Some of the dust has finally settled in the case of dueling Robin Hood movies that has occupied Hollywood for the past month or so, ever since Morgan Creek Productions and Warner Bros. got the upper hand by signing Kevin Costner to play Robin in their film. Currently, here's how things stand: "Prince of Thieves," with Costner and Christian Slater, begins shooting Sept. 3 in England, with Kevin Reynolds directing. "The Adventures of Robin Hood," a 20th Century Fox project originally slated to begin shooting Oct. 22 under "Hunt for Red October" director John McTiernan, will now be shot as a three-hour television movie; McTiernan will be executive producer, but the move to TV means he'll no longer direct. Tri-Star's "Robin Hood," which was to be produced and directed by "thirtysomething" creators Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, is still in jeopardy; if a top-notch cast isn't found quickly, Tri-Star chief Mike Medavoy has indicated he'll scrap the project. And Touchdown Productions, which produces the British television series "Robin of Sherwood," still plans to make a $10 million movie starring Jason Connery this fall -- but Touchdown, which says it started the whole Robin Hood craze, isn't too happy about all the competition.
Stone, Fishing for the Rights Oliver Stone may direct a film about environmentalist Sam LaBudde, the man who clandestinely filmed tuna fishermen killing dolphins, which led to an international outcry over the practice. Reports say that Stone is close to signing a deal with LaBudde for the rights to his story; not only would the environmentalist serve as an adviser on the movie, but his Earth Island Institute would also receive a contribution from the filmmakers. Stone apparently first heard about LaBudde from his "Born on the Fourth of July" star Tom Cruise, who had been pursuing the rights to the story on his own.
Writing Their Own Ticket Another sign that writers are getting more clout in Hollywood came this week from the Agency for the Performing Arts, which released a few details of the deal it negotiated between "Twins" screenwriters Tim Harris and Herschel Weingrod and Universal Pictures. Under the terms of the two-year, four-picture deal, the two writers will begin sharing in the movie's proceeds after a certain point, regardless of whether the film has actually turned a profit; they'll be free to work for an outside company for three months after they deliver their second script to Universal; they'll be able to produce movies that they don't write; and they'll automatically receive producer or executive producer credit on every movie they write for the studio. The two writers are now at work on their first script under the pact; titled "Dummies," it's intended for Steve Martin and John Candy. When they finish that, they'll write an organized-crime comedy called "Lie, Cheat and Steal."
Short Takes Robin Williams has reportedly agreed to star in "Hook," an updated version of "Peter Pan" in which he'll play Peter's great-grandson, with Dustin Hoffman in the title role as his pirate nemesis. It's slated to start shooting in January, after Hoffman finishes "Billy Bathgate" with director Robert Benton and costar Nicole Kidman ... Tim Burton has finally agreed to direct the sequel to "Batman," but not until late next year ... Novelist Joseph Heller will write a screenplay from his novel "Good as Gold," which deals with a professor of English literature who's obsessed with Washington politics. When Heller's most famous novel, "Catch-22," was made into a movie, the script was written not by Heller but by actor Buck Henry ... Paramount has acquired the film rights to "The Saint," the literary series by Leslie Charteris that may be best known in its television incarnation. Robert Evans will produce the movie, which has a yet-to-be-determined start date ... A team of Soviet filmmakers came to Hollywood earlier this week to shoot some final scenes for the historical film "Bukharin ... Enemy of the People." The moviemakers say this is the first time a Russian film crew has ever shot in Los Angeles.