Movie news for the week of June 22, 1990

Kray Ballet
Following in the tradition of British rockers such as Sting, Roger Daltrey, David Bowie, and Phil Collins, Gary and Martin Kemp — better known as the pop group Spandau Ballet — are pursuing big-screen careers. The brothers star in The Krays, a movie based on the true story of the twins known as the Kings of Crime, who ruled London’s underworld in the 1960s. A violent drama, the film has been a box-office smash in Britain since it opened last month. It’s scheduled for release in the U.S. this fall.

These days it looks like a supporting cast of lawyers has become an essential part of any movie crew. Witness: New Yorker Harold Steinberg recently filed a suit claiming that Warren Beatty, Walt Disney Studios, and Disney Studios Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg stole his idea to develop a film from the Dick Tracy comic strip. According to the plaintiff, he presented the musical-story concept to both Beatty and Katzenberg in 1980, but they showed no interest. Meanwhile, Sylvester Stallone is facing a plagiarism lawsuit from ex-boxer Joey Barnum, who claims the Italian Stallion pilfered his idea for the plot of the upcoming Rocky V. Barnum, who is friendly with Stallone’s sister and brother, based the idea on an incident from his career. While working as a cornerman in the ’40s, Barnum came out of retirement to fight a boxer who had broken training rules. The defendants in each case had no comment.

The award for best product plug disguised as a sight gag goes to USA Today for its newspaper vending machine on the planet Mars in Total Recall.

How bad does Disney want Dick Tracy to become a megahit? Bad enough to run a television ad featuring ”Vogue,” the hit tune by Madonna, playing over clips from the movie. Viewers are left with the distinct impression that the lively dance-beat number is featured in the movie. It’s not. When asked whether they thought the ad might confuse consumers, a Disney spokesperson commented that ”Disney m mketing executives refuse to comment, as is their policy on anything to do with advertising and marketing.”

The talents of special effects wizard Rob Bottin, whose Mars mutants liven up Total Recall, are also on display in the upcoming RoboCop 2. As the crime-stopping cyborg, actor Peter Weller dons a new set of fiberglass threads (left). Lighter and easier to put on than the original suit (above), its 25 pieces magnetically clip together like a jigsaw puzzle. ”We call it his GQ suit says David Pawlik, head of the four-person Robo costume team.