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Travolta goes Texan

The development of the Dallas movie adaptation has had more twists and turns than the show had ridiculous plots. But now the classic US soap opera is finally hitting the big screen. And some casting decisions have actually been made.

John Travolta is in final negotiations to star as hefty, crafty oil baron JR Ewing, which means he’ll have to pack on the pounds and… Oh, wait. Sorry. He’s been lining up to play this part for years. The filmmakers will have to wait, though - he’s already signed up to parade across the screen in a dress for the Hairspray musical movie that starts shooting shortly.

Also invited to the Texas barbecue are Jennifer Lopez, who has been offered the part of Sue Ellen, and Luke Wilson, who is negotiating to play Bobby Ewing, the part made famous on the TV show by Patrick Duffy. Shirley MacLaine is apparently already in place as grandmotherly type Miss Ellie.  Robert Luketic - who last directed Monster-In-Law - will call the shots this October.

And for those of you too young to remember the original show (that sound you hear is the quiet weeping of a Total Film office team realising they are entirely old enough), a brief pop cultural primer: Dallas chronicled the wheeling and the dealing of a wealthy Texas oil family. The series was focused on the Ewings, led by patriarch Jack Ewing, who started family corporation Ewing Oil. The plots were wild, the characters OTT and the clothes frankly embarrassing. It was top stuff - let’s hope the movie can live up to it.

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