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3 items from 2008

Billy Ray Goes from Fact to Fantasy with 'The Conjure Wife'

18 December 2008 12:03 PM, PST | Cinematical | See recent Cinematical news »

Billy Ray's fact-based dramas are one of this decade's true -- and largely unappreciated -- pleasures. With Shattered Glass and Breach, Ray demonstrated real sense of how to turn a true story into a compelling narrative, maintaining its credibility without becoming a slave to the facts. The same skillset should translate nicely into adapting a novel. Or at least I hope so, since Ray's newest project is a really interesting-sounding adaptation.

The book is The Conjure Wife, the 1943 debut novel by Fritz Lieber Jr., who would go on to become one of the more prolific American fantasy and science-fiction authors. It involves a college professor who learns that he owes much of his success to his wife's supernatural assistance. After demanding she stop, he must face the unpleasant consequences of going it alone. Ray will write and direct, though it's not clear if The Conjure Wife will sneak ahead »

- Eugene Novikov

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Michael Crichton Westworld to be a Remake

9 September 2008 2:52 AM, PDT | ShockYa | See recent ShockYa news »

Warner Brothers has assigned Billy Ray (Volcano, Breach) to write the remake of the sci-fi classic “Westworld” which was originally written and directed by Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park IV) in 1973 starring Richard Benjamin, James Brolin and Yul Brynner. The story follows two guests into an adult themed futuristic theme park that is staffed entirely by lifelike robots. Unfortunately for the guests the park malfunctions, creating cold-blooded killer robots. Quentin Tarantino was recently asked to direct the remake, but he declined. In a recent interview with Sci-Fi Wire, Billy Ray explains “I love the basic idea of the movie, which is that our amusements can kill us,” he says. “I also think the movie provides a great platform for exploring how [...] »

- Brian Corder

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'Motorcade' picks up Billy Ray

12 June 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Script development and presidential motorcades have one essential thing in common: They must stay in motion or bad things will happen.

DreamWorks is applying this mantra to its thriller Motorcade by bringing on writer-director Billy Ray to change the script's route and keep the project moving forward. Motorcade is an action thriller about terrorists assaulting the president's procession as it snakes through Los Angeles.

Hans Bauer and Craig Mitchell sold their original pitch to DreamWorks in November 2004, with Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald producing. David Beaubaire and Jonathan Eirich are the execs steering the project for the studio.

Ray, who is repped by ICM, has embraced a shrewd mix of rewrites on such big-budget fare as Volcano, Flightplan and State of Play and more personal writing-directing assignments such as Shattered Glass, Breach and the forthcoming Hurricane Season at Universal. »

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