"We've got a picture we love, and there were no differences of opinion."
That's what Craig Baumgarten, Lorimar Telepics' prez of motion pictures, told us when we asked about reports that the studio and director Alan Rudolph had scuffled over the ending to "Made in Heaven," due later this year.
Baumgarten further insisted: "We've locked the picture, and it ends the way Alan wants it to end. If you don't believe me, call him."
We did call Rudolph. He assured us that all is now well with Lorimar, but it wasn't always so. At one point in his battle with Lorimar, he said, "I was ready to pull the trigger on anyone who got between the movie and me." Then he gave us the blow-by-blow account:
Problems began last Christmas when the new regime at Lorimar tested "Heaven," which has Timothy Hutton and Kelly McGillis in a super-romantic tale that takes place in Heaven and on Earth and spans 40 years. "The ending was ethereal--I mean, it's a film about Heaven and love and those aren't tangible issues," said Rudolph.
But based on test screenings, explained the film maker, Lorimar felt the movie needed a new ending, one that "might explain everything." Rudolph disagreed. "This is not the kind of movie you can judge by handing out (marketing test) cards," he told Outtakes.
So Rudolph refused to redo the ending. "Kelly was in Jerusalem (making a film), Tim was about to have a baby (with wife Debra Winger). Besides, it seems everyone in Hollywood is shooting new endings to their pictures. I didn't want to be one of those.
"For a while, it looked like I was going to be stuck in some kind of quicksand. I admit I was getting (mad)."
But then, he said, he started reediting--and, voila, in the process "discovered" a new ending that satisfied everyone. "In some ways, the structure of the new ending is better--it delivers quicker. And it's still ethereal."