This week in Hollywood, "Sleepy Hollow" gets the green-light and an "Armageddon" star ends up on the cutting room floor

GETTING SLEEPY Hollywood is losing its head over the upcoming Tim Burton movie Sleepy Hollow, a retelling of Washington Irving‘s 19th-century ghost story about Ichabod Crane’s run-in with the headless horseman. Burton and producer Scott Rudin have apparently been in hot pursuit of Brad Pitt, Liam Neeson, and Daniel Day-Lewis to play the terrified schoolteacher. ”They all have the ability to do the creepy thing,” says a source close to the production. While Pitt’s agency says he’s been offered the part, reps for the others are keeping mum. Whoever gets the role will have to be, as screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker (Seven) puts it, ”the ultimate wimp-hero. Brainy and physically delicate, with more in common with Rowan Atkinson than with Mr. Stallone or Mr. Schwarzenegger.” The movie will be a vast departure from Irving’s story, adds Walker, who says it will essentially pick up where the classic leaves off, and will be heavy on the gore and ghastliness. ”If the Irving story is G-rated, the script is written as hard R.” Shooting is scheduled to start this fall, when foliage is at its peak.

WHERE’S POPPA? You’d think a 2-hour-and-35-minute extravaganza like Armageddon would have room enough for all its original cast members. So what happened to veteran tough guy Lawrence Tierney (Reservoir Dogs, Elaine’s dad on Seinfeld)? He’s listed in the initial press materials as Hollis Vernon ”Grap” Stamper, the father of Bruce Willis‘ deep-core driller, yet he’s never on screen. Tierney’s excised moment had him saying goodbye to his space-bound son. ”It’s a sweet scene,” says director Michael Bay, ”but ultimately the movie seemed kinda long.” When did Tierney discover he was missing? ”More or less when I saw the movie at the premiere,” says Tierney, who admits he walked out midway, though for another reason. ”I couldn’t stand the noise. The movie was much too loud.” Meanwhile, Bay insists he’ll restore Tierney’s scene, along with others (including some Steve Buscemi ad-libs) for—gulp—Armageddon: The Director’s Cut.

(Additional reporting by Dave Karger)