Two projects are in the works for 1992 movies about Columbus

November 15, 1990|By Los Angeles Times

HOLLYWOOD -- Is there room on the Atlantic Ocean -- and on the big screen -- for two Christopher Columbuses?

There was room last week in the trade papers for splashy multi-page ads touting two such projects, both to be released in 1992 to capitalize on the 500th anniversary of the Italian explorer's voyage to North America in the service of Spain.

Producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind are working with a script by Mario Puzo, "Christopher Columbus: The Movie," with plans to begin shooting in April. They claim to have "exclusive" access to Spain's full-size re-creations of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, now under construction. The father-and-son team responsible for the "Superman" movies will also "use members of the Spanish navy as extras," a spokesman says.

To be budgeted at $45 million to $50 million, the Salkinds' film is planned as a July 4, 1992, global release, with Universal Pictures handling domestic distribution. A source reports that David Lean is being considered as director.

Undaunted, producer-director Ridley Scott plans "Christopher Columbus" from a script by French journalist Roselyne Bosch. It will "go beyond the history books" to tell "the truth about the man and what happened," says a Scott spokeswoman. The film's star and start date will be announced shortly.

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