This week in Hollywood: "Truman Show," "A Perfect Murder" and "Godzilla"
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ON WITH THE SHOW The day after the June 1 L.A. premiere of The Truman Show, director Peter Weir and writer Andrew Niccol began editing a half-hour mockumentary on the life of Truman Burbank. Weir shot the footage during the production of the movie with Harry Shearer, as host Mike Michaelson, interviewing members of the fictional TV show’s cast and crew (only snippets were used in the film itself). Included in the mockumentary, expected to debut on pay cable, will be scenes of Truman as a baby, as well as clips from his adolescence and wedding. Despite The Truman Show‘s $31.5 million opening, Weir and Niccol say they are leery of doing a sequel, but when asked what he imagined would happen to Truman after the movie ends, Weir said, “One version might be Truman—hoping for anonymity—changes his name to Jim Carrey, moves to Canada, and decides to become a stand-up comedian.”

PALETTE-ABLE WORK So how did Viggo Mortensen, who plays Gwyneth Paltrow‘s artist lover in A Perfect Murder, get to display his own artwork in the movie? The filmmakers weren’t even aware of the actor’s talent with a brush until after he’d accepted the role. “I told [director] Andy Davis that I’d like to try to create the artwork,” says Mortensen, who had only four weeks to do the paintings and prepare for the part. “I wanted to base a lot of it on photos and I told him some things would be straight paintings, and he said okay.” After Davis and producer Arnold Kopelson saw the works, they agreed to put them in the film. This fall, Mortensen will have his first gallery showings, in Florence, Italy, and in L.A.

GODZILLA TOO? As Sony Pictures Entertainment’s revealed at an annual licensing conference the surprising news that a Godzilla sequel is planned for the year 2000, it’s doubtful many of the nation’s theater owners will re-embrace the lizard. In the wake of the movie’s disappointing opening, exhibitors are smarting from Sony’s deal, which demanded a larger-than-usual share of box office revenues. “They sold it to us as this huge film,” says one top exhibitor, who is angry that Sony touted Godzilla as a blockbuster when it knew the film might underperform. Carmike Cinemas, the largest U.S. chain, even blamed an expected second-quarter earnings drop on big-ticket Godzilla‘s poor showing. “Carmike clearly got killed on the terms,” says one Hollywood agent. “They were told they had a diamond when they really had cubic zirconia.” Don’t be surprised if theater owners strike back either by showing fewer of Sony’s Columbia and TriStar movies this fall or by removing them from theaters early. “It could happen with Can’t Hardly Wait,” says one distribution exec. “Sony needs the support of the theaters on that film.” Sony says it has no plans to make-good for those who feel burned by Godzilla. “Each picture is sold on its own terms,” says a company spokesman.

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