Secondhand Lions
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3 items from 2003

The Vine: Caine to serve Caped Crusader

25 November 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Michael Caine could be stepping into the formal wear of Alfred, Bruce Wayne's butler, for director Christopher Nolan in Warner Bros. Pictures' upcoming installment in the Batman franchise. Emma Thomas is producing. Caine would join Christian Bale, who plays Wayne, the millionaire playboy by day who is the crime-fighting Caped Crusader by night. The script, which is kept tightly wrapped, has been written by Nolan and David Goyer. Caine has a pair of supporting actor Oscar wins -- for 1986's Hannah and Her Sisters and 1999's The Cider House Rules. He most recently starred in New Line's Secondhand Lions and will next appear in Sony Pictures Classics' upcoming The Statement. The character of Alfred, an integral part of the Batman mythos, was played by Michael Gough in the most recent movies, starting with 1989's Batman and running up to 1997's Batman & Robin. Warners declined comment. Caine is repped by ICM. »

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Duvall walks sideline for Uni soccer pic

20 October 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Robert Duvall is ready to kick around with Will Ferrell, landing a lead role in Universal Pictures' untitled soccer comedy to be helmed by first-time feature director Marco Schnabel. Penned by Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick, the project is due to start lensing in January. It stars Ferrell as the coach of his young son's soccer team who is forced to go up against his highly competitive father (Duvall), who has a new son on the opposing team. Mosaic Media Group, which manages Ferrell, is producing. At Universal, the project is being overseen by production president Mary Parent and senior vp Holly Barrio. Duvall is repped by manager Rob Carliner. The actor also has signed on to star in Bit Players, a pitch that Universal picked up earlier this week with Duvall, Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman attached. Duvall can be seen onscreen in Secondhand Lions for New Line Cinema and next stars in The Lost City for actor-director Andy Garcia. »

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FX houses seek to reinvent themselves as filmmakers

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

At the July 1998 Siggraph convention in Orlando, six top guns from the visual effects community took the stage and bemoaned the economics of their business, stating flatly that the only way VFX houses can remain viable is to get a piece of the gross or produce films of their own. Cut to five years later: ILM has had a few false starts, teaming briefly with Universal on an animated Frankenstein feature and a film version of Curious George -- neither of which has come to fruition -- and Tippett has had projects in development with the Walt Disney Co. But only one of the six effects houses has succeeded in producing its own movie: Blue Sky Studios' digitally animated Ice Age last year. That is not a tremendous amount of forward momentum given the passage of five years and an industry trying desperately to reinvent itself. But now, Digital Domain is set to give it a try. Two weeks shy of its 10th anniversary, DD is in postproduction on New Line's Secondhand Lions, starring Michael Caine, Robert Duvall and Haley Joel Osment and scheduled tentatively for a Sept. 26 release. Although it remains to be determined if Lions will succeed commercially, getting it made is one measure of success -- one the odds would seem to be against. As anyone remotely involved in the game can attest, there is a world of difference between creating giant dinosaurs and sleek alien spacecraft as a vendor company and developing scripts from scratch. Even the most accomplished visual effects supervisor might never have worn a producer's hat. But that hasn't stopped them from trying. »

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