Director Stanley Kramer was set to make a film based on the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant when David Puttnam, who gave the film a green light at Columbia Pictures, quit his job at that company.
And while that puts the fate of "Chernobyl" in limbo -- though most onlookers think the film will be dropped by new Columbia President Dawn Steel -- it hasn't stopped Kramer from making plans for another topical drama set in Eastern Europe. The director will shoot a biography of Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, who gave the project his personal okay. Screenwriter Daniel Taradash is currently scripting the film, which may begin shooting as early as next summer. Kramer has secured private financing for the movie, which means that this time he doesn't have to worry about any executive changes in Hollywood.
Casting About "Body Heat" was the movie that introduced Kathleen Turner to moviegoing audiences, helped make William Hurt a full-fledged leading man and turned screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan into a respected director. And now those three will have a reunion of sorts. Kasdan is readying a film version of Anne Tyler's acclaimed novel "The Accidental Tourist" -- and in addition to Hurt, previously announced as the movie's male lead, the director has signed Turner to play the prime female role ... The commitments of promoting a new album caused Sting to drop out of his role as Pontius Pilate in Martin Scorsese's long-delayed production of "The Last Temptation of Christ" -- so Scorsese rounded up another stylish rock singer to take the part: David Bowie.
For Halloweens to Come A Halloween-week wrap-up of some of the horror movies in the works or in the planning stages: "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Poltergeist" director Tobe Hooper will go to work early next year on a thriller titled "Intruder"; producer Irwin Yablans has acquired the rights to the novel "Entangled," about a young woman's dream-turned-nightmare; director John Hough, who made "Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry," will be behind the cameras for "Howling IV: The Original Nightmare," which begins shooting in Los Angeles next week ("Howling III: The Marsupials" is due out soon); in Los Angeles last week, there was a coming-out party for a recently completed horror film called "Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers." And finally, executive producer Charles Band and producer Hope Perello are making their airline tickets count: On Monday they'll be in Rome shooting a horror movie called "Catacombs." Three weeks later, they'll start work on another horror movie, this one titled "Subterraneans." And at the end of the month, Band will turn director to shoot "Dungeonmaster II," part of the horror anthology "Pulsepounders." All of which makes us wonder if Subterraneans, whatever they are, live in catacombs, and if those catacombs also contain a dungeon.
Film Clips Linda Lavin, who's been highly visible on television and stage, will try her hand at motion pictures in the film version of Neil Simon's "Broadway Bound," the play for which Lavin won a Tony Award ... Dawn Steel is the new president of Columbia Pictures; "Steel Dawn" is an action-adventure movie starring Patrick Swayze and recently acquired by Weintraub Screen Entertainment. Is it too much to ask that Dawn Steel make a deal to distribute "Steel Dawn"? Undoubtedly, it is.