Since the uncanny parallels between Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives and his recent real-life travails are making moviegoers snicker and groan, the neurotic auteur is working overtime to avert further Freudian slips in his next film, Manhattan Murder Mystery, now shooting in New York City.
According to a source close to the production, the Murder script originally called for Allen, who plays a married book publisher, to become romantically involved with a beautiful, much younger first-time novelist. But when it came time to cast the part, Allen chose Anjelica Huston.
The source says the decision was ”definitely a reaction” to his breakup with Mia Farrow and the ensuing uproar over his relationship with her 21-year-old adopted daughter, Soon Yi Previn. Allen also retooled the script after putting Diane Keaton in the role originally written for Farrow. Keaton will play Allen’s bored wife, who, in a Rear Window scenario, suspects her neighbor (rumored to be played by Martin Landau) of killing his wife. Allen ”thinks she’s nuts,” the source says, but Keaton pursues her hunch with the help of her recently divorced friend (Alan Alda). Allen eventually joins in the sleuthing, and the chase climaxes at a Depression-era movie palace. Allen’s spokeswoman would not comment.