George Lucas cracks down on eBay's 'Phantom Menace' auctioneers
plus, fans don't mind that Hole left Marilyn Manson, and 'The X-Files' creator casts his new TV series
”STAR WARS” TROUBLE Lucasfilm and Fox are fighting to stop the auction of original film trailers of ”Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” on eBay. Some 25 prints — most likely pilfered from movie theaters — are up for bidding, receiving offers of up to $350. The notoriously proprietary Lucasfilm and Fox are trying to stop the illegal auctions, stating that the trailers are technically their property, and they have already gotten a couple of offers pulled off the site. An eBay spokesperson says the company will help shut down those sales if the studio asks them to.
LIVE IN CONCERT Hole‘s departure from the Marilyn Manson tour hasn’t caused too many fans to stay home. MTV News reports that less than 2 percent of ticketholders for upcoming shows in Texas have demanded refunds…. Since Billy Joel announced he’s leaving the pop life, Elton John has found a new all-star touring partner: Tina Turner. The two will pair up for a fall tour. Meanwhile, Turner will appear on the live ”VH1 Divas Live ’99” on April 13 with a lineup that includes Whitney Houston and Cher…. The Eagles will make a lot of money in the short run, playing at Los Angeles’ new Staples Center on New Year’s Eve, 1999. With ticket prices as high as $1,500, they could pull in around $10 million for the one-night gig. The band’s 1995 reunion tour, which was the year’s top-grossing tour, earned about $1.2 million a night…. Lenny Kravitz is hitting the road this summer and is bringing along the Black Crowes and Everlast. The tour begins on April 23 in Irvine, Calif.
OSCAR TROUBLE Terrence Malick and Fox are trying to block the two original producers of ”The Thin Red Line” from attending the Oscars, where, if ”Line” wins Best Picture, the duo are entitled to come up on stage to accept the award. According to Variety, Malick is furious with Robert Geisler and John Roberdeau for making disparaging comments about him in a Vanity Fair article, especially because they had signed an agreement not to talk to the press about ”Line” when they passed the project on to Mike Medavoy’s Phoenix Pictures, which brought it to Fox. Malick also claims their agreement stated the pair wouldn’t come to the Oscars. In the contentious Vanity Fair article, Geisler and Roberdeau said that Malick spent too much of their money and left them in deep debt. Malick says that they spent too much money themselves.
CASTING Chris Carter has picked the cast for his new series, ”Harsh Realm,” which will air next season on Fox. Scott Bairstow (”Party of Five”) and D.B. Sweeney (”Spawn”) will headline the sci-fi-fest about a soldier sent to exterminate a rebel living inside a military virtual-reality computer program…. Jay Mohr (”200 Cigarettes”) may join the Fox pilot for ”Action,” a satiric look at the Hollywood biz.
BACK IN ACTION Stone Temple Pilots seemed rejuvenated when they reunited for a concert at L.A.’s Viper Room Tuesday night. Recidivist Scott Weiland — who was sporting a red mohawk — appeared happy to be back with the group, and the band’s manager said the guys were planning a new album for a summer release.
BACK FROM THE DEAD Jane Seymour is reprising ”Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” for a CBS TV-movie that will air in May. The network says it will order more telefilms if this one gets encouraging ratings. Most of the original cast is returning for the special.
CANCELED ”Lateline” was axed after its last-chance move to Tuesday nights failed, pulling in NBC’s lowest numbers ever for a first-run show in its time slot. This was NBC’s third attempt to find an audience for the show. Also getting the boot this week were CBS’s ”Magnificent Seven,” which was originally supposed to return after March Madness was over, and ABC’s limited-run series ”Strange World.” ABC had originally planned to air five episodes of the show in ”NYPD Blue”’s time slot but yanked it after only three.