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Penny Marshall / Director

July 05, 1998|Steve Hochman

Along with Rob Reiner, Ron Howard and Danny DeVito, Penny Marshall is one movie director who gets to relive her past nightly in reruns--now more than ever as "Laverne & Shirley" joins Nick at Nite's lineup Monday. Marshall, 54, whose directing credits include "A League of Their Own" and "Big," is doing groundwork for new projects--when not sparring with Rosie O'Donnell in those Kmart commercials.

THE CLUB: "There are a lot of us [former sitcom actors] who seem to have gone into directing. I don't think they wanted us as actors anymore. Now they're paying a fortune for TV actors to go into movies. They didn't want us when we were all available."

RERUNS: "All that's being done is TV shows made into movies or blowing things up. . . . We've been talking about [a "Laverne & Shirley" movie]. Don't know if they want us in it, or a young us. All I know is they want it for cheap."

A NEW LAVERNE: "I don't know who could play her. Maybe Marisa [Tomei]? I know she can talk with a New York accent, even though [the characters] were from Milwaukee."

THE SQUEEZE: "Right now movies seem to be in a jeopardy situation where they want no more [big] budgets, but they want $20-million actors."

DIPLOMACY: "God forbid you should do a character-driven movie. 'What's that mean? Will it sell in Japan?' I understand the studio position that they make most of their money in foreign. Hire a foreign director then."

HOLLYWOOD MYOPIA: "Producers don't back their writers and studios want to bring in A-list writers to rewrite for a couple of weeks for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and you never see the person who had the original vision again. I'd rather work with that person."

THE NEXT TREND: "There's a lot of scripts where the girl wants to have a baby and hires a guy or offers money or something. There's like 12 of them I've seen."

A KEEPER: "One script I want to do is the Jimmy Braddock story, a boxer during the Depression. A Cinderella story, a reluctant hero. Written originally by Cliff Hollingsworth, who is friends with the Braddock family."

SIBLING REVELRY: "My brother [writer-director Garry Marshall] has got a good film called 'The Other Sister' right now. Juliette Lewis and Giovanni Ribisi, with Diane Keaton and Tom Skerritt as their parents. It's funny."

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