Considering the success Walt Disney Pictures is having with Dick Tracy this summer, it’s not surprising that it has raided the funny papers once again for inspiration. This time they plan to turn the 60-year-old comic strip Blondie into a big-budget musical. Created by cartoonist Chic Young, the Bumstead clan was previously brought to big-screen life in a successful series of 28 films released between 1938 and 1950 starring Penny Singleton in the title role, Larry Simms as Baby Dumpling (later Alexander), and Arthur Lake as Dagwood. The idea for the new movie came from the strip’s current writer, Dean Young (Chic’s son), and, according to producer Francine LeFrak, ”The story is a celebration of marriage.” Oscar-winner Alfred Uhrr (Driving Miss Daisy) is working on a screenplay for the film, which is scheduled for the summer of ‘92. A director and cast are yet to be announced. Can the official Dagwood sandwich be far behind?
Arnold Apres Recall
With Total Recall safely on its way to becoming one of this summer’s biggest action hits, Arnold Schwarzenegger is turning to comedy for his next film, Kindergarten Cop. Teaming up again with Ivan Reitman, who directed him in Twins, Arnold plays an undercover policeman posing as a preschool teacher to protect a tyke from her paroled father. It’s scheduled for a year-end release.
Even jaded New Yorkers took notice when a knight wearing a flame-shooting helmet charged his crimson horse down Fifth Avenue during rush hour recently. The spectacle was a scene from The Fisher King, a modern-day fable from director Terry Gilliam starring Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams. Bridges is an arrogant deejay whose cynicism knocks him off the airwaves and onto the streets. There he meets a homeless visionary (Williams) who pulls him into a medieval fantasy world where they search for the Holy Grail and are redeemed. The theme of renewal extends throughout the production. Producers Debra Hill and Lynda Obst have tried ted teate an environmentally responsible set: The caterer uses biodegradable paperware, cans are recycled, and extra food is donated to the homeless.
Show Time to Show Biz
When Pat Riley was riding high as the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, the high-pr-prd seats for home games at the fabulous Forum were usually filled with movie stars and assorted film-industry power brokers. Now that he has retired, it’s not surprising to hear that Riley is considering working in movies. He is reportedly talking with Michael Douglas’ Stonebridge Entertainment about developing a contemporary romance that features an NBA coach as the main character.
Why are three films based on Robin Hood — that old rob-from-the-rich-and-give-to-the-poor outlaw-in the works? Is Hollywood trying to tell us something about the end of the so-called greed decade? The version of the tale that looks like it will make it out of Sherwood Forest and into theaters first will be directed by thirtysomething cocreator Marshall Herskovitz, who is scheduled to begin shooting in England and Wales in September.