• Russell Crowe will replace Brad Pitt in "State of Play," saving Universal and Working Title's delayed political thriller from shutting down. Pitt pulled out of the movie two weeks ago, citing script concerns that made him uneasy about toplining the picture. That brought him to loggerheads with the studio, which was adamant about going ahead with Matthew Michael Carnahan's script and a cast that already was in place. The studio raised the possibility of legal action against Pitt when he dropped out of the project
  • The new "X-Files" movie will be packing more heat. Rapper Xzibit, Amanda Peet and Scottish comic Billy Connolly have signed on for director Chris Carter's next big-screen adaptation of the hit TV series.
  • Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch and James Franco are in final negotiations to appear opposite Sean Penn in Gus Van Sant's biopic "Milk." The Focus Features/Groundswell Prods. film stars Penn as Harvey Milk, the country's first openly gay elected official, a San Francisco city supervisor who was assassinated in 1978.
  • Samuel L. Jackson is attached to star in "Unfinished Country," screenwriter Mark Wheaton's "Training Day"-style thriller for Blue Star Pictures and Inferno Entertainment. Jackson plays Elton, the chief administrator of an overcrowded hospital located in the middle of South Africa's violent Soweto ghettos. Elton's methods of treating patients are put into question when a young U.S. medical student arrives to do his residency and the hospital gets caught in the crossfire of local gang warfare.

Actors, Casting

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