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Overbooked

February 07, 1988|Craig Modderno \f7

There's a vacancy at the "Heartbreak Hotel"--but not for long.

Two films in pre-production are vying to use the name of Elvis' 1956 chart topper--and the song itself. Producer Steve Tisch ("Risky Business") is planning to shoot his "HH" in April in Mississippi. Negotiations for rights are under way with RCA, which owns the record, and Tree Publishing, which owns the title.

Said Tisch: "It would compromise the credibility of the film to change the title to another song." Especially since the film is based on Anne Rivers Siddons' critically admired 1976 novel--titled "Heartbreak Hotel." The story's about a trio of college seniors (Ally Sheedy, Virginia Madsen, Phoebe Cates), ca. 1957, whose lives are changed by the civil rights movement--as well as the emergence of Elvis on the music scene. Martin Davidson ("Lords of Flatbush") directs.

The other "HH" will film next month in Austin, Tex., reuniting the "Adventures in Babysitting" trio of director Chris Columbus and producers Lynda Obst and Debra Hill. A source tells us it's a comedy about a family that kidnaps Elvis in the hopes that he'll cheer up their mom.

Obst acknowledged that she's shopping for an alternate title: "Whenever you have anything dealing with Elvis you can expect a lot of negotiation."

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