September 21, 1995
From Showbiz Correspondent Dennis Michael
Grace under contract: ABC-TV and Carsey Werner Productions have agreed to two more years of "Grace Under Fire." Brett Butler's show is beginning its third season on the network.
"Casper" is a blockbuster. The ghostly comedy from Universal Studios just passed the $100 million mark in the United States. Daily Variety reports the film is doing even better abroad: The international take is more than $130 million.
Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. The man behind the scores for "Aladdin" and "Beauty and the Beast" among others urged the committee to pass legislation intended to extend the term of a copyright for an additional 20 years.
Casting news ... Alan Rickman is set to play the title role in "Rasputin" for HBO. Daily Variety reports the pay channel has lined up Isabella Rosellini and Ian McKellen to co-star as Russian royalty in the historical melodrama. Shooting begins next month.
Frank Langella is reportedly close to joining the cast of "Lolita." Daily Variety's dish column reports the actor is up for the part of Quilty, which was played in the original Stanley Kubrick version by Peter Sellers.
Penelope Anne Miller is going back to the screen after her stint on Broadway in "On the Waterfront." The actress is set to co star in "The Relic," a thriller for Paramount.
Rob Reiner is finishing post production on "The American President" and has apparently picked his next project. According to The Hollywood Reporter trade paper, the filmmaker is looking into a film about the killing of civil rights activist Medgar Evers.
The production company behind "The Nightmare Before Christmas" has a new deal ... and a name change. Formerly known as Skellington Productions after the film's title character, the company is now called "Twitching Image Inc." The company has announced a long-term exclusive relationship with Miramax Films, a division of Disney. The company is currently making a film version of the children's favorite, "James and the Giant Peach."
Courtney Cox has joined the cast of "Commandments" for Universal Pictures. The comedy stars Aidan Quinn as a character who feels cheated by God and sets out to break each of the Ten Commandments. According to Daily Variety, shooting begins next month in New York.
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