Nicholas Cage, Princess Stephanie, and Marlon Brando made headlines this week
Credit: Peter Sorel

A Man, A Plan: Tipping one too many martini glasses helped win Nicolas Cage an Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas, so it comes as no surprise to hear he’s hatching plans to portray another appealing souse. Cage and wife Patricia Arquette are interested in playing cocktail-crazy sleuths Nick and Nora Charles in a remake of the Myrna Loy and William Powell classic The Thin Man. Cage says he’d like to ”lighten up.” Adds Arquette, ”We’ve done heavy movies, and now it’s just time for some fun.” One bit of casting to be resolved: the Charleses’ very astute fox terrier, Asta. ”Maybe a newcomer,” says Arquette. ”I wonder what Babe is doing.”

Crown Achievement: Having relinquished her title as the world’s most scandal-prone royal to her Windsor cohorts, Princess Stephanie of Monaco has found a job befitting a modern-day blue blood — TV host. The daughter of the late Princess Grace is mistress of ceremonies and executive producer of ABC’s May 6 Champions of Magic special, shot in Monaco and featuring a bevy of prestidigitators, including one who’ll make Stephanie disappear. Gary Pudney, the other exec producer, insists the Patron of the Monte Carlo Grand Prix of Magic — a real title in the tiny principality — isn’t just a figurehead. ”She was involved in writing scripts, picking out locations, and selecting magicians,” he says. ”She’s a very hands-on, working princess.” What’s in it for Stephanie? She’ll get a share of the profits if the show is sold for rebroadcast. Now, there’s a royalty check.

Ear Muffed: This may be the real reason Marlon Brando ran off at the mouth in his recent Larry King Live appearance — he had no prompter. According to David Thewlis, who costars with Brando in New Line’s upcoming The Island of Dr. Moreau, the expansive actor ”uses an earpiece” to help him remember lines. This led to countless technical difficulties on the set of Moreau. ”He’d be in the middle of a scene,” says Thewlis, ”and suddenly he’d be getting police messages. Marlon would [repeat], ‘There’s a robbery at Woolworth’s.”’ Thewlis says he was still very impressed with Brando’s legendary presence. ”Marlon’s pretty cool,” he says. ”When he walks into a room, you know he’s around.” Because he happens to be 300 pounds? ”Oh,” says Thewlis, ”well, that too.”

Etc.: Sgt. Bilko, Flipper, a sequel to The Brady Bunch Movie — turning TV shows into films has Mary Tyler Moore thinking about a big-screen treatment for her own ’60s sitcom. In the ”awful” event that someone makes a Dick Van Dyke Show movie, she says, ”I would love to see Meg Ryan play Laura. And Hugh Grant could play the Dick role, as it were.”