Deals And the Force is with …George Lucas, 52, who pleasantly surprised Hollywood, Sept. 25, by announcing that he’ll direct the first of three planned prequels to his Star Wars trilogy. Lucas, who has been writing the new movies for the last year, hasn’t gone behind the camera since helming the original Star Wars in 1977. And he has yet to drop the other light saber and announce which Hollywood studio will win the battle to release the film, now in preproduction at London’s Leavesden Studios. Meanwhile, the original Star Wars is being recut with additional footage for a Jan. 31 rerelease by Twentieth Century Fox….
She’s the One wasn’t, but ABC has still signed Brothers McMullen filmmaker Ed Burns, 28, to produce a half-hour sitcom about the romantic adventures of two Queens, N.Y., couples. Burns and his brother Brian, 27, will cowrite and serve as executive producers of the fall ’97 series….
Exits Sixteen hasn’t been so sweet for aging child star Macaulay Culkin: While his parents continue to squabble over custody of him and his six siblings, Twentieth Century Fox has put the teen’s career in turnaround. Last week execs gave the go-ahead to another Home Alone movie without Culkin. The sequel will instead star a new fresh-faced moppet, who’s yet to be cast. Film editor Raja Gosnell, who worked on both Home Alone movies, will direct. Culkin’s agent did not return phone calls.
Engaged From the ex-files, Sunset Beach actor Ashley Hamilton, 22, who was married to Shannen Doherty for five months in 1993, will wed the former fiancee of Sylvester Stallone, model/actress Angie Everhart, 27, in Los Angeles on Dec. 1. Hamilton is the son of George Hamilton and Alana Stewart.
Expecting Call off the babyguards. A spokeswoman for Whitney Houston, 33, has denied speculation that Houston is pregnant with her second child by husband and frequent headline grabber Bobby Brown, 27. It all started when Brown, appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show, said that the couple wanted to have more children and added that ”there may be one now.” Houston and Brown are already parents to a daughter, Bobbi, 3, and Brown has three children from his previous relationships….
Mom’s definitely the word for fem-rocker Liz Phair, 29. She and her husband, film editor Jim Staskauskas, 36, are expecting their first child this Christmas. ”She hasn’t talked about it a lot because she just kind of wants to enjoy being pregnant,” says Phair’s spokeswoman. The couple wed earlier this year.
Recovering Tiptoeing balladeer Tiny Tim, reportedly 64, from a heart attack, Sept. 28, in Montague, Mass. One of the ’60s’ biggest one-hit wonders, Tim (real name Herbert Khaury) was in Massachusetts to headline a ukulele festival but collapsed before going on stage. ”He’s in intensive care,” says a spokeswoman for the Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Mass. ”But he was sitting up today, and [the doctors] are guessing he’ll be here about a week.”
Births A baby girl, Savannah, to action hero Steven Seagal, 42, and girlfriend Arissa Wolf, 21, in Los Angeles Sept. 4. Savannah joins siblings Ayako, 26, and Kentaro, 20, from Seagal’s first marriage, to Miyako Fujitani; and Annaliza, 9, Dominic, 6, and Arissa, 3, from Seagal’s marriage to actress Kelly LeBrock, which ended in 1995. According to a spokeswoman, Seagal has no plans to marry Wolf, whom he first met when he and LeBrock hired her as a babysitter.