Johnny Depp is attached to play notorious Boston gangster Whitey Bulger in Black Mass. Barry Levinson will direct with a scheduled May start date. Cross Creek bought the rights to the 2001 book Black Mass, but Mark Mallouk had to write a new ending when Bulger was captured in June 2011 after spending more than a decade on the FBI Ten Most Wanted List. Bulger featured heavily in the South Boston organized crime scene in the 70s and 80s, but maintained a reputation as a “modern-day Robin Hood” among some of the locals. The synopsis makes it clear this will be a sympathetic portrait:
BLACK MASS tells the true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf. However, after the Feds closed in on their targets, they double crossed Bulger and ultimately prosecuted him, along with his partner in crime and the original FBI agent working with him.
Check out our interview with producer Brian Oliver for more on the story and hit the jump for the press release with all the details.
The first trailer and poster for director Barry Levinson’s (Rain Man, Good Morning Vietnam) found footage horror film The Bay have landed online. The pic centers on a small Chesapeake Bay town where an unprecedented biological disaster is unleashed from the bay’s waters. The trailer plays like a cross between Paranormal Activity and Contagion, with a little Dawn of the Dead thrown in for good measure. The jump to the found footage genre is an unexpected move from Levinson, but the horror film actually looks pretty affecting. In the place of fake jump scares and “shadow ghosts” prevalent in most found footage pics is a real, tangible terror that wreaks havoc on the city. Fair warning, if bed bugs and such give you the creeps, you may or may not be slightly terrified by this trailer.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster. The film stars Will Rogers and Christopher Denham. The Bay will be available in theaters and on iTunes on November 2nd.
You’re driving down the street, and it’s suddenly blocked off. You notice these weird yellow signs with nonsensical letters or numbers. There’s unusual glow lighting up a neighborhood you can’t usually see from your house. What you might have here is a film company shooting in your town. It happens a lot, and you never know where they might pop up…until now.
The following is a semi-comprehensive list of films currently shooting, what they’re shooting, and where they’re shooting. We’ll be telling you where you might get to see the very famous, the kinda famous and (if all goes well) the soon-to-be famous. While we can’t list every single movie, television show, or student film in production, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what the heck is going on where all those people are buzzing about. Want to know where in the world are Matt Damon, Harrison Ford, Sylvester Stallone, Woody Harrelson, and Leonardo DiCaprio? Hit the jump for more.
The story of Hammerin’ Hank is coming to the big screen. Variety reports that producers Mike Tollin and Glenn Rigberg have acquired the rights to baseball great Hank Aaron’s life story. Furthermore, they’ve set The Natural director Barry Levinson to helm from a script by Adam Mazer (Empire State). The story will be based on Howard Bryant’s book The Last Hero: The Life Story of Henry Aaron and “will follow the right fielder’s chase of Babe Ruth’s home run record from 1972 to 1974. Spoiler alert: Aaron finally eclipsed Ruth’s record with his 715th home run in April of 1974. Hit the jump for more.
We have no official confirmation from producers, but right now it looks like the infamous Gotti family biopic may be sleeping with the fishes. Showbiz411 is reporting that all work on Gotti: In The Shadow of My Father, which began pre-production in New York last month, has been halted due to a lack of funding. It’s unclear how much ‘work’ was actually completed on the controversial mob movie, but without a way for producer Marc Fiore to pay the film’s big name principals, word is that director Barry Levinson may not be able to hit his January start date. Gotti: In The Shadow of My Father was set to star John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Ben Foster, Al Pacino and Lindsay Lohan. Hit the jump in case you need a refresher on any of the drama.
The actor has already won an Emmy for his fantastic work as one-half of one of the funniest gay couples on TV in the ABC comedy series Modern Family, but now Eric Stonestreet is taking on another gig that could likely end up snagging him another golden statue. Stonestreet is attached to play legendary silent-film star Fatty Arbuckle in The Day the Laughter Stopped, a new TV movie set up at HBO from John Adams writer Kirk Ellis and You Don’t Know Jack director Barry Levinson attached to helm. Based on David A. Yallop’s book of the same name, the film chronicles the sudden and tragic downfall of Arbuckle’s career after facing false accusations of rape and murder. More after the jump.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories for you this afternoon. First up, Ben Foster has joined the ever-changing production of Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father. The Wrap reports that Foster is set to play John Gotti Jr. The project has been through some rather public ups and downs, with Joe Pesci most recently suing the producers because he claims he gained weight for a role that was eventually cut. Barry Levinson is directing, and last we heard he was retooling the script. The cast includes Al Pacino, John Travolta and Kelly Preston, with filming set to begin in January in New York.
Additionally, newcomer Ryan Guzman and So You Think You Can Dance contestant Kathryn McCormick are set to star in the fourth installment of Step Up, which bears the undeniably genius tentative title Step Up 4Ever 3D. Scott Speer is directing the Miami-set movie from a script by Jenny May. The story centers on people who dance-fight in Miami. In 3D.
We’ve already journeyed into the historical Five Points neighborhood of New York City in Martin Scorsese’s fantastic film Gangs of New York, but now BBC America will venture even deeper in the same location and time with their first original scripted drama series called Copper. Tom Fantana (Oz) and Will Rokos (Southland) co-created the series with filmmaker Barry Levinson (Rain Man) and executive in charge of Mad Men, Christina Wayne, executive producing the series which follows a young Irish cop in the Five Points Irish neighborhood of New York City in the 1860’s where he must navigate the unruly and sometimes violent currents of his immigrant neighborhood, while simultaneously interacting with uptown Manhattan high society and the emerging black community in Harlem. Honestly it sounds like a series set in the heart of Scorsese’s film, and that sounds fantastic. Production will begin later this year and the series will premiere on BBC America next summer, so stay tuned as this project develops.
Director Barry Levinson, who’s been busy putting together the large-scale mob flick Gotti: Three Generations, has decided to shoot another film this fall before commencing production on Gotti. Levinson will reunite with his You Don’t Know Jack star Al Pacino (who’s also set to star in Gotti) in an adaptation of Phillip Roth’s novel The Humbling. The film centers on a famous retired stage actor in decline who moves to upstate New York with a much younger woman, resulting in his reinvigoration.
Deadline reports that the plan is to shoot The Humbling this fall, with Levinson currently working on filling out the rest of his cast. He co-wrote the script alongside Buck Henry and Michal Zebede. Levinson recently took over directing duties on Gotti: Three Generations after Nick Cassavetes left the project. He and his Bugsy co-writer James Toback are now giving Gotti a page-one rewrite, and while the cast could change once the script is finished, he’s very keen on Pacino and John Travolta starring in the film. Hit the jump for more, including a synopsis of Phillip Roth’s The Humbling.
As of now, the confusion regarding Lindsay Lohan’s status in director Barry Levinson’s Gotti: Three Generations is rivaled only by the confusion regarding her life in general. Back when Nick Cassavetes was still directing, Lohan was in talks to play Gotti’s daughter, Victoria. Then, after Cassavetes’ departure, she dropped out of the film for a hot minutes only to rejoin the project as Gotti Jr.’s wife. Flash forward to the present, and TheWrap reports that Lohan is probably on the outs once again. In an exclusive with Levinson, the director states that “She’s possibly not (in the film) because she’s got her issues, and we also got to write the script, and then we’ll see where it is.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the oft-publicized actress…
Regardless of Lohan’s inclusion, Gotti: Three Generations will almost definitely star John Travolta as John Gotti Sr. and Al Pacino as crime family underboss Neil Dellacroce. Levinson also confirms that the film will most likely be in front of cameras by the end of the year.
Every time Al Pacino tries to escape the mob genre, they pull him back in. THR reports that the loud actor will reunite with his You Don’t Know Jack director Barry Levinson for Gotti: Three Generations. Pacino will play Gambino crime family underboss Neil Dellacroce, an associate and mentor to Gotti Sr. (John Travolta). The cast also includes Kelly Preston as Gotti Sr.’s wife Victoria, Ella Bleu Travolta as Gotti Sr. and Victoria’s daughter Angel, Joe Pesci as Gotti Sr.’s associate Angelo Ruggiero, and Lindsay Lohan as John Gotti Jr.’s wife Kim. Despite the cast and the director, I can’t shake the feeling that this movie is going straight to DVD, or, at best, will straight to HBO.
The remaining key roles to be cast are John Gotti Jr. and his sister Victoria. James Toback (Bugsy) has been hired to revise Leo Rossi’s original script.
A couple weeks ago, director Nick Cassavetes dropped out of the crime drama Gotti: Three Generations. Variety reports that Barry Levinson will now climb into the director’s chair. The movie will center on the relationship between John Gotti Sr. (John Travolta) and his son, John Gotti Jr., who turned his back on mob life. Joe Pesci will play Gotti’s deputy Angelo Ruggiero while Lindsay Lohan will play John Gotti Jr.’s wife, Kim Gotti. And in a nice little bit of nepotism, Travolta’s 11-year-old daughter Ella Bleu also has a role in the film.
Gotti will mark a return to the gangster genre for Levinson. He previously helmed 1991′s biopic Bugsy. Hopefully, Gotti will also mark a return to Levinson making good movies, which he hasn’t done since 1999′s Liberty Heights. His latest film, The Bay, will be released by Lionsgate, and Levinson is also attached to direct O.K.C., which is about the trial of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. Filming on Gotti is expected to begin this fall for a late 2012 release date.
We have a few acquisition bits to bring you today. First up, Lionsgate has picked up the U.S. distribution rights to Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson’s (Rain Man) found-footage “eco-horror” film, The Bay. Produced by Paranormal Activity alums Oren Peli, Steven Schneider, and Jason Blum, The Bay stars Andy Stahl and Kether Donohue and focuses on “an unprecedented biological disaster unleashed from the waters of the Chesapeake Bay – an isopod parasite, carrying a horrific untreatable disease, that jumps from fish to human hosts.” On its own, the disease sounds pretty rough. When you throw in the “untreatable,” it gets upgraded to “horrific.” The film is shaping up for a release later this year.
Next up, Relativity Media has acquired domestic distribution rights to the thriller House at the End of the Street. Starring former Oscar-nominees Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) and Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas) as well as Max Theriot (My Soul to Take), the film revolves around a mother and daughter (Shue and Lawrence) who move into a new neighborhood only to find that the house next door is the home of a psychotic young girl who murdered her parents. Mark Tonderai directs a script by David Loucka. Also without an official release date, moviegoers may be waiting until 2012 to check out House at the End of the Street.
For more on the projects, hit the jump to check out the official press releases for both acquisitions.
Director Barry Levinson (Rain Man) has signed on to helm the indie drama O.K.C. The film will focus on the trial of Timothy McVeigh, the man responsible for the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Clay Wold is writing the screenplay which tells the true story of a young legal clerk working for the defense team of McVeigh. His determination to expose the truth leads to a bigger conspiracy that almost ends the man’s career.
Deadline reports that the independent film will be produced and financed by Peter Safran and his Safran Co. The 1995 bombing claimed 168 lives and was the most destructive terrorist attack on US soil until 2001. McVeigh ultimately received the death penalty and was executed in 2001. Levinson recently directed the Jack Kevorkian-centered film You Don’t Know Jack starring Al Pacino.
Rob Zombie will direct the thriller The Lords of Salem this spring. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Zombie’s script is “set in contemporary Salem, where the inhabitants receive a demonic visit from a 300-year old coven of witches.” I’m sure the coven comes by because they heard how swimmingly everything went for witches the last time they were in Salem area. The film will be backed by Haunted Movies, which is a partnership between the UK’s Alliance films and Paranormal Activity producers Jason Blum, Oren Peli, and Steven Schneider. Haunted Movies plans to sell the rights to The Lords of Salem at the European Film Market in Berlin. They’ll also be showing footage from Barry Levinson’s upcoming film The Bay.