Judy Brennan and Frank Spotnitz
June 24, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Is it prognosis negative for the directorial debut of Seinfeld‘s Jason Alexander? Not yet, but the production of his Castle Rock film, Stranger Things, is going as poorly as one of George Costanza’s job interviews.

In the latest go-round, Alexander — and not Malice‘s Bill Pullman — will star opposite Lolita Davidovich. Pullman dropped out of the romantic comedy two weeks before filming was set to begin, citing ”creative differences.” His departure came on the heels of the Louis-Dreyfus affair: On June 1, Castle Rock ran a public apology to Alexander’s Seinfeld costar Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Daily Variety. It expressed regret for any ”upset” caused by reports that she was rejected for the female lead. (Louis-Dreyfus turned down the role to spend time with her 2-year-old son.) Insiders say the letter was to placate the actress. ”It was a display of how we feel,” insists a Castle Rock spokesman.

Now scheduled to begin production June 16, Things will have to wrap by mid-July when Seinfeld resumes. At least one Castle Rock insider believes the setbacks are temporary. ”I don’t think the project is cursed,” he says, ”there’s just a little crabgrass in paradise.”

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