Who will play J.R. Ewing?
Ewing. J.R. Ewing. It doesn’t have the same ring as 007’s catchphrase, but speculating about who’ll be cast as the sinister oil baron made infamous by Larry Hagman for the upcoming big-screen adaptation of the prime-time soap Dallas is Hollywood’s favorite guessing game after who’s in line to be the next James Bond. John Travolta is reportedly the J.R. front-runner, with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Matthew McConaughey possibly in line for wife Sue Ellen and brother Bobby. Original Lucy Ewing Charlene Tilton is pushing for a casting twist for her Lolita-esque character: ”Hire the Olsen twins. It’s gonna take two people to fill my shoes.” Screenwriter Robert Harling promises no such stunts, but don’t expect a strictly faithful remake. ”We’re starting from scratch,” he says. ”We’ll see the Ewing clan in 2006. Nothing is borrowed — except an unbelievable dynasty on a ranch called Southfork that basically rules the world.” So far his biggest hurdle is not getting trumped by current events. ”When dramatizing the antics of power-mad superrich Texans, you have to scramble to stay ahead of the headlines,” he says. ”I come up with ideas and the next week it’s in The New York Times.”