Reuters recently caught up with screenwriter Robert Harling to talk about the big screen adaptation of the hit primetime TV series which ran from 1978-1991, Dallas, which he's adapting for director Robert Luketic. Apparently Harling has been working on the script for over 18 months now...

It's reinventing the Ewing family as if they existed now in 2006 when the movie comes out," Harling said, explaining that he did not follow the plots developed over more than a decade in the series, though fans will recognize some things.

"In this story Bobby and Pam meet, fall in love and get married, J.R. and Sue Ellen are Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and we have the patriarch Jock and the matriarch Miss Ellie."

"These characters are outrageous -- one of things I told the studio is I'd like to do 'Dallas on acid,"' Harling said, promising humor, glamour, cliff-hangers and suspense.

He said the plot and characters were informed by such dramas as the collapse of oil giant Enron as well as by modern day celebrities such as heiress Paris Hilton.

When news of the film came out last year, Hollywood papers mentioned Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta-Jones as possible stars but Harling said he had been sworn to secrecy over who would take the roles made famous by Larry Hagman and Linda Gray.

"They really want the big, all-star, flashy, go-for-it version of the TV series," Harling said.

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