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Dustin's Waves Don't Upset Cruise

May 03, 1987|Leonard Klady

Lotsa publicity blurbing about the Dustin Hoffman-Tom Cruise starrer "Rainman," from United Artists, via Guber-Peters, tentatively to begin shooting Aug. 17 (or, as a contingency plan, six to eight weeks after a resolution to the possible Directors Guild strike). But we've picked up additional tidbits.

Like unhappiness from Hoffman, who's supposedly wanted a new writer and a new direction for the plot, particularly as it involves his and Cruise's characters.

Hoffman's requirements, however, won't affect the star teaming--at least says Bert Fields, Hoffman's lawyer. He told us "unequivocally" that "Cruise and Hoffman have been working diligently on the project as recently as this week and both are (still) enthusiastic about working together."

The original script by Barry Morrow concerns an idiot savant (Hoffman) named Raymond (a.k.a. Rainman) whose father leaves him a legacy. Raymond's brother (Cruise), a lifelong loser, views the money as his last chance to make it and schemes to get it.

The casting of Cruise necessitated rewrites, since Morrow's principal characters were only a few years apart in age. (In real life, Hoffman's 49, Cruise 25.) So a May start was scratched. Producer Roger Birnbaum then hired writer Ron Bass ("Black Widow," "Gardens of Stone") to work with director Martin Brest on a new outline and script. But other Bass commitments permitted him only six weeks, so Richard Price ("Color of Money") polished the pages as Bass finished typing them.

Bass told us that Brest was elated with the new script. But Hoffman wasn't. He asked for a new writer.

Now Morrow's been asked back and awaits a new contract. He told us, rather diplomatically, that his words were never written in stone and that "casting always demands a certain amount of rewriting."

Creative Artists, meanwhile, hopes it all holds together. It reps Hoffman, Cruise and Brest. That's means $$$.

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