Film News

On the set of 'Grind House,' sort of; plus, updates on 'There Will Be Blood,' 'Dallas,' and more

The Incredibly Strange Actors Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Rodriguez Zombies!

My Magic Eight Ball (and numerous reputable sources) says Michael Biehn (the good guy in The Terminator) and Tom Savini (Dawn of the Dead) star respectively as the sheriff and his deputy in Robert Rodriguez's zombified "Planet Terror," half of a joint film project with Quentin Tarantino with the umbrella title Grind House. In a posting later deleted from his Web site, Savini described arriving on set, watching a scene between Josh Brolin (thus explaining recent sightings of Mrs. Brolin, aka Diane Lane, in Austin) and Marley Shelton (Sin City), then inspecting piles of dead bodies and severed heads. No confirmation from the supremely secretive Rodriguez camp, which is busy filming in the witching hours into May. Oh, one last intriguing tidbit: totally unconfirmed rumors have Sin City's Mickey Roarke starring in QT's half of the project, a stuntman revenge tale dubbed "Death Proof," along with New Zealand stunt pro Zoe Bell, who doubled for Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. Will Tarantino shoot in Austin? Answer hazy. Try again later.

Oil's Well in Marfa

Bakersfield, Calif., is popping up a few miles outside of Marfa, where There Will Be Blood will shoot soon. The film, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, will require a look that changes from the start of the 20th century to about 1930. It is loosely based on Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel Oil! Meanwhile, the Cormac McCarthy novel adaptation No Country for Old Men is now expected to shoot only a few days in the Marfa area, with the majority of filming in the Land of Enchanting Film Incentives, er, New Mexico.

They Shoot J.R. Here, Don't They?

The campaign to squeeze funding for filming incentives out of the Texas Legislature has a new rallying cry for folks north of here: Shoot J.R. in Dallas. That's the logo on T-shirts and gimme hats as part of the drive to have the $30-million big-screen version of the television show Dallas film in its namesake. The effort is gaining international media attention, but Dallas the city faces tough competition from Florida, which is offering a 15% refund on all funds spent there, up to $2 million. It already has a replica of Southfork in Jacksonville and is home to John Travolta, who is pegged to play J.R. Ewing. Don't expect a clear winner anytime soon: Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde) is off the project as director, reportedly because of disagreements over casting, rumored to include Jennifer Lopez as Sue Ellen Ewing, Luke Wilson as Bobby Ewing, Shirley MacLaine as Miss Ellie, and Jessica Simpson as Lucy Ewing.

And the Rest ...

The untitled war in Iraq film formerly known as Stop-Loss has pushed the start of Austin-based filming until summer, reportedly due to actor availability... His geekiness Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News says the character Harry Knowles in the film Fanboys will not be played by Jorge Garcia of TV's Lost, after all. The second choice was Kevin Smith – yes, the director of Clerks and Chasing Amy fame – but he had scheduling conflicts. Want to see who did portray Knowles? Go to Writer Leslie Belt and director Vicky Boone report that their Attack of the Bride Monster, a short comedy about a lesbian love affair gone wrong, is set to hit a number of film fests soon, including the Tribeca Underground Film Festival in May... THINKFilm has picked up FUCK, which recently made noise at SXSW Film 06. The naughty doc is expected to explode on screens in limited bursts in 2006 then go all the way with Showtime next year.

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Grind House, There Will Be Blood, Dallas, Fanboys, Attack of the Bride Monster

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