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Entertainment news for April, 3 1992

Woody Harrelson, Bill Murray, and Axl Rose made headlines this week

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MOVIES: After helping Wayne’s World hurl to the top of the box office chart, Paramount movie boss Brandon Tartikoff is again raiding former employer NBC for ideas. The studio chief recently tapped Cheers executive producers Glen and Les Charles to pen The Lady Takes an Ace, a comedy about a shoe salesman masquerading as a top gun aviator. Cheers’ Woody Harrelson, whose first major film, White Men Can’t Jump, just opened, has the inside track to star… * In 1980’s Caddyshack, Bill Murray and director Harold Ramis goofed around with a gopher. In Groundhog Day, the duo reteams in a comedy about a woodchuck — the woodchuck, Punkxsutawney Phil. Murray plays an obnoxious TV weatherman tapped to cover the renowned marmot as he emerges from his hole. Costarring Andie MacDowell as Murray’s producer/love interest, the film is shooting in Woodstock, Ill. — which, as the ersatz Punkxsutawney, Pa., has been outfitted with giant groundhog totems… * Rebel filmmakers Steven Fischler and Joel Sucher are updating their notorious 1971 exposé. Almost 20 years ago, Red Squad found that the New York police and the FBI spied on Vietnam War protesters. Now the partners, who produced the recent Showtime documentary Oliver Stone: Inside Out, are looking into claims that police spies have targeted conservation and animal rights activists…

MUSIC: Was departed guitarist Izzy Stradlin, not Axl Rose, the real musical mastermind of Guns N’ Roses, as many insiders have suggested? We’ll find out soon: Stradlin, who wrote a good chunk of the songs on the group’s Use Your Illusion records but bailed out last November (citing discontent with the group’s touring schedule), has formed a new band and is about to sign with GN’R’s label, Geffen…

BOOKS: Cyberpunk writer William Gibson‘s next book, Agrippa (A Book of the Dead), will be available only on computer disk — with a virus that will make it impossible to print on paper, the author hopes. ”The whole piece is an investigation of the nature of the ownership of information,” says Gibson, whose 1986 cult novel, Neuromancer, will also be published on disk — without viruses — next year…

TV: Hot on the heels of Suzanne Somers’ People’s Choice award for best TV actress in a new series, the busy star of the ABC sitcom Step By Step will squeeze in another leading role in an ABC movie of the week. In Exclusive, which begins shooting this month, she plays a newscaster assigned to cover a multiple murder case. Clues lead her to suspect her college-prof hubby (no casting as of yet), whose past is on the murky side.