6 items from 2011
With so many documentary filmmakers like Seth Gordon (The King of Kong) and Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Catfish) continuing to break into the world of fiction, it should probably come as no surprise that one of the all-time masters of the form is also about to attempt a similar transition. That being said, somehow it is still hard to believe that Errol Morris' next few films may not actually be documentaries, even if they are based on true stories. While doing the press circuit in support of his latest film Tabloid, Morris recently revealed that he is lining up adaptations of Richard Preston's The Demon in the Freezer, a non-fiction book about biological warfare with anthrax and smallpox, and We Froze The First Man, a memoir from Robert F. Nelson about the very first man to be cryonically preserved (no, not Walt Disney). Paul Rudd has signed »
As globalism renders the world ever smaller, national boundaries seem increasingly porous, if not outright irrelevant to the study of cinema. Yet Errol Morris still strikes me as a distinctly American filmmaker. From pet cemeteries in California (Gates of Heaven) to death row in Texas (The Thin Blue Line), from the Vietnam War (The Fog of War) to the Iraq War (Standard Operating Procedure), and in ads for the presidential campaigns of John Kerry and Barack Obama, Morris tends to bring his insatiable curiosity and searing intellect to stories and characters that, for all their strangeness and improbability, are inseparable from American history, American scandal, and American myth.
In Tabloid, his newest and perhaps sweetest cinematic confection, Morris turns his attention to the tale of former Miss Wyoming Joyce McKinney, her captive “manacled Mormon” love interest, and the five pit-bull clones she commissioned from the DNA of a favorite pet. »
- Livia Bloom
Errol Morris may be one of, if not the, premiere documentary filmmakers. His subjects have been as varied as pet cemeteries ("Gates of Heaven"), Stephen Hawking ("A Brief History of Time") and Abu Ghraib prison ("Standard Operating Procedure"), and are known for their directness and frequent Philip Glass scores.
One of his docs, "The Thin Blue Line," actually played an integral part in getting a man released from prison.
Now the Oscar-winner is planning to step over another line, into narrative feature filmmaking, and he's taking Paul Rudd with him.
According to The Washington Post, the documentarian has the "Anchorman" star nailed down to play Bob Nelson, a real-life 1960's TV repairman who joins a group of folks developing technology to freeze people for later resuscitation. The screenplay is being developed by Zach Helm along with "This American Life" head-honcho Ira Glass, based on a famous segment from that Public Radio program. »
- Max Evry
Paul Rudd is set to star in a new feature film from noted documentarian Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line). The non-documentary feature is based on a story from “This American Life” about Bob Nelson, a California TV-repairman who decided that his obsession with cryogenically freezing humans in order to resurrect them later in the future needed to become a reality. The material seems pretty spot-on for Rudd’s comedic sensibilities. The Washington Post confirms Rudd’s casting, and Stranger Than Fiction screenwriter Zach Helm will pen the screenplay. Morris is apparently collaborating with “This American Life” host Ira Glass on the project. The director previously helmed the 1991 non-documentary film The Dark Wind, and most recently released his documentary Tabloid. His 2004 doc The Fog of War (which is a must-see) won the Best Documentary Feature Oscar. »
- Adam Chitwood
Preston’s 2002 book explores the U.S. government’s relationship with the biological weapons anthrax and smallpox, focusing on both the “Smallpox Eradication Program” in the ‘60s and ‘70s and the threat of anthrax circa 9/11. Much like 'Hot Zone' or films like "Traffic", the text follows several different storylines in different countries and times.
Preston authored 1994's "The Hot Zone" which was a hot property that Hollywood tried to adapt in the mid-90's until rival project "Outbreak" opened and beat it to the punch. Preston also penned 2007's "The Wild Trees", while his brother Douglas Preston is the best-selling co-author of the Pendergast book series along with Lincoln Child.
- Garth Franklin
Back in April of 2009 acclaimed documentarian Errol Morris announced his intent  to make his second non-doc feature. The film was being written by Stranger Than Fiction scripter Zach Helm, based on two sources: Robert F. Nelson’s memoir We Froze the First Man and a This American Life segment called 'You’re Cold As Ice ,' which jointly follow the story of Robert Nelson, a TV repairman who developed his own cryogenic preservation technology in the mid-'60s. We haven't heard much about the film in some time, but it isn't dead. (Resist the puns. Resist the puns.) Now, while promoting his recent documentary Tabloid, Errol Morris has revealed that Paul Rudd will play Bob Nelson. Errol Morris has talked about casting Paul Rudd to a couple of outlets, like the Washington Post , and says the Zack Helm script is done. (It should be, after two years.)He's also collaborating »
- Russ Fischer
6 items from 2011
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