Oliver Stone is involved in not one but two projects dealing with enigmatic '60s rocker Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors.
The film maker says that in addition to directing the previously announced Morrison bio, "Riders on the Storm," for Imagine Entertainment, he will produce a screen adaptation of Danny Sugerman's book "Wonderland Avenue: Tales of Glamour and Excess." The latter chronicles Sugerman's days hanging out as a teen with the Doors. Johnny Depp's already set to play Sugerman."I think of these projects as companion pieces," Stone said. "On the broadest possible level, Jim Morrison's story represents themes of seeking a new consciousness and new levels of freedom. `Wonderland Avenue' is about a young man who grows up and searches for himself. In that sense, it's a kind of `400 Blows,' with Morrison as a supporting character."
Stone is writing "Riders," while Sugerman - manager of the surviving Doors - adapts "Wonderland."
The Morrison roles are yet to be cast. - PAT H. BROESKE
-Suitable for Framing:
HOLLYWOOD - Here's a poster for a Roger Rabbit movie that you won't be seeing.
The reason: "Herman's Shermans," starring Roger and Baby Herman, never really got made. It's a fictional credit for the comedy duo.
Confused? Follow: In "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," about a half-dozen posters for cartoons "starring" Roger and other Toons are displayed on the wall of studio boss Mr. Maroon's office. None of these animated flicks were ever made, of course - the posters were intended only as set dressings.
But they caught the eye of poster licensee Jeff Kilian of Wichita, Kan. He has since licensed the rights, and he will make the posters available by direct mail and in shops across the country. Along with "Herman's Shermans," which has Roger disguised as Der Fuehrer, there's "The Little Injun That Could," "Baby Buggy Blunder," "The Wet Nurse," "Babes in Arms" and a non-Roger vehicle, "Pistol-Packin' Possum."
One poster could wind up as a real cartoon - producers of the continuing Roger Rabbit cartoon shorts are reportedly considering making "Injun."
On the rabbit trail: Gary Wolf - author of the 1982 novel on which "Roger Rabbit" is based - is writing a sequel: "Who P-p-p-p-plugged Roger Rabbit." The book's about to be offered through auction to publishers, but Disney's already optioned film rights (for a possible 1994 release).
This time, Roger and Jessica Rabbit have become movie stars (rather than cartoon stars), up for parts in a big picture. Then there is a murder - and detective Eddie (Bob Hoskins in the original picture) is a suspect.
Meanwhile, a "prequel," "The Return of Roger Rabbit," is already in development at Disney as a 1991 production. - PAT H. BROESKE
-Jim and Tammy Show:
HOLLYWOOD - Despite the recent conviction of televangelist Jim Bakker on 24 counts of fraud and other charges, the networks apparently are not rushing to bring the sordid scandal to the small screen.
"God and Greed: The Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker Story," which Finnegan-Pinchuk Production had in development at CBS for about a year - without the Bakkers' blessings - is currently without a home. The network "informed us they were not going forward with the movie prior to the convictions," executive producer Sheldon Pinchuk said.
Meanwhile, "Fall From Grace," which NBC put into development after optioning dramatic rights from the couple in 1987, is without a production date.
The name of country music star Keith Whitley, who died of alcohol abuse in May at 33, could also join the development list. Whitley's former manager, Jack McFadden, says that he and the late singer's family are in discussions with two production companies interested in such a project.
"It's a story that could be a help to a lot of people, but only if it's told honestly," McFadden said. "The family wouldn't have it any other way."
Whitley won a posthumous best-single award from the Country Music Association last Monday for his hit, "I'm No Stranger to the Rain." - STACY JENEL SMITH
-THE MOVIE CHART:
Films going into production:
AWAKENINGS (Columbia). Shooting in New York. Penny Marshall directs Robert De Niro and Robin Williams in this doctor-patient relationship study. It is based on Dr. Oliver Sack's 1987 novel about a 1920s sleeping-sickness epidemic involving 5 million victims and the medical breakthrough that enabled dozens of them to be awakened three decades later. Executive producers Arnie Schmidt and Elliot Abbott. Producers Walter Parkes and Lawrence Lasker. Screenwriter Steve Zaillian. Christmas 1990 release.
BETSY'S WEDDING (Touchstone). Shooting in New York and North Carolina. Alan Alda stars-directs-writes this ensemble piece also featuring Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Joe Pesci, Madeline Kahn and Burt Young. Alda is a man whose youngest daughter's wedding is about to be seriously jeopardized by his miscalculations regarding the scope of it all. Producers Martin Bregman and Louis Stroller. Distributor Buena Vista.
ENRAPTURE (Platinum). Shooting in Canada. Erstwhile erotica film maker Chuck Vincent produces-directs this story of a struggling actor who embarks on a deadly liaison with a classy femme fatale he meets while driving a limo to support himself between gigs. Screenwriters Vincent and Ken Schwartz.
FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER (Paramount). Shooting in Los Angeles. John Milius directs Willem Da Foe, Danny Glover and Brad Johnson in this adaptation of Stephen Counts' novel centering on an unauthorized bombing mission against a North Vietnam missile base, circa 1972. Producer Mace Neufeld.
MOB BOSS (American Independent Productions). Shooting in Los Angeles. Eddie Deezen, Morgan Fairchild and William Hickey star in this wacky organized crime spoof. In T.L. Lankford's script, Deezen portrays a clod who takes over his father's crime family when the old man is hospitalized for a spell. Producer-director Fred Olen Ray. Also stars Jack O'Halloran, Don Stroud and Mike Mazurki. Distributor Vidmark. Spring release.
PROBLEM CHILD (Problem Child). Shooting in Texas. John Ritter, Jack Warden and Amy Yasbeck star in this sort of comedic "The Bad Seed." Ritter and Yasbeck portray a married couple who adopt a 7-year-old who's possibly the worst kid in the world.