Film News

Paranoia runs deep-fried; plus, 'Elvis and Annabelle,' Troublemaker's future, and more

Have It Their Way

Turns out Richard Linklater wasn't so paranoid after all when it came to filming his fictional adaptation of the Eric Schlosser's nonfiction book Fast Food Nation. Sure, the film crew slinked around, lensing under such pseudonyms as Travels With Nutmeg and Coyote, and even quietly shooting some in Mexico. But McDonald's is the beast with the persecution complex, according to an internal memo to franchisees, first revealed by Dow Jones, that promises a "full-scale media campaign" and a "truth squad" to counteract the film when it is released sometime later this year. The plan doesn't include, as Tina Fey slyly suggested on Saturday Night Live, the menu addition of a Bacon Sundae Salad. The memo, according to Variety, also reveals a bit about the top-secret script, which includes segments about the mistreatment of workers at a meat plant, pop star Avril Lavigne as a former employee of a fast-food restaurant named Mickey's, who sees the error of her ways and sets out to right her wrongs, and a by-any-means-necessary Mickey's marketing exec hellbent on hawking burgers. The cast also is reported to include Greg Kinnear, Wilmer Valderrama, Luis Guzmán, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, and Catalina Sandino Moreno.

Signing Elvis' Cast

As previously reported here last month, Burnt Orange Productions, the University of Texas' film arm, is shooting Elvis and Anabelle hereabouts. What we didn't tell you was the cast, which includes Joe Mantegna (House of Games), Blake Lively (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), Max Minghella (Syriana), Mary Steenburgen (What's Eating Gilbert Grape?), and Keith Carradine (Nashville). The script from writer/director Will Geiger is a love story between a mortician's son and a somewhat dead beauty queen.

And the Rest ...

Producer Elizabeth Avellán and director Robert Rodriguez will continue to work together as Troublemaker Studios; however, as reported in the New York Post's "Page Six" column, they are separating as a married couple. Filming of Rodriguez's section of Grind House, a collaboration with Quentin Tarantino, completed on April 10. Preparations are under way to begin filming Tarantino's section in Austin on July 10... Kyle Henry, whose Room is nearing the end of its Austin run (as in run, do not walk, to the Alamo Drafthouse South for the final screening at 7pm, tonight, Thursday, April 20), has been awarded the University of Texas Film Institute's first Vanguard Award honoring alumni making waves in the film industry. Roderick P. Hart, dean of the College of Communication, received the institute's first Leadership Award for his continued support of film education.

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Fast Food Nation, Elvis and Annabelle, Grind House, Elizabeth Avellan, Robert Rodriguez, Fantastic Fest, Kyle Henry, Room, Texas Film Institute, Roderick P. Hart, Mike Akel, Chalk, Dano Johnson, John Merriman, T. Lynn Mikeska, Danny Strack, Driving Sprawl, In Defense of Definitions

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