Kennedy assassination is subject of six projects


HOLLYWOOD -- Although Oliver Stone's soon-to-shoot drama on the John F. Kennedy assassination, based on Jim Garrison's conspiracy theories, is grabbing all the attention, five other projects on the same subject are on the way -- 28 years after the event.

Stone's yet-untitled film begins shooting in April on locations in Dallas and New Orleans. Scripted by Stone, it is based on the books of former New Orleans district attorney Garrison. Now a Louisiana circuit judge, Garrison has long maintained that Kennedy was the victim of a CIA conspiracy, with Lee Harvey Oswald set up to take the fall.

Other J.F.K. projects:

* Orion Pictures' "Love Field," an interracial romance set against the backdrop of the assassination, named for Dallas' air field. Michelle Pfeiffer and Dennis Haysbert star in the March release.

* Propaganda Films' tentatively titled "Love Field," about a government-mob conspiracy, told from the point of view of Jack Ruby, who killed Oswald after his arrest. To film later this year, it's scripted by Stephen Davis, based on his play. A title change is expected.

* "Libra," from the novel by Don DeLillo, who theorized that anti-Castro activists were behind Kennedy's death. A&M; Films has long had an option on the book, but sources say that it was temporarily shelved, partly because of Stone's project.

There are also two British-made J.F.K. documentaries that could find their way to U.S. television:

Nigel Turner's five-hour "The Men Who Killed Kennedy" -- it aired to high ratings in Great Britain in 1988 -- is still being shopped here. It refutes Warren Commission findings, suggesting a U.S. intelligence-military conspiracy.

The one-hour "The Day the Dream Died" (1988), from Exposed Films of the U.K., also questions the commission report. It's been acquired by the Action Media Group for syndication marketing.


HOLLYWOOD -- Jerry Lewis' serious turns in features are rare -- notably Martin Scorsese's "The King of Comedy" (1983) -- but he'll be taking on a "very dramatic" role when "The Arrowtooth Waltz" begins shooting in early March, producer Paul Gurian says.

Lewis will operate "the last great car dealership" in the film, which Gurian calls " 'The Last Picture Show' with a surrealistic approach set in present-day small-town America at the end of the world. It deals with lots of issues of the American psyche."

Serious discussions are under way for Nicolas Cage to join the cast, which also includes Lili Taylor and model Paulina Porizkova.

Lewis, meanwhile, hasn't abandoned comedy: He's co-writing a sequel to "The Nutty Professor" (1963).

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