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Anthony Hopkins used familiar environs — the filmmaking world — as the backdrop for his screenwriting debut. The actor stars as an aging, muddled scribe who is reworking a murder-mystery script when the fantasy on paper collides with reality. ”Something cataclysmic happens and he’s plunged into a vortex,” says Hopkins. ”It’s a comedy of the absurd.” No kidding: That vortex is populated by a murderous gangster (Christian Slater) and his sidekick (Jeffrey Tambor), a raging producer (John Turturro), and the fictional movie’s continuity editor (Camryn Manheim).

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