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Wayne Wang, who opened his new Miramax film “Smoke” at the Berlin Film Festival, used the time to land a star for his next film, “The Big Nowhere” for United Artists.

Among the cast members taking bows for their roles in the well-received “Smoke” were William Hurt, who has agreed to star in Wang’s next effort, which Wang described as a murder mystery set in the movie biz in Los Angeles in the 1950s. The project is based on the book by James Ellroy, adapted by Nick and Chris Kazan.

Wang’s attention is still focused on “Smoke” and its improvisational spinoff, “Blue in the Face,” which featured much of the same cast.

He said he’s gotten a stronger initial response for “Smoke” than he did for “The Joy Luck Club.” “The press conference was nearly a riot,” said Wang. “It’s uncommon for the Germans, who are usually laidback, but they were stomping their feet and they wouldn’t stop.” He said Miramax plans a June U.S. opening.