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RSVP / INTO THE NIGHT

'Lost in Space' Crew Lands With Splash in L.A.

March 31, 1998|MARK EHRMAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Danger, Will Robinson: Sensors indicated a large mass of life forms descending on the futuristic Hollywood Cinerama Dome! This, of course, was for Sunday night's premiere of "Lost in Space," based loosely on the hokey '60s TV series (the character names and that of the Jupiter 2 remain the same; everything else--story, character histories and special effects--has been '90s-fied). Afterward, the audience made its way to the Hollywood Palladium, two Earth blocks away.

Who Was There: The cast, including William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, Matt LeBlanc, Heather Graham and Gary Oldman; director Stephen Hopkins; screenwriter Akiva Goldsman; and the expected lineup of New Line brass. The original Robinson sisters--Angela Cartwright and Marta Kristen (Penny and Judy, respectively), who have cameos in the movie--showed up, along with a smattering of celebs, such as Marla Maples and Paul Sorvino.

The Theme: No surprises here. The Palladium was decked out in sci-fi spaceship style with neon tubing on the tables and splashy graphics on the walls.

The Buzz: The open-ended finale left room for plenty of speculation as to the plots of "Lost in Space 2, 3, 4 . . ."--"as far as the box office will take it," one guest quipped.

The Bottom Line: New Line CEO Bob Shaye seemed to be viewing the public from Hollywood hyperspace when, in his pre-screening speech, he called this "a film that's designed not just for the whole family as a unit, but a film for kids and a film for couples and a film for 12- to 35-year-old filmgoers as discrete audience and market segments . . . ." Then, in a moment that would have made Freud proud, he accidentally called it "Lost in Face."

You've Come a Long Way, Baby: The most oft-remarked-upon difference between the TV show and the movie had to do with what is considered a woman's place. "I think they made the female characters a little stronger and more intelligent, so I can give them a harder time instead of being the really stupid gal," said Graham, who plays a very sassy Judy Robinson in the movie. The original Judy concurred: "Back then, we did the laundry and the hydroponic garden," Kristen said. "We would have much preferred to say, 'To hell with the laundry! Let's see if we can solve this mystery.' "

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