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Friday, 21 July, 2000, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
Last Orders for Sir Michael
Sir Michael Caine
Sir Michael won an Oscar for the Cider House Rules
Sir Michael Caine will star as a dead man in a film version of the Booker Prize-winning novel, Last Orders.

The 67-year-old Oscar winner will play butcher Jack Dodds, whose dying wish is that his ashes be scattered by his friends into the sea.

The film, based on the book by Graham Swift, will feature an all-British cast including Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, David Hemmings, Tom Courtenay and Ray Winstone.

The story concerns a group of men, friends since the second world war, whose lives revolve around work, family, greyhound racing and their favourite pub in Bermondsey, south London.

Graham Swift's Last Orders
Graham Swift's prize-winning novel was also a best-seller
A spokesman for the actor said: "What makes it a very funny role is that Michael's character is dead in the film."

Sir Michael, who was awarded his knighthood in last month's Queen's Birthday Honours List, will appear in flashback scenes rather than as a ghost.

Swift's novel was highly praised at the time of publication and described in a review by Salman Rushdie as his "finest work to date: beautifully written, gentle, funny, truthful, touching and profound".

An earlier novel by the author, Waterland, was also adapted into a film starring Jeremy Irons.

Another honour

Sir Michael, who won an Oscar this spring for his role as a doctor in The Cider House Rules, is set for yet another lifetime achievement award.

Earlier this year, the actor was presented with both the prestigious Bafta fellowship and the Empire Film Awards outstanding achievement prize.

Sir Michael, who will be presented with his latest award at the San Sebastian Film Festival in September, is due to finish filming his latest film, Miss Congeniality, with Speed star Sandra Bullock this weekend.

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See also:

16 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Caine leads showbiz honours
16 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Sir Michael: In from the cold
12 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Caine shrugs off speech critics
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