''The Young Indiana Jones,'' ''Prelude to a Kiss,'' and the Mini Disc made headlines this week

Entertainment news for May 31, 1991

A spokeswoman at Lucasfilm denies it, but speculation in Hollywood is that ABC’s The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles could be the most expensive series on TV by the time it premieres next January. Plans for filming, which began May 13, call for a rigorous 10 months in 11 countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia, fulfilling ABC’s commitment to 13 hour-long episodes plus a two-hour premiere. Each show has not one Indiana Jones but three — a 9-year-old, a 16-year-old, and a 93-year-old Indy. Rumors are circulating that the venture’s high cost will prompt a theatrical release in Europe, but Lucasfilm will only say that the series will be released worldwide in some form. ”The emphasis is on a coming-of-age story,” the company spokeswoman says. ”There will be action but it’s not a special effects-driven show. By industry standards it’s actually costing less than most hour shows.” Maybe, but with all that travel, keeping up with the Joneses does sound expensive.

Madonna was there. Sean Penn was there. There was an incident. But the party in Cannes for Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever didn’t feature a rematch of the divorced stars — Penn’s party seemed to evaporate when his ex arrived. The trouble came from an overzealous fan who closed in on Madonna too fast. Two members of her entourage went to talk to him but that got him shouting, ”Don’t f—in’ touch me!” It looked like more than angry words would be exchanged until Madonna looked at him and cooed, ”Can’t I touch you, honey?” The man just melted…back into the crowd.

When screenwriter Craig Lucas and director Norman Rene signed on with Twentieth Century Fox to make a film out of their Broadway hit, Prelude to a Kiss, they had hoped to cast the original leads, Alec Baldwin and Mary-Louise Parker. But at Fox’s insistence Parker was replaced by Meg Ryan. ”I was disappointed,” says Lucas. ”Meg is wonderful. But I wanted people to look back in 10 years and say that Norman and I discovered Mary-Louise Parker. I wanted them to say we did for her what Mike Nichols did for Dustin Hoffman.” Roger Birnbaum, Fox’s president of worldwide production, acknowledges, ”It was a difficult decision. Meg Ryan is a talented actress who happens to be a movie star.”

Has Sony reinvented the Betamax? The company’s Mini Disc system, demonstrated earlier this month and due late in 1992, can record up to 74 minutes of digital sound on a 21/2-inch disc and is perfect for Walkman-size portable audio. But will there be room for yet another format on store shelves crowded with audiocassettes, CDs, and digital audio tape (DAT), and the forthcoming digital compact cassettes. Some insiders think customers will be cautious. ”The consumer does not want to get caught with a Beta when VHS prevails,” says Jordan Rost, vice president of marketing for Warner Music Group.

Written by: Leonard Klady, Lisa Y. Karlin, George Mannes

Prelude to a Kiss
  • Movie
  • 105 minutes