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Reel World

This week of Jan. 14 in Hollywood

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CHASE ‘N’ AMY A hotshot after creating HBO’s Mob-family series The Sopranos, David Chase will make his feature writing-directing debut with Female Suspects in a deal sealed by Columbia Pictures chief Amy Pascal. ”It’s been a passion since I wrote it in 1981,” says Chase. ”Amy read it when she was a junior executive, and we’ve been trying to make it since.” No word yet on a start date or who’ll play the lead, a distaff criminologist whose academic theories fall apart after she befriends a family of petty thieves.

KLUMPS SUM Adding padding to play Sherman Klump may be good for Eddie Murphy‘s career, but the makers of the Nutty Professor sequel, The Klumps, spent more than a year trying to trim the fat from the script. ”One of the troubles with the drafts is we tried to focus on the Klump family,” says director Peter Segal (Tommy Boy), currently in the middle of the five-month shoot, ”but since each character is played by Eddie, and he has to be in makeup for five hours for each character, it adds days to the shooting schedule.” After storyboarding three different drafts of the script, Segal estimates he was able to shave 30 days off production by using fewer blue-screen special effects and relying more on makeup artist Rick Baker, whose prosthetics allowed a double to stand in for Murphy on wider shots. Extraneous characters with only a line or two were also axed. ”We didn’t want to write a shooting schedule, we wanted to write a movie,” says Segal. ”But coming up with the right algebraic equation took a long time.”