The Legislature's $20 million in proposed incentives to lure more film projects to Texas is emphasizing jobs and aiming to boost rural areas as well as larger cities like Austin; plus, Wes Anderson's next movie
Heard at SXSW: Luke Wilson, who, along with older brother Andrew premiered The Wendell Baker Story on South by Southwest Film 05's opening night, said during a press conference for the Austin-shot film that he's considering returning to the capital city for his upcoming adaptation of Jim Lehrer's novel White Widow. The story is set in 1950s Texas and centers on a bus driver with a fertile imagination. But first, Luke is working on a project with Matthew Lawrence set in Florida. Meanwhile, Owen Wilson spilled the beans on the next film for his frequent writing partner Wes Anderson. It's an adaptation of Roald Dahl's children's book Fantastic Mr. Fox featuring evil farmers Boggis, Bunce, and Bean ("one fat, one short, one lean") vs. a sly critter. Wendell Baker co-star Harry Dean Stanton, who chain-smoked his way through the press conference, proclaimed that "Austin is the cultural center of Texas, frankly." Also of note, recent Oscar nominee Thomas Haden Church said the stoner comedy Rolling Kansas, which he directed in the Austin area in 2003, was sold to Comedy Central.
The untitled Focus Features film formerly known as Revolver has started shooting at Austin Studios. Joining Sarah Michelle Gellar in the cast are Sam Shepard, Kate Beahan (the upcoming Flight Plan), J.C. MacKenzie (Dark Angel), Adam Scott (The Aviator), and Aussie actor Peter O'Brien.