Hal Ashby has completed the adaptation of Tom Berger's novel "Vital Parts," another in Berger's Carl Reinhart series, which Ashby probably will direct in May with Jerome Hellman producing. Gene Hackman is tentatively set to play Reinhart, a victimized Everyman, who in this installment is down on his luck and tempted to become the first man scientifically frozen and revivified. . . . Don Ameche, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy and Jack Gilford will, Brian Dennehy won't and Steve Guttenberg's still undecided about returning for "Cocoon II" when it goes before the cameras in March. Daniel Petrie has been set to direct from Steve MacPherson's screenplay. . . . Sex change: Producer Dan Goldberg ("Meatballs," "Heavy Metal") was having problems casting for his directorial debut. So the male roles got a gender fix and "G-Men" became "G-Girls." Mary Gross and Rebecca De Mornay are playing the leads. . . . Winona Ryder will star in New World's "Heathers," the feature directing debut of Michael Lehman, to film in February. It's a black comedy about high school students who stage a murder to look like a suicide. . . .
After directing himself in "Under the Cherry Moon" and "Sign 'O' the Times," Prince has asked Albert Magnoli ("Purple Rain") to helm the large-scale musical that Prince is developing for a hoped-for summer shoot. . . . Kathryn Bigelow ("Near Dark") just returned from England, where she made her music-video directing debut with New Order's "Touched by the Hand of God." . . . Absent from the big screen since 1970, vet Dane Clark is playing a don whose daughter is a professional killer and son--Tom Berenger--is a priest in MGM's now-filming "Sanctuary" (formerly "Last Rites").