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Stepford Stumbles...Clinton's Bad Timing...Mansion Mystery

Scott Rudin, Paul Rudnick, Frank Oz, Nicole Kidman, Bill Clinton, John Kerry and more.

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WITH SPENCER MORGAN

May 3, 2003

Stepford Stumbles: Bad Shot
Just weeks after the remake of The Stepford Wives, was test-screened, its cast and crew are headed for reshoots—or “additional scenes,” as the studio, Paramount, likes to call them. The latest turmoil for the film—which is due out in June and is a collaboration between producer Scott Rudin, writer Paul Rudnick, and director Frank Oz (of Muppets fame)—comes after the shoot ran nearly two months behind schedule. But it shouldn’t come as a surprise. The last film the three made together was the hit comedy In & Out, which ran about 30 shooting days behind schedule (production once had to be halted for nearly an hour while Rudin screamed at the folks from Paramount on his cell phone). Among other difficulties besetting the $90 million Stepford Wives: Paramount wants Nicole Kidman to come back for three days of reshoots, even though she’s now working on the Sydney Pollack film The Interpreter. “Frank’s sense of detail can just be insane,” says one person involved in the film’s production. “He’s used to puppets.”

Political Timing: Late Bill
Bill Clinton’s long-awaited memoir may finally have a release date, and if so, it’s not good for the John Kerry campaign. A publishing source says the Random House book, most recently slated for June, will hit stores in August, after the July Democratic convention and less than three months before the election—and some Kerry supporters fear it may divert attention from their candidate. Clinton is addressing the Random House sales force this week. (He’s also agreed to speak at anti-Bush political organization MoveOn.org’s benefit on May 11 at the Apollo.) A source close to Clinton will say only that he’s finishing up the book as fast as he can—and that it could come out before the convention. Random House declined to comment.

Palm Beach Files: Mansion Mystery
The Palm Beach Police Department may soon find itself at the center of a new headline-making case. Last week, it confirmed that officers removed a dead body from the mansion of John O. Pickett III and his wife, Victoria. The official report indicates that the body was apparently that of a houseguest who committed suicide. The identity of the corpse has not yet been revealed. Pickett, whose father once owned the New York Islanders hockey team, is a former senior managing director at LaBranche & Company. The Picketts, whose neighbors include Lilly Pulitzer’s sister Flossie, didn’t return calls.


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