EXCLUSIVE: The Scarface team of director Brian De Palma and Al Pacino are re-teaming for Happy Valley, the working title of a film that will tell the story of Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno. Paterno’s legend was undone by revelations he and others in the football program were aware that former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was molesting children, and did little to stop it, supposedly fearing bad publicity for the powerhouse gridiron program they presided over. Wall Street producer Edward R. Pressman has optioned the bestselling book Paterno by Joe Posnanski. Dave McKenna (American History X and Blow) is making a deal to write the script. The Edward R. Pressman Film Corporation is backing the project.
Pacino became attached to play Paterno when a package including the book was shopped by ICM last fall. Pressman will produce with Pacino’s manager, Rick Nicita, who was part of that original package. They are keeping a somewhat low profile on the focus of the film for now. “Happy Valley reunites the Scarface and Carlito’s Way team of De Palma & Pacino for the third time and I can’t think of a better duo to tell this story of a complex, intensely righteous man who was brought down by his own tragic flaw,” said Pressman in confirming the deal to Deadline.
Paterno’s fall from grace was Shakespearean and when he died shortly after his firing, many felt it was from a broken heart as much as cancer. He was in the twilight of a coaching career that left him the winningest coach in college football history, an iconic and beloved campus figure. Until his former defensive coordinator Sandusky was revealed to be a prolific pedophile, something that Paterno had been told about. While he informed an administrator, they did not call police, even after a graduate assistant and future assistant coach witnessed Sandusky in an encounter that looked like an act of sodomy with a child in the locker room showers. READ MORE »
Passion played in competition at Venice and also hit Toronto this year. Entertainment One has acquired North American rights from SBS Productions and is aiming for an early 2013 release for the thriller. Rachel McAdams and Noomi … Read More »
The Toronto International Film Festival today posted this trailer for Brian De Palma’s new thriller starring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace. De Palma wrote the screenplay based on the 2011 French movie Love Crime directed by Alain Corneau. The movie is screening this month at the … Read More »
Wild Bunch hits Cannes next week with a colossal 14 films in official selection and one each in Critics’ Week and Directors’ Fortnight. Co-founder and sales chief Vincent Maraval tells me that’s a record for the company that last year unveiled The Artist at the festival.
There are also 4 new films debuting on the sales slate including Brian De Palma’s Passion starring Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace and Paul Anderson. The Saïd Ben Saïd-produced film is De Palma’s own spin on Alain Corneau’s 2010 thriller Crime D’Amour about a power struggle between a ruthless executive and her protégé. Wild Bunch is also handling Cube and Splice director Vincenzo Natali’s Haunter with Abigail Breslin. The supernatural thriller/ghost story focuses on a young girl and her family who have been trapped in their house since they died there in 1986. Steve Hoban is producing the currently shooting film from Copperheart Entertainment.
After 2010’s Film Socialisme, Jean-Luc Godard is back with Wild Bunch and Goodbye To Language 3D. Godard’s films are typically tough to describe, but Maraval tells me this one involves a couple and a dog who helps them communicate when they’re no longer able. Rounding out the new titles is Marina de Van’s English-language horror tale Dark Touch from Agat Films, Ex-Nihilo and Element Pictures. This one focuses on a young girl whose family is murdered by their house. When she tries to convince the police of the house’s rage, no one believes her. Read More »
Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace are set to star in Brian De Palma’s remake of Alain Corneau’s 2010 thriller Crime D’Amour. The De Palma version will be titled Passion and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Training Day scribe David Ayer has been hired to write the new version of Scarface for Universal Pictures. The film will put a contemporary spin on the outlaw tale first released in 1932 with Paul Muni playing an Italian who took over Chicago, and then turned into the spectacularly violent 1983 film that starred Al Pacino as Tony Montana, a Cuban who took over the cocaine trade in 1980s Miami. The new film is being produced by Marc Shmuger and his Global Produce banner along with Martin Bregman, who produced the Brian De Palma-directed version. When the studio set up the project in late September, the intention wasn’t to do a remake as much as to marry the common elements of the two films with a contemporary crime context. Basically, the focus is on an outsider, an immigrant who barges his way into the criminal establishment in pursuit of a twisted version of the American dream, becoming a kingpin through a campaign of ruthlessness and violent ambition.
Ayer tells me that he is not at all cowed by stepping into an iconic title. “This is a fantasy for me, I can still remember when I saw the film at 13 and it blew my mind,” he said. “I sought it out; I went after it hard. I see it as the story of the American dream, with a character whose moral compass points in a different direction. That puts it right in my wheelhouse. I studied both the original Ben Hecht-Howard Hawks movie and the DePalma-Pacino version and found some universal themes. I’m still under the hood figuring out the wiring that will translate, but both films had a specificity of place, there was unapologetic violence, and a main character who socially scared the shit out of people, but who had his own moral code. Each was faithful to the underworld of its time. There are enough opportunities in the real world today that provide an opportunity to do this right. If it was just an attempt to remake the 1983 film, that would never work.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures is developing a new version of Scarface, the title first released in 1932 and then turned into the iconic 1983 film that starred Al Pacino as Cuban gangster Tony Montana. I’d heard that the studio has been meeting writers to script a take for a film that will be produced by Marc Shmuger and his Global Produce banner along with Martin Bregman. Bregman produced the Pacino version.
The film is not intended to be a remake or a sequel. It will take the common elements of the first two films: An outsider, an immigrant, barges his way into the criminal establishment in pursuit of a twisted version of the American dream, becoming a kingpin through a campaign of ruthlessness and violent ambition. The studio is keeping the specifics of where the new Tony character comes from under wraps at the moment, but ethnicity and geography were important in the first two versions. In the 1932 Scarface, an Italian (Paul Muni) took over Chicago, and in the Brian De Palma-directed remake, a Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: QED International and Safehouse Pictures have set Brian De Palma to direct the Joby Harold-scripted thriller The Key Man. That film was recently set for U.S. distribution with Tom Ortenberg’s Open Road Films and will … Read More »