Inspired by a true story, the indie drama Small Time tells the story of Al Klein (Christopher Meloni) and his longtime friend, Ash Martini (Dean Norris), who own a used car lot together. While Martini is a happy bachelor, Klein still pines for his ex-wife (Bridget Moynahan) and struggles to find common ground with their son (Devon Bostick), who has decided to follow in his father’s footsteps.
At the film’s press day, writer/director Joel Surnow talked about how the first draft of Small Time was written in 1976, why he kept going back to the story, how different the finished film is now, the casting process, why he wanted the story to have a little edge to it, that he’s hoping to go into production on his next film this year, and why he thinks it’s fantastic that 24 (for which he was the co-creator/executive producer) is returning to television, while actor Christopher Meloni talked about why this story and character appealed to him, not wanting to fall into any cliches, working with co-star Dean Norris, his experience making Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and why he wanted to sign on for the comedy series Surviving Jack. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
We’ve got a few movie casting notes for you today. Here they are at a glance:
- Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) and Catherine O’Hara (Home Alone) will star in writer/director Mark Palansky’s Rememory, in which Dinklage assists O’Hara in using her late husband’s invention to solve the mystery around his sudden death.
- Vinessa Shaw (3:10 to Yuma) is in talks to join Steven Soderbergh’s Bitter Pill. The project centers on a married doctor who is drawn into the life of an increasingly troubled patient who self-medicates to dull the anxiety related to the impending release of her husband from prison.
- Bridget Moynahan (I, Robot) joins the semi-autobiographical familial drama, Small Time, drawn from 24 co-creator Joel Surnow’s personal history.
Hit the jump for more on each project.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share with you this afternoon. First up, Precious director Lee Daniels continues to fill out the impressive cast for his passion project The Butler. The film tells the true story of Eugene Allen, a butler who served at the White House from 1952 to 1986. Daniels is casting a slew of stars to take small roles as the famous men and women who come through the White House over the years, and Variety reports that Jane Fonda will be taking on Nancy Reagan. Forest Whitaker is set as Allen, with Oprah Winfrey in talks to play Allen’s wife and David Oyelowo up for the role of Allen’s son.
Liam Neeson and John Cusack are apparently circling roles as Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, respectively, and we also heard that Mila Kunis is eyeing the role of Jackie Kennedy. It’s an ambitious project, and one that’s sure to draw considerable awards buzz. I’m interested to see how Daniels pulls off the “revolving door” aspect without the cameos taking over control of the story. Daniels is directing from a script he co-wrote with Game Change writer Danny Strong. Hit the jump for casting news concerning the indie Small Time.
Today, straight out of left field, comes news from THR that the miniseries The Kennedys, will no longer air this spring on The History Channel. The network’s representative says, “Upon completion of the production of The Kennedys, History has decided not to air the 8-part miniseries on the network. While the film is produced and acted with the highest quality, after viewing the final product in its totality, we have concluded this dramatic interpretation is not a fit for the History brand.” So despite a name cast that includes Greg Kinnear (John F. Kennedy), Katie Holmes (Jackie Kennedy), Barry Pepper (Robert F. Kennedy) and Tom Wilkinson (Joe Kennedy), the series isn’t going to air on The History Channel. More details and the trailer after the jump: