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Oliver Stone's semi-comic masterpiece W may yet make its mid-October release deadline, as reports speculate Richard Dreyfuss is close to signing on as vice president Dick Cheney. The role was the only one Stone had not cast for the film, which started shooting last week in Louisiana. The 60-year-old Brooklynite who once fought off Jaws, mashed-potatoed his way into an alien abduction in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and scored a Best Actor Oscar for The Goodbye Girl, will be entrusted with Cheney's despotic war hawk in the weeks ahead.

And why not? His nasal-y, insistent deadpan is a fine match for zingers like, "Anyone can go to Baghdad. Real men go to Tehran," and his tightly wound, liberal Jewish disposition should dovetail seamlessly with the Wyoming native's unbridled Republican blood lust. Nope, no stunt casting here! What — Cate Blanchett wasn't available?