Film: Rushes

PAUL THOMAS Anderson, the writer and director of Boogie Nights, looks like he's snagged a valuable piece of window-dressing for his next production. Tom Cruise is reportedly a great fan of the young director's debut and met Anderson during the final days of his punishing Eyes Wide Shut shooting schedule.

It was there that the pair first discussed the possibility of Cruise's inclusion in Anderson's next film, Magnolia, which will thread together six West-Coast tales, and already includes Boogie Nights stars Julianne Moore and William H Macy.

Variety reports that the up-and-coming director and superstar are close to clinching a deal in which it is thought Cruise will receive an unbilled cameo and lend his name to the final credits.

The A-lister will have to offer his services cut price, though - his usual $20m-a-film fee represents about two thirds of Magnolia's budget. Shooting is scheduled to begin in January.

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WE ALL know the narcoleptic effect of prolonged exposure to Brad Pitt's acting, and who better to prove the point than the director of Pitt's latest film, and at the premiere of it, to boot.

Martin Brest was spotted by People magazine dozing his way through the recent New York premiere of his new, three-hour, $90m movie, Meet Joe Black, in which Pitt plays Death, the eponymous Joe.

Brest lay the blame for the big sleep elsewhere, however: "I had been working around the clock for weeks and weeks and weeks before the premiere," he explained, adding: "I was just so happy that we had a copy of the movie to show to the audience."

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GENERAL MOTORS have decided to take people-movers a step further down the road in their emulation of the average sitting room - the GM Silhouette Premiere minivan now comes with "a built-in video entertainment system".

While Mom, Junior and Sis are scrapping over whether Terms Of Endearment or Tekken 3 goes on the flip-down colour monitor, Pops can motor on, chewing up the asphalt in peace.

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