James Cameron abandons his pet project
Plus, Kevin Costner drops the winning ball, and -- good lord! -- the 'Baywatch' folks change their minds again
UN-REEL DEAL James Cameron is severing ties with another of his longtime pet projects: A Spider-Man movie. Within weeks of abandoning his ”Planet of the Apes” remake, Cameron has announced he is no longer involved with Columbia’s comic-book project, even though he had been talking about it as his dream project for years. Columbia is still developing the film and has commissioned a script by David Koepp (”Jurassic Park”), which will be partly based on Cameron’s treatment.
STRIKING OUT Kevin Costner got a chance to strut the baseball skills he honed in ”Bull Durham,” ”Field of Dreams,” and his upcoming baseball drama ”For the Love of the Game” in an exhibition game Sunday. Playing for his alma mater, Cal State-Fullerton, he faced off against the Anaheim Angels, pitched for two-thirds of an inning and had an impressive run as shortstop. However, without movie magic to help him, he also struck out all three times at bat and dropped a ball that let the Angels score the winning run for a final score of 2-1. ”I felt really bad about making us lose the game,” Costner said. ”I just missed it in front of everybody. I really wanted to win.” Considering his love of lengthy productions, it’s odd that Costner was the one who kept the game from going into extra innings.
MUSICAL BEACHES The producers of ”Baywatch” have again flip-flopped and are now moving the show to Hawaii. If you check your diary, you’ll remember that last week the show was set to move to Australia because the Teamsters wouldn’t agree to salary cuts for its Hawaiian truckers. But now the union has agreed to some unannounced concessions, and with the state government raising $3 million in other incentives, the series has decided to stay in this hemisphere. The show will now be called ”Baywatch Hawaii.” That is, until it moves to Australia next week.
KICKOFF CHANGE When ”Monday Night Football” returns on ABC Sept. 13, it will be back at its old time, 9 p.m. Last year the network moved the games back to 8 p.m., hoping that the earlier end time would improve ratings on the East Coast. But the move lost considerable viewers in the Central and Pacific time zones, leading the network to put things back where they were, and canceling its ”Monday Night Blast” half-hour pregame show in favor of a seven-minute warm-up. Al Michaels and Boomer Esiason will continue in the broadcast booth; a replacement for the departing Dan Dierdorf will be announced later this month.
ON THE ROAD The Goo Goo Dolls and Sugar Ray will team for a tour later this summer. No dates have been announced yet. The Goos are currently touring with the New Radicals.
CASTING Michael Rapaport will join Woody Allen in Allen’s fall project, the plot of which, as usual, the writer/director is keeping secret. Rapaport also starred with Allen in ”Mighty Aphrodite.”
STUDIO SWITCH Barry Diller has scooped up October Films and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (which includes Gramercy Pictures), buying them from Universal in a reported $150-$200 million deal. Although the struggling Universal is unloading all of its specialty film studios, it is considering starting its own indie distributor to handle lower-budget films.
OBITUARY Rock pioneer Jesse Stone, who wrote the classic ”Shake, Rattle and Roll,” died Thursday at age 97. Stone worked with such acts as Ray Charles and the Drifters while a composer and arranger at Atlantic Records in the 1940s and ’50s. In 1974, Atlantic president Ahmet Ertegun said, ”Jesse Stone did more to develop the basic rock ‘n’ roll sound than anybody else.”
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