EXCLUSIVE: I hear that the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s eagerly anticipated revival of Fool For Love is about to undergo a key casting switch: Out are leads Chris Pine (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit; Cinderella’s Prince in Disney’s upcoming bowdlerization of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods) and Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under; USA Network’s upcoming Dig); in are Sam Rockwell (The Way Way Back) playing opposite Tony winner Nina Arianda (a sensation in Venus In Fur whose upcoming films include The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Barry Levinson’s The Humbling).
Rockwell and Arianda play former lovers Eddie and May in Sam Shepard’s ferocious 1983 drama, in which the exes rock’n’sock it out in a Mojave Desert motel room. The 1985 Robert Altman film version starred Shepard and Kim Basinger. The Williamstown cast also features Christopher Abbott and Gordon Joseph Weiss. Directing is the extraordinarily gifted Daniel Aukin, who previously staged Shepard’s Heartless at New York’s Signature Theatre as well as Amy Herzog’s 4,000 Miles for Lincoln Center Theater and the hit black comedy Bad Jews for the Roundabout Theatre Company.
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Here’s the official trailer for Michael C. Hall‘s first post-Dexter project. He plays Richard, a small-town guy who’s hailed as a hero after he offs a burglar. But then the crook’s ex-con dad (Sam Shepard) shows up with vengeance on his mind and Richard’s family in his sights. But do the cops know more that they’re saying? Cold In July also stars Don Johnson as a private eye. Director Jim Mickle’s pic premiered at Sundance, where it was acquired by IFC Films. Scripted by Nick Damici and based on Joe R. Lansdale’s book, the film hits theaters and VOD on May 23. Take a look:
Sam Shepard (August: Osage County) has joined the cast of Netflix‘s untitled psychological thriller drama from Sony Pictures TV. Written and executive produced by Damages creators Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman and Glenn Kessler (KZK), the 13-episode series centers on a close-knit family of four adult siblings (Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, Norbert Leo Butz) whose secrets and scars are revealed when their black sheep brother (Mendelsohn) returns home. Shepard will play the patriarch of the family, with Sissy Spacek previously cast as his wife.
Related: Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin To Topline Netflix Comedy Series
UPDATE: IFC has confirmed Deadline’s scoop on this deal. Release appears below the original break.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 1:00 am PST: It took awhile, but the Sundance deals are now moving faster as the festival heads toward its final weekend. IFC is closing a deal for Cold In July, the Jim Mickle-directed drama that stars Dexter‘s Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, Don Johnson and Vinessa Shaw. I’m hearing the deal is in the vicinity of $2 million for North American rights, with WME Global negotiating. Hall plays a small town Texas man who kills a home intruder and finds his life unraveling into a dark underworld of corruption and violence when the dead man’s father insists on eye for an eye justice. The film premiered last Saturday in the Library Theater, in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. This is the second IFC deal tonight, as the label is also closing God’s Pocket, the Philip Seymour Hoffman-starrer that marks the feature directing debut of Mad Man star John Slattery.
Here is release:
IFC Films announced today from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival that the company is acquiring North American rights to Jim Mickle’s COLD IN JULY. The film, with a screenplay by Jim Mickle and Nick Damici, stars Michael C. Hall, Don Johnson, Sam Shepard, Vinessa Shaw, Nick Damici, and Wyatt Russell.COLD IN JULY was produced by Linda Moran, René Bastian of Belladonna Productions, Marie Savare de Laitre and
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“It’s another piece of American madness,” Sam Shepard said today of Discovery‘s first scripted project, Klondike. “You know, another chunk of insanity that we carry around with us, regardless of whether it’s involved in technology or involved in trapping beavers.” In December, Discovery announced its miniseries about the Klondike Gold Rush of 1895, co-produced by Scott Free Television, eOne and Nomadic Pictures and based on Canadian journalist Charlotte Gray’s novel Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich In The Klondike. The script, written by Prison Break creator Paul Scheuring, tells the story of six strangers and their collective fight for survival and wealth in a small frontier town in the remote Klondike. Chris Cooper, cast in February as Father Judge — who has come to Klondike to atone for his violent past on a mission to save souls — exited in March after suffering a minor heart attack. Shepard replaced him.
One TV critic wanted to know if Scheuring was intimidated writing for actor-playwright Shepard. “I wrote it before I knew he was going to be Judge – it’s easy to write in a vacuum.” he responded. That said, Shepard “was willing to collaborate; he had his thoughts,” he continued, adding quickly, “It’s obviously an honor – he’s Sam Shepard!” Shepard didn’t think much of a question about the difference between wearing the “writer hat” and the “actor hat.” “Hats look exactly the same. There’s no difference between The Writing Hat and The Acting Hat,” he said dismissively.
A question about his “motivation” for taking on this role, and whether his motivation for accepting roles has changed over his long career, didn’t play too well either. “Yeah. I was out of work…the landlord was going to kick me out,” he responded. Read More »
Sam Shepard has joined the cast of Discovery Channel’s miniseries Klondike, which marks the channel’s first scripted project. Shepard replaces Chris Cooper, who pulled out last week to attend to a personal matter. Based on Charlotte Gray’s novel Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich In The Klondike, the mini tells the story of six strangers and their collective fight for survival and wealth in a small frontier town in the remote Klondike. Shepard will play Father Judge, who has come to Klondike to atone for his violent past on a mission to save souls. Scott Free Prods, Discovery Entertainment One and Nomadic Pictures produce the mini, which is in production in Alberta, Canada. ICM Partners-repped Shepard will next be seen in the movies Mud, August: Osage County and Out Of The Furnace.
Relativity Media has firmed up casting for Out Of The Furnace with Sam Shepard joining Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and Zoe Saldana as the production directed by Scott Cooper gets under way later this month. Cooper also wrote the script based on an initial version by Brad Inglesby titled The Low Dwellers. Bale and Affleck play brothers who live in the Rust Belt: one lands in prison and the other is lured into a violent criminal enterprise. Saldana is Bale’s love interest while Shepard will play Bale’s and Affleck’s uncle. Relativity will distribute in the U.S. LA-based production-financing-sales company Red Granite will handle international sales next month in Cannes. Producers are Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Killoran, Scott Free’s Ridley Scott, Tony Scott and Michael Costigan plus Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh.
EXCLUSIVE: Director Jeff Nichols has added his Take Shelter star Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Joe Don Baker and Paul Sparks to Mud, the drama that stars Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Tye Sheridan. Production began today in Arkansas. Scripted by Nichols and produced by Sarah Green, Everest Entertainment’s Lisa Maria Falcone and FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder, Mud is a coming-of-age drama centered on two 14-year-old boys who encounter a mysterious fugitive hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. Intrigued by the man, the boys try to help him evade capture and reconnect with the love of his life. Nichols and Shannon are working together for the third time; besides Take Shelter, the Sundance and Cannes sensation that premieres September 30 through Sony Pictures Classics, they also worked together on Shotgun Stories. Shannon has also turned in stellar work on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire as the sexually repressed liquor-busting FBI agent, and he also stars in the Marc Forster-directed Machine Gun Preacher. Shannon is playing a villain in the Zack Snyder-directed Superman reboot Man of Steel. Paulson next stars in the Sundance film Martha Marcy May Marlene. Shepard just starred opposite Brad Pitt in Cogan’s Trade. FilmNation’s Glen Basner is exec producing, and selling Mud in international territories. CAA and FilmNation are handling U.S. sales for Mud. Everest Entertainment most recently produced 127 Hours and Win Win.
Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to Blackthorn, a Western about the final days of Butch Cassidy. Pic stars Sam Shepard, Stephen Rea, Eduardo Noriega and Nicolaj Coster-Waldau. Mateo Gil directed it from script by Miguel Barros. Ibon Cormenzana and Andres Santana produced. Pic premiered last week in downtown Manhattan and will debut in the Market at Cannes next month.
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has set Vera Farmiga to star with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds in Safe House, the Daniel Espinosa-directed drama. Production is already under way, with Reynolds playing a young agent assigned to escort a dangerous criminal to safety after they are attacked at a safe house. Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Robert Patrick and Liam Cunningham will also star in the drama. Scott Stuber is producing and Intrepid Pictures’ Trevor Macy and Marc D. Evans are exec producers. Farmiga will play a CIA operative supervising Reynolds’ character. Farmiga stars in Source Code and made her directorial debut in Higher Ground, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. She’s repped by CAA and Authentic.
EXCLUSIVE: Quickfire is co-financing Blackthorn, a Spanish film which imagines what happened to Butch Cassidy after the notorious 1908 shootout at the climax of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Sam Shepard plays Cassidy. In the film, he is alive and well in Bolivia calling himself James Blackthorn. His advancing years, however, make him long for one last sight of home. Crossing the Bolivian desert, Blackthorn takes a young robber under his protection – but the two of them are hounded by armed gangs and law enforcement. Madrid-based Six Sales is selling this Spanish production currently in post. Mateo Gils, screenwriter of Agora, is making his English-language directing debut and the producer is Ibon Cormenzana’s Arcadia Motion Pictures. Quickfire’s money is an advance against unsold territories. Six Sales will be showing a promo reel at AFM. Blackthorn has already been sold to Spanish public broadcaster TVE and Canal Plus in France.
Is Epix ready to commit to a scripted series order? That is what creative types have been pondering in the past few days, following the demise of the fledging premium cable channel/broadband service’s first scripted pilot Tough Trade. It was groomed to be Epix’s first original scripted series. But 20 months after originally greenlighting it, Epix, a partnership of Lionsgate, Viacom and MGM, has pulled the plug on the project. The show, created by Chris Offutt and produced by Lionsgate TV, revolved around three generations of a Nashvile music dynasty and starred Sam Shepard, Trace Adkins, Cary Elwes, Lucas Black and Joey Lauren Adams. The project, which was once set up at TNT, also boasted big names behind the camera: Weeds creator Jenji Kohan was executive producer/showrunner, Gavin Hood directed the pilot, T-Bone Burnett served as executive musical producer, and Sean and Bryan Furst also executive produced. Read More »