FILM: OUT TAKES

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The Independent Culture
After Nixon and JFK, Oliver Stone will be bringing his bombast to bear on another slice of US history. The director has signed up to helm New Line's General Custer biopic, Marching to Valhalla, which is slated to star Brad Pitt in the title role.

Those who failed to get an eyeful of Ewan McGregor (above) in The Pillow Book, will not be disappointed by Velvet Goldmine. During filming, McGregor got so into his role of grungy rock god that he dropped his trousers and gave a "live performance" on stage, to 400 screaming extras.

Pre-production for horrormeister Wes Craven's unlikely shift from slash to schmaltz, gathers momentum with news that Gloria Estefan has landed her first feature film role in the forthcoming 50 Violins. Based on a true story, the movie stars Meryl Streep as a single mother who moves to Harlem to teach the violin to deprived kids and ends up booking her young charges to play in Carnegie Hall.

Wes or no Wes, the slasher revival continues apace, with Miramax releasing sci-fi horror The Faculty, directed by Robert Rodriguez, the man behind Tarantino's exploitation turkey, From Dusk Til Dawn.

After the phenomenal success of Forrest Gump, Robert Zemeckis, who has enlisted Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer to star in his latest movie, What Lies Beneath. Due for release late next year, the supernatural thriller about a college professor embroiled in a ghostly murder mystery is based on a story by one Steven Spielberg.

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