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FILM CLIPS

A look inside Hollywood and the movies. : HOLLYWOOD UNDERCOVER : As You Ponder the Movies in Sneaks '92, Consider 'The Best' Still on Paper

January 19, 1992|ANDY MARX

* Pin Cushion--John Raffo's futuristic action-adventure script became famous during the 1988 Writers Guild strike. Raffo, who at the time was not a member of the guild, received $500,000 from Columbia, which like every other studio in town was hungry for material. Considered unusual because its protagonist is a very tough woman, "Pin Cushion" tells the story of a female courier who, in a plague-ridden future, has to take a cure across state lines. Originally discussed as a starring vehicle for Cher, who ultimately dropped out of the project, the script has since been rewritten by Jeb Stuart ("Die Hard").

* Prognosis Negative--Written by "Seinfeld" executive producer Larry David eight years ago, this black comedy is about a man who has trouble making a commitment, until he learns that his ex-girlfriend has a terminal disease and realizes that he can be with someone without having to worry about ending the relationship. All is fine, until it turns out she's going to live. Originally optioned by producers Jack Barry and Dan Enright, the script made its way to other studios before ending up at Hemdale, where it still languishes. Although most studio executives agree the script is hilarious, they also agree that it might be too dark for most audiences.

* Salerno and Finnegan--Written by Joel Oliansky ("The Competition"), it's the true story of Pete Finnegan and Frank Salerno, the two Los Angeles police detectives who cracked the infamous Hillside Strangler case. Currently being developed by producer Steve Roth ("Mobsters"), who has a deal at Columbia, the script has been around for five years. Considered a great vehicle for actors, the subject matter of the Hillside Strangler apparently scares some executives off, even though the script concentrates more on the relationship between the two detectives. Most agree, though, that it will eventually get made.

* A 29 Cent Romance--Originally titled "A 22 Cent Romance"--the title keeps changing as the price of a stamp goes up--this romantic comedy was written by Randi Mayem Singer, who won first place at the UCLA Diane Thomas screenwriting competition. Immediately, most studios in town bid for it and it was eventually sold to Orion for $400,000 and attached to Dennis Quaid, to star as an ex-con who gets romantically involved with a meek librarian in what starts as a pen-pal relationship. Since then, Quaid's career has cooled considerably, which most attribute to why the script still sits gathering dust. Also, blame Orion's current financial troubles for the film not getting made.

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