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Fox Searchlight Negotiating Deal For David O. Russell To Direct Russ Meyer Story

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Fox Searchlight is negotiating to acquire a pitch package for The Fighter helmer David O. Russell to direct a feature about Russ Meyer, the maker of exploitation B-movies like Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and Super Vixens. The script will be written by Merritt Johnson. Formerly Russell’s assistant on Three Kings,  Johnson co-wrote the celebrated HBO telepic Temple Grandin and scripted Lovelace, the pic about Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace and her manipulative husband Chuck Traynor. That film has James Franco and Kate Hudson circling the leads and Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman directing.

The deal to tell the Meyer story is being hashed out, and part of it involves getting rights to the Jimmy McDonough book Big Bosoms And Square Jaws: The Biography Of Russ Meyer, King Of The Sex Film. Meyer began plying his trade in exploitation fare in the early 1960s, as the country was loosening up and the sexual revolution was getting under way. His trademark: placing buxom actresses in grindhouse fare that he wrote, directed, produced and even distributed. To say his casts were well rounded would be an understatement. He owned almost all of his films and as a result died wealthy at age 82 in 2004. CAA is repping the package.

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Will James Franco Get In Bed With Kate Hudson For Linda Lovelace Pic?

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: 127 Hours star James Franco is in discussions to play pornographer Chuck Traynor in a Linda Lovelace film that will be directed by his Howl helmers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. Kate Hudson has the offer to play the title role in Lovelace, the W. Merritt Johnson-scripted adaptation of Eric Danville’s book The Complete Linda Lovelace.

Traynor was Lovelace’s husband and a pornographer when she starred in the notorious 1972 porn blockbuster Deep Throat. Later, when she quit the business, divorced Traynor and reclaimed her name Linda Boreman, she accused her ex of coercing her into prostitution and pornography through bullying, beatings and even hypnotism.

Epstein and Friedman unveiled the Franco-starrer Howl at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and the filmmakers have been trying to mount this film as their next project ever since. Franco is not a certainty because his schedule is so busy. Franco, who finds out tomorrow morning if he’ll be a Best Actor nominee, is hosting the Oscarcast with Anne Hathaway. He’s unveiled plans to direct two movies, and he’s joining Nicole Kidman on Broadway this fall in the David Cromer-directed Sweet Bird. All this makes the Traynor role uncertain, but Franco is certainly in discussions. The CAA-repped Franco next stars in the Fox tentpole Rise of the Apes. Read More »

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