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Braced for Runaway success

A biopic on the 1970s girl band The Runaways is coming together with the former child star Dakota Fanning circling the role of Cheri Currie, the band's troubled lead singer.

A biopic on the 1970s girl band The Runaways is coming together with the former child star Dakota Fanning circling the role of Cheri Currie, the band's troubled lead singer. Kristen Stewart has signed on to play fellow band member Joan Jett in the coming-of-age drama following the teenage group whose hits included Cherry Bomb and Queen of Noise. The video director and visual artist Floria Sigismondi will write and direct the project.

Earlier this week, Fanning, 15, signed on for The Twilight Saga: New Moon, the sequel to the 2008 blockbuster, Twilight, which has grossed more than $370 million (Dh1.3bn) worldwide. Fanning will play a vampire in the film, which is based on the best-selling book series by Stephenie Meyer. Coincidentally, Stewart also stars in the series. New Moon will be directed by Chris Weitz (About A Boy) after the Twilight director, Catherine Hardwicke and the film's producers, Summit Entertainment, decided to part ways on this project, as reported by Deadline Hollywood.

Hollywood's chattering classes are tipping the presidential drama The 28th Amendment as Tom Cruise's next project. According to Variety, the German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others) is in talks with Warner Bros to direct the White House drama with Cruise in the lead role. The story revolves around an American president who discovers a government unit that wants him dead. The film will be produced by Basil Iwanyk and Richard Donner from a script by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek). Cruise is reportedly considering several other projects, including The Matarese Circle (MGM); Motorcade (DreamWorks); and the Fox drama Wichita.

In what has turned out to be a big week for casting news, Varietyalso reports that Leonardo DiCaprio is in final negotiations to star in Inception for the director of The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan. Nolan will direct from his own script the sci-fi thriller for Warner Bros aiming for a 2010 release date. The story is being kept under tight wraps, but Inception is being described as a contemporary sci-fi action film set in the realms of the mind. DiCaprio can next be seen in Shutter Island, by his long-term collaborator, Martin Scorsese.

An American remake of the British comedy Death at a Funeral is moving full-steam ahead. Martin Lawrence and Tracy Morgan will star alongside Chris Rock, who is co-writing the script and serving as a producer. Loretta Devine, Ron Glass, Regina Hall, James Marsden, Zoe Saldana and Columbus Short will round out the cast. Neil LaBute will direct the dark comedy about a dysfunctional family that meets at a funeral. The original feature was directed by Frank Oz, and starred Matthew Macfadyen, Rupert Graves, and Peter Dinklage. Death is being produced by Screen Gems and Sydney Kimmel Entertainment.

According to Variety, Steven Spielberg's long-gestating Tintin adaptation has moved in to the final stage of its lengthy production process - an 18-month special-effects makeover from The Lord of The Rings' director Peter Jackson. Spielberg acquired the rights to the popular comic-book series about the globe-trotting boy reporter back in 1983, but had to wait until now for film technology to advance to support his vision for the film. Jackson, has developed the advanced motion-capture system used for the film, due to be released in 2011.

Paramount Pictures is taking on London's West End with a musical version of the 1990 film, i>Ghost. Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and the songwriter/producer Glen Ballard will collaborate on the music and lyrics for the show which will be adapted by Bruce Joel Rubin from his Oscar-winning screenplay. Matthew Warchus (Boeing-Boeing, Art) will direct. The production has yet to set dates and a venue. Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze starred in the film, which won Whoopi Goldberg an Oscar for her role as the medium.

Steve Carell, the star of the American version of the hit British TV show The Office is swapping board room politics for the subject of masculinity with the feature project, Hi-T. According to The Hollywood Reporter Carell will star in and produce the comedy feature, which revolves around a man who suffers from uncontrollable mood swings after taking testosterone injections. The screenplay is being written by Kim Barker (License to Wed) for Warner Bros and Carell's Carousel Productions.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Kinney's book The Big One: An Island, an Obsession and the Furious Pursuit of a Great Fish, is heading for the big screen, Variety reports. DreamWorks last week acquired film rights to the story of the most celebrated fishing competition on the East Coast of America, the Striped Bass and Bluefish Tournament Derby, which is held in the prestigious location of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts each year.

* Liza Foreman

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