Just when you're sick of all the rumors about who will play Anakin Skywalker in "Star Wars: Episode II," here's another one. USA Today is reporting that George Lucas met last weekend with several (unnamed) actors who are under consideration for the coveted role as the young Darth Vader. At his Skywalker Ranch compound in California's Marin County, Lucas reportedly subjected the actors to a digital screen test opposite Natalie Portman, who will reprise her role as Queen Amidala, Anakin's bride-to-be.
Naturally, no one's saying whether anyone aced the audition.
"It could be several weeks before we know anyting," producer Rick McCallum told the newspaper.
But the rumor mill cannot wait for facts. Over the past day or so, lots of "Star Wars"-obsessed Web sites have been positing that Colin Hanks (co-star of TV's "Roswell," son of Tom Hanks), auditioned and (reputedly) locked up the role.
PURE DRIVEL: Steve Martin will develop and produce TV projects under a new deal with Carsey-Werner, the production company behind ``That '70s Show'' and ``3rd Rock From the Sun.''
NOT EATING "CROW": Vincent Perez, lately of "I Dreamed of Africa" and not-so-lately of "The Crow II: City of Angels," will star in a period drama called "Bride of the Wind," playing the lover of famed female composer Alma Schidler, Daily Variety says.
PIMPIN' AIN'T EASY: Ice Cube has signed to star in "Pimp," a biopic of the late street hustler turned author Iceberg Slim, Variety says. Based on Slim's 1969 autobiography, the film will be directed by Bill Duke ("Hoodlum").
FREE MAKEUP: "Ally McBeal" star Lucy Liu tells USA Today that she's been selected as the new Revlon spokeswoman.