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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, August 13, 2002

'Baywatch' flick is on, but 'Five-0' stumbles

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

"Baywatch" as a telefilm is a go. The Fox TV project plans to begin a three-week shoot Sept. 9, and producers are hoping the movie will draw interest in a full-on series.

"Kamehameha," the North Shore Pictures Entertainment feature project, is being downgraded to a mini-series, and its producers say filming is on hold, while they seek to launch "Waikiki," a fictional tale about the father of a future king (Kamehameha) and watch to see how the Sony-Columbia feature starring The Rock as Kamehameha goes over.

"Hawaii Five-0" as an updated movie has had a setback; DreamWorks, which was considering the project, is out, and producer George Litto is entertaining new bidders.

These are the latest blips and bumps on Hawai'i's movie and TV radar.

Though "Baywatch" co-creator Douglas Schwartz can't give details yet, Fox has given him the green light to proceed with a new ocean-rescue movie for prime time TV. This time around, Greg Bonann, who produced "Baywatch Hawai'i" in the Islands from 1999 to 2001, is out of the picture. Schwartz has been in town to finalize details.

Original series star David Hasselhoff's character, Mitch Buchannon, is supposed to return, though no formal announcement has been made about his participation yet. A production office opened yesterday at the Turtle Bay Resort in anticipation of filming.

Apparently, two Kamehameha films competing for audiences next year were one too many. North Shore Pictures' co-producers Gary German and Peter Kahalani are tabling the project, Kahalani said. They'll take a wait-and-see stance, enabling the Sony vehicle to proceed without competition.

No timetable has been announced for The Rock's "Kamehameha," being scripted by Maui writer Greg Poirier.

Kahalani said North Shore Pictures has opened production offices in Honolulu to work on "Waikiki," and would hold a call for extras in a couple of weeks, with the help of casting agents Garrison True and the Kathy Mueller Agency.

"We'll need 3,000 extras," said Kahalani, "but we'll also be looking for talent at the same time for the Kamehameha mini-series."

"Waikiki" will begin production in mid-November, Kahalani said, and continue through early January, with principal photography on O'ahu and second-unit work on the Big Island and Maui.

The budget will be $18 million minimum but "could balloon to over $40 million," Kahalani said, with marketing and other factors added. "Kamehameha" would also have a similar price tag.

"We want to get the Hawaiians involved," he said of both projects. "We'll have new faces and names in our cast, and focus groups have indicated that Hawaiians want to be involved."

Artist Christian Lassen has signed on as art director, said Kahalani.

Updates on other TV, film and indie projects:

  • "The Stevens Get Even": This Disney Channel telefilm begins four days of shooting on O'ahu today. Actors and crew for "Stevens" have a base at the J.W. Marriott Ihilani Resort, with filming at a private residence next door to the hotel. Additional work will be on Friday at the Polynesian Cultural Center in La'ie. The "Stevens" story is about a Sacramento family involved in competition in an "extreme" reality show. A handful of local extras have been hired in Hawai'i, said Brenda Ching, district director of the Screen Actors Guild.
  • "My Wife and Kids": This ABC-TV series starring Damon Wayans is in the midst of taping three episodes for the fall season. Local extras have found some work on this sitcom.
  • "Clay's Way": Scott Coffey, the former Kailuan who produced "Ellie Parker" (which was part of last fall's Hawai'i International Film Festival), has postponed the start of his coming-of-age saga about growing up in Kailua.
  • "I absolutely will make it, but not until early next year," said Coffey. Reason: He's been negotiating with HBO to establish "Ellie Parker" as a cable series, with a 10-episode season envisioned later this year.
  • "Five Stones": This Val Kilmer movie, which was pegged for production here last year, is still on the boards but obviously delayed. Magellan Filmed Entertainment will produce the film, which will mark the writing/directorial debut of Jeff Kramer, a co-executive producer of Fox TV's "Ally McBeal." The $10 million-plus historical film will chronicle a Polynesian family's migration from the South Pacific to Hawai'i, with Maui destined to be the site for most filming.
  • "Helldorado": This Universal feature, starring The Rock as a bounty hunter who journeys to the Amazon, is in pre-production, and negotiations are under way to bring it to Hawai'i. Christopher Walken will co-star; Peter Berg will direct.
  • "Kilauea": Local screenplay writer Peter Britos' coming-of-age story about a family of Waikiki entertainers, is undergoing script rewrites, with the project submitted to the Sundance Feature Film Writer and Director Workshops. It was proposed as a 2003 project and will likely be delayed. Lisa Onodera, who produced "Picture Bride," is aboard as a line producer.
  • "Diamond Head": A CBS-TV series, linked with action-picture producer Jerry Bruckheimer ("Pearl Harbor," "Black Hawk Down," "Armageddon"), is dead for now.
  • "Walker, Texas Ranger": Chuck Norris and his stunt-actor brother Aaron have been discussing a weekly syndicated show on O'ahu and the Big Island via their Norris Brothers Entertainment company. Veteran producer/director Albert Pyun, a Hawai'i resident who runs production company Filmworkes, has been tapped to produce and direct. If the deal comes together, work could start next March.

Reach Wayne Harada at wharada@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8067.