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MORNING REPORT

June 15, 1995|CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

MOVIES 'Gump' II: Paramount Pictures announced Wednesday that it has closed a deal with "Forrest Gump" author Winston Groom for the worldwide movie rights to his new novel, "Gump & Co.," which will be published in August. "Gump & Co.," which spans the years from 1980 to the present, continues the title character's story and his relationship with his son, Little Forrest, as Forrest continues to meet noted figures and create national and international incidents, Groom said. Groom and Paramount are at odds over profits the author believes are due him from the blockbuster hit "Forrest Gump," but Groom's literary agent, Theron Raines, said Wednesday: "The first deal was not discussed in making the second deal. We made a deal and we're very happy. Everybody feels like they have won something here." Raines called the agreement a "seven-figure deal," but declined to discuss details. Paramount has not made any deal with star Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis for a sequel.

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Oscar No. 3?: If they can put a man on the moon, can Tom Hanks win his third straight Oscar for playing astronaut Jim Lovell in "Apollo 13"? "That won't happen," the actor said. "The world is safe." Besides, he's quick to say, the Ron Howard-directed film is an ensemble work. Hanks stars with Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris and Kevin Bacon. "I'm not in a third of the movie because it's Mission Control and we're up in space," Hanks said in a recent interview. "Apollo 13" tells the story of the ill-fated 1970 moon shot. It opens nationwide June 30.

DANCE

Ballet Shuffle: After one stormy season as artistic director of the Royal Danish Ballet, former star dancer Peter Schaufuss has resigned, effective June 30. His assistant artistic director, Johnny Eliasen, will run the company until a new director is selected. Schaufuss is quoted as saying he couldn't continue to work "under the pressure of all the discontent and accusations and under the administrative burden" and that he "wants to be creative." He will still stage Frederick Ashton's "Romeo and Juliet" for the company this year and create a full-evening "Hamlet" ballet for the RDB in 1996. The Royal Danish Ballet danced Schaufuss' controversial version of "La Sylphide" at the Orange County Performing Arts Center last month to generally disastrous reviews.

POP/ROCK

'Scream' Fails to Win B.I.G.: Despite all the attention over Michael Jackson's new single, "Scream," the record was outsold last week by a new track from a largely unknown New York rapper, Notorious B.I.G. The rapper's recording of "One More Time" finishes No. 1 in the latest SoundScan national sales survey. "Scream" finished No. 3. On the album front, three records entered the national Top 10: Pink Floyd's "Pulse" at No. 1, Soul Asylum's "Let Your Dim Light Shine" at No. 6 and Primus' "Tales From the Punch Bowl" at No. 8.

LEGAL FILE

Jackson Guards Seek Damage: Four of Michael Jackson's ex-guards were in a Los Angeles court Monday, claiming they were fired because they knew about his alleged trysts. The guards must prove they didn't waive their rights to sue before they can argue that they were fired as part of a cover-up. "These men were fired because they were percipient witnesses to Michael Jackson coming and going in the middle of the night along with young boys over a period of years," said their lawyer, Charles Mathews. Jackson's lawyers deny any cover-up, and deny Jackson seduced boys. The guards are seeking unspecified damages in the non-jury trial. They now claim the release is invalid because they signed it under duress. Jackson's lawyers call the wrongful-termination suit an extortion attempt. Jackson, meanwhile, will be appearing at the "VH1 Honors" awards show June 22 to accept an honoree award.

TELEVISION

'Friends' for the Summer: While their show soars to the top of the Nielsens, the stars of NBC's "Friends" are watching their careers take off with it. David Schwimmer is working on Miramax's "The Pallbearer," the story of a mother, played by Barbara Hershey, who tries to contact her late son's best friend. Matt LeBlanc, meanwhile, is filming "Ed," the story of a baseball-playing monkey, and Jennifer Aniston just finished an independent film with Ione Skye called "Dream for an Insomniac." Aniston is also planning on hosting the second "VH1 Honors" awards show along with fellow "Friends" star Lisa Kudrow on June 22.

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Dave's New Office: David Letterman has moved the location of his show's so-called home office that supplies the Top 10 lists from Sioux City, Iowa, to Grand Rapids, Mich., after a caller on "Larry King Live" urged him to do so last week. "Frankly, we're getting a better tax break in Michigan," Letterman joked.

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