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Friday, 21 January, 2000, 14:05 GMT
Brendan's in the mummy

Actor Brendan Fraser has reportedly doubled his salary for the follow-up to one of 1999's surprise hits, The Mummy.

Acording to Daily Variety, Fraser will earn $12.5m (7.8m) for The Mummy 2. He will be joined by his original co-star Rachel Weisz, while Scots actor John Hannah will also reprise his role.

Last year's The Mummy took in more than $400m (242m) worldwide, making it the eighth biggest box office hit of 1999.

Filming for the sequel - this time set in England - is due to start in spring with a target release date of May 2001.




Leo eyes up Star Wars role

Movie heart-throb Leonardo DiCaprio has confirmed that he is interested in playing the part of Anakin Skywalker in the next Star Wars prequel.

However, the 25-year-old actor who is known to be a big Stars Wars fan, admitted that he has yet to see a script for the film.

DiCaprio made the revelation in Hawaii, during a press conference to promote his latest movie, The Beach, which opens in the UK on 11 February.




Wajda to receive honorary Oscar

Andrzej Wajda, the Polish director best known for the film Man of Iron will receive a lifetime achievement award at this year's Oscar ceremony in March.

The 72-year-old, who has been nominated for an Oscar three times but never won, is to be honoured for "his artist's view of history, democracy and freedom".

Wajda made his first feature film in 1955. His most controversial movie, Man of Iron, chronicled the Solidarity movement in Poland in the 1980s.




Sundance festival opens with record entries

Top independent film showcase the Sundance Festival has kicked off in the US, with a record 1,200 films on the schedule.

Sundance has produced a number of box office hits - The Blair Witch Project was premiered at last year's festival and went on to become the most financially successful independent film of all time.

As a result, Sundance has grown from the small showcase launched by Robert Redford in 1978 to a massive industry gathering that overwhelms the ski-resort of Park City Utah every year.

The movies being hyped at this year's event include Gurinder Chadha's What's Cooking? and Valerie Breiman's Love and Sex.




Stars fight ban on same sex marriages

Rocker Melissa Etheridge is joining a celebrity line-up to fight against new legislation that would ban same-sex marriages in the US state of California.

Etheridge will play at a Beverly Hills concert to raise funds for the campaign against Proposition 22, which will be put to a referendum in March.

Other stars defending the right to gay and lesbian marriages include actresses Lily Tomlin and Carrie Fisher and the cast of NBC sitcom Will and Grace.




Rhys Myers recalls 'gunpoint terror'

Gormenghast star Jonathan Rhys Meyers has revealed how his dreams of stardom were almost cut short when, aged 17, he was held at gunpoint by robbers.

The young actor said the six armed men demanded 25,000 after breaking into an Irish farmhouse he was staying at. The robbers eventually fled empty-handed.

In an interview for Now magazine, the 22-year-old said the terrifying ordeal had actually left him able to confront anything without being afraid.




Corrie star's slimming heartache

Coronation Street actress Tracy Shaw has spoken of her battle against the slimming disease anorexia after meeting a teenager still fighting the illness.

The soap star appeared on Thursday's Tonight with Trevor McDonald in a report about the rise in the number of people suffering from anorexia.

The actress interviewed 16-year-old Vicki Carter, whose parents were forced to fight her in the High Court to ensure she was treated

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