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Will Zeta be the new Pam in Dallas?

by HENRY MELLAR, Daily Mail 08:21am 30th March 2005
Catherine Zeta Jones

Queen of the ranch: Click to see photos of Victoria Principal as Pamela Ewing and Catherine Zeta Jones
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Smouldering glamour is her speciality.

But filling Victoria Principal's considerable shoulder pads could be Catherine Zeta Jones's most demanding role yet.

The Welsh actress is said to be lined up to play Pamela Ewing in a movie adaptation of the 1980s TV classic Dallas.

Miss Principal, now 59, played Bobby Ewing's glamorous sweet-natured wife in the American series from 1978 to 1987.

In fact it is the role she is still best known for. Miss Zeta-Jones has had a more varied acting repertoire, starting in British TV in The Darling Buds of May and going on to win an Oscar for her supporting role in Chicago.

Her Hollywood credentials could come in handy as other big names are said to be lining up to join the cast.

Big names

Brad Pitt, who appeared with her in Ocean's Eleven and Ocean's Twelve, is said to be in the running to play Bobby Ewing, the role that made Patrick Duffy's name on the show.

Pitt actually appeared in three episodes of the TV series in 1987, as Randy, the boyfriend of Jenna Wade's daughter.

Melanie Griffith is thought to be up for J.R's alcoholic wife Sue Ellen ( originally played by Linda Gray) and Burt Reynolds for Larry Hagman's legendary role as J.R. Ewing. "We want to make a big all-star, flashy, go-for-it version of the TV series," said screenwriter Robert Harding, who hopes to distil 357 one-hour episodes into a two-hour movie.

But diehard fans are sceptical about Miss Zeta Jones, 35, making the transition from South Wales to Southfork, the Ewing family ranch.

"I think it's very risky," said Stuart Neumann of The Original Dallas Fan Club.

"How someone from Wales is going to convince the fans she is Texan I don't know."

Mr Harding remains adamant the movie, which like the TV series will start with Bobby and Pam's wedding, can be made. "It's all about reinventing the series to fit 2006 - the year we want to release the film."

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