GOOD MORNING: In case you wondered, Warren Beatty says, “I still consider myself a Democrat.” And he was receiving hefty congrats from fellow Democrats after Monday night’s preem of his “Bulworth” at the Acad. They included Maria Shriver (who was there sans GOP-husband Arnold Schwarzenegger) and brother Bobby Shriver. While Beatty admits he has not been involved in any political campaigns during the years he’s been working as “Bulworth,” you can look for him to be on the scene again — “in the spirit of the Democratic party of Bobby Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey.” … Asked howcum he attacked the Demos (as well as everyone else) in the pic, Beatty claims, “What happens in the movie is that neither party is addressing the problems like they should.” He has shown the movie to several politicos plus Julian Bond, board chairman of the NAACP, and sez he got positive response from ’em. Warren also claims screenings in African-American nabes in Oakland and the South Bronx were also positive. He has not received a request to send a print of “Bulworth” to the White House, he said. “But I’d be happy to do so.” And he’s be happy to show the movie to California’s two (femme) Senators. … I asked Beatty why he scrapped the ending of the pic — in which he assumedly goes happily off into the sunset in a new life with Halle Berry. “This picture would have been ridiculous (with that ending).” He dismissed jettisoning the other ending, saying, “It was a ‘little thing’ but I always intended — ” to use the current ending. The film, he said was not about “race but about money. Biracial marriage is an inevitability in our society. Making ‘color’ the problem is a way to cover up the real problems.” He claims, “To be effective in public life you can’t be a ghost — you’ve got to be a spirit.” He didn’t know if 20th Fox boss and media giant Rupert Murdoch had seen the movie. “Bulworth” blasts the media as among the forces controlling political parties. And Beatty pitches mightily for free air time for campaigning politicos in one of his can-you-believe “rap” — pleas. The ever-challenged and challenging Beatty is off to N.Y. and D.C. again this week to campaign — for his movie. Among those on hand at the preem who’d love to have him campaign on their air waves: Charlie Rose and Bill Maher — also politically incorrect. Others at the preem who have challenged the system on occasions: Garry Shandling, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner — and Beatty’s sister, Shirley MacLaine. And of course Annette Bening and 20th toppers, Peter Chernin, Bill Mechanic and Tom Sherak, now smiling, after sweating out the arrival of Beatty’s “baby.”
COMBINING GOOD CITIZENSHIP with good picture-making was a WB slogan in the days of WWII — and Monday at Kent State U., screenwriter Jim Hart was on hand at the 28th anni of the May 4 killing of four students by the National Guard. He’s written “Ohio” — about that day and those students — and is turning in the final draft to Universal. Hart got more than he bargained for — on his arrival. Hart told me he was there for more emotional input for the movie — as he’s done at the anniversaries for the past three years. “But,” he phoned me from campus, “I found myself in the middle of a protest march with Ron Kovic and students marching to the library to try and get the Kent State president Carolyn Cartwright’s approval for a memorial site on campus.” Hart said he may now have to rewrite the ending of the movie. The script had ended with a memorial service with Crosby, Stills and Nash singing “Ohio.” Hart, who says, “I was a product of that period,” promises this film “will be our generation’s ‘Best Years Of Our Lives.’ Students there today — who weren’t born at the time of the killings — also want to know where the music of that era came from (and why).” On hand at the anniversary-march was Chic Canafora and her brother Alan, who was wounded during the shooting. Casting will be “a landscape of today’s young actors — before they became Ben Affleck and Matt Damon,” Hart said. Kathryn Bigelow directs for producers Tony Lord, Matthew Weaver, John Davis and Hart with his partner Valerie Kerns. When I asked howcum this pic, whose subject is more in the genre of cable-fare, wasn’t pitched to someone like HBO, f’rinstance, Hart said Universal was immediately interested and they have been “extremely supportive.” How refreshing.
SONNY & ME: CHER REMEMBERS’ will air May 20, in sweeps, on CBS. Cher and producer Don Mischer worked in the editing room a full weekend until 4 ayem Sunday to complete it. Cher did her on-camera commentary on Stage 31 at CBS, where she and Sonny taped their show for 3 years. It’s Cher’s very personal point of view of their lives — how they met, their unique relationship and how they maintained that friendship even after they broke up, she says. The new Sonny & Cher Star on the Walk of Fame dedication has been changed from May 19 to May 15, at 7018 Hollywood Blvd., so Congresswoman Mary Bono can attend. It was important for Cher that Mary be part of the ceremony — which will be included on the special, Cher sez. After working with Cher on this special, Mischer said, “I’ve grown more to admire Sonny and his talents.”