Larry Hagman to return for new Dallas pilot

Larry Hagman Hagman is one of three former Dallas cast members to be invited back

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US actor Larry Hagman is to appear in the TV return of classic 1980s soap opera Dallas, it has been announced.

The 79-year-old will reprise his role as oil baron JR Ewing in the new pilot, to be made by US network TNT.

Original stars Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray will also return to play Bobby and Sue Ellen Ewing respectively.

The new show will focus on the Ewing offspring - John Ross and Christopher Ewing - as they clash over the future of the family dynasty.

Desperate Housewives star Josh Henderson will play John Ross, who appeared as a child in the original series.

Jordana Brewster from The Fast and the Furious will play Elena, a character involved in a love triangle with the Ewing cousins.

Cynthia Cidre, who wrote 1992 film The Mambo Kings, has written the pilot for the next-generation update.

TNT has not confirmed when production will commence.

The original Dallas, which centred on two feuding Texan oil families, ran from 1978 to 1991 on US network CBS.

In 1980, 83 million viewers tuned in to find out "who shot JR" in one of the show's famous cliffhanger storylines.

In 2006 it was announced that Britain's Gurinder Chadha would direct a film version of Dallas, to star John Travolta in the JR role.

Little has been heard about the project since, though in a 2008 interview Chadha remained optimistic the film would eventually be made.

"Projects get resurrected and I like to think good scripts never say die," she told UK newspaper Metro.

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