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Toronto: Paramount Sets October 2012 Awards-Season Debut For ‘Sopranos’ Creator David Chase’s First Movie

Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: Although Paramount is represented in Toronto this year by its Sundance pickup and awards hopeful Like Crazy (10/28), which will have its premiere here Tuesday night, and also by Steven Spielberg’s motion capture animated film The Adventures of TinTin (12/23), for which they will have preview showings Monday (the same 8-minute reel seen at Comic-Con), they are apparently already thinking about the 2012 awards season.

I have learned that the studio has dated The Sopranos creator David Chase’s anticipated and now untitled feature writing and directorial debut to open in the heart of next year’s awards season — on October 19, 2012. The film, known during production as Twylight Zones, will be released with the Paramount Vantage label. It was shot earlier this year, is now in post and is a suburban-set 1960s-set story about a group of friends in New Jersey who form a garage band in order to pursue their rock dreams. It stars Brad Garrett, Christopher McDonald, Molly Price, John Magaro, Lisa Lampanelli, Jack Huston and most notably reunites Chase with his Emmy-winning Sopranos star James Gandolfini, who plays a post-war, post-Depression Era parent who has worked hard to give his son everything he didn’t have but now feels some jealousy about the free-wheeling life the boy gets to experience. Growing up as a New Jersey teen in the 60s, Chase himself pursued similar musical dreams, so the story obviously has a major personal connection for him. Oscar winner Mark Johnson (Rainman) produces with Chase, … Read More »

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‘Sopranos’ Big-Screen Reunion: James Gandolfini Joins David Chase’s New Movie

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Well, it is not a Sopranos movie but probably the next best thing for fans of the  HBO mob drama. Former  Sopranos leading man James Gandolfini is set to co-star in Sopranos creator David Chase’s next project,  movie Twylight Zones, which, like the seminal HBO series, is set in New Jersey. It is one of three features Gandlofini will be juggling in the next few months. He is also in final negotiations to join Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock and and Cogan’s Trade toplined by Brad Pitt.

The Paramount-produced Twylight Zones is described as a drama about a New Jersey Rock’n'Roll band and the musical renaissance of the 1960s. It centers on Douglas (John Magaro), a socially awkward teen who begins to shine as lead singer in his band, The Twylight Zones. Gandolfini will play his father, an Italian-American who’s totally disgusted by his son’s infatuation with rock music. UPDATE: Also joining the film are Molly Price as Douglas’ mom and actor-comedian Brad Garrett. Read More »

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Bella Heathcote Lands ‘Twylight Zones’

Mike Fleming

David Chase has set Bella Heathcote for the female lead of Twylight Zones, the film Chase wrote and is directing for Paramount as his first major project after The Sopranos. She joins John Magaro, Will Brill and Jack Huston. Chase is producing with Mark Johnson and production starts February. Set in the 1960s, the story involves three high school friends who form a band inspired by the classic rock influences like the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. The film follows their rise and the pitfalls of fame.

Heathcote is currently starring alongside Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Alex Pettyfer and Olivia Wilde in the Andrew Niccol-directed Now. She’ll also play a supporting role in Cogan’s Trade, the Andrew Dominik-directed adaptation of the George V. Higgins novel that will star Brad Pitt. Heathcote hails from Australia, where she recently received a scholarship named for the late Heath Ledger and bestowed by the Australian Film Industry for her performance in the Aussie war epic Beneath Hill 60. The award is meant to give young actors the chance to travel to the US to train and take acting jobs. She’s making the most of the opportunity since receiving the honor seven months ago. She has signed with WME and Jackson/Medavoy, while still repped by JM Agency in Australia.

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