Mirror put ship in water

'Titanic' spoof in works; Presley, Nielsen, Hasselhoff in talks for roles

Brad Krevoy’s Motion Picture Corp. of America will re-emerge with a spoof of the biggest B.O. performer ever, “Titanic Too — It Missed the Iceberg,” a $25 million co-production with the irreverent British tabloider Mirror Group.

Pat Proft, a writer on “Naked Gun” and “Hot Shots!” will script and may direct. Though no casting is set, Leslie Nielsen is in talks to play the skipper, Priscilla Presley for the mother of Kate Winslet’s character in the original, and David Hasselhoff for the Billy Zane slot.

Project will be the first for MPCA since it was swallowed up and dissolved by MGM. Former MPCA chairmen Brad Krevoy and Steve Stabler stepped down with settlements last year. But Krevoy renegotiated to maintain the acronym moniker and restart the company, which is located in Santa Monica and run as a production entity.

Mirror Group, which owns a number of mass-market newspapers and shoestring TV interests, is making its first foray into feature production. The company is putting up $12.5 million for the film.

Krevoy and Mirror are talking with several studios to pick up the other half of the project, though the producers are not ruling out presales as a financing alternative.

Kelvin MacKenzie, managing director and deputy chief exec of the Mirror Group, says the company wants to venture into features slowly. The company already produced the two-hour vidpic “The People’s Princess.” Telefilm sold in more than 30 countries.

MacKenzie said the idea for the spoof was generated in-house, which is how he plans to develop further feature properties, especially comedies. “We’re not going to have people come to us with ideas,” he says. “They’ll all be our own ideas.”

Mirror Group publishes such papers as the Mirror, the Sunday Mirror, Scottish Daily Record and the Sunday Mail.

Nick Ferrari, deputy managing director for Mirror’s Live TV, said the “Titanic” spoof is one of the “fun” things that Mirror likes to do. He cited such stunts as having a dwarf on a trampoline giving the weather report, bikini-clad girls reading the news and a news-gatherer dressed as a rabbit with big ears.

Krevoy and Mirror plan to start production in the fall with an early 1999 release slated.

The pic is the second “Titantic” spoof to emerge in recent weeks, since New Line set up a spec script parody of the ship-sinking. Krevoy said, however, that he expects his “Titanic” pic to be finished and distribbed long before New Line’s.