBS, Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion made a concert special with Presley — just before he died. “I met with Col. Parker,” recalls Bud, “and told him I wanted to call the special ‘Elvis’ Last Concert,’ but Parker said, ‘It’s not going to be his last concert — Elvis is going to live forever.’ ” Maybe the Cuhnel was right! … Author Finstad, who had met with Priscilla several times when writing the book, says she delivered a copy of the finished product to her (Priscilla’s) house. “But I haven’t heard back from her.” As for the movie, she says, “I don’t want it to be exploitive.”

THERE’LL BE A DAY CARE CENTER off the “Seinfeld” set as the company returned this week with costar and recent mother Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who now has two small boys, Henry and Charlie. And the season’s plotted for her to have an on-and-off relationship with Patrick Warburton. Michael Richards’ Kramer character launches the season trying to prove that butter is better to shave with than shaving cream! Jason Alexander continues this week with double duties with his nightly performances at UCLA’s Freud theater, starring in “Promises, Promises.” He is sensational in the “Reprise! B’way’s Best in Concert” presentation. As is the rest of the cast, including Alan Thicke, Karen Fineman, Linda Hart, Jean Smart, etc. Hurry — if you can still get tickets. Alexander was so anxious to get the show on the boards that he is also a hefty backer. The show went into profit the second day tickets — all single — went on sale! Exec producer Joan Stein says this theatrical outing “is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.” And audiences agree, applauding well after the finale and Alexander’s thank-you speech — an invitation for the audience to buy cast-autographed posters for B’way Cares to fight AIDS. It’s obvious at the magnificent Freud Playhouse that UCLA cares, too. “Finian’s Rainbow” and “Wonderful Town” follow here. Producer Stein brings back the “Bermuda Ave. Triangle” to the Canon in late Oct. with Renee Taylor, Joe Bologna and Nanette Fabray. … The space garnered by the Virginia Military Institute’s hair-cutting of the femme students, plus the recent ditto publicity from the shearing of Citadel femmes — and the Navy Tailhook scandal — all help create interest in (the delayed bow of) “G.I. Jane,” notes Ridley Scott, who reminds that the pic was completed last December. “But we decided this was the best time to go out — keeping it away from the summer blockbusters. It’s tracking great,” he added. In between p.a.’s for “Jane” he’s scouting locations for Richard Matheson’s “I Am Legend,” to shoot in L.A. starting n December starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Scott also reminds this is the third version — the others starred Charlton Heston (in “The Omega Man”) and Vincent Price. NEWLY (RE)-ELECTED ACAD PREZ Bob Rehme has started committees for the 70th Academy Awards, March 23 at the Shrine, and meets next week with Gil Cates, who has produced seven Oscars. Meanwhile, Rehme and partner Mace Neufeld are busy prepping their Par projects, exec producing New Line’s “Lost in Space” and U’s “Black Dog” features, plus they’ve got two MOWs in post at Showtime and four in development there and more MOWs in the works at ABC, CBS, NBC, TNT and HBO — plus series. … Dyan Cannon, who just completed two indies, “Drop Dead” and “The Protector,” is set by David E. Kelley for the role of judge Whipper Cone in his Fox series, “Ally McBeal.” Cone (Cannon) is “independent, strong — and sexy!” Cannon says of Kelley, “He knows so much about women — it’s awesome! I turned down four shows to do this.” She bows in the second then fourth seg. … Carl Reiner plays Alan Arkin’s father in “The Slums of Beverly Hills” for director-writer Pamela Jenkins. Reiner’s also voicing Prometheus in the animated “Hercules”. … A memorial service for Joseph A. Cohen (Jose.), who covered “theaters, niteries and other dens of iniquity” for Variety for 44 years, will be held Sept. 2, 5:45 p.m., at the Friar’s Club, 57 E. 55th St. in N.Y.

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