Woods wants honor in Hizzoner scriptgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Current News - Homefront Preparations : One Thread
James Woods is looking out for Rudy Giuliani.
The actor, due to play America's mayor in a cable TV movie, has demanded a rewrite of his script because it didn't make Giuliani look heroic enough, according to sources.
"Woods wanted the movie to be more red, white and blue," says an insider, adding that Woods and USA Networks execs also thought the script dwelled too much on Giuliani's tortured relationships with his father, Harold, and his ex-wife Donna Hanover.
The original script was by Stanley Weiser, whose credits include "Wall Street," Oliver Stone's jeremiad against corporate greed. Weiser is said to have drawn heavily on "RUDY!" by Village Voice senior editor Wayne Barrett. The critical bio claimed that Harold Giuliani was a loanshark enforcer who served time in state prison for a stickup.
Weiser's flashback-heavy script was "a dark, brooding story of a man trying to deal with the psychic scars inflicted by his father," says a source, adding that Woods complained he could "barely finish it."
An ally of Weiser's argues, "Stanley wrote the story the USA Network people said they wanted. But the network caved in to the whim of a right-wing actor." (Woods' rep says the actor remains a registered Democrat.)
Weiser, who declined to comment, was replaced by Lionel Chetwynd. A member of President Bush's Council on the Arts and Humanities, Chetwynd's work includes such patriotic anthems as "To Heal a Nation," "The Heroes of Desert Storm" and "So Proudly We Hail."
USA execs say politics had nothing to do with the change in scribes. "Stanley is a wonderful writer," says executive producer Jeff Wachtel, "but we had some problems with his script."
Chetwynd promises his screenplay "will show Rudy warts and all." He says Hanover, current Giuliani girlfriend Judi Nathan and Christyne Lategano (Giuliani's former communications director and reputed lover) will be characters.
"You can't deal with Rudy without them," says Chetwynd.
Still, he believes the story's fulcrum should be Giuliani's leadership after Sept. 11, "when he became, like Churchill, the embodiment of his people."
"He is a towering figure," says Chetwynd. "He combines the contradictions that are New York."
-- Anonymous, August 27, 2002