Frederick I. Ordway, a special consultant to the Alabama Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, will trace the history of SPACE FICTION IN FILM during a six-week subscription series scheduled to begin July 27 at Carmichael Auditorium. Organized chronologically, the survey opens with a bill of Georges Melies' "A Trip to the Moon" and Fritz Lang's "Girl in the Moon," incorporates "Just Imagine" and "Things to Come" from the '30s, selections from the Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon serials, and complete editions of "When Worlds Collide"; "Destination Moon"; "From the Earth to the Moon" and "2001: A Space Odyssey." Series tickets are priced at $18 for Smithsonian members, $23 for nonmembers.
Add "I THE JURY," a remake of the Mickey Spillane potboiler with Armand Assante in the role of private eye Mike Hammer, to the list of late summer releases. Recently picked up by Paramount, it's supposed to open either August 6 or 13. Paramount also insists that the admirable title of Jerry Belson's horror farce, "JEKYLL AND HYDE . . . TOGETHER AGAIN," remains unchanged, leaving only the release date undetermined. One trusts that there will also be no tampering with the two wittiest titles currently in production: "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life" under Universal auspices and "Airplane II: The Sequel," a Paramount remake. Ken Finkleman, the screenwriter on "Grease 2," makes his directing debut on the latter, which has been assembling a potentially rollicking cast. Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty return as the romantic leads, now crew members on the world's first commercial shuttle to the moon. Lloyd Bridges and Peter Graves will also recreate their original supporting roles, augmented by Rip Torn, Raymond Burr, Chuck Connors, Chad Everett (as the heavy) and the inspired one-two punch of Aldo Ray and William Shatner, cast as a Marine sergeant and the lunar base commander, respectively. No word on Robert Stack, Leslie Nielsen and Stephen Stucker, whose contributions to the original "Airplane!" were indispensable.
There are two confirmed title changes among future releases. Robert Benton's murder thriller "Stab," co-starring Meryl Streep and Roy Scheider, has become "Still of the Night." A new Fred Zinnemann production known as "Maiden, Maiden" during shooting will appear this fall as "Five Days in Summer." If you're looking ahead to the fall, here are some other key titles to expect: "Never Cry Wolf"; "Tex"; "The Escape Artist"; "My Favorite Year"; "Yes, Giorgio"; "The Plague Dogs"; "Endangered Species"; "Hammett"; "The Outsiders"; "First Blood"; "Captured"; "National Lampoon's Class Reunion"; "Hysterical"; "Second Thoughts"; "Creepshow"; "Independence Day" and possibly "Tootsie" and "Dark Crystal." The Benton movie, his first since "Kramer vs. Kramer," is scheduled for a Thanksgiving release in New York and Los Angeles, with Christmas openings to follow in the other major markets. Washington will have a prestigious world premiere in December, when "GANDHI," a biographical epic directed by Richard Attenborough, debuts at the Uptown.
While "Revenge of the Jedi" remains the safest prediction as blockbuster of summer, 1983, that season may also be remembered for competing James Bond adventures. "Octopussy," a new installment with Roger Moore as Bond, is likely to be upstaged by a currently untitled rival in which Sean Connery will evidently return as Bond. Irvin Kershner is supposed to direct the Connery project, his first outing since "The Empire Strikes Back." It may use parts of Ian Fleming's "Thunderball" that were scrapped when the movie adaption was made. Waste not, want not.