Kathleen Turner a 'Serial Mom' in Waters' latest film

February 02, 1993|By Stephen Hunter | Stephen Hunter,Film Critic

Kathleen Turner will star in John Waters' new film "Serial Mom," which will begin shooting here April 12.

Waters, with a mordant giggle, describes the film as "A true-crime parody about a sweet, lovable, serial killer who could be your own mother." Turner has the title role and her daughter will be played by Waters' regular Rikki Lake, though other cast members have not yet been set.

Turner, a powerhouse blond who leapt to instant fame with "Body Heat," has forged a mainstream career with such films as "The War of the Roses" and "Romancing the Stone." She studied theater at the University of Maryland Baltimore County in the early '70s.

Waters said the movie will be set "entirely in suburbia" and will shoot in Baltimore for nine to 10 weeks.

The R-rated "Serial Mom," will be produced by Savoy Pictures Entertainment, a new production and distribution entity set up by executives previously with Columbia. Savoy, bankrolled by $165 million in capital from the Japanese giant Mitsui and the investment banking firm of Allen & Co., currently has two other projects in preparation, one with Richard Attenborough and the other with Robert De Niro in his directing debut.

"Serial Mom" was originally written and developed for Columbia Pictures.

"They loved the script, they accepted the script right away. In fact, writing the script was the best part," said Waters. "But then it got involved in politics. All the people I worked for were replaced and suddenly I was working with all new people. It was complete torture. But then I went into turn-around. But that's all right. I've never had a film that hasn't gone into turn-around."

"Turn-around" means that a studio decides not to proceed with a project and makes it available to other studios for development costs.

"Savoy snapped it up," said Waters. "They have plenty of money."

The film is budgeted around $13 million, a little less than "Cry-Baby," Waters' last film.

The movie will be produced by John Fiedler and Mark Tarlov. Fiedler, a long-time producer, was born in Baltimore. He is also married to another illustrious Baltimorean, actress Bess Armstrong.

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