HOLLYWOOD - In what appears to be an altogether typical career move, two time Academy Award-winning actor-like legend Robert De Niro formally announced today his desire to participate in any way, shape, or form in the upcoming, new and improved, big screen edition of the legendary 1980's TV cop drama, "Hill Street Blues."
According to inside sources (either affiliated with the not yet up and running production, and/or privileged to have an indirect link to BICKLE THIS, De Niro's management team/production company) the sudden, yet not all that startling desire of De Niro to get involved with the current "Hill Street Blues" project appears to stem either from his (hopefully) not too late in the game attempt to pay off the balance of an outstanding debt to New Jersey-based "business man" Joey Clams, or (more likely) his need to, yet again, periodically remind the viewing public that he will in fact appear in just about anything that suits his high accommodating artistic fancy.
Or, as apparently is the case regarding any future dealings De Niro might have with the "Hill Street Blues" franchise, the sudden realization that he in fact had a couple of hours to kill next Tuesday in between the shooting of another American Express commercial, and an otherwise full afternoon of previously scheduled voice-over work as Captain Underpants.
Meanwhile, reading from a prepared statement, reportedly written by De Niro in between takes during the recent filming of his two crucial scenes in a Miley Cyrus music video, longtime BICKLE THIS chairman, Biagio Baffigi boldly revealed the actor's well thought out wishes, yet left the door open as to what level, or degree, De Niro's possible participation in the new "Hill Street" project might otherwise entail.
"Come out, come out, wherever you are, all you motherf&$*in' scumbag chickens%#@ 'Hill Street Blues' producers," Baffigi told an anxious throng of entertainment reporters gathered around him during a more or less impromptu mid-day news conference held inside the soon to be empty Toys"R"Us pop-up store at the Beverly Center. "I'm here, have no fear, get used to it!"
Whether or not De Niro's potential involvement with the new production of "Hill Street" would be strictly behind the scenes, or, in fact, also include a rumored to be "Featured Guest Star" on-screen appearance, as well, is, at this point in time, still up in the air. And, as such, has quickly become the indirect source of a significant amount of idle and speculative confusion related to not only the ongoing nature of the production, but also to what degree De Niro's involvement might play in the inevitable course of production, and, as planned, eventual, worldwide release.
As previously reported, in the initial news breaking bulletin carried by "The Spoof" (www.thespoof.com), and subsequently re-explained, utilizing much shorter words and way more charts and graphs, in a series of highly informative follow-up postings on both "The Huffington Post" and Carmella Bing's Facebook page, a virtual gaggle of faceless producers, based at 20th Century Fox Television (the current owner to the re-make rights of the one time multi-Emmy Award-winning "Hill Street Blues" TV program, as produced by MTM Enterprises and initially broadcast on NBC nearly 30 years ago) have arranged, via an entirely all too complicated deal with Spoof Media Ltd., in association with The Shuttle, Cock, & Bull Entertainment Consortium, to once again revisit the wonderful, overactive, inside thin blue line world of one of TV's most beloved police dramas.
And, in a rather bold, daring, and entirely adventurous attempt to circumvent any would-be normal, if not decidedly high upfront production costs, those spearheading this latest silver screen incarnation, had hoped to cast their future baby with the bathwater cinematic endeavor with wall-to-wall unpaid yuk-a-minute staffers, presently affiliated with the faux news satirical online site, The Spoof." Many of whom appear quite regularly, on a more or less moment to moment basis.
And/or, longer, if accessing the online site proves to be anything of a (hopefully) glitch only oriented nature, that, otherwise isn't in some way a direct result of a recent "'Tis a Pity" curse left behind by a former in-house associate, who is rumored to have left the otherwise safe, secure, and altogether harmoniously efficient, comfy-like confines of The Spoof family-like fold on an otherwise sour note, in response to an editorial decision that, surprisingly enough, came about, at the midnight hour, due to a sudden bad case of good taste.
Although, like most things in this world, which somehow get hatched because they seemed like a good idea at the time, this bargain basement approach to casting the newest "Hill Street Blues" on the block soon proved to be entirely problematic, in that the lack of obvious name brand star power talent scared off most, if not all, of the high end investors (except for Janko Perac's recent start-up media cartel, Serbo/Sarmapocalypse Now) who the extended roster of producers were otherwise banking on to pay the freight, and, of course, somewhere along the way, provide appropriate avenues in which to funnel a rather high amount of Spoof stories awaiting approval.
Consequently, in order to bolster their standing within the go-to, money mad jet-set, the assorted producers of "Hill Street" made a conscious effort to pepper their yet to be proven cast of irregular regulars with some big names, if only as walk-on cameos, or possibly, in more of a traditional Guest Starring role.
And, even though, initial attempts to remedy this all too obvious casting dilemma have been slow, at best, and mostly touch and no-go, those responsible for the future fortunes of this latest "Hill Street Blues" project are hoping that the news of De Niro's interest in their pet project is indeed a sign of good things to come.
"All I can say is, we're lucky to have maybe gotten Bobby at this time," said new Spoof Media Ltd. spokesperson, Milo Malkavic Mendoza. "Especially since our initial thought to have got, Carrot Top, jerked us around for so long, only to bolt as soon as TNT picked up that new "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" series he's doing with James Woods, Kathleen Turner, and Mira Sorvino."
"Clearly, once a big name like De Niro is in the fold," Mendoza continued, "it generally isn't long until such heavyweights as Rob Schneider, Steve Buscemi, Timothy Spall, Susie Essman, Michael Madsen, Sandra Oh, Gilbert Gottfried, Frank Vincent, Mario Cantone, Robert Carlyle, and, with any luck, Kathy Griffin finally decide to stop what they're doing and, before you know it, give us a call to see how and where they might be able help out best. Let's hope so, anyway."
Meanwhile, helping to ease the bottom line mind of numerous "Hill Street" producers, overly concerned by any impending upswing in short-term pre-production costs due to the import of high end talent, is the fact that an altogether attractive gold mine of sorts appeared not exactly out of nowhere when it suddenly came to their attention, during a high spirited after hours game of Where The Hell Is Citizen Skoob?, that queen mudder, one of the more consistently inventive in-house Spoof scribes, was, during a previous lifetime, a member in good standing (apparently the offices were extremely tiny back in the day) of the original "Hill Street Blues" writing staff, following several interesting, yet entirely aimless years, when she was the only member of actor/producer Lorenzo Music's free-floating entourage who not only possessed something higher than a secondary school education, but who, every other Friday night, was quick to show off the fact that she knew how to look really hot in stiletto heels.
Needless to say, an extra added bonus occurred regarding queen mudder when the producers found out that she could still fairly recall much of the three-episode, multi-story arc she was planning on submitting for the show's top rated third season (all of which, unfortunately, was destroyed in late 1981 when the Silver Lake garage she shared with local punk band Black Randy and the Metro Squad, who utilized their half of it as a crash pad/rehearsal space, burned down due a faulty hotplate that normally took forever to boil soup), they jumped at the chance to go with this bit of kismet, rather than search through company records, currently in storage either somewhere in Brixton or the dark, dank, basement of London's still impressive, yet, for the most part shabby, Geffrye Museum, to determine if any Spoof staffer ever had a previous professional affiliation with any other prospective 1980's TV show they had also actively been considering for a retread redo for folks of our now fully advanced modern age, the primary top two of which were, "Knots Landing" and "B.J and the Bear."
Luckily, with any would-be, standard-issue, original written material woes nowhere near any foreseeable front burner, "Hill Street Blues" producers can now fully concentrate on cherry-picking their way through any soon to be forming line of usual suspect possible guest stars who should, quite naturally, be coming to their immediate rescue. Starting off, of course, with Robert De Niro, whose impending participation so far, might be slowed up a tad, due to the fact that some rougher than usual edges always tend to appear when he consents to enter any sort of otherwise creative fray that is dependent on him fitting in successfully with what would hopefully could be a total group effort.
Meanwhile, according to Nick Glickstein, the current (as of five minutes ago) V.P. in Charge of Otherwise Enforcement Public Relations & Weekend Cage Rattling at Bickle This, much of these (hopefully) minor differences shall be addressed during a not as yet scheduled sit down negotiation session with the full multi-head assortment of current "Hill Street Blues" producers.
"Seriously, there's no reason this can't be worked out," said Glickstein, to Mavis O'Toole of The Hollywood Reporter, while overseeing several undocumented workers at an East L.A. builder's supply company load bags of cement in the back of his late-model Cadillac Escalade. "Although, with Tuesday of next week being our only option, a little giddy-up here and there, I'm sure wouldn't hurt none, if you know what I mean."
"With his current big screen fortunes riding mighty high on the long ass legs of the recently released box office smash 'Little Fockers,' Glickstein continued, "Mr. De Niro is seemingly primed and ready for a new challenge as he awaits the soon to be arriving, already brewing, critical hosannas heading his way as result of his rather charming, top-lining efforts in 'Hey Man, Don't Forget The Fish Wrap!', a totally inventive, whack attack, indi-film version of the Branson, Missouri PennySaver directed by Juliette Lewis, that also features Yakov Smirnoff, Jim Stafford, Andy Williams, Larry Storch, Clay Aikin, Martin Lawrence, Minnie Pearl Jr., Boxcar Willie Jr., Frank Sinatra Jr. and the Lennon Sisters, and is scheduled, if anybody knows what's good for them, to be unveiled at Sundance later this month. Consequently, this "Hill Street Blues" thing seems entirely doable at this point. Or, bent to fit the head, as we like to say, once all the baseball bats are finally brought out and laid end to end across the table, usually in Brooklyn, but as long as we're here, wherever we are - L.A., right? - this should do, as long as, well, what the hell, you do the math."
Although much of what Glickstein appears to be alluding to here may seem at first entirely indecipherable, much like the rambling, take your time, diatribes of a certain Spoof contributor who tends to blanket the website's online Discussion Forum with an overabundant amount of verbal flotsam so as to hopefully distract many of his fellow compatriots from the all to obvious fact that he apparently has nothing of any real substance to otherwise let fly in the direction of the Spoofs ongoing first class current news and/or magazine categories, upon further review, a certain, anything but subtle subtext of an important thread gradually comes into focus, which, as it stands now, would appear to be the major part of the loggerhead situation which, so far, has prevented De Niro from committing a full half-day or mid-morning stretch of his thespian-for-hire services to the "Hill Street Blues" project as it currently stands, and/or, for a variety of reasons, slouching decidedly, if not towards Bethlehem, then, at least on occasion, somewhere just south of Lancaster, England.
And, as usual, it's the creative differences, stupid.
Meaning, of course, that besides De Niro's repeated upfront request to apparently ad-lib his one and only signature line in the current production (as envisioned, and thus, carefully supplied by the collective creative think tank of individuals responsible for dreaming up this newly minted updated version of "Hill Street Blues," in the first place) so far being categorically denied, even more trouble may lay ahead, due to any already existing pre-arranged product placement concerns, which indirectly would appear to prevent De Niro (and his every widening web of cloudy, with a chance of painful showers, people) from otherwise sharing in any sort of collateral damage financial windfall that most definitely will occur, both prior, as well as after, the completion of the production, as a result of a two part swing your partner deal with British grocery giant, Cavendish Foods, and, last but certainly not least, the Bolivia International Bureau Of Tourisim.
Yeah, well, these things happen.
In other words, just don't set it, and forget it.
In still other words, as the kids like to say, "more as we get it."