Published September 15, 2008
I told you a few weeks ago that Debra Winger is likely to make her Broadway debut soon in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” in the Katharine Hepburn part.
But this production has been delayed as producers hunt for an actor to play opposite Debra, in the Spencer Tracy role.
Now I’m told that an offer has gone out to none other than Richard Gere. If he accepts, it would reunite Gere and Winger for the first time since their hit movie, “An Officer and a Gentleman.”
Previously, producers had gone to Bill Pullman, but he was unavailable.
As I also reported, Amanda Bynes and Mekhi Phifer are more or less set for the parts of the young couple who seek to marry despite their racial differences. LaTonya Richardson, the great actress wife of Samuel L. Jackson, has signed on for the role of the maid.
If Phifer, who succeeded Jesse L. Martin in negotiations, isn’t available, I can only implore director Kenny Leon to get Anthony Mackie, the hot young actor who’s also the co-star of a great new film we saw in Toronto, called “The Hurt Locker.” Mackie is Juilliard trained and can do just about anything.
Gere’s one and only stint on Broadway was in “Bent,” back in the 1980s. But he never fails to surprise, even getting an Oscar nomination for his role as Billy Flynn in the musical hit movie “Chicago.”
Winger likes to joke with me about how I treat her rare appearances on screen. But wait ‘til you see her in Jonathan Demme’s phenomenal “Rachel Getting Married.” She’s so good, she should simply be doing more.
And what would a Gere/Winger pairing do for the “Dinner” box office? Let’s just say that if this happens, the producers will be doing more dancing than Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick combined when they were just playing producers!
By the way, just in case you were wondering, this is the first time “Dinner” has been on stage. The 1967 movie was directed by the late, legendary Stanley Kramer.
Did we somehow miss this? Matthew McConaughey, the Jan Michael Vincent of the 1990s, is still making movies. Last week he released “Surfer Dude,” a throwaway awful and too-bad-to-be-released 90-minute feature about surfing and smoking pot. Woody Harrelson co-stars.
The largely unknown Anchor Entertainment put “Surfer Dude” in one Austin, Texas, theater and it’s made less than $6,000. You needn’t ever see this thing, since there’s plenty for free on McC’s Web site (his name.com) including useless “Webisodes." As usual, the star is mostly shirtless. Also, he’s said to go full frontal in the film, with massive “shading.” That USA Networks series is around the corner, MM. …
Woody Allen has had a major hit in Los Angeles staging Puccini’s one-act opera “Gianni Schicchi” with the Los Angeles Opera Company. Reviews have been great, and so are ticket sales. But would Woody stay in Hollywood and accept kudos? Never.
Woody is also grooving on an $18 million take so far on “Vicki Cristina Barcelona.” He was back in New York on Friday, window-shopping for jewelry on Madison Avenue with wife Soon-Yi — in the rain, no less. …
We may never see “Hamlet 3” after the stunning disappointment of “Hamlet 2.” A funny movie, the parody was so overhyped at Sundance this year that Focus Features paid at least $11 million for it. Whoops!
As of Sunday, “Hamlet 2” has taken in a little over $4 million, and is dead at the box office. Focus, which doesn’t have a lot of money to squander, will eat the huge balance. The mini studio is now depending on the Coen Brothers’ “Burn After Reading” ($19.4 million this weekend, but split among many parents), and Sean Penn’s Harvey Milk biopic to keep it alive. Alas, poor Focus, etcetera. ...
Warner M. Group’s CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. will be interviewed live on the Web this Thursday at a Goldman Sachs conference. You can see it at 1 p.m. at www.investors.wmg.com. This should be the show of the week in the music biz. Maybe whoever’s doing the interviewing can ask Bronfman about his lack of artist development, new releases, promotion for artists and music, why he completely went back on his word and gave amazon.com the entire Warner/Atlantic catalog without digital protection for downloading, why he invested and lost $30 million on a luxury concert promoter, or how he feels about Lyor Cohen cashing out millions of dollars in stock to buy houses while Madonna and others acts have headed to the exits. …
”Saturday Night Live”: Tina Fey’s comic portrayal of VP nominee Sarah Palin was spot on this weekend, and Amy Poehler was equally hilarious as Hillary Clinton. Let’s hope Tina is back every week from now through Election Day. How about Kristen Wiig as Bristol? ...
Lovely ladies Andie MacDowell and Heather Graham taking in an early supper at the Waverly Inn on Saturday night. Did neighbors knock out the huge overhead streetlight to get rid of paparazzi? Smart move. …
Samuel L. Jackson picking up his trademark circular glasses at Alain Mikli on Madison Avenue. ...