A guitar-playing pirate? Although some might assume the hook would snap the strings, "Pirates of the Caribbean" production designer Rick Heinrichs was happy to suspend reality while accommodating Keith Richards' cameo in next month's "At World's End." "[Director] Gore [Verbinski] wanted special instruments made for Keith, so me and the prop master, Kris Peck, contacted a friend of ours, Danny Farrington, who designs and builds guitars," Heinrichs said, revealing that the legendary Rolling Stones guitarist will wield his signature instrument in the movie — albeit a dramatically altered version. "We only had a week or so to do this stuff, but we came up with a sea-turtle guitar, as well as a few other period guitars of that time. We were thrilled to have Keith play them. He's in the background [of a scene], fingering away. They're very talented, these pirates." ...

It's no secret that Kirsten Dunst isn't a big fan of filming those "Spider-Man" action scenes. So now that the 24-year-old can finally put Mary Jane on the shelf for a while (or perhaps permanently), the actress is eager to continue developing what many are calling an Oscar-bait role. "It's being written," she said of "Sweet Relief," a drama based on the true story of activist-turned-aid worker Marla Ruzicka. "It would be such a challenging role, because I want to do this woman justice." The flick will star Dunst as the American-born founder of the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict, whose post-9/11 calling put her in the Middle East counting civilian casualties and assisting Iraqi victims, before being killed by a car bomber near Baghdad International Airport in 2005. "I don't think of movies [as award-worthy]," Dunst said of her desire to play Ruzicka. "This is about a woman volunteering without protection to go to Afghanistan to count bodies and help orphans, doing things on her own accord. ... [She had to know she was] going to die. It makes me real emotional. She has quite a story." The actress hopes to get the film in theaters for 2009. ...

London beauty Kate Beckinsale isn't quite sure exactly what "white trash" is, but she does know that right now, she's it. "I'm a waitress in a diner," she said of her upcoming role in "Winged Creatures," a drama with a superstar cast that has Beckinsale's hair bleached blond with unsightly roots peeking through. "It's a lot of different story lines — basically there's a bunch of people in the diner. ... Somebody comes in and shoots a bunch of people, then shoots himself. Really, the movie follows all of those different people through the post-traumatic stress." Beckinsale recently wrapped the film, and reports that she worked opposite Forest Whitaker, Guy Pearce and Dakota Fanning but didn't have any scenes with Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson. "I'm a waitress who lives in a trailer, hence my fabulous new hair color," she said. "It was very popular with the truckers. ... [I play] a single mom, I have a baby, and everything gets very difficult. It's dark, but it's a beautiful script." In addition to Hudson and Whitaker, "Creatures" also boasts recent Oscar nominee Jackie Earle Haley. The flick is due in theaters next year. ...

You might remember actor Peter Mensah delivering the message Leonidas didn't want to hear at the beginning of "300." Recently, the veteran actor delivered his own report to MTV News from the set of one of Hollywood's most anticipated movies. "I've been working on James Cameron's 'Avatar,' " Mensah grinned. "We just got back from Kaua'i, where we did about a week of shooting with Sigourney Weaver and the rest of the cast." The highly anticipated flick marks the long-overdue return of "Titanic" mastermind Cameron, and he is expected to break the boundaries of special effects with the sci-fi tale. "We'll be in production through the end of September. I can't tell you too much about the plot, but let's just say it's set in the future as opposed to in the past for ['300']." Mensah did reveal, however, that Cameron is making good use of the character actor's distinct features. "I will be like something you've never seen," he said cryptically of his CG-aided performance. "It's going to be pretty fantastic." ...

Muscle-bound "Norbit" funnyman Terry Crews is the latest actor to join the cast of a high-profile, soon-to-shoot drama about an LAPD cop framed by his former mentor. "I just booked a movie called 'The Night Watchman' with Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker," he revealed. "It's going to be directed by David Ayer, who wrote 'Training Day' and directed me and Christian Bale in 'Harsh Times.' This guy knows L.A." The noir-ish film stars Reeves as a disgraced, alcoholic cop still grieving over the death of his wife. "This is Keanu in one of his darkest, darkest roles. You will not believe how dark this thing is going to get. This is a hard-core, L.A. story." After years spent populating films like "Malibu's Most Wanted" and "Soul Plane," Crews said he's excited to finally sign on to a substantial dramatic part. "I'm the LAPD spokesman who basically learns that there's a lot of dirt going on," he grinned. "It comes back to bite all of us, and Keanu is in the middle." ...

Joel and Ethan Coen ("El Duderinos," if you're not into the whole brevity thing) have announced that their next two projects will be the spy film "Burn After Reading" and the dark comedy "A Serious Man." While few plot details have been released on either project, the Academy Award-winning filmmakers behind "Fargo" and "The Big Lebowski" have confirmed that George Clooney, Frances McDormand and Brad Pitt will star in "Burn." ...

Here's something you won't find in Newport Beach: "O.C." star Adam Brody as a dreadlocked pot dealer. "It's such a goofy idea for a movie. It's just a stoner, afternoon, munchie flick," Brody said of his hilariously hairy turn in "Smiley Face," an upcoming Anna Faris-starring comedy directed by Gregg Araki that became an unlikely hit at the Sundance Film Festival. "It's going to Cannes, which is crazy. I mean, it's about pot!" Brody said he signed onto the project because of the flick's unique mix of director and subject matter. "Gregg Araki comes from 'Mysterious Skin' and real art-house drama [stuff], and this movie is much more 'Dude, Where's My Car?' " Brody joked. "If nothing else, I thought it was a neat combination that would yield interesting results." The film was recently bumped back from its 4/20 release date (get it?) and is now expected in theaters toward the end of 2007. ...

Where do you go after bossing around Mickey Mouse? Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner is going back to high school with "Prom Queen," an irreverent online serial told in real time. With more than 80 parts, the mystery of "Prom Queen" follows a group of friends leading up to senior prom. "Prom Queen: Some girls would kill for it," says the film's Web site, where daily installments of the flick can be found.

Check out everything we've got on "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," Kirsten Dunst and Kate Beckinsale.

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