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High Noon - 17th May 2005
  Linney, Walters & Grint Go Driving
Laura Linney and Julie Walters will feature alongside Harry Potter thesp Rupert Grint in comedy drama Driving Lessons. It's the brainchild of British screenwriter Jeremy Brock (Mrs Brown) and also marks his directorial debut.

Grint will star as a shy teenage boy who tries to escape the influence of his domineering mother (Linney) by going to work - we're guessing as a chauffeur - for a retired actress played by Walters. It's Driving Miss Overall! Cameras roll next month in London and Edinburgh.
  Hawke & Delpy Take A Bathory
After the recent success of Before Sunset, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are reuniting (again) for gothic period tale Bathory. Delpy penned the script and will also make her directorial bow with the story of the notorious Countess Elizabeth Bathory. The Hungarian aristocrat inspired many a vampire myth with sadistic rituals that included bathing in the blood of virgins. Why? Because she's worth it, of course.
  Bates On The Funny Farm
Kathy Bates has booked herself into the Funny Farm for Irish helmer Mary McGuckian. It's a US/UK co-production set in a celebrity drug and alcohol rehab clinic that boasts patients such as Malcolm McDowell, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Rupert Graves. McGuckian's experimental approach means the actors get to choose their roles and work without a script.

We're betting the Misery star will play the archetypal ball-busting nurse. Shooting begins in New Mexico in the autumn.
  Modine Digs Opa
Matthew Modine and Richard Griffiths (Hitchhikers and Withnail & I) will star in the romantic comedy Opa. Udayan Prasad (My Son The Fanatic) will take the helm for this story of a young American archaeologist who arrives in Greece to fulfil his late father's mission of unearthing the Chalice of St John and finds love along the way. And no, there isn't a Withnail-style gay twist - Griffiths will play a colleague of the archaeologist's father. Production kicks off this month in Greece.
  Epps Plays Pryor
You probably haven't heard of Mike Epps, but he's a US comic who's appeared in films from Malibu's Most Wanted to Resident Evil: Apocalypse - which explains why you've never heard of him. He's just signed to play the legendary comedian Richard Pryor in a big-screen biopic. Calling the shots is Walter Hill, who directed Pryor in Brewster's Millions while Pryor himself will be producing with his wife Jennifer Lee. So, uh, no danger of bias then...

"The material is larger than life and you need someone to fit into it who's not extraordinarily famous or else it would be like Al Jolson playing Malcolm X," says Jennifer Lee. "Richard and I saw Mike's stand-up, and there is a dangerous edge, a Richard-esque quality about him." So no pressure then.