News from April 18, 2001

I was recently privy to a conversation between a group of people, where the topic of conversation turned to whether the future Scooby Doo movie will bomb because of the failure of Josie and the Pussycats. The answer is, of course, no. Scooby Doo will not bomb because Universal gave the keys to their potential riot grrrl franchise to the people who made Can’t Hardly Wait. The fact of the matter is, Scooby Doo the movie will bomb due to a lack of Scooby Doo. I’m sorry, but if you are Warner Brothers and you are going to make a movie out of Scooby Doo, you better damn well make sure Scooby spends 105 minutes on screen Scooby Dooby Doo’ing around.

Many of my contacts at Warner Brothers died to get this audio transcript of the meeting between a high level junior executive at Warner Brothers and one of the 47 producers on the movie to me:

Studio Chief: Damn Sony and their Spiderman movie. They’re going to slay us come next summer.

Producer: I have the solution.

Studio Chief: I’m listening.

Producer: Scooby Doo.

Studio Chief: The kids still love Scooby Dor

Producer: Oh yeah. The Scooby Doo telephone was one of the hot sellers last year.

Studio Chief: What’s the movie aboutr

Producer: Well, doing a live action Scooby Doo movie is going to cost a lot of money, because we’d need to CG the damn dog. So we came up with a story where Scooby gets kidnapped and his friends need to save him. You give them just enough Scooby as to not complain, and we’ll save twenty million on the budget.

Studio Chief: Okay. What about castingr

Producer: Freddie Prinze Jr. as Freddy.

Studio Chief: Whor

Producer: Freddie Prinze Jr. The kids love him. And he’s dating Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Studio Chief: Whor

Producer: Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.

Studio Chief: Okay.

Producer: The kids love her too. And you know how the press eats up any story where two lovebirds work together on a movie. Look at Kubrick’s last movie.

Studio Chief: Whor

Producer: Anyway, then we get Matthew Lillard for Shaggy, and Linda something or other from that Geeky Freaky show which all the critics loved and no one watched. We’ll save millions more there.

Studio Chief: What’s the final budgetr

Producer: Eighty million.

Studio Chief: That’s itr When can I read the scriptr

Producer: Scriptr What’s thatr

End Transmission

In other Scooby news, the IMDb reports the film has received a 12 rating for its UK release, despite the film’s still being in production.

Speaking of Doobies… recently on Napster, I found the lost Doobie Brothers song recorded for the Blow soundtrack. The film’s producers rejected the song “Achy-Breaky Blunt” after Doobies frontman Tom Johnston submitted the song, which this reporter concedes is an strangely intoxicating mix of country lite and Snoop Dogg, who provides a rollicking scat throughout the song.

As most of us know, getting settled into a new place can be a disheartening experience. Figure out what you need to keep, box it up, and hauling it across town or across the country, then unloading it and finding out you tossed some stuff you didn’t want to and kept a lot of crap you’re now wasting time with.

As I was setting up the bookshelf, I came across some old issues of Script magazine. Each issue, they summarize some of the more noteworthy script sales around Hollywood. In this particular issue, there was a note about Imagine Entertainment paying an estimated $400,000 against $1 million-plus for an untitled porn comedy spec script. Not that strange. But then the story continues that the script was penned by Gigi Levangie and Gavin Grazer. Yes, Gavin is Brian’s brother. But did you know Ms. Levangie, who also wrote Stepmom, is also known as Mrs. Brian Grazerr

And then late last night, I’m watching the last part of Inside Edition as I wait for Access Hollywood to begin. Perky Deborah Norville introduces a story about Billy Crystal’s new HBO movie 61*. However, the focus of the story is not the movie, but how Billy hired his own daughter to play the wife of Roger Maris. Then Access Hollywood had their own story about 61*, which also spends considerable time talking about the daughter’s casting. Now, everyone involved in the production, from Billy himself to actors Richard Masur, Barry Pepper and Christopher McDonald, insisted that Ms. Crystal auditioned just like everyone else, and was the consensus choice to play the role.

So, I would like to take this time to announce that I, Edward Havens, am up for adoption. I am potty trained and I sometimes do bathe. Only big Hollywood types please. If you command major power in Tinseltown, I want to be your bratty kid. And to deflect charges of nepotism, you can always point to my stellar work as second assistant director on such shorts as Dry Martini and Click Three Times as proof to the detractors that I worked up the ladder on my own without your help. You’ll get more coverage on Entertainment Tonight when you work with me. US Weekly will do a profile of us. If we can get a deal done by Thursday evening, we might even be able to get added to Barbara Walter’s adoption special.