October 28, 1996 12:00 PM

Had Chris Columbus gotten his way, the director of the two Home Alone movies would now be preparing for a Home Alone 3, with a plot he devised featuring Macaulay Culkin as a troubled teen who has been locked away in reform school, while the criminals portrayed by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern in the first two movies have since become upstanding citizens. But this won’t happen since Columbus wasn’t asked back—in part, he says, because he believed Culkin should also return. Culkin is out, according to Tom Sherak, senior vice president at 20th Century Fox, distributor of the Home Alone films, because the studio feels that, at 16, Macaulay is too old. Fox is conducting a nationwide search for a replacement, who will play a child involved in the hunt for a missing microchip. Shooting begins in December, with Raja Gosnell, editor of the first two films, as the new director. Says Columbus: “I wish them well.”…

Gotcha! That’s what lawyers for Laurence Fishburne must have said when a process server nailed Bruce Willis with a summons as he accompanied wife Demi Moore into a recent Los Angeles screening of her HBO movie If These Walls Could Talk. Fishburne is suing Cinergi, the production company for Die Hard with a Vengeance, claiming they broke a verbal promise to give him the role of Willis’s sidekick Zeus, which went instead to Samuel L. Jackson. Fishburne’s attorneys reportedly contend Willis was witness to a meeting in which Fishburne was offered the part. Willis’s attorney Martin Singer tells me his client “has nothing to hide because he doesn’t know anything about this.” Ironically, Jackson turns up again in a small role that may have been intended for Fishburne—in Trees Lounge, the critically praised, low-budget movie written and directed by actor Steve Buscemi. The name of Jackson’s character? Larry. At the movie’s recent New York City premiere, Buscemi said Jackson “hassled” him about being given the name. Buscemi, a friend of Fishburne’s, admits he may have “subconsciously” written the part for Fishburne….

Candice Bergen received $1 million to star in CBS’s Mary and Tim, a TV movie about a widow who falls for her much younger, slow-witted gardener, played by stage actor Thomas McCarthy in his TV debut. The movie, which is based on a Colleen McCullough novel, was filmed previously as Tim, a 1979 Australian picture starring Piper Laurie and Mel Gibson. The CBS version airs Nov. 3….

Ex-Seinfeld girlfriends don’t fade away, they just get their own series deals. Such may soon be the case for stand-up comic Carol Leifer, a former Seinfeld writer who dated Jerry Seinfeld prior to his relationship with Shoshanna Lonstein. I hear that Leifer, currently the supervising producer on the CBS sitcom Almost Perfect, is being courted by the networks to develop her own show, one she would write and star in….

I don’t know how Al Pacino keeps getting away with it, but for years now he has maintained separate romances with two women—film director Lyndall Hobbs, his acknowledged girlfriend, and Annie Prager, a designer he has also been seeing for quite a while. While Hobbs did accompany Pacino on Oct. 7 to the Manhattan premiere of his new movie, Looking for Richard, she probably does not need me to point out that Prager’s name was listed in the film’s credits as assistant costume designer. Pacino’s representative claims that Prager is just a close friend.

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