Oh all right, we’ll bite: Recovering tabloid bait Lindsay Lohan has signed on to play Karen, an office temp with an agenda, in an upcoming London revival of David Mamet’s semi-savage Hollywood comedy Speed-The-Plow. The casting of the other two roles — the newly appointed head of production at a studio and his friend, a producer – hasn’t been announced for the show, which will have a limited run beginning in September, opening October 2 and ending on November 29 at the Playhouse Theatre with Lindsay Posner, a Mamet specialist, directing.
Lohan’s role was originated by Madonna in the 1988 premiere at Lincoln Center Theater, which also starred Ron Silver and Joe Mantegna, with direction by Gregory Mosher. Madonna pleased the critics, and the show moved to Broadway, where Silver won a Tony for his performance.
In other news from the West End, a smash revival of David Hare’s remarkable play Skylight, starring Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan, will be broadcast by the National Theatre Live, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The transmission by NT Live will first be seen in Great Britain live on July 17, followed by an international broadcast to movie theaters on Oct. 23. The Stephen Daldry production runs through August 23 at Wyndham’s Theatre. Nighy and Mulligan play former lovers, he an older self-made millionaire, she a young schoolteacher. The roles were memorably originated by Michael Gambon and Lia Williams in Richard Eyre’s 1996 Broadway production, a transfer … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: James Badge Dale will be joining Cate Blanchett in writer-director David Mamet‘s thriller Blackbird. Dale plays a military major who is trying to discover the truth about the political secrets of a woman’s grandfather who worked for the U.S. special ops during the 1960s. Currently, Dale is performing in the off-Broadway play Small Engine Repair and recently completed filming three pictures: Universal’s Stretch directed by Joe Carnahan (they previously teamed on The Grey), Miss Meadows opposite Katie Holmes, and the Civil War drama Relative Stranger. He’s repped by CAA, MJ Management and attorney Geoff Oblath.
The Pulitzer winner’s next directorial project starring Cate Blanchett will be presented to international buyers in Toronto by The Solution Entertainment Group, the company founders said today. “Blackbird promises to be a nail-biting thriller in the hands of the talented David Mamet and the exceptional Cate Blanchett in the lead role. We’re delighted to be on board the project in Toronto,” said The Solution’s Lisa Wilson and Myles Nestel. SBS Productions and ICM will handle domestic rights; The film is being financed and produced by Saïd Ben Saïd’s Paris-based SBS. Blackbird follows Janet (Blanchett) as she travels to her Hollywood VFX artist grandfather’s funeral. She soon learns that her relative also did sidework for Special Forces and the Intelligence community — secrets that now put her life in danger. Blackbird is scheduled to start filming in Sydney in January. Mamet is repped by ICM Partners. Blanchett is repped by CAA.
CBS has put in development Have Gun – Will Travel, a reboot of the 1957 CBS Western drama, to be penned by writer/director/playwright David Mamet. Mamet is set to direct the potential pilot, which will be produced by CBS TV Studios. He is executive producing with agent-turned-producer Elliott Webb.
Have Gun – Will Travel, whose title plays on a line commonly used in personal ads, aired on CBS from 1957 through 1963 and also spawned a successful radio version. Its producers included Frank Pierson, and one of its main writers was Gene Roddenberry who would go on to create Star Trek. Created by Sam Rolfe and Herb Meadow, Have Gun starred Richard Boone as Paladin, a top-notch gunfighter who preferred to settle problems without violence but stood his ground when provoked. (Watch the opening sequence below)
Have Gun – Will Travel brings Oscar-nominated writer and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Mamet back to CBS where he created his only TV series to date, military drama The Unit, which ran for four seasons. ICM Partners-repped Mamet most recently wrote and directed the upcoming HBO Phil Spector movie starring Al Pacino and Helen Mirren. This is the second classic series CBS is looking to reboot this season along with The Brady Bunch, whose revamp is produced by Vince Vaughn. Last year, the network developed a remake of 1958 Western drama The Rifleman, … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Parenthood’s Joy Bryant has won the female lead in the currently untitled Screen Gems’ romantic comedy that is based on the David Mamet play Sexual Perversity In Chicago, which was turned into the film About Last Night. Bryant will join Michael Ealy (in the role originated by Rob Lowe), Kevin Hart (in the Jim Belushi role), and Regina Hall (in the Elizabeth Perkins role). Steve Pink is directing a script by Bachelorette‘s Leslye Headland, and production will begin on September 17, with Will Gluck and Will Packer. They are in the process of retitling the film, which is closer in spirit to Mamet’s play than About Last Night, but which will take place in Los Angeles and not the Chicago setting of the play and first film.
“Since I first saw her in Antwone Fisher, I could tell she was going to be a movie star, and I’ve offered her several things that didn’t work out for one reason another,” said Screen Gems president Clint Culpepper. “Finally, it looks like this is going to work out because the Parenthood line producer and creator have given us warm assurances they will move mountains to make this possible for her. I really believe this will be the one that makes her a movie star. This girl is funny, smart, gorgeous and a good actress and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Less than a week after filming of the HBO Films movie Phil Spector was suspended after co-star Bette Midler had to pull out for medical reasons, the producers of the David Mamet-written and directed movie have found a replacement. And boy did they deliver. Oscar winner Helen Mirren has been tapped to star opposite Al Pacino in the film, which explores the client-attorney relationship between legendary music producer Phil Spector (Pacino) and defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden (Mirren), who represented Spector during his first trial for murder. Mamet, Barry Levinson and Pacino are executive producing Phil Spector, which had done 6 days of shooting when it suspended production last Tuesday after Midler suffered from a herniated disk. Filming is now expected to resume next week. In addition to her Academy Award for The Queen, Mirren has won 4 Emmy Awards, including one for the HBO miniseries Elizabeth I.
UPDATED WEDNESDAY AM: Bette Midler has released this statement about exiting HBO’s Phil Spector biopic because of a herniated disc that may need surgery: “I am heartbroken to be forced to leave this terrific project, working with David Mamet & Al Pacino was a dream of mine; but the pain I am in has made my participation impossible. My heartfelt thanks to everyone for their kind understanding.”
EXCLUSIVE, TUESDAY PM: Today HBO Films’ Phil Spector biopic suspended production when co-star Bette Midler did not appear on set to begin filming scenes. The movie had been shooting for six days and Midler had appeared on three of them. Sources tell me she has a herniated disc and pulled out because of “doctor’s orders.” Two hours after call writer/director David Mamet addressed the crew saying that HBO and the insurance company were looking at recasting the part. HBO has confirmed to me it will. Midler had been about to play Linda Kenney Baden, a defense attorney who represented the music producer Spector (played by Al Pacino) during his first trial for murder. Barry Levinson is executive producing the film, which revolves around the relationship between Spector and Baden.
HBO has Al Pacino moving from Jack Kevorkian to playing Phil Spector in a film directed by David Mamet. I can tell you that Cameron Crowe tried for years to make a studio feature film about Mr. Wall Of Sound with Tom Cruise playing the gun-toting volatile record producer. But eventually they dropped it because at the time they felt there wasn’t a third act. By the time it arrived, there was no way Crowe and Cruise would have been able to make an authorized film… IFC acquired North American and a few other territories on the David Robert Mitchell-directed The Myth of the American Sleepover… Kris Kristofferson has joined Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr, and Ashley Judd in Alcon’s 3D Dolphin Tale.