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By Devin D. O'Leary

DECEMBER 22, 1997:  When it premieres on Showtime next month, last year's smash Jerry Maguire will be carrying something extra--a 47-second Reebok commercial which will run under the closing credits. Reebok had originally kicked in $200,000 toward the production cost of the Tom Cruise hit in exchange for some serious product placement. One of those product placements was supposed to be a full-fledged Reebok shoe commercial starring footballer Lawrence Tidwell (Oscar-nabber Cuba Gooding Jr.). Director Cameron Crowe felt (and rightfully so) that the ending commercial would tilt the film too much toward the "sports" angle and dilute the "romance" angle. The commercial was axed, and Reebok got a little miffed. The shoe company giant took the film's producers, Sony TriStar, to court, and the matter was settled quickly and quietly. Now, it seems that at least part of the settlement involves the reinstatement of the commercial for the film's cable-TV run. ... George Clooney is out, and Kevin Klein is in to star in the big screen version of Wild Wild West alongside Will Smith. ... And finally, L.A. Confidential has snagged top honors this year as Best Film from the Nat'l Board of Review, the L.A. Film Critics Assn .and the New York Film Critics Assn. That bodes well for Oscar night.


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