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THE SHINE is beginning to come off Francis Ford Coppola's recent court triumph over Warner Brothers. In July, the director alleged that the studio had frustrated his attempts to make a live-action Pinocchio epic with rival studios, once a deal to make the film with Warner Brothers had fallen through. While Coppola gets to hold on to the $20m of compensatory damages he won, a Superior Court judge threw out his $60m punitive damage award. The judge ruled out a new trial, which prompted both parties to declare their intention to appeal. Warner Brothers will be seeking to have Coppola's personal compensatory award of $20m overturned, while the director expressed disappointment that the judge went against the jury's former decision to award him the punitive damages.

ON A lighter note, here's Val Kilmer, telling it like it is: "American actresses... don't look to the amazing power of marriage as something ... more gratifying than a career." To the man who's so concerned with what constitutes a career move, just two words: The Saint.

PREPARE FOR another fit of all-American hand-wringing. Oliver Stone has got his mitts on the story of General George Custer. All being well, Marching to Valhalla will reportedly star Brad Pitt, but as whom has not been announced. Filming is to begin next year. Until then Stone will work on the script with the screenwriter Michael Blake, who wrote the book on which Kevin Costner's epic Dances With Wolves was based.

WITH Notting Hill, the sequel to their 1994 vow-buster Four Weddings and a Funeral, near to completion, Working Title have announced yet another Hugh Grant vehicle. According to The Hollywood Reporter, His Floppiness is to star in a romantic comedy about a low-ranking tennis player who finds himself in the Wimbledon final in the last tournament of his career.

Mike Higgins