This week in Hollywood

Stephen King's the Night Flier

Movie News from January 30, 1998

NIGHT MOVES It’s not that strange a sight anymore: a movie that premiered on cable playing in a couple of theaters a few months later. Recently Normal Life, The Twilight of the Golds, and Hugo Pool debuted on pay TV before having nominal, unsuccessful engagements in such cities as New York and L.A. Perhaps looking back on the theatrical success of 1994’s The Last Seduction (which premiered on HBO and eventually grossed $5.8 million), New Line Cinema picked up last November’s straight-to-HBO Stephen King’s The Night Flier, starring Miguel Ferrer, for a relatively huge 136-screen run starting Feb. 6. Although New Line refused to comment on the release strategy, Stephen King’s name in the title should, at the very least, help The Night Flier stay above the turbulence. — Marc Bernardin

FEST INTENTIONS Fifteen hundred miles from snow-covered Sundance, a very different kind of film festival wrapped Jan. 18. The location? The Dobie Theatre, a 180-seat art house in Austin, Tex. Sample programs? “Neglected ’70s Crime Films” and “Kiddy Matinee.” The host and featured lecturer? Mr. Jackie Brown, Quentin Tarantino. Sponsored by the Austin Film Society, the second Tarantino FilmFest (which started Jan. 15) screened 16 movies culled from the filmmaker’s private collection. Highlights included the daredevil biopic Evel Knievel (starring George Hamilton), the ultra-gory Italian thriller Gates of Hell, and the blaxploitation-hippie hybrid Ghetto Freaks. “If you turned on the USA Network at 3 a.m., these are films you might actually see,” says AFS managing director Elizabeth Peters. ”Quentin loves them, and the film geeks love them, but most people…” The festival, which raises grant money for local filmmakers, managed to draw such high-profile attendees as directors Richard Linklater (subUrbia) and Robert Rodriguez (From Dusk Till Dawn) as well as King of the Hill cocreator Mike Judge. ”This place has an allure for Hollywood types,” says Peters. ”We’re just glad Quentin’s chosen to become an Austinite.” — Daniel Fierman

BAR STALL At first, the deal between Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein and Troy Duffy sounded like an elaborate April Fools’ prank. After all, six weeks before the studio announced last March that it was handing the then 25-year-old $10 million to make his vigilante thriller The Boondock Saints, Duffy was working as a bartender at a West Hollywood dive. As a capper to the deal, Miramax agreed to buy the bar and split ownership with Duffy. But nine months later, Saints‘ future is uncertain. Although various reports have said that as part of the deal Duffy had casting approval, according to sources close to the film, Saints is now in turnaround because of casting issues. (A Miramax spokesman won’t comment on the situation.) Says one source, “There’s still room to iron things out, but the movie’s going to be made regardless — Miramax just has to decide what it wants to do.” — Chris Nashawaty

Stephen King's the Night Flier
  • Movie