A few years ago on a book tour, I was lucky enough to cross paths of-ten with author/playwright Garson Kanin. We met on so many radio and television talk shows that we could answer the questions before they were asked.
One morning at a small radio station in Atlanta, "Gar" jarred us both out of a coma when he suggested we forget about our respective books and put together a mythical cast for the Watergate movie that was destined to be made.Neither of us picked Robert Red-ford or Dustin Hoffman, the ultimate choices for "All the President's Men." I think I suggested Steve McQueen to play Nixon - only because I liked to look at Steve McQueen.
As you read this, somewhere a young writer is hunched over a word processor frantically putting together the first of a rash of Desert Storm films. Anticipating the mentality of Hollywood (I would caution you not to), don't be surprised if the casting seems a little glitzy and a few liberties are taken with the plot.
Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf will be played by Kevin Costner and Michelle Peiffer will be cast as his wife, Brenda. That's a given. At the opening of the film, he will portray a man who enjoys fishing more than gener-aling and is looking forward to retirement.
Meanwhile, in Washington, Chief of Staff Gen. Colin Powell (played by "L.A. Law's" Blair Underwood) is ambitiously pursuing a place on the Republican ticket to unseat Vice President Dan Quayle, played by Ricky Schroder.
Cut to CNN's Peter Arnett, portrayed by Bruce Willis, who is in Baghdad on a vacation and has a chance to interview Saddam Hussein (Omar Sharif). The interpreter is (to no one's surprise) Kim Basinger, and there is electricity between them. More on that later in the film.
There is a buildup scene to the war with President Bush (Dana Carvey), Defense Secretary Dick Cheney (Wilford Brimley) and Secretary of State James Baker (Peter Strauss). They concur that Gen. Schwarzkopf is the only man to send to the Mideast and assign him Melanie Griffith as his driver. (Whoa!)
When CNN's Wolf Blitzer (Robin Williams) is assigned to the gulf, he uncovers an indiscretion between the general and his driver. He decides to suppress the story, but one day when Peter Jennings (portrayed by Michael Caine) is interviewing Tony Orlando (playing himself), Sam Donald-son (Larry Hagman) breaks in with an exclusive on the relationship.
There will be a story of the war in there somewhere, but you'll have to work to find it. As for Assistant Secretary of State Margaret Tutwiler, sometimes even Hollywood casting can't improve on real life. She'll play herself.