''Dracula,'' Roseanne Barr, and Willie Nelson made headlines this week

Entertainment news for May 24, 1991

Executive producer Michael Apted seems to have nailed down his Dracula — and Francis Ford Coppola is directing. Apted (Class Action) first asked Daniel Day-Lewis to play the role, but the actor was already committed to The Last of the Mohicans. Now it looks like Gary Oldman will be up for the Count. If signed, he’ll play opposite Winona Ryder and Anthony Hopkins when the script by Jim Hart (who cowrote this Christmas’ Hook) goes into production in late August. But Universal Pictures owns the name Dracula for the screen, and that raises another question: What is Columbia going to call its movie? No answer to that one yet.

Director Paul Schrader has been keeping a tight lid on The Light Sleeper, which has just begun shooting in New York. However, sources report that Schrader’s original screenplay concerns a drug runner (Willem Dafoe) who tries desperately to get out of the business but is drawn back by the machinations of his ex-wife (Susan Sarandon).

Roseanne Barr’s first TV movie for ABC was scheduled to begin shooting on May 20 in L.A. — if producers could find a location. The problem: Backfield in Motion, about a mother-son football team, demands the use of a football field and most of them were booked for graduation ceremonies. ”No one thought about that,” admits a spokesman for the project. The movie takes place in a ”football-crazed” community where the widowed Barr rebels when she’s asked to bake cookies for the upcoming father-son game. Turns out she’d rather play. Look for Barr’s character to also score some points with the school’s vice principal, who just happens to be played by hubby Tom Arnold.

Castle Rock Entertainment shelled out $1.75 million for the film rights to Stephen King’s latest novel, Needful Things, due this October from Viking.

Investigative reporter Robert Sam Anson (Exile, Best Intentions) is close to signing with Simon & Schuster for an inside look at Disney.

Willie Nelson partners with ”revenooers”? That’s the irony now that the IRS — which seized the singer’s bank accounts, homes, and recording studio last fall — has agreed to join in a direct marketing scheme with Willie. To recoup some of an alleged tax debt of $16.7 million, the feds are going in on a new Nelson solo album, aptly titled The IRS Tapes. The record, just out, has 25 original songs from a cache of unreleased masters. Nelson, now on tour with the Highwaymen in Australia, is hopeful: ”If we can sell a million albums, that will go a long way to getting the IRS off my back. Then all I have to do is start over.”

Written by: Leonard Klady, Pat H. Broeske, Tina Jordan, Cheryl McCall

Bram Stoker's Dracula
  • Movie
  • 128 minutes