General News

ROLE CALL: Excellent!

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

His dudeness Keanu Reeves is slated to star in Columbia's "The Ottoman Empire," a political parody penned and directed by Andrew Bergman ("Isn't She Great").

The flick tells the story of an erstwhile porn star (played by Reeves) who's blackmailed into providing certain vocation service to the first lady of the United States.

No word yet on when the film will go in front of the camera. Trade papers reported that the project will probably begin shooting some time between the Reeves vehicles "Sweet November" rolling this spring and back-to-back "The Matrix" sequels set to go into production this fall.

"GIFT" LOOKING SWANK: Hilary Swank, who was just named ShoWest 2000's female star of tomorrow, is set to begin work on "The Gift," the Sam Raimi film which principal cast includes Keanu Reeves and Cate Blanchett and Giovanni Ribisi, and Greg Kinnear.

Swank will play the physically abused wife to Keanu Reeve's redneck wife-beating husband. Shooting for the film begins Feb. 3 in Savannah, Ga.

ECKHART IN THE COMPANY OF MEN: Aaron Eckhart has joined the cast of "The Pledge," an adaptation of Swiss author Friedrich Durrenmatt's crime novel directed by Senn Penn. The "In the Company of Men" star will play opposite Jack Nicholson in a yet-undisclosed script.

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