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Original Issue

The Beat

AFTER HE saw Dale, the 2007 documentary about his late father, Dale Earnhardt Jr. raved, "I was amazed. Blown away." Now he wants to see more of his dad on screen. Junior and Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, have, despite their rocky relationship, agreed to cooperate on a Hollywood biopic about the seven-time Winston Cup champ. Who will wear Number 3's signature 'stache? SI's suggestion: Chris Cooper, start your engine.... Artis Gilmore (right) was thrilled to shoot a cameo last year for the Will Ferrell comedy Semi-Pro but now the former ABA MVP has some explaining to do. "I was bragging about the scene for months," he says. "Then the scene got cut. I'm disappointed." Gilmore still plans to screen the movie for friends, but he'll censor a few moments. "I really want to take my church's minister," he says, "but I hear there's some R-rated language." ... Steven Spielberg, who was to be the Beijing Olympics' artistic director, quit last week to protest China's oil-trade ties with Sudan, whose government, Spielberg said, "bears the bulk of the responsibility" for the genocide in Darfur. China's Olympic committee said the move was "not in line with the Olympic spirit that separates sports from politics."


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