‘Zorro’ ending to stay

GOOD MORNING: After long discussions among “The Mask Of Zorro’s” producers, director Martin Campbell — and Amblin’s Steven Spielberg — it was decided not to shoot a new ending and thus Don Diego (Anthony Hopkins) dies in the arms of his daughter (Catherine Zeta Jones). But of course the “Zorro” tradition carries on in the person of Antonio Banderas. In case you’re wondering about sequels, could Don Diego return? “Well,” producer David Foster reminds, “Alec Guiness returned” to “Star Wars” after Obi Wan Kenobi’s demise. “Zorro” is now being scored by “Titanic’s” James Horner. … And Hopkins is catching his breath at home in London. When I reached him, he swore he’ll take a long time off — after completing his next, “Instinct,” with Cuba Gooding Jr. Hopkins had wound “Amistad,” then “Zorro” and “Meet Joe Black” with Brad Pitt. “It was fantastic to work with such brilliant people,” Hopkins said. “I’ve been very lucky.” But it is they who praise his work — and working with Hopkins — to me. He celebrated his 60th birthday with 150 “old friends” in London on New Year’s Eve and admitted, “I never thought I’d get past 40!” … Roseanne filed for divorce Wednesday from her third husband, Ben Thomas. They have been married three years and have a 2-year-old son. Roseanne is readying for her talkshow debut and will keynote at NATPE Jan. 20 in New Orleans. She will no doubt have plenty to talk about then.

“IT’S NOT A SPOOF,” assures David Zucker as he readies to start “Baseketball” for Universal. But, he assures, the movie will have “our bent way of looking at things.” Like “Airplane”? The pic features Trey Parker and Matt Stone (of Comedy Central’s “South Park”) as stars of the Milwaukee Beers team — but guestars will add to the Zucker sensahuma. They include Robert Vaughn as the villain, Ernie Borgnine, Steve Garvey, sports announcers Bob Costas and Al Michaels and Zucker’s favorite from “Airplane!,” Robert Stack, who’ll play his character from “Unsolved Mysteries” as he tries to unravel the film’s mystery. (And, by the way, what is the mystery of when CBS will air the five “Unsolved Mysteries” already taped with Stack?) The theme of “Baseketball” is a three-man team playing on a home driveway. Zucker says he and a coupla pals invented the game on his home’s driveway in Westwood about 20 years ago. … Jerry Springer jetted into town Thursday to guest on a seg of Fox’s “Between Brothers.” Springer plays himself, natch, alongside co-stars Kadeem Hardison and Tommy Davidson and Dondre Whitfield. Springer’s no stranger to portraying himself, says he’s done it 53 years — he also guested on “Roseanne” and “Married With Children” segs. He says he’s had a (brief) meeting with new boss Barry Diller about his show’s future. … The citizens of Denison, Iowa, home of the annual Donna Reed Festival, financed “One Dozen,” an indie feature produced by longtime Reed Festival supporter Lloyd J. Schwartz (producer of “The Brady Bunch,” etc.) and Howard Kazanjian (an exec producer of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” etc.) They were racing to ready their jury trial-set movie (“One Dozen”) for Sundance but they can’t complete it in time — because Lloyd is on jury duty. … After financing, writing, producing — and starring in their labor of love, low-budget “True Friends,” Bronx buddies James Quattrochi (who also directed), Rodrigo Botero and Loreto Mauro will open their film on their own, Jan. 30 in five L.A. area theaters — including the Music Hall in BevHills. They hope to attract a distrib to move the film along internationally from these humble beginnings.

THE MARCH 8 PREEM of the return of “Grease” at Mann’s Chinese (5 p.m.) will donate 400 seats to the Children’s Health and Environmental Coalition, Olivia Newton-John reported to me as she was being escorted by Allan Carr to Thursday’s Women in Hollywood lunch where she received the Humanitarian Award for her breast cancer research fund work. It’s been 5 years since Olivia’s surgery and she said, “I’m healthy and very happy.” She’s recording an album in Nashville and heads to Australia for a concert for the first time since 1983! Paramount is greasing the aisles for the renewed (sound and color) “Grease” with the trailer now in 4,200 theaters, reports the ever-enthusiastic Carr. He returns to film production this summer at Par with “Personal Shopper” for which Drew Barrymore is being sought. … Tonight the Acad screens Harold Lloyd’s 1928 classic “Speedy” with music by Robert Israel and a 19-piece orch plus the exhib of Lloyd’s famed “Rogues Gallery” of still pix and his granddaughter Suzanne Lloyd Hayes tells me she will next take Lloyd’s “The Freshman” (with new score by Carl Davis) to tour Europe, later the U.S. along with that “Rogues Gallery.” I had seen the gallery in Greenacres where the Lloyds lived in their magnificent cascading waterfalls estate — which Suzanne told me sold for $1.8 million in 1974. The most recent price for the property, she said, was $35 million. Suzanne has been keeping alive the timeless works of her grandfather.