Before his return to independent producing this summer, onetime Columbia Pictures mogul Jon Peters and his then partner, Peter Guber, gave the green light to two expensive pet projects: ex-flame Barbra Streisand’s much-buzzed-about Prince of Tides and the unheralded, mightily messed-up $30 million Radio Flyer.
Three weeks ago Columbia confirmed that Flyer had been postponed, for the second time, until February. Says Variety editor Peter Bart, ”When you hear ‘repeated delays,’ most exhibitors conclude it is ‘a troubled picture.”’ And another Hollywood observer says that top director Richard Donner is ready to get away from Flyer to start Lethal Weapon 3 this month.
At first Flyer sounded like a winner. Writer David Mickey Evans’ script about two boys who fantasize to escape a tough life had gone to Peters for $750,000, and the untried Evans had even negotiated a shot at directing, bringing his total take to nearly a cool million. After only two weeks of filming in June of 1990, Evans was removed. Determined to save the picture, Peters wooed Donner to accept what anyone could have told him was a no-win situation: While Evans retained writing credit, Donner took a month to rewrite and recast, replacing Rosanna Arquette with Lorraine Bracco, and filming resumed last October for a planned summer, then fall, release.
Still, for all this, Peters can take some comfort: At least Flyer won’t be competing with Prince of Tides, now set to open at Christmas.