EW Staff
November 22, 1991 AT 05:00 AM EST

MOVIES: Paramount is pursuing Tom Cruise to star in The Firm, the big-budget movie based on John Grisham’s best-selling novel about a Harvard law grad who gets enmeshed in a diabolical law firm. Cruise has the inside track on the hottest thriller because he’s the biggest under-30 box office champ around.

Former beauty queen Halle Berry will land Eddie Murphy in the new romantic comedy Boomerang, which just started shooting in New York. ”Eddie thinks he wants this driven businesswoman, who is Robin Givens’ character, but then he meets Angela — that’s me,” says an ecstatic Berry, who read for the Givens part but nabbed the bigger role of Angela, a shy artist. The red-hot Berry (Strictly Business) also plays an exotic dancer in the Bruce Willis-Damon Wayans action film The Last Boy Scout, opening next month.

There’s a thorn in the rosy romance between Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger. While Baldwin was in Chicago filming Prelude to a Kiss, Basinger was stuck in San Francisco shooting Final Analysis. Perhaps to while away the hours the two were apart, she sent him a rose for every single day he was on location, two months’ worth. Pink, red, and oversize, each long-stem from Alice’s Garden was accompanied by a one-word blurb that, by the time the film wrapped, spelled out a message, contents unknown.

BOOKS: The Clarence Thomas hearings may no longer be on the airwaves, but they will continue in print. Due out in early ’92 from Pantheon is Raceing Justice, En-gendering Power — Anita Hill’s Testimony, Clarence Thomas’ Hearings and the Construction of Social Meaning. Novelist Toni Morrison (Beloved) is editing and writing an introduction to the book, which Pantheon executive editor Erroll McDonald calls ”a series of 15 essays from academicians, men and women, black and white, from major universities in America.”

MUSIC: Talk about stone cold sober. On Two Rooms, the recently released tribute album to Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Tina Turner sings a version of John and Taupin’s 1974 hit, ”The Bitch Is Back,” with a just-say-no alteration. Instead of the line, ”I get high in the evening sniffing pots of glue,” Turner sings, ”I get high just from thinking ’bout the things I do.” Kinder and gentler, eh, Tina?
Stephen Schaefer, Kenneth M. Chanko, Cindy Pearlman, Kate Meyers, Mark Harris

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