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History Greenlights Texas Rangers Mini From ‘Hatfields & McCoys’ Producer; Bill Paxton & Brendan Fraser Lead Star Cast

By | Wednesday March 12, 2014 @ 11:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

houstonpaxtonHistory has given the green light to its next big-scope miniseries, the eight-hour Texas Rising (working title), for a 2015 premiere. The project, which had been in the works at the cable network for a year and a half, comes from Leslie Greif, the producer of History’s first miniseries, mega hit Hatfields & McCoys. It will feature a big-name cast led by Hatfield & McCoys star Bill Paxton, who earned an Emmy nomination for his role as Randall McCoy. The project will detail the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers.

Paxton will play Sam Houston, the father of Texas. He is joined by Brendan Fraser as Billy Anderson, a Texas Ranger with Comanche Indian ties; Ray Liotta as Lorca, an Alamo survivor seeking brutal revenge; history_channel_logoJeffrey Dean Morgan as “Deaf” Smith, a deaf and grizzled veteran Texas Ranger with an advanced case of consumption; Thomas Jane as James Wykoff, a homesteader who finds himself living in the middle of hostile Indian territory; Olivier Martinez as President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the tyrant dictator of Mexico; Chad Michael Murray as Mirabeau Lamar, a spirited Texas soldier who helps win the battle of San Jacinto; Michael Rapaport as Sgt. Ephraim Knowles, a would-be deserter and coward turned hero; and Max Thieriot as Jack Hays, a volunteer freedom fighter who becomes the youngest Texas Ranger.

Roland Joffé is is directing the mini, from A+E Studios and ITV Studios America, produced by Thinkfactory Media with Greif serving as executive producer. Greif also co-wrote the script for all four two-hour installments with Hatfields & McCoys producer Darrell Fetty; Hatfields co-writer Ted Mann co-wrote Night 1 with them. “From Hatfields & McCoys to The Bible to Vikings, History has made a major commitment to high-quality scripted historical dramas,” said the network’s EVP Dirk Hoogstra, “The Texas Revolution is one of the most gut-wrenching and inspirational events in our history. Doing the story justice will be a massive undertaking and we’re excited to begin production with one of the best teams in the business.” Read More »

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Berlin: Bill Paxton To Direct Adaptation Of Joe Lansdale Novel ‘The Bottoms’

bill paxtonEXCLUSIVE: Paradise City, the newly-minted production label of Paris-based Memento Films International, has tapped Bill Paxton to direct the adaptation of prolific author Joe Lansdale’s The Bottoms. The BerlinFilmFestival_badge__140204155938Edgar Award winning, racially-themed novel is set in East Texas and follows an adolescent boy, his little sister, and their father who stumble across the body of a black woman who has been savagely mutilated and left to die in the bottom of the Sabine River. The townsfolk cover up the crime until the body of a white woman is found in similar circumstances and it falls to the family to unearth the truth. The transfer is written by Brent Hanley who penned Paxton’s 2001 directing effort Frailty. Shooting is planned for later this year.

Related: Berlin: Memento Films International Builds Paradise City Label; Staffs Up In London
the bottoms“I have been a big fan of Joe Lansdale’s writing since the Hap And Leonard novels,” Paxton says. “His stories and characters are vivid, original and indelible. The screenwriter Brent Hanley and I have been looking to team up again, since Frailty and when we read Joe’s book The Bottoms, we knew we had hit pay dirt. With a story and script this good, we have a chance to make a bonafide classic. I couldn’t be more … Read More »

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Exclusive Trailer: ‘Red Wing’ From Executive Producer Terrence Malick’s Stepson

By | Tuesday July 16, 2013 @ 6:04pm PDT

This drama Red Wing based on George Sand’s 19th century novella is directed by Will Wallace whose stepfather Terrence Malick is the executive producer. When a mysterious foster child grows up to be a perceived threat, a family is torn apart. Bill Paxton, Luke Perry, Frances Fisher, Joelle Carter, Glen Powell and Breann Johnson star. Here’s the first trailer from Integrity Film Prods:

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Kevin Zegers To Star With Laurence Fishburne And Bill Paxton In ‘The Colony’

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 2:25pm PST

EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Zegers has been cast as the lead in the independent film The Colony, directed by Jeff Renfroe. Renfroe co-wrote the script with Patrick Tarr and Pascal Trottier. Zegers, Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton star in the feature about a small group of survivors in the aftermath of a future Ice Age who live underground fighting for their lives in a society that disintegrates into cannibalism and violence. Paul Barkin will produce. Zegers recently completed filming on the 12-part, $28 million British miniseries Titanic: Blood & Steel alongside Chris Noth, Derek Jacobi and Neve Campbell. His credits include Transamerica and 50 Dead Men Walking, in which he starred with Ben Kingsley and Jim Sturgess. He is repped by ICM.

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Bill Paxton In Talks To Direct ‘Kung Fu’

By | Monday October 31, 2011 @ 3:18pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Bill Paxton is in talks to direct Kung Fu, a screen adaptation  of the classic 1972 TV series that starred David Carradine. Paxton, who’s coming off a run in the HBO series Big Love, gets the job after helming two solid films: Frailty and The Greatest Game Ever Played. John McLaughlin will write the script. The film’s being put together under the Legendary Entertainment banner to shoot partly in China next summer. It is possible that this will come under Legendary East, the Hong Kong-based joint venture that involves Thomas Tull’s Legendary, but insiders said that hasn’t happened to this point.

The original series tracked the adventures of a Shaolin monk as he wanders the American West. The monk wants peace but usually winds up using his spectacular martial arts skills to kick some serious tail, in between flashbacks of his early life in the monastery. Below is a reminder of the show.

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Bill Paxton To Star In History’s ‘Hatfields And McCoys’, Kevin Reynolds To Direct

By | Tuesday August 16, 2011 @ 8:20am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Bill Paxton has been tapped for the second lead opposite Kevin Costner in History’s miniseries The Hatfields and McCoys, about America’s most infamous family feud. Kevin Reynolds (Red Dawn) has signed on to direct the mini, to be produced by Leslie Greif’s production company, Thinkfactory Media, and Costner as producing partner. The Hatfield-McCoy saga centers on “Devil” Anse Hatfield (Costner) and Randall McCoy (Paxton). Close friends and comrades during the Civil War, they returned to their neighboring homes — Hatfield in West Virginia, McCoy just across the Tug River border in Kentucky — to increasing tensions, misunderstandings and resentments that soon exploded into all-out warfare between the families. As hostilities grew, friends, neighbors and outside forces joined the fight, bringing the two states to the brink of another Civil War.

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Relativity To Distribute Steven Soderbergh-Directed ‘Haywire’

Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Relativity Media will distribute Haywire, the Steven Soderbergh-directed action film that will get a Jan. 20, 2012 release date. Though Relativity Media financed the pic, it was originally going to be released domestically by Lionsgate. I’m told it was a better fit for Relativity. The film will be released overseas by Lionsgate. It becomes the second film in two days to move from Lionsgate to Relativity Media. The other was Machine Gun Preacher, and that one moved because director Marc Forster wanted it released this year and Lionsgate was unable to accommodate it because of a busy fall schedule.

Haywire stars mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Michael Fassbender, Bill Paxton, Antonio Banderas and Michael Angarano.

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‘Big Love’ To End Its Run After Season 5

Nellie Andreeva

It is the end of the road for HBO’s polygamy drama Big Love. The series’ upcoming fifth season will be its last, with Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer writing the closer as the series’ finale. Despite gripes about the most recent fourth season, the series, from Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone Prods., has remained for the most part creatively solid. It earned a best drama Emmy nomination last year and boasts a solid ensemble cast of established pros Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Chloe Sevigny as well as ingenues Amanda Seyfried and Ginnifer Goodwin both of whom went on to star in movies. “It has been an honor and pleasure to work with series creators Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer on this unique and provocative series, and I’m happy that they will be able to bring the story to its close the way they always envisioned,” HBO’s president of programming Michael Lombardo said. “We look forward with great anticipation to collaborating with Mark and Will on their next venture.” Olsen and Scheffer are working on a new project for the pay cable network, which will be announced shortly. ”When we created Big Love in 2002, we had a strong conception of the journey the Henrickson family would make over the course of the series, of the story we had to tell,” Olsen and Scheffer said. “While we were in the writers’ room this year shaping our fifth season, … Read More »

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