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Thandie Newton in a Guy Ritchie film

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Thandie Newton and rapper Ludacris have joined the cast of director Guy Ritchie's new gangster film RocknRolla. The movie - about British gangsters who get involved with the Russian mob - began shooting in London earlier this month. It will also star 300 star Gerard Butler as a crafty but shady businessman and 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' actor Tom Wilkinson, whose character is one of London's main old-school gangsters who finds himself quitting crime because of foreign mobsters.

Newton will play Butler's love interest - an accountant linked to the criminal underworld - while Ludacris is cast as an American musician trying to make it big in London.

Ritchie has written the script for the film, which will cost about 10m to make - a low budget by Hollywood standards. The British filmmaker's wife, Madonna, is also rumoured to be appearing in the movie.

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