Most child actors fail to overcome the chronic, debilitating condition of becoming less and less child-like. Similarly, many siblings of more famous performers struggle to be taken even a little bit seriously. Fortunately, two shining exceptions to the rule are set to team up and show us that it’s not all marijuana-fuelled car crashes and uncomfortable SNL hoe-downs. Former pint-sized dynamo Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds) and current indie it-girl Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene) were first linked to the drama Very Good Girls in May; Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) is now in talks to join them. The directorial debut of Naomi Foner (writer of Losing Isaiah) will spin the tale of two lifelong friends (Fanning and Olsen) who, following high-school graduation, vow to lose their virginity before the summer ends; naturally, both end up falling for Yelchin, which threatens to irreparably damage their friendship.
Hit the jump for more on Very Good Girls and casting news on the hotly anticipated adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s The Host.
Director D.J. Caruso (I Am Number Four) is attached to several projects at the moment, including Beat the Reaper, Walk Among the Tombstones, and most notably, Preacher. But first Caruso will move forward on an indie passion project, The Goats, after more than a decade in development. Step 1: casting the young leads, Chandler Canterbury (Knowing) and Annalise Basso (Bedtime Stories). Based on the young adult novel by Brock Cole, the story centers on two kids stranded on Goat Island after a summer camp prank: “Rather than face the humiliation of returning to camp, the duo decides to run away together and what follows is a three-day journey of self-discovery.” The premise is intriguing, but the translation to the screen will be tricky given the reliance on child acting. Put it this way: The Goats reminds me of The Hunger Games and Lionsgate cast 21-year-old Jennifer Lawrence (playing 16) in the lead. I’m not familiar with Canterbury or Basso’s work, and can’t vouch for Caruso’s ability to draw a good performance out of his young actors. But I wish them the best of luck in pulling it together in service of a premise that, again, I’d like to see work on screen.
According to Variety, production will begin in October in Georgia. The book synopsis is after the jump.
Cameras started rolling today in Charleston, SC on Little Red Wagons, an inspirational tale of a pint-sized philanthropist directed by David Anspaugh (Rudy, Hoosiers). In the film, eight-year-old Tampa resident Zach Bonner founds “the Little Red Wagon Foundation and creates ‘Zach Packs,’ backpacks filled with life’s bare essentials – plus a toy, to show homeless kids that someone cares about them.” Awww.
The cast includes Chandler Canterbury (Knowing), Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Frances O’Connor (Artificial Intelligence: AI), Daveigh Chase (Big Love) and newcomer Dylan Matzke. Hit the jump for the full press release.