DELAYED REACTIONS Is something fishy going on, or are filmmakers simply taking their cues from Mr. I’m Not Done Yet, Stanley Kubrick? Here’s the status of some high-profile latecomers.
>> THE DEEP END OF THE OCEAN Originally intended for September, the adaptation of Jacquelyn Mitchard’s novel about a kidnapped boy won’t hit until early next year. A source close to the film denies rumors that star Michelle Pfeiffer and director Ulu Grosbard are butting heads over editing, saying the delay is about ”wanting to make the film better. They’ll probably add a couple of scenes.” A Columbia spokesperson says the rescheduling ”affords us the opportunity to properly screen, publicize, and promote the film.”
>> GLORIA Sharon Stone finished filming this re-make of the John Cassavetes crime drama — about a woman protecting a kid from the Mob — last December, but you won’t see it until early ’99. Columbia says the movie’s late release avoids the crush of ”women’s movies” this fall and distances Gloria from another Stone movie, The Mighty, which opens in October.
>> THE 13TH WARRIOR This adaptation of Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead completed shooting last November and was originally scheduled for release this year, but Disney’s Touchstone doesn’t seem eager to serve it up: The action epic about an Arab courtier’s encounter with cannibalistic Vikings, starring Antonio Banderas and directed by John McTiernan (Die Hard, Predator), has been pushed back to an ”undetermined” date in 1999. According to a Disney spokesperson, ”Antonio hurt his back during filming and [the filmmakers] lost vital shots, so they have been going back in dribs and drabs to do pickup shots.”
>> VIRUS Apparently, Universal felt that too much Jamie Lee Curtis is not a good thing and bumped its sci-fi thriller from August to January, just after Dimension announced that its Curtis vehicle, Halloween: H2O, would move from October 1998 to August. Universal may be happy to have the excuse; while the studio would not comment officially, a source says, ”The words I’ve heard used to describe the movie are ‘god-awful.”’
SEX RATED The MPAA may have loosened its belt recently, but is the organization gender- or produce-biased? Writer-director-star Troy Beyer’s Let’s Talk About Sex (opening in September from Fine Line) snagged an R rating with a demonstration of oral sex on a cucumber, but a scene showing how a man might best eat a peach had to go. ”The cucumber scene is no less graphic,” says Beyer, who is now writing for Ally McBeal. ”But when it comes to a woman expressing how she wants to be made love to, that’s still taboo.”