'Sin City' set for small screen? Plus: Amber Heard, 'Cavite,' and an Austin finalist for the Nicholl Fellowship.
Sin City the television series? Yep, if the Weinstein Co. has its way, Robert Rodriguez's big-screen adaptation of Frank Miller's noir graphic novel will be on the small screen about the time Sin City 2, the film slated to start production in Austin by the end of the year, is scheduled to screen. No word on what, if any, involvement Rodriguez and the original cast will have in the project. And just for the kids in us all, Holes, the young-adult novel by Austinite Louis Sachar, is also set for a television pilot. Sachar's book about a Texas juvenile detention camp has already been a 2003 film, then a stage play. The pilot from Walden Media is expected to be a half-hour comedy.
Big Screen, Little Screen
Now shooting locally is All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, a horror film starring local actress Amber Heard as a devastatingly beautiful school girl who has a gaggle of zombie-like admirers. Recent American Film Institute grad (and former assistant to Paul Schrader) Jonathan Levine directs... Starting production this week is Steve Cauley's Wake Up, Herbert, in which right before Christmas a guy loses a job he didn't enjoy and keeps having a dream in which he asks Santa to give him his manhood as a present. It's a first film for writer/director Cauley, a St. Edward's University grad who's a former newspaper editor and teacher.
Lights! Camera! Action!
Score one for John Pierson's advanced producing class at the University of Texas. Cavite, the film by Ian Gamazon and Neill Dela Llana that was pushed through the class (and premiered at SXSW Film 05), is the first to be signed by Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner of 2929 Entertainment for a new program called Truly Indie, in which indie films get help with marketing and sales tools so they can get their film out sans a traditional distributor in Landmark theatres owned by 2929.
Austin's Lauren Sheppard is one of 10 finalists for a Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Her screenplay The Last Wish Girl made the cut out of a whopping 5,879 entries (which included Chronicle contributor Kimberley Jones as a semifinalist), and, if chosen, will earn her a $30,000 fellowship. Cross your fingers... University of Texas prof Ellen Spiro and her co-director Karen Bernstein won a well-deserved Lone Star Emmy for their insightful documentary Are the Kids Alright?, about how Texas children with mental illnesses can get caught in the state's bureaucracy. UT grad student Ya'Ke Smith won a Directors Guild of America Student Filmmaker Award for his film Hope's War, about a U.S. soldier struggling to fit in after his return from Iraq.
You May Already Be a Winner
Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.