EW Staff
April 05, 1991 AT 05:00 AM EST

MOVIES: As they race to be ready for next year’s 500th anniversary of the discovery of America, two rival movies about Christopher Columbus have sailed into troubled waters. Director Ridley Scott (Black Rain), whose Christopher Columbus starts filming in Spain this August with Gérard Depardieu (Green Card) in the title role, is being sued by producers Ilya and Alexander Salkind for allegedly pirating their idea. The Salkinds’ version, much of which is still under wraps, also bears the name of the Italian explorer and was scripted by Godfather trilogist Mario Puzo. The producers are looking at Gabriel Byrne (Miller’s Crossing) for the lead She who slaps last slaps best: Notorious cop-bopper Zsa Zsa Gabor may be seeking her celluloid revenge. She is considering playing policewoman Harla Zsaru, the lead in Queen of Justice, a low-budget action comedy. Filming begins later this month, and producer- director James Dodson claims, ”She’s chomping at the bit to play a cop — she thinks it’s a gas.” Going way against type, Tom Cruise will play a working- class bloke in turn-of-the-century Ireland — with wife Nicole Kidman as the daughter of a wealthy landowner — in Ron Howard‘s romantic immigrant saga, Sure As the Moon, which starts shooting in Montana this June before going on location in Ireland. ”I think,” says Howard, ”Cruise is going to be appealing in a pretty untraditional way.”
BOOKS: The numbers are in: According to Publishers Weekly, the top-selling novel of 1990 was Jean M. Auel‘s The Plains of Passage (1,686,589 copies), while Charles Kuralt‘s A Life on the Road took the nonfiction honors (602,371 copies). — Melina Gerosa, James Greenberg, Tina Jordan

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