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To commemorate the longest day of the year, here’s a recap of some recent Fox411 items you may have missed:
For years Francis Ford Coppola has owned the rights to Jack Kerouac’s beat classic, On the Road. Now—after much wrangling to get everything right—the most important novel of a generation is about to be translated into film.
This is of the same magnitude as if The Catcher in the Rye or A Confederacy of Dunces finally made the journey to celluloid.
Coppola confirmed for me yesterday that Joel Schumacher has been set as director, and that novelist Russell Banks’s screenplay looks good. What Coppola could not confirm, but seems to be the buzz, is the casting. According to sources knowledgeable about the Kerouac estate’s doings, two actors have settled into the primary roles. If all goes to plan, look for Billy Crudup as Kerouac and Brad Pitt as Dean Moriarity, the character based on Neal Cassady.
Maybe it’s too good to be true. It sounds it. But when I asked Coppola about the casting all he could say was, “I don’t know who Joel has in mind yet.”
Schumacher is an interesting and inspired choice for On the Road, especially after making Tigerland. He excels at male friendships, and is equally good at moving large ensembles of young people around. While Tigerland showed his talents lay in things other than John Grisham novels, On the Road could at last be the film that lands him award status and critical acclaim.
Kerouac is suddenly quite a bit in the news lately. In late June, acclaimed writer Joyce Johnson will workshop a play based on her book of letters with Kerouac called Door Wide Open. Tony Torn, son of Rip Torn and the late Geraldine Page, will direct. John Ventimiglia, of The Sopranos, will play Kerouac. Actress Amy Wright, Rip’s wife, will do the honors as the grown-up Wright reminiscing about the writer. I’m told the script is like butter, and that investors should be lining up to write checks.
Fashion designer Rebecca Weinberg –who dresses the girls on Sex and the City — says she’s gone back to her own name after being listed in the show’s credits as Rebecca Field for the first two seasons. For a while she was better known designer Patricia Field’s romantic partner. “Patricia and I are still partners in the business but we did break up romantically. A lot of people who work here use the name Field. It’s like the ‘House of Field.’ Some deejays use it too. But I never legally changed it, and now I’m using Weinberg again.”
Weinberg has her own interesting history before joining the House of Field. She was instrumental in introducing Rob Lowe to the underage women he partied with in his infamous 1988 sex tape at the Democratic National Convention. She denies selling the tape to the tabloids, however. She told me: “There were four people involved in that, I believe.” Weinberg recalled that one of the girls, the minor, left the tape in her room. When her mother found it, that’s when Lowe got into national hot water.
So what’s the Sex and the City author doing these days? Candace Bushnell — who wrote the original columns that launched the popular HBO series — tells us she will be hosting Bravo’s 85-episode run of thirtysomething starting in July.
“I introduce each episode, as if it’s Masterpiece Theatre. I do little intros from a couch and make comments during the commercial breaks.”
What’s more, Bushnell has been inserted by computer magic into episodes, sort of like Where’s Waldo? “I say things like, ‘Ease up, Hope’ and comment on things going on in scenes.”
When she’s not being our generation’s answer to Alistair Cooke, Bushnell is busy at work on a new novel. “You know, I got a big deal at Hyperion,” she told me.