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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 January, 2004, 17:53 GMT
Actor Nighy for Hitchhiker's film
Love Actually
Nighy featured in romantic comedy Love Actually
Love Actually star Bill Nighy and Martin Freeman from TV hit The Office are to star in a film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Nighy has been cast as alien planet designer Slartibartfast in the long-planned movie adaptation of Douglas Adams' cult novel.

Freeman - Tim in The Office - will play Arthur Dent, the everyday earthling thrust into interplanetary adventure.

Nighy said he was a fan of the book, and hailed the script as "really good".

He told BBCi Films: "The people who are making it are very cool people and I think they're going to do a good job.

Douglas Adams
Writer Adams died suddenly in 2001

"All the jokes are there and they're big fat jokes. It's wonderful. And with all the technology we have now, it can not only be a big satisfying comedy but I figure it could be quite exciting as well."

He said a director had not yet been set, although writer-director Garth Jennings and producer Nick Goldsmith have been linked with the project.

Author Adams had spent years trying to persuade Hollywood to film his book before his sudden death in 2001, aged 49.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy originally started out as a BBC Radio 4 series in March 1978. From there it became a series of best-selling novels and a hit BBC TV series.

It follows the adventures of Englishman Arthur Dent, who is taken on a tour of the universe by an alien after discovering the Earth is to be flattened for a hyperspace bypass.

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