Originally planned for a 2004 release and having been in development at Lionhead Studios for well over two years, Peter Molyneux's Hollywood sim, The Movies, must surely be nearing the final 'it's a wrap' stages of development.
The game, which is a typically ambitious project for Molyneux (the brain behind Black & White, Dungeon Keeper and ), gives players the chance to design and run their own studio, talent-spot and nurture shining new stars and, of course, make movies.
A drag-and-drop interface has been implemented and should effectively replace the endless screens of menus and stats synonymous with games of this type.
The new shots give some indication of how this will work - presumably dragging a jobseeker into the relevant room will create either a director or actor, while a star in the making can, quite literally, be moulded by dragging them to the necessary clinic (nip-tuck, liposuction and implants).
Stats will be displayed by hovering your pointer over objects and people, while a timeline at the top of the screen will act as an at-a-glance event diary.
How the movie-making process will be handled still isn't known, but as soon as we get any details on what we are presuming will be a core feature of the game, we'll be sure to let you know.
The Movies will be released for Gamecube, PC, PS2 and Xbox in the autumn