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16 items from 2006


Five deployed to Haggis' 'Valley'

7 December 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

James Franco, Frances Fisher, Tim McGraw, Jason Patric and Mehcad Brooks are making the trip for In the Valley of Elah, which Paul Haggis is directing for Warner Independent Pictures.

Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, Susan Sarandon and Jonathan Tucker already have been cast in the mystery thriller.

Valley, which also is known as the untitled Paul Haggis project at the studio because the title is likely to change, follows a war veteran (Jones) in search of his son, an exemplary soldier who recently returned from Iraq and has gone AWOL.

Franco is playing a sergeant, Fisher a waitress, McGraw a police chief and Patric an Army lieutenant. Brooks is a member of the son's squad.

Shooting is under way in New Mexico.

Haggis is producing with Larry Becsey, Patrick Wachsberger, Steve Samuels and Darlene Caamano; Stan Wlodkowski, Emilio Diez Barroso, Bob Hayward, David Garrett, Erik Feig and Jim Holt are serving as executive producers. The movie will be a Summit Entertainment and Samuels Media presentation. »

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Tucker joins Sarandon for trip to 'Valley'

1 December 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Susan Sarandon and Jonathan Tucker are joining the cast of In the Valley of Elah, Paul Haggis' follow-up to his Academy Award-winning hit Crash. Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron already have been cast in the Warner Independent Pictures mystery thriller.

Valley, which also is known as "the untitled Paul Haggis project" at the studio because the title is likely to change, follows a veteran father (Jones) in search of his son, an exemplary soldier who recently returned from Iraq and has mysteriously gone AWOL. Sarandon will play Jones' wife; Tucker plays the son.

Shooting is scheduled to take place this month in New Mexico and Morocco.

The story is based on an investigative article by Mark Boal in Playboy titled Death and Dishonor, which told the true story of an officer father who rejected the Army's claim of AWOL status for his son and discovered a murder. Haggis fictionalized the elements and will direct from his original screenplay based on a story he wrote with Boal. »

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Gyllenhaal Laughs Off Batman-Ledger Reunion

10 October 2006 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Jake Gyllenhaal has laughed off internet rumors claiming he will reunite with his Brokeback Mountain co-star Heath Ledger in the forthcoming Batman Begins sequel. Gyllenhaal was reportedly in talks to play Harvey 'Two-Face' Dent - the role taken on by Tommy Lee Jones in 1995 film Batman Forever. Ledger has already been cast to play The Joker in The Dark Knight, which sees Christian Bale taking on the Caped Crusader for a second time after his successful debut in 2005. But Gyllenhaal's agent says, "No, the other guy from Brokeback Mountain is in it if you haven't heard." »

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Theron and Lee Jones part of 'Garden' Mix

22 September 2006 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Quick Links > The Garden of Elah > Warner Independent Pictures > Paul Haggis > Charlize Theron > Tommy Lee Jones Right up there with “how did it feel to win the Oscar?” is the ever annoying question “so whatcha gonna do next?”. For the longest time, the standard Paul Haggis answer would have been Against All Enemies, but it now appears that 9/11 question will be replaced by a war drama set in Baghdad. Vareity reports that Haggis will next work on the Warner Independent Pictures project with producers Patrick Wachsberger's Summit Entertainment and Steve Samuels Media Capital backing the project entitled The Garden of Elah. The writer/helmer is currently in talks with Charlize Theron and Tommy Lee Jones are in talks that would see Jones play the role of a career soldier whose son mysteriously goes Awol, shortly after returning to the U.S. from the front lines in Iraq. »

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Theron, Jones eye Haggis pic

22 September 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Oscar winners Charlize Theron and Tommy Lee Jones are in discussions to topline Paul Haggis' next feature film, an untitled mystery thriller that is serving as his directorial follow-up to his Academy Award-winning hit Crash. Warner Independent Pictures is co-financing and will distribute domestically. The story follows a veteran father in search of his son, an exemplary soldier who recently returned from Iraq and has mysteriously gone AWOL. The story is based on an investigative article by Mark Boal in Playboy titled Death and Dishonor, which told the true story about an officer-father who rejected the Army's claim of AWOL status for his son and discovered a murder. Haggis fictionalized the elements and will direct from his original screenplay based on a story he wrote with Boal. Haggis is producing with Larry Becsey. »

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Phillippe Lands Two-Face Role?

16 August 2006 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Ryan Phillippe may be set to take over from Tommy Lee Jones after reportedly landing the role of Harvey Dent/Two-Face in the upcoming Batman Begins sequel. Reese Witherspoon's husband will join Heath Ledger, who has signed on to play The Joker, and new Batman Christian Bale in The Dark Knight. Crash star Phillippe beat Liev Shreiber and Josh Lucas to the role of the scheming district attorney, played by Jones in 1995 movie Batman Forever, according to internet reports. Academy Award winners Sir Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman have also joined the cast, while fellow Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman is in talks to play The Penguin in the new film. »

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Coens tap Root, Harrelson

6 June 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The Coen brothers have lassoed Woody Harrelson and Stephen Root for their contemporary Western thriller No Country for Old Men. The film will be distributed by Paramount Vantage domestically and by Miramax Films internationally. Based on the acclaimed Cormac McCarthy novel, the story deals with the battle between good and evil and the importance of choice and chance in shaping destiny. Written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, the film stars Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem. Scott Rudin and the Coens are producing, while Miramax is co-financing. »

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Stick It

28 April 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- This gently titled film has to do with the world of female gymnastics, which instantly provides it with a commercial hook. Much like "Bring It On", the cheerleading movie also written by this film's writer-director Jessica Bendinger, "Stick It" spends an inordinate amount of time ogling the tight, lithe bodies of its young female characters. Thus, what might have appealed only to teen girls might well have crossover appeal to leering young boys as well.

Yes, there is an inspirational plot of sorts in the film, which mainly involves advising young people to defy the rules of their chosen sport and seek only personal satisfaction and glory rather than strive for discipline and honor.

The central character is 17-year-old Haley Graham (Missy Peregrym), a rebel without a cause who, after getting into some trouble with the law, is sentenced by a judge to do time at an elite gymnastics academy. (Apparently, Texas, where the story is set, has loosened its forms of punishment).

Thus, Haley is reunited with the same girls she let down when she abruptly walked out of a championship competition years before. Given a dose of tough love by her new, hard-nosed coach (Jeff Bridges), she reluctantly takes up the sport again. Despite the ire of her teammates, particularly her chief competitor Joanne (Vanessa Lengies), Haley finds herself inspired to again lead her group to the championships.

It comes as no surprise that the director, making her feature debut, has music video experience because "Stick It" is filmed in a hyperkinetic, in your face style that will induce headaches in anyone who has passed their teens. Equally assaulting is the ultra-loud rock soundtrack, featuring music by the likes of Missy Elliott, Electric Six, K7 and My Morning Jacket.

The film might well inspire young girls to take up the sport, especially because its egregious climactic segment features the characters engaging in routines more inspired by "Flashdance" than anything ever seen at the Olympics.

On every other level, the film is thoroughly ordinary, with the only distinction being Bridges' typically unaffected and engaging performance. Still, as with Tommy Lee Jones' recent "Man of the House", it's depressing to see this distinguished actor, a four-time Oscar nominee, playing second fiddle to skimpily dressed teens.

Peregrym displays some charisma, as well as her firm physique, in the central role, and among those adult performers showing up as aggrieved parents are Julie Warner, Jon Gries and Gia Carides.

Stick It

A Buena Vista Pictures release

A Touchstone Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment presentation

A Barber/Birnbaum, Jessica Bendinger/Gail Lyon production

Credits:

Director-screenwriter: Jessica Bendinger

Producer: Gail Lyon

Executive producers: Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Jonathan Glickman, Derek Evans, David Crockett

Director of photography: Daryn Okada

Production designer: Bruce Curtis

Editor: Troy Takaki

Costume designer: Carol Ramsey: Music: Mike Simpson

Cast:

Burt Vickerman: Jeff Bridges

Haley Graham: Missy Peregrym

Joanne Charis: Vanessa Lengies

Wei Wei Yong: Nikki Soorhoo

Mina Hoyt: Maddy Curley

Frank: Kellan Lutz

Poot: John Patrick Amedori

Brice Graham: Jon Gries

Mrs. Charis: Julie Warner

Alice Graham: Gia Carides

MPAA rating PG-13

Running time -- 103 minutes »

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Urban, Walsh set to topline CBS projects

18 April 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Karl Urban has been tapped to star in CBS' miniseries Comanche Moon, with Ryan Merriman, Elizabeth Banks, Graham Greene and Wes Studi also cast in the project from Oscar-winning writers Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana. Meanwhile, Amanda Walsh has landed the female lead in the CBS comedy pilot The Big Bang Theory. Based on McMurtry's novel, Comanche Moon, a prequel to Lonesome Dove, follows Gus McCrae (Steve Zahn) and Woodrow Call (Urban) through their years as Texas Rangers as they create legends for themselves fighting the Comanche to open West Texas for settlement. In CBS' 1989 adaptation of Lonesome Dove, McCrae and Call were played by Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones, respectively. »

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Trailer Trash: A Prairie Home Companion

23 March 2006 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- A Prairie Home Companion – Picturehouse Films Behind these curtains lies the most fun you’ll have at the movies this summer, and you can quote them on that Welcome to A Prairie Home Companion, the poor man’s hillbilly version of A Mighty Wind. The term Prairie Home Companion can also be used to describe my very best friend I had growing up; an old wooden plank with a rotting goldfish nailed to it with a bent rusty nail that I hid in underneath the haystacks in our barn, which eventually gave me lockjaw, but hey, I had to learn how to kiss sometime. Did I mention I come from a small town? Giving Ben Stein, Casey Affleck and Jorja Fox a run for their money: Keillor I figured I’d give the trailer for Aphc a gander after Robert Altman’s mind-numbing acceptance speech for receiving an honorary »

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Luna to ride 'Bufalo' as producer, star

12 March 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

MEXICO CITY -- Actor Diego Luna is co-producing the drama El Bufalo de la Noche (The Night Buffalo) with Mexican scribe Guillermo Arriaga, production company La Neta Films announced Friday. Luna will also star in the film, which tells the story of a destructive love affair. Arriaga won best screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival for Tommy Lee Jones' The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. Luna is best known for his performance in Alfonso Cuaron's hit drama Y tu Mama Tambien. »

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A Prairie Home Companion

14 February 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Screened at the Berlin International Film Festival

BERLIN -- Not since Woody Allen's "Radio Days" has anyone created such a cinematic Valentine to the wonderfully imaginative medium of radio as "A Prairie Home Companion". Garrison Keillor, impresario, creator and host of one of radio's longest running programs -- 31 years and counting -- and director Robert Altman are a match made in heaven. To these two Midwesterners, the region's dry, whimsical humor, unfailing politeness and straight-shooting sensibility are as natural as their own skins. There is no artifice or slickness here, just a native, keen intelligence that slyly hides behind homespun wit and verbal slapstick.

Keillor's radio show is, of course, beloved by many and Altman's movie, as Altman movies so often do, comes heavily populated with marquee actors. So the domestic theatrical audience for "Prairie" should be wide and varied. Overseas is a tough call: So much of the movie relies on deep-grained American humor along with puns and word play in English that get lost in subtitles. Nevertheless, an audience here at the Berlinale responded favorably to the music-flavored film even if some of verbal gags fell flat.

Filmed at St. Paul's Fitzgerald Theater in Keillor's home state of Minnesota, "Prairie" essentially puts a radio show much like "A Prairie Home Companion" on film. Backstage, onstage and around the aging theater, the movie (written by Keillor from a story by him and Ken LaZebnik) imagines a fateful final broadcast of a show that has been given the axe by a soulless Texas corporation. (Keillor knows how to pick his villain's state, doesn't he?)

The central musical acts belong to Yolanda and Rhonda Johnson (Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin), the remaining members of what once was a four-sister country music act, and Dusty and Lefty (Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly), singing cowboys and rivals in one-upsmanship.

Yolanda's daughter Lola (Lindsay Lohan) distracts herself from her mom's oft-told tales of the theatrical life by penning poems about suicide. Guy Noir, a recurring character on Keillorr's show, is brought aboard here as the program's "security director." As the throwback detective, Kevin Kline mixes Chandler-esque dialogue with more than a touch of Peter Seller's Inspector Clouseau.

The broadcast's harried stage manager (Tim Russell, a regular on Keillor's show) and his assistant ("Saturday Night Live"'s Maya Rudolph) are given new ways to break into sweat by the unpredictable cast. And through all the delightful confusion and musical numbers drift two iconic figures: GK (Keillor himself), a benign, unruffled presence who smoothly adapts to all exigencies, and a Dangerous Woman (Virginia Madsen), an angel in a white trench coat, taking the earthly and shapely form of a woman who died listening to the show's broadcast. It was a penguin joke that done her in.

Minor attempts to introduce plot material -- such as an unlikely past affair between Yolanda and GK, the death of a performer and the arrival of the corporate axeman Tommy Lee Jones) -- never lead anywhere. Even the filmmakers seem to forget them moments after their introduction.

No, the movie steadfastly sticks to its radio roots. The comic bits from Streep & Tomlin and Harrelson & Reilly are gems of off-the-cuff humor. Keillor's droll lyrics and jingles for fictional sponsors poke good-natured fun. The toe-tapping musical performances are refreshingly captured by Edward Lachman's mobile camera, all smoothly edited by Jacob Craycroft.

As a character remarks, this radio show is the kind of program that died 50 years ago only someone forgot to tell the performers. Thank God for that.

A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION

Picturehouse

GreeneStreet Films and River Road Entertainment present a Sandcastle 5 and Prairie Home production

Credits: Director: Robert Altman; Writer: Garrison Keillor; Story by: Garrison Keilor, Ken LaZebnik; Producers: Robert Altman; Wren Arthur, Joshua Astrachan, Tony Judge, David Levy; Executive producers: William Pohlad, John Penotti, Fisher Stevens, George Sheanshang; Director of photography: Edward Lachman; Production designer: Dina Goldman; Music: Richard Dworsky; Costumes: Catherine Marie Thomas; Editor: Jacob Craycroft.

Cast: Yolanda Johnson: Meryl Streep; Rhonda Johnson: Lily Tomlin; GK: Garrison Keillor; Dusty: Woody Harrelson; Lefty: John C. Reilly; Lola: Lindsay Lohan; Guy Noir: Kevin Kline; Molly: Maya Rudolph; Axeman: Tommy Lee Jones; Dangerous woman: Virginia Madsen.

No MPAA rating, running time 105 minutes. »

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A Prairie Home Companion

12 February 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Screened at the Berlin International Film Festival

BERLIN -- Not since Woody Allen's "Radio Days" has anyone created such a cinematic Valentine to the wonderfully imaginative medium of radio as "A Prairie Home Companion". Garrison Keillor, impresario, creator and host of one of radio's longest running programs -- 31 years and counting -- and director Robert Altman are a match made in heaven. To these two Midwesterners, the region's dry, whimsical humor, unfailing politeness and straight-shooting sensibility are as natural as their own skins. There is no artifice or slickness here, just a native, keen intelligence that slyly hides behind homespun wit and verbal slapstick.

Keillor's radio show is, of course, beloved by many and Altman's movie, as Altman movies so often do, comes heavily populated with marquee actors. So the domestic theatrical audience for "Prairie" should be wide and varied. Overseas is a tough call: So much of the movie relies on deep-grained American humor along with puns and word play in English that get lost in subtitles. Nevertheless, an audience here at the Berlinale responded favorably to the music-flavored film even if some of verbal gags fell flat.

Filmed at St. Paul's Fitzgerald Theater in Keillor's home state of Minnesota, "Prairie" essentially puts a radio show much like "A Prairie Home Companion" on film. Backstage, onstage and around the aging theater, the movie (written by Keillor from a story by him and Ken LaZebnik) imagines a fateful final broadcast of a show that has been given the axe by a soulless Texas corporation. (Keillor knows how to pick his villain's state, doesn't he?)

The central musical acts belong to Yolanda and Rhonda Johnson (Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin), the remaining members of what once was a four-sister country music act, and Dusty and Lefty (Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly), singing cowboys and rivals in one-upsmanship.

Yolanda's daughter Lola (Lindsay Lohan) distracts herself from her mom's oft-told tales of the theatrical life by penning poems about suicide. Guy Noir, a recurring character on Keillorr's show, is brought aboard here as the program's "security director." As the throwback detective, Kevin Kline mixes Chandler-esque dialogue with more than a touch of Peter Seller's Inspector Clouseau.

The broadcast's harried stage manager (Tim Russell, a regular on Keillor's show) and his assistant ("Saturday Night Live"'s Maya Rudolph) are given new ways to break into sweat by the unpredictable cast. And through all the delightful confusion and musical numbers drift two iconic figures: GK (Keillor himself), a benign, unruffled presence who smoothly adapts to all exigencies, and a Dangerous Woman (Virginia Madsen), an angel in a white trench coat, taking the earthly and shapely form of a woman who died listening to the show's broadcast. It was a penguin joke that done her in.

Minor attempts to introduce plot material -- such as an unlikely past affair between Yolanda and GK, the death of a performer and the arrival of the corporate axeman Tommy Lee Jones) -- never lead anywhere. Even the filmmakers seem to forget them moments after their introduction.

No, the movie steadfastly sticks to its radio roots. The comic bits from Streep & Tomlin and Harrelson & Reilly are gems of off-the-cuff humor. Keillor's droll lyrics and jingles for fictional sponsors poke good-natured fun. The toe-tapping musical performances are refreshingly captured by Edward Lachman's mobile camera, all smoothly edited by Jacob Craycroft.

As a character remarks, this radio show is the kind of program that died 50 years ago only someone forgot to tell the performers. Thank God for that.

A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION

Picturehouse

GreeneStreet Films and River Road Entertainment present a Sandcastle 5 and Prairie Home production

Credits: Director: Robert Altman; Writer: Garrison Keillor; Story by: Garrison Keilor, Ken LaZebnik; Producers: Robert Altman; Wren Arthur, Joshua Astrachan, Tony Judge, David Levy; Executive producers: William Pohlad, John Penotti, Fisher Stevens, George Sheanshang; Director of photography: Edward Lachman; Production designer: Dina Goldman; Music: Richard Dworsky; Costumes: Catherine Marie Thomas; Editor: Jacob Craycroft.

Cast: Yolanda Johnson: Meryl Streep; Rhonda Johnson: Lily Tomlin; GK: Garrison Keillor; Dusty: Woody Harrelson; Lefty: John C. Reilly; Lola: Lindsay Lohan; Guy Noir: Kevin Kline; Molly: Maya Rudolph; Axeman: Tommy Lee Jones; Dangerous woman: Virginia Madsen.

No MPAA rating, running time 105 minutes. »

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Gyllenhaal and Bettany to Join Batman?

7 February 2006 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Brokeback Mountain star Jake Gyllenhaal is being touted as Gotham City district attorney Harvey Dent in the next Batman sequel, along with Paul Bettany, who may play the Joker. Gyllenhaal would play Gotham City's good-guy lawyer, who mutates into his alter-ego, Two-Face, in the third film. In the sequel, Batman would team with Harvey Dent to destroy the Joker, according to moviehole.net. Tommy Lee Jones formerly played Dent/Two-Face on the big screen in Batman Forever. Star Christian Bale is set to return, as well as Michael Caine as butler Alfred. »

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No Country for Coens

3 February 2006 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- The famed Coen Brothers, Joel and Ethan, have signed on to write and direct an adaptation of No Country for Old Men, a novel by Cormac McCarthy (All the Pretty Horses) set to be released sometime in 2007. The story revolves around a Vietnam veteran, who, while hunting happens upon a drug deal gone awry along the Tex-Mex border in 1980. He makes off with a busload of money and heroin, only to have himself subsequently hunted by an old sheriff and a psychotic killer who takes care of his victims with a cattle gun used in slaughterhouses. I’m guessing they want their stash back. I can feel my testicles shrinking already. In talks to star in the film are Tommy Lee Jones (Space Cowboys) and Javier Bardem (Collateral), with Scott Rudin (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) attached as producer. We haven’t been treated to a Coen Brothers movie since the boring-as-all-hell Ladykillers, »

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'No Country' 'tis of three: Coens, Jones

2 February 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen are in advanced talks to write, direct and produce an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's 2005 novel No Country for Old Men. Tommy Lee Jones is in negotiations to star. The project marks the second pact involving producer Scott Rudin, Paramount's specialty division president John Lesher and Miramax Films president Daniel Battsek. Jones will play contemporary Westerner Llewelyn Moss, an antelope hunter who discovers a pile of dead men along with $2 million and a sizable stash of heroin. Violence ensues when Moss decides to play finders keepers. Heath Ledger had been in talks to co-star, but the actor, who withdrew his interest in the project, has said he plans to take "some time off." »

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16 items from 2006


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