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6 items from 2003

Four added to panel for Fox drama 'Jury'

23 December 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Billy Burke, Adam Busch, Jeff Hephner and Cote de Pablo have been cast in Fox's legal drama pilot The Jury from producers Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana. Levinson is set to guest star in the 20th Century Fox TV pilot, which he also is directing. Penned by Fontana and James Yoshimura, the project looks at the legal process through the eyes of the jury. It is executive produced by Fontana, Yoshimura, Levinson and Jim Finnerty. In the pilot, now in production, Levinson plays Judge Horatio Hawthorne. Burke (Ladder 49) plays supervisor assistant district attorney John Ranguso, Hephner (Tigerland) plays assistant district attorney John O'Brien, Busch (Sugar & Spice) plays Steve Dixon, and de Pablo plays Maugerite Cisneros. The four join the previously cast Shalom Harlow. »

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Levinson in 'Crash' talks with Stratus

11 August 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Barry Levinson is in negotiations to direct the drama The Crash Detectives, which Stratus Films has acquired in turnaround from Universal Pictures. Don Murphy and his Angry Films are producing the project, which marks Stratus' first outing following the exit of company president Mark Gill to become head of Warner Bros. Pictures' newly formed specialty division, Warner Bros. Independent (HR 8/8). Detectives is based on a New Yorker magazine article by Jonathan Harr about National Transportation Safety Board investigators who determine the cause and liability of plane crashes. When a jet crashes into the Atlantic with no survivors, one investigator -- fueled by frustration over a crash he failed to solve years earlier -- is determined to successfully unravel the case as all parties have their own agenda to avoid blame. »

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Rhames, Polley rise for 'Dead'

9 May 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Ving Rhames and Sarah Polley are in final negotiations to star in Universal Pictures/Strike Entertainment's horror feature Dawn of the Dead for director Zack Snyder. The project, a reinvention of the 1978 horror film of the same name, goes into production next month. Written by James Gunn, Dead is about a mysterious plague that causes the newly dead to rise from their graves and begin to eat the living. During the chaos, a core group of remaining humans takes refuge in a shopping mall. These include a young nurse (Polley), the police-uniformed Kenneth (Rhames), a mall employee who works at Best Buy, a gangbanger and his pregnant Russian girlfriend. Strike's Marc Abraham and Eric Newman will produce Dead with the film's rights holder Richard P. Rubenstein. Tom Bliss is executive producing. Rhames, repped by ICM, next stars in the Barry Levinson-directed comedy Envy and the indie feature Sin. Polley, repped by WMA, is best known for her work in such films as The Sweet Hereafter, Go, Guinevere and The Weight of Water. »

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Lumet heads 'Search' party for HBO movie

14 April 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson have teamed with Sidney Lumet for Strip Search, a two-hour movie for HBO designed to air in two one-hour parts. Emmy winner Fontana is writing, and Lumet is set to direct the project, with Levinson and Fontana executive producing. The plot of the movie, now in development, is described as crime and punishment post-Sept. 11. The project is expected to carry the trademark gritty style of Levinson/Fontana -- the producing duo behind HBO's Oz and NBC's Homicide: Life on the Street -- and Lumet, director of such urban melodramas as Serpico, Prince of the City and Q & A. Strip Search marks the first collaboration between filmmakers Levinson and Lumet, who have 11 Oscar nominations between them. For Lumet, who got his start as a director in television in the 1950s, Strip Search will be the first telefilm he has directed since his adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's play The Iceman Cometh for CBS in 1960. Lumet most recently executive produced and directed the A&E series 100 Centre Street. He is currently working on the feature" The Set-Up, starring Halle Berry and James Gandolfini. Levinson and Fontana, who are under a deal at HBO, most recently executive produced the drama series project Baseball Wives for the cable network. Fontana won a writing Emmy award for his work on Homicide: Life on the Street. Levinson and Fontana are repped by UTA. »

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Fox swears in legal drama 'Circuit'

26 March 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Fox has given a late pickup to a legal drama pilot from Barry Levinson, Tom Fontana and Gavin Polone. Tentatively titled The Circuit, the show is targeted for fall. In other pilot news, Jon Cryer has been tapped to star opposite Charlie Sheen in the CBS comedy pilot Two and a Half Men. Meanwhile, writer-producer Joseph Dougherty has joined Fox's pilot The O.C., a Warner Bros. TV-produced drama, as an executive producer/showrunner. »

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ShoWest gets some star power

8 March 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

LAS VEGAS -- The closing-night awards banquet at ShoWest 2003 provided a much-needed star infusion to a virtually movie star-free event. Adam Sandler and current Oscar nominees Catherine Zeta-Jones, Christopher Walken and Diane Lane were among those on hand Thursday night to accept awards at the Paris hotel. In accepting the best supporting actress honor, Zeta-Jones said that working on the multi-Oscar-nominated "Chicago" was "one of the best experiences of my life," something she would have done "for zero." Director Barry Levinson next presented Walken with the supporting actor of the year award. Walken offered special thanks to Steven Spielberg and producer Walter Parkes for giving him the opportunity to play Leonardo DiCaprio's father in "Catch Me If You Can". DreamWorks' Michael DeLuca presented the director of the year award to Sam Mendes, who was snow-bound in New York. 20th Century Fox animation president Chris Meledandri presented the animation director of the year award, a new honor at ShoWest, to Chris Wedge. Wedge, director of the CGI smash "Ice Age" and the Oscar-winning short "Bunny", thanked the organizers of ShoWest for recognizing animation as an "emerging part of the entertainment business." »

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