Britney on hold

Don't look for a Madonna-Britney Spears duet anytime soon.

Although there have been reports that the two Queens of Pop may do a record together, Madonna's publicist says the project is just in the talking stages.

"It's nowhere near being a reality," Liz Rosenberg told The Associated Press Monday. "It's one of many things Madonna is thinking about in the future."

Spears, 19, has said Madonna is one of her biggest influences, and the 42-year-old veteran gushed about Spears in the February issue of Elle magazine.

Moving to movies

Although country singer Garth Brooks has announced his retirement, he's not going to be idle.

The 38-year-old Brooks said Sunday night that his movie production company will make a statement about its first project in about 10 days.

He said despite expectations, it won't be "The Lamb," his film about his fictional rock-star alter ego, Chris Gaines.

'"The Lamb' is still Paramount's baby, and if Paramount says we're going forward with this ... and if they're crazy enough to let me do the soundtrack, I'll go back in and do it, even though it was the hardest thing I've ever done. ... the Chris Gaines project," he said.

Big shoes to fill

Julianne Moore subs for Jodie Foster as FBI agent Clarice Starling in "Hannibal," the sequel to "The Silence of the Lambs" The film opens Feb. 9.

In the February issue of Premiere magazine, Moore writes about stepping into the long-awaited sequel and life on the set: "There were the inevitable Jodie Foster questions, to which I said � as I always do � she's great, she's brilliant, and I hope I can act the role half as well as she did."

"Hannibal," directed by Ridley Scott, takes up the story of Hannibal Lecter and Starling eight years after the killer's escape from custody.

"This was one of the few movies I've been on where I hated to see it end," Moore writes in Premiere, on newsstands Monday.

'Traffic' ticket

Benicio Del Toro is hoping his latest film role will shift his career into overdrive.

"I hope it opens some doors for me," Del Toro, a star of "Traffic," told the New York Daily News for Sunday's editions. "Talk to me in a year and a half, and we'll see!"

Del Toro was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in the movie about the drug war, directed by Steven Soderbergh. The role also earned him best supporting actor honors from the New York Film Critics Circle.

"Traffic" went into nationwide release Friday.


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