The Mexican |


Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, ...

(The Mexican: Merrick Morton)

Well, sort of. Just how much time the two megastars will actually spend on screen together remains to be seen, but the plot apparently pulls the duo apart pretty quickly. Pitt plays a hapless minion for the Mob who’s sent south of the border to pick up an ancient, cursed gun; Roberts is his girlfriend, who desperately wants him to leave the Family; Gandolfini – in his first major film role since making a killing as Tony Soprano – is the nasty hood who kidnaps Roberts to ensure that Pitt doesn’t screw up; and keep your eyes open for Hackman in a cameo appearance.

”Brad and Julia only have five or six scenes together,” says Verbinski (who directed an even cuter – and furrier – star in 1997’s ”Mouse Hunt”). ”But even when they’re separated, they talk about each other. And a little of their chemistry goes a long way.” Clearly the two stars weren’t bothered by their split screen performances – both took major salary cuts to keep the film’s budget under $40 million. ”It’s not just a star vehicle for these two,” insists producer Lawrence Bender. ”It’s a great script that both Julia and Brad really wanted to do.”