News From Hollywood
— A Pat Answer PMK publicity maven Pat Kingsley recently sent a memo to journalists in defense of client Warren Beatty and his involvement with New Line’s long-delayed Town and Country, the budget of which is reported to have crept toward $90 million. ”Warren Beatty was in no way responsible for any cost increases whatsoever,” she writes, continuing, ”He signed on to do Town and Country as a hired actor with no responsibility for production, writing, or directorial decisions. He has … meticulously avoided making any demands regarding the casting, production, and distribution of the movie.” However, Beatty has apparently made strong suggestions in terms of editing: In December, the actor spent several weeks cutting his own version of the movie; he also worked on developing a voice-over for his character. New Line is sticking to the original cut of the film, the release date of which has reportedly been bumped — no exaggeration — 12 times. Town and Country is currently scheduled to open on April 20.
— Furthermore Blue Streak screenwriter Steve Carpenter has just handed in a script for the sequel, which will reteam director Les Mayfield and Martin Lawrence. ”If the first one was ‘cop for a day,’ this is ‘spy for a day,’ with Martin getting drafted by the CIA,” says producer Toby Jaffe, who hopes the Columbia project will go in September … Ben Stiller may play a cowboy in Bullrider, a Paramount drama set in the Texas rodeo world. Based on an idea by producer Christine Peters and written by Peter James Cooper, Bullrider should be ready to shoot before the June 30 SAG-strike deadline.
(Rebecca Ascher-Walsh can be reached at Reel_World@ew.com)