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Jackson negotiating to play lead in 'Shaft' remake


Who's a really swingin' Jedi master? SHAFT!

It's not a great theme song, but it's descriptive. Samuel L. Jackson, who's a Jedi guru in the forthcoming "Star Wars" prequel, is also in final talks to reprise the title role in a remake of 1971's "Shaft." Variety reports that Paramount Pictures will update the original film, which was adapted from a novel by Ernest Tidyman and starred Richard Roundtree as a tough-talking P.I. enlisted by a Harlem mob boss to rescue his kidnapped daughter.

PAINTED LADY: Sports Illustrated porn issue -- uh, swimsuit issue cover wench Rebecca Romijn-Stamos endured as many as 14 hours of body-painting at a time for some of the painted-on swimsuit shots in the magazine. "I slept for the first three hours, but it was kind of a weird, restless, self-conscious sleep where I kept waking up and dozing off again. There were three people painting on me. ... It was crazy." It was easy to remove, however: "It's water-soluble. I just ran into the ocean and rinsed off." She's married to TV sitcom star John Stamos.

QUICK KING: Stephen King has pitched a fast one. A few months ago, he surprised his new publisher, Scribner, with news of a piece of fiction that might turn into a novel. When he sent it to company head Susan Moldow late last month, it had -- she's rushing a 1.25 million first printing of "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" for early April. That's partly because April 5 is opening day for the Boston Red Sox, and team pitcher Gordon figures in the story.

SKY WATCH: More balloonists launched yesterday in a bid to try to circle the globe. This time it's Britons Andy Elson and Colin Prescot, taking off from Spain. Don't hold your breath.

MODEL BEHAVIOR: British supermodel Kate Moss tells The Face magazine that she's a recovering alcoholic who at one point had not walked down a catwalk sober for 10 years. Moss, 25, described a hedonistic jet-set life of champagne, vodka and marijuana in her decade as a top international model. But after five weeks in a London clinic specializing in drink and drug abuse, she hopes to have put the past behind her.

NET BYTE DU JOUR: Little kids may find fun in Seussville (http: //www.randomhouse. com/seussville/), a site of Dr. Seuss silliness and games.

Today's birthdays

Songwriter-musician Pee Wee King is 85. Actor Jack Palance is 78. Actor George Kennedy is 74. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner (R-Va.) is 72. Author Toni Morrison is 68. Movie director Milos Forman is 67. Singer Yoko Ono is 66. Singer Dennis DeYoung (Styx) is 52. Actress Sinead Cusack is 51. Producer-director-writer John Hughes is 49. Actress Cybill Shepherd is 49. Singer Juice Newton is 47. Singer Randy Crawford is 47. Actor John Travolta is 45. Game show host Vanna White is 42. Actor Matt Dillon is 35. Rapper Dr. Dre is 34. Actress Molly Ringwald is 31. Actor Tyrone Dorzell Burton is 20.

Pub Date: 2/18/99

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