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The Independent Culture
Star Wars hysteria has been raging in America this week with high- profile sneak previews of the trailer for George Lucas's (above) long- awaited prequel. Denzel Washington's film The Siege has been the main beneficiary, with people paying to get into the movie just so they could watch the trailer. Movie pundits think that the new Star Wars film could be the first in history to gross more than $100m in its first weekend.

Alan J Pakula, the 70-year-old director and screen conspiracy theorist, was killed in a freak car accident in New York last Friday. The film-maker's credits included All The President's Men, Klute, The Pelican Brief and The Devil's Own.

Tom Cruise is in talks with Steven Spielberg to star in The Minority Report, an epic sci-fi movie which has a time-bending plot. Cruise will play a futuristic cop in the "Pre-crime division" who is charged for a murder he has yet to commit, and must solve his own case.

First there was Frederic March and Janet Gaynor, next Judy Garland and James Mason, then more recently, in the 1970s rock remake, Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. Now Hollywood plans to shoot A Star is Born all over again with the lead roles reversed. Will Smith will play the talented young singer who falls in love with megastar chanteuse Lauren Hill, only to see her career eclipsed by his own success.

Liese Spencer