For the fifth time in the past year, a film produced by Steven Spielberg has been delayed due to problems in preproduction. The latest Spielberg production to follow in the footsteps of "Back to the Future," "Young Sherlock Holmes," and the upcoming "The Money Pit" and "Batteries Not Included" is "Harry and the Hendersons," which reportedly deals with a family that finds and nutures a Big Foot-type creature.
The movie, being directed by William Dear, was originally on Universal's July release list, but now it's reportedly unlikely to be ready until next year; the delays are apparently due to the script, which is not yet in shape. The delay in "Harry" also means we won't see "Psycho III" for another six months; that Anthony Perkins-directed film was supposed to open on Valentine's Day, but Universal will now use it to fill the July gap caused by the delayed "Harry." The Darkened 'Forest'
John Boorman naturally wants his "The Emerald Forest" considered for Academy Award nominations -- the ballots went in the mail last week -- but he's got a problem: Nobody's screening the film for Academy members. The movie was released earlier this year by Embassy Pictures; after its release, Coca-Cola bought out Embassy Communications but not the rights to "Emerald Forest." Neither were the rights transferred when Dino De Laurentiis subsequently bought Embassy Pictures and renamed it the De Laurentiis Entertainment Group. An entity called Embassy Films Associates now owns theatrical rights to the movie but hasn't mounted any kind of Oscar campaign, so Boorman is joining forces with the videocassette distributor -- which, to make things more confusing, is called Embassy Home Entertainment. At any rate, an Academy membership card will now get you a day's free rental of the cassette at seven local video stores.
As for Boorman, who's in Ireland and reportedly quite mad about the whole thing: He best summed up the status of his film and Embassy in a letter that ran in Daily Variety. "In the six months since its release," he wrote, "stewardship of the film has passed from Embassy to 'New Embassy' to 'Classic Embassy' and now, I'm afraid, to 'Diet Embassy.' " Preparing for Oscar
Oscar hopes have also changed the video plans for "Cocoon," which was originally due to be released in that format on March 1 but is now postponed pending a possible theatrical re-release if the Academy Award climate seems to warrant it . . . In other Oscar news, Embassy Films Associates -- remember them? -- solved the problem of who to push in the large ensemble cast of "A Chorus Line" in a simple way: In a 12-page trade-paper supplement taken out by Embassy and distributor Columbia Pictures (there aren't any ownership problems with this film), they singled out five men and four women in the cast and suggested them all for Best Supporting Actor and Actress nominations. The ad also tried to describe the performers or list their big numbers, so confused Academy members could remember who's who. Reconstructing 'Frankenstein'
It's been rumored for years, and now, according to the Los Angeles Times, the lost "Frankenstein" footage has definitely been found and will be put back into the 1931 horror classic. The new scenes were considered too objectionable for audiences the first time around: They reportedly include Boris Karloff flinging the little girl into the lake, some nasty business with torches and hypodermic needles and Dr. Frankenstein's cry of "now I know how it feels to be God!" No word on exactly when or how the new "Frankenstein" will debut.