Producers of hit TV show Lost are planning to end the final series with a movie blockbuster to curb the cast's demands for a pay rise.

Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly and Dominic Monaghan were furious last week (28AUG05) after discovering they are paid only a fifth of what the stars of rival show Desperate Housewives earn.

The big-budget movie will come either at the end of the second series, which is currently being filmed in Hawaii, or at the end of the third if the show continues to attract huge audiences worldwide.

Three rival Hollywood studios are currently fighting to secure the rights to the movie, in a deal which would make the show's biggest stars at least $3.6 million (GBP2 million) richer.

A series insider says, "The last thing producers want is a mutiny. Now they've hit a sure-fire way of hitting the big bucks.

"Three studios have said they are keen to make a Lost blockbuster. The show is seen in more than 70 countries, so it's guaranteed box-office success. Whoever puts in the best bid will get the prize.

"Now the actors have been told about a film deal they're overjoyed. There are lots of ideas about how the story could end but it's thought that who ever is left will be found."