Robert De Niro, whose "Awakenings" is opening nationwide, has begun work in "Cape Fear" under the direction of Martin Scorsese.

"Cape Fear" is a remake of the 1962 thriller starring Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck and Martin Balsam, all three of whom will make cameo appearances in the new version. Co-starring are Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange.The movie is the seventh collaboration between Scorsese and De Niro. Their previous films were "Mean Streets," "Taxi Driver," "New York New York," "Raging Bull," "The King of Comedy" and "Goodfellas."

- KATHLEEN TURNER stars in Disney's Hollywood Pictures drama "Warshawski," based on a series of mystery novels by Sara Paretsky, under the direction of Jeff Kanew.

Turner plays a tough-talking independent and sexy private investigator who becomes romantically involved with an ex-hockey player who is murdered. Private Eye Warshawski (Turner) is hired by the victim's 13-year-old daughter to find his killer.

The daughter and the sleuth become a formidable female detective team working together to track down the killer. If the film suceeds at the box office, look for sequels.

- LIZA MINNELLI has completed her role in Paramount's "Stepping Out," produced and directed by Lewis Gilbert on locations in Toronto and Buffalo.

Co-starring in the comedy, scheduled for release in the spring of 1991, are Ellen Greene, Bill Irwin, Julie Walters and Shelley Winters. Minnelli plays a school teacher who takes tap dance lessons on the side.