GOOD MORNING: Nicole Kidman suffered a broken rib filming a dance in 20th’s “Moulin Rouge” feature in Sydney. After a two week rest, she returned to work — only to suffer extreme pain. It was believed her condition was aggravated by the pic’s period corset costume. Although director Baz Luhrmann had been able to shoot around her, now the company has shut down awaiting her recovery and safe return. Meanwhile, the company has been put on force majeure. … Tom Cruise is alongside wife Nicole in Sydney as he is back there filming some pickups for “Mission: Impossible II” before returning here for blue screen sequences. As for the start of Cruise’s next, “Minority Report” for Steven Spielberg, also at 20th, Spielberg is now awaiting a rewrite that is anticipated in the next week in order to be able to start filming in February or March. If the script is not OK’d, it’s to be decided which film Spielberg — and Cruise — will start in the spring. … Cruise has “Magnolia” ready for release — “M.I.II” gets a May release … Before writing the feature script for his “Female Suspects” for Col, David Chase has three more “Sopranos” to complete and he promises the last one will be “a cliffhanger.” Guess which (if any) cast member will not be around for the third year of “The Sopranos.” Of course HBO will order another 13. The “Sopranos” troupe returned from filming in Naples — Italy plans to air the first two seasons consecutively. Even though Chase cast some roles in Rome, he reports no one there was familiar with the show — or its Mafia-like principals. Filming went smoothly in the seg that deals with a stolen car operation.
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THE WHITE HOUSE WAS SENT Showtime’s inspirational “Gift of Love: The Daniel Huffman Story” for the First Family to view over the Thanksgiving holiday “so the president can be aware that Hollywood makes positive films about and for our young people,” said producer Dan Paulson. The pic (which airs Nov. 21) preemed in Tallahassee, Fla., and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Huffman’s grandmother thanked him for saving her life. Daniel donated one of his kidneys which prevented him from realizing his dream of playing college football. He is currently manager of the nation’s No. 1 football team: Florida State U. And the U. put on a “true” preem complete with marching band, cheerleaders and the entire football team. Gov. Jeb Bush and former Gov. Rubin Askew were in attendance for the Florida family night … And Blake Edwards’ children, Jennifer, Geoffrey, Amy and Johanna, were on hand to applaud dad at the L.A. County Museum of Art’s launching of its Blake Edwards retro with a screening of “S.O.B.” and Q&A. The DGA cohosted. Also on hand: Bo Derek and Robert Loggia of “S.O.B.,” Stefanie Powers, who bowed in Blake’s “Experiment in Terror,” Leslie Ann Warren (“Victor/Victoria”) Nina Foch, Barbara Eden and her son Matthew Ansara and Fay Kanin. Although Edwards’ wife Julie Andrews was unable to attend (she’s on tour with her children’s book from Hyperion, “Little Bo”), she surprised him with a loving video shown prior to the screening of “S.O.B.” Andrews starred in the pic with William Holden, Robert Preston and Richard Mulligan … Carol Burnett, who had to bow out of an appearance for N.Y.’s 92nd Street Y when stricken with food poisoning, will make up the date Dec. 19 along with Joy Behar interviewing her on her life and career.
THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS & Sciences is not shy about protecting its copyrights — and moreso each year with the ever-increasing Oscar coverage — by every known means of transmission. The rules and regulations are spelled out about video airing or transmissions before the official Oscar show (radio’s OK). And use of material afterward without an OK. The acad is not shy about pursuing and has — even ABC, the network that airs the Oscars, notes John Pavlik … “Don’t treat me like George Halas (the late owner of the Chicago Bears),” said Dick Butkus to Oliver Stone when Butkus agreed to appear in “Any Given Sunday.” Butkus, a star linebacker nine years for the Bears, plays a coach in the pic and now reports about Stone, “I really liked him — he reminded me of — George Allen!” On Dec. 2, Butkus, 57, attends the Sports Illustrated/CBS 20th Century Sports Awards as one of the six greatest football players of all time. Butkus’ main focus now is on acting. He has been a regular on “Hang Time,” has signed with the Geddes Agency and is talking a role in the new Disney series, “Daddio” … The invite correctly notes, “It’s time we pay tribute to him — Carl Reiner.” He has m.c’d more tribute dinners than I can hope to recall and now Alan King m.c’s the National Foundation for Jewish Culture’s Alan King Award in American Jewish Humor award dinner to Reiner, Dec. 13 at the Pierre in NY. Coincidentally Reiner’s new book, “How Paul Robeson Saved My Life — and other mostly happy stories” (Harper Collins) is hitting the stalls. Reiner closes his book with a list of “15 things about God that are never mentioned anywhere.” How does Reiner know these things about God? “I am man and I was created in his image.” The dais honoring Connie Stevens at her Pacific Pioneers B’casters toasting Friday at the Sportsmen’s Lodge includes longtime pals like WB stablemate Troy Donahue as well as her daughter, Tricia Fisher.