Zanucks make date after films wrap

GOOD MORNING: It’s a “honeymoon,” not a “vacation” — at the Hotel du Cap, says Lili Zanuck of her “date” with Dick Zanuck, her husband of 23 years, when she winds principal photography of Touchstone’s 2024-set “Reign of Fire” in Ireland and he winds Dreamworks’ “The Road to Perdition” in Chicago, having just presented the first rough-cut of the 2029-set “Planet of the Apes” to 20th. They have been apart since April 14, “and it’s the first time in 13 years that we have been apart more than one day” she added. “It’s harder to be apart the longer you’re married — and we’re a team.” Lili had just come back from a day’s filming with director Rob Bowman in the rugged Wicklow mountains in a castle built for the film starring Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale and Izabella Scorupco — and assorted dragons, the f/x by Disney’s Secret Lab, giving a new feeling to an aliens-populated movie. Her film is set for release in summer 2002. And Dick’s “Planet of the Apes” has a July 27 release on which director Tim Burton is busily at work in post. Of course, there is already talk of a sequel as a result of the early rough screening. Meanwhile, Dick Zanuck’s “Road to Perdition” is set in Chicago during Prohibition toplining Tom Hanks and Paul Newman (latter’s sixth with Zanuck) and Jude Law in distinctly change-of-pace gangland roles for director Sam Mendes … After the “honeymoon” in the south of France, the Zanucks will stop in Paris and again meet with Roman Polanski. You recall, in 1996, he was to direct “The Double” for producer Lili Z. starring John Travolta — who pulled out of the project with lawsuits, of course, following. The Zanucks have remained friends with the Polanskis and visit with them each time they are in France. It was a year ago that they visited together — when Richard Z. again tried to convince Polanski to return to the U.S. Maybe he will try again.

NO REST WHEN YOU’RE PLUGGING a movie — and you don’t even own it: Danny DeVito’s credit is singly “actor” in MGM’s “What’s the Worst That Could Happen.” He co-stars with Martin Lawrence; he is also an executive producer, along with John Morrissey and David Nicksay. Tuesday night, Danny and wife Rhea Perlman were at the L.A. preem at the Loews Cineplex Century Plaza, and Wednesday he was in N.Y. making those p.a. rounds. Only a week earlier, he had wound WB’s “Death to Smoochy” as director-co-star with Robin Williams and Edward Norton; his Jersey Films and Universal are preparing “Walk Among the Tombstones,” which he’ll also direct and have a small part. DeVito said working with Lawrence and the other members of the cast for director Sam Weisman was a terrif experience. The preem audience agreed with repeated laffs. Lawrence and fellow thief John Leguizamo could easily reteam. And everyone agreed William Fitchner, as the smooth-as-vanilla-ice cream, is-he-or-isn’t-he detective Alex Tardio, could easily have a series based on his character. He lit up the screen in every scene in which he slithered through … The Society of Singers Chapter East, headed by Sy Kravitz, will hold its first fall fundraiser Oct. 22 at the Pierre Hotel where the Louis Armstrong Award will honor Bobby Short when he will obviously have a night off from his stomping grounds at the Hotel Carlyle. The society raised $500,000 at its Ella award dinner honoring Julie Andrews recently at the BevHilton. Marc R. Staenberg is newly elected president and CEO of the S.O.S. succeeding Ginny Mancini.

MICHELE LEE AND SANDRA BERNHARD tonight co-host a show of paintings by Michael Gardner at Marlowe’s eatery on W. 46th St. He is Lee’s dresser (“My first male dresser!”) in “The Allergist’s Wife” and he also did Bernhard’s costumes for her one-woman show. The two ladies have become good friends and Lee calls Sandra, “One of the most spiritual women I’ve ever met.” All of their mutual friends on B’way are expected to attend … Wouldn’t it be interesting if “Some Like It Hot,” the musical starring Tony Curtis, played B’way the same time “Sweet Smell of Success,” the musical is playing — with the movie’s Sidney Falco role, as played by Curtis, now played by Brian Darcy James (to John Lithgow playing the Burt Lancaster-originated J.J. Hunsacker) … The Literary Odyssey Dinners kick-off was held Wednesday at the BevHills Peninsula Hotel, hosted by general manager Ali Kasikci. Fifty elegant dinners at some of the most elegant homes in SoCal will be held Nov. 5 benefiting the literacy programs of the L.A. Public Library. Veronique and Gregory Peck host a dinner Nov. 4 at the Central Library for the dinner donors and their respective honored author guests … “Thirteen Days” opens Oxford U’s. inauguration of its new Rothermere American Institute Friday. Following the screening introduced by producer Peter Almond and a symposium on the film’s theme of presidential power, Bill Clinton returns to Oxford, where he was a Rhodes scholar 33 years ago, to participate in other Rothermere-inaugural activities. “Days,” the Kevin Costner starrer, about the White House during the Cuban missile crisis, has to date grossed $70 million worldwide … Costner, Almond and Armyan Bernstein recently screened the pic for Fidel Castro in Cuba. George W. Bush screened it at the White House.The homevideo and DVD will be released by New Line July 10 … “Bill and Hill’s New Friends,” a list of “new and old Clinton friends” is featured in the summer issue of Gotham Magazine, which lists ’em (?) so “the next time you throw a little get-together for our new residents, squeeze a spot at your table for some of these folks just so the Clintons feel at home.” Of course, showbiz reps are generously included.

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