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ROLE CALL: Keanu Plays 'Hardball'

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

Funny Keanu Reeves doesn't look like Walter Matthau. But our favorite deadpan hunk will make like Mr. Matthau (the "Bad News Bears" years) in "Hardball," a new comedy about an inner-city Little League team that Daily Variety says Reeves will star in for Brian Robbins, the ex-"Head of the Class" kid who directed "Varsity Blues," which did not star either Reeves or Matthau, but instead featured that current "Dawson's Creek" kid.

Whew.

SORT OF THE MATT DRUDGE OF HIS DAY -- MINUS THE WEB SITE: According to Variety, John Cusack is in talks to star in and executive produce a remake of "Sweet Smell of Success," the 1957 Burt Lancaster-Tony Curtis movie not-so-loosely based on the legendary columnist Walter Winchell.

MAKING A DECISION IS HELL: Tobey Maguire ("The Cider House Rules") is mulling a starring role in the World War II period drama "Hart's War," The Hollywood Reporter says.

MACAULAY WHO? Kieran Culkin, younger brother of you-used-to-know-who-but-since-he-hasn't-been-in-anything-in-a-while-you-forgot, has been tapped to star opposite Jena Malone in the Jodie Foster-produced "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys."

SOME FOLKS CALL IT 'SLING BLADE': Billy Bob Thornton and Frances McDormand will handle lead acting duties in the new movie from the Brothers Coen ("Fargo"), Variety says. Right now, the flick's merely dubbed "the barber project."

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