''It was good,'' Frank Oz says of shooting his remake of ''The Stepford Wives,'' Bryan Forbes' 1975 cult classic about upper-crust women being replaced by robots with sunny dispositions. ''It was a long shoot with some very talented people.'' In fact, filming stretched for an extra two months -- to the displeasure of stars Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick, Bette Midler, and Christopher Walken -- and featured fierce clashes between Midler and Walken and the director.
So why the holdup? Maybe it was the ''dozens and dozens and dozens of script meetings'' Oz had with screenwriter Paul Rudnick and producer Scott Rudin, or the scenes that took ''at least twice as long'' to shoot -- possibly because, as Oz says, ''I've never shot the script [as written], except 'Little Shop of Horrors.''' And then there was the studio. ''I'm sure Paramount wasn't happy. Anybody putting up the money isn't happy.'' But now it's all sweetness and light from the man whose résumé boasts comedy hits like ''In & Out,'' ''Bowfinger,'' and ''Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.'' ''I loved shooting this film. There were some days that I felt like a truck ran over me,'' says Oz. ''But after a shower, I couldn't wait to get to work.''