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4 items from 2004


Close Your Eyes

9 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

In the effectively creepy "Close Your Eyes", "ER" regular Goran Visnjic retains his medical license as a psychic hypnotherapist who's recruited by British police to uncover the identity of a traumatized young girl's twisted kidnapper.

Based on the novel "Doctor Sleep" by Madison Smartt Bell, the atmospheric psychological thriller weaves a compelling web thanks to dense, stylized direction by Nick Willing and a smartly assembled cast.

The First Look release, shot in 2001, is certainly worth a look, though it's done no favors by a title that can be too easily confused with Alejandro Amenabar's "Open Your Eyes", not to mention "Close My Eyes", a 1991 Alan Rickman-Clive Owen film.

In his first lead feature role,

Visnjic carries a soft-spoken authority as Dr. Michael Strother, who has relocated to London with his very pregnant wife (Miranda Otto) and daughter Lauren Gabrielle Volpert) after leaving behind some unpleasant business back home in America.

Hoping to start again with a small practice helping patients to quit smoking, he's sidetracked by a detective (dark-eyed Shirley Henderson) who has been working on the case of a girl (Sophie Stuckey) rendered speechless after being kidnapped by a presumed ritual killer.

The pair embark on a rather unorthodox procedural that leads them down an eerie path filled with spooky old churches and the liturgies of 16th century religious fanatics.

Director Willing, who also adapted the script with William Brookfield, knows a thing or two about mood-setting, having helmed the lavish NBC miniseries "Alice in Wonderland" and "Jason and the Argonauts".

Here, he allows the intrigue to unfold against a bleak contemporary London backdrop that appears to be in a constant state of transition, from the dusty construction sites that surround Strother's working environment to those imposing houses of worship that have been converted to everything from theaters to luxury apartment complexes.

Given the Gothic window dressing, all Vijsnic, Henderson and company (also including Paddy Considine, Fiona Shaw and Corin Redgrave) are required to do is to act naturally, and they admirably resist the temptation to nibble on all that tasty scenery. »

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Lee tapped as baddest dude in all 'Elektra'

7 May 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Will Yun Lee, who most recently appeared onscreen in Joseph Kahn's Torque for Warner Bros. Pictures, is set to star as the main villain in Elektra for Regency Enterprises and 20th Century Fox. Shooting starts this month in Vancouver, with Rob Bowman at the helm. The Daredevil spinoff stars Jennifer Garner as Elektra Natchios. In this film, she plays a beautiful but deadly assassin who was trained by the Hand, a clan of mystical ninjas. When she turns her back on them, they want her dead. Lee will play the head of the Hand. Goran Visnjic stars as Garner's love interest, with Terence Stamp rounding out the cast. Producing are Marvel's Avi Arad and Horseshoe Bay partners Mark Steven Johnson and Gary Foster. Lee is repped by Sam Maydew at Pop Art Management and Ryan Martin at Agency for the Performing Arts. He next stars opposite Bai Ling in Face. He also teamed with Kahn to star opposite Mariah Carey in the songbird's music video "Boy (I Need You)." »

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Visnjic prey for Garner in 'Elektra'

26 April 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Goran Visnjic, who starred as the title character in last week's USA Network movie special Spartacus, is in negotiations to star as the male lead opposite Jennifer Garner in Elektra for helmer Rob Bowman. The Regency Enterprises/20th Century Fox film is due to start lensing in early May in Vancouver. The Daredevil spinoff finds Garner reprising her role as Elektra Natchios. In this film, she plays a beautiful and deadly assassin who was trained by the Hand, a clan of mystical ninjas. When she turns her back on them, they want her dead. Elektra is assigned to kill Visnjic's character by the Hand over something his grandfather did; however, she ends up falling for him. Terence Stamp rounds out the cast. Producing are Marvel's Avi Arad and Horseshoe Bay partners Mark Steven Johnson and Gary Foster. Visnjic heads to Vancouver after wrapping up duties on ER. After the film is finished, he will return to Los Angeles to tape his final season on the NBC medical drama. He is repped by Endeavor and attorney Barry Tyerman. His other film credits include Welcome to Sarajevo, Practical Magic, The Deep End and the current release Close Your Eyes. »

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Visnjic prey for Garner in 'Elektra'

26 April 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Goran Visnjic, who starred as the title character in last week's USA Network movie special Spartacus, is in negotiations to star as the male lead opposite Jennifer Garner in Elektra for helmer Rob Bowman. The Regency Enterprises/20th Century Fox film is due to start lensing in early May in Vancouver. The Daredevil spinoff finds Garner reprising her role as Elektra Natchios. In this film, she plays a beautiful and deadly assassin who was trained by the Hand, a clan of mystical ninjas. When she turns her back on them, they want her dead. Elektra is assigned to kill Visnjic's character by the Hand over something his grandfather did; however, she ends up falling for him. Terence Stamp rounds out the cast. Producing are Marvel's Avi Arad and Horseshoe Bay partners Mark Steven Johnson and Gary Foster. Visnjic heads to Vancouver after wrapping up duties on ER. After the film is finished, he will return to Los Angeles to tape his final season on the NBC medical drama. He is repped by Endeavor and attorney Barry Tyerman. His other film credits include Welcome to Sarajevo, Practical Magic, The Deep End and the current release Close Your Eyes. »

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4 items from 2004


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