“Tracking Shot” is a monthly feature here on IONCINEMA.com that looks at projects that are moments away from lensing (or already have Day 1 under their belts) and that we feel are worth signaling out. This May, we’ve got a mixed group of items worth mentioning and rarely have we seen this, but there are several first time filmmakers that made our cut.
Among the directors getting out of the gate we have a 2007 Black List item in The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman which finally gets underway with video-director Fredrik Bond helming. Short Film Academy Award nominated Ruairi Robinson directs his feature debut Last Days on Mars. Sally Hawkins and Liev Schreiber topline, with the WETA team on board, this is a sci-fi thriller about out quest to find life outside of planet earth. Indie pic directing debut from Geoff Moore and David Posamentier which has Sundance written all-over it, the great titled Better Living Through Chemistry has Olivia Wilde, Michelle Monaghan, Sam Rockwell, Ray Liotta and Judi Dench in what is being dubbed as “a straight-laced pharmacist’s uneventful life spirals out of control when he starts an affair with a trophy wife customer who takes him on a joyride involving sex, drugs and possibly murder. Mad Men producer and director Matthew Weiner will direct his debut as well, with a road trip comedy starring Zach Galifianakis and Owen Wilson.
Remake of sorts from Stake Land director Jim Mickle who brings Jorge Michel Grau’s Somo Lo Que Hay off the streets of Mexico City and into the Catskills of NY State. Riley Keough and Julia Garner topline this version of We Are What We Are. Karen Moncrieff finally returns to the director’s chair after 2006’s The Dead Girl. Kate Beckinsale will switch a K or a C in The Trials of Cate McCullough, about a former hotshot lawyer, now in recovery and estranged from her family, in order to be reinstated at the bar and recover custody of her daughter, must take on the appeal of a woman wrongfully convicted of murder.
We have a minor interest in the Jackie Robinson biopic called 42, but aren’t confident that Brian Helgeland can pull it off but in biopic type items we like helmer Joshua Michael Stern (Swing Vote) chance to finally break out with Jobs – the biopic featuring Ashton Kutcher as the Apple’s MVP – the movie primarily focuses on the early years of Apple, its founding and the up and down years: 1971 – 2000. Desert Flower traveled well on the fest circuit for helmer Sherry Horman, here’s hoping that 3096, a true-life character study about a young Austrian girl kidnapped for eight years includes not only smart casting decisions in Antonia Campbell-Hughes and Thure Lindhardt, but some strong stylistic choices – certainly the hiring of Michael Ballhaus will help. And finally, for his sophomore film, Submarine helmer Richard Ayoade will count on the not too shabby pairing of Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska for The Double — drawn from Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel of the same, this is a comedy that centers on a man who is driven insane by the appearance of his doppleganger.
Director: Sherry Horman
Screenwriter: Bernd Eichinger (his last screenwriting credit), Peter Reichard
Cast: Antonia Campbell-Hughes and Thure Lindhardt
Crew: DP: Michael Ballhaus (The Departed)
Producers: Constantin’s Martin Moszkowicz
Filming in Munich
Better Living Through Chemistry
Directors/Screenwriters: Geoff Moore and David Posamentier
Cast: Olivia Wilde, Michelle Monaghan, Sam Rockwell, Ray Liotta and Judi Dench
Crew: DP: Tim Suhrstedt (Little Miss Sunshine)
Producers: Occupant Films’ Felipe Marino and Joe Neurauter
Filming in TBD
Director: Richard Ayoade
Screenwriters: Ayoade and Avi Korine
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska
Crew: DP: Erik Wilson (Submarine, Tyrannosaur). Production Designer: David Crank. Original Music: Andrew Hewitt
Producers: Alcove Ent.’s Amina Dasmal and Robin C. Fox
Filming in United Kingdom
Director: Joshua Michael Stern
Screenwriter: Matt Whiteley
Cast: Ashton Kutcher (Steve Jobs), Josh Gad (Steve Wozniak)
Crew: DP: Russell Carpenter Production Designer: Freddy Waff
Producers: Mark Hulme, Marcos Rodriguez
Filming in Austin, Texas
Last Days on Mars
Director: Ruairi Robinson
Screenwriter: Clive Dawson
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Liev Schreiber, Romola Garai, Tom Cullen, Goran Kostic
Producers: Andrea Cornwell and Qwerty Films’ Michael Kuhn
Filming in Jordan and the United Kingdom.
The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman
Director: Fredrik Bond
Screenwriter: Matt Drake
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Til Schweiger, Melissa Leo and James Buckley
Crew: DP: Roman Vasyanov. Production Designer: Joel Collins. Original Music: Moby
Producers: Bona Fide Productions’ Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, Craig J. Flores and William Horberg
Filming in Eastern Europe
The Trials of Cate McCullough
Director/Writer: Karen Moncrieff
Cast: Kate Beckinsale
Producers: Moncrieff, Marc Bienstock , Eric Karten and Peter Schafer
Filming in Los Angeles
We Are What We Are
Director: Jim Mickle
Screenwriter: Nick Damici
Cast: Riley Keough, Julia Garner, Bill Sage and Wyatt Russell
Producers: Memento Films International’s Nicholas Shumaker and Rodrigo Bellot, Andrew D. Corkin and Jack Turner.
Filming in New York State’s Catskills region
You Are Here
Director/Writer: Matthew Weiner
Cast: Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Laura Ramsey, Amy Poehler
Crew: DP: Chris Manley. Production Designer: Dan Bishop.
Producers: Gilbert Films’ Gary Gilbert and Jordan Horowitz with Keith Addis and Scott Hornbacher
Filming in North Carolina