The release of Julia Phillips' autobiography -- A sneak peak of ''You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again'' and the possibility of a film adaptation

By Giselle Benatar
November 16, 1990 at 05:00 AM EST

Producer Julia Phillips’ upcoming autobiography, You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again, is already a hot topic in Hollywood. Due out in March, the book will feature plenty of inflammatory material from the producer of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Sting, who charges that corrupt dealings fuel the movie industry. One potentially explosive section touches on Phillips’ friendships during the ’70s with some of Hollywood’s biggest directors. ”They were really a rogues’ gallery of nerds,” says the author. ”Marty [Scorsese] was tiny and asthmatic, Steven [Spielberg] had the soft, flabby look of a typical Twinkies kid, and Brian [De Palma] never took his safari jacket off.” Industry insiders are particularly anxious to read her analysis of why Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying never made it to the screen. Phillips, who signed to produce and direct the movie with Columbia Pictures, claims the novel was ”intrinsically threatening” to Hollywood’s male-dominated power structure. ”I went through a succession of meetings,” the author says, ”but there was not a great desire among male executives to see it materialize into a movie.” Does Lunch have a cinematic future? ”The only reason for anyone in Hollywood to buy this book,” Phillips says, ”is to suppress it.”