Short Cuts

Writer / director Tim McCanlies enthuses about his upcoming film, Secondhand Lions; plus, The Alamo gets a new scribe.

The Iron Lions Dept.: "He's the patron actor-saint of Texas!" says an enthusiastic Tim McCanlies of Robert Duvall, who, alongside yet another Oscar winner, Michael Caine, and Oscar nominee Haley Joel Osment, has been cast in the Austin native's Secondhand Lions, which will begin shooting in and around town this September. The script, written years ago by McCanlies (pre-Dancer, TX, and The Iron Giant), follows the hard-luck Osment and eccentric uncles Duvall and Caine, who "tell this kid these Arabian Nights-type stories of their youth," relates McCanlies. "It's a very Princess Bride-type of storytelling, very Errol Flynn kind of stuff." Also on board for the production is -- the Oscars never stop on this one -- Digital Domain, the effects house behind James Cameron's Titanic, among others. McCanlies says Austin production offices are slated to open "next week, hopefully." More on this as things get under way... Sam Houston, We Have a Problem: Oscar-winning scribe Stephen Gaghan (Traffic) is set to do rewrites on the John Sayles-penned script for Ron Howard's epic remake of The Alamo, according to last Friday's Variety. No specific cause for the rewrites was given, although it's not unusual for a project this size to have multiple writers attached. Originally slated to begin shooting this coming September in and around Dripping Springs (set construction is already under way), the film looks to have been pushed back to winter as various high-end deals in the star-studded production (including Russell Crowe and Ethan Hawke) are finalized. Again, more on this as events develop.

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Tim McCanlies, Secondhand Lions, Haley Joel Osment, Robert Duvall, Michael Caine, Stephen Gaghan, Ron Howard, John Sayles, The Alamo

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