Film News

In Austin and abroad: action

'Lost' with 'Friends' and waiting for 'The Hitcher' to slide in next to Teri Garr and a zombie before a warlike, hot Austin summer goes 'Kabluey'

Stalled in FM 973 traffic in eastern Travis Country waiting for equipment trucks from The Hitcher to clear and marveling at a busy Austin film summer. (Note: When the sign says the road will be closed at a particular time, don't close it an hour earlier.) The aforementioned remake stars Zachary Knighton (Life on a Stick) and Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill) as a couple terrorized by Sean Bean (Silent Hill). Meanwhile, Robert Rodriguez is back in production of his zombie-filled section of Grind House, with Lost star Naveen Andrews joining the cast as a "badass military scientist," according to Variety. A spokesman said Quentin Tarantino is slated to film his section of the film here in August. The release date has been pushed to next Easter. Lots of war, Iraqi-sytle, is lensing, or about to lens, too. Scott Prendergast wrote, directs, and stars in Kabluey, based on his experiences taking care of his brother's kids while said bro was in Iraq as a national guardsman. The cast includes Lisa Kudrow (Friends), Christine Taylor (Dodgeball), Teri Garr (Tootsie), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Grey's Anatomy), Chris Parnell (Saturday Night Live), and Conchata Ferrell (Two and a Half Men). Said Prendergast: "We chose Austin because we had heard so much about the strong, good film community and crew base here. Also, the city had the right look for the film. It's been awesome being here!" Shooting soon is the untitled war in Iraq film from Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry) formerly known as Stop-Loss. Mr. Reese Witherspoon, er, Ryan Phillippe (Crash) is in negotiations to star, with Abbie Cornish (Everything Goes) already on board. In a much lower budget, wackier film world, musicians Joe Ely, Sara Hickman, Jimmy LaFave, and Michael Fracasso are the latest to go zombie for Z: A Zombie Musical, which is slated to complete filming in July. In the not-filming-here-soon category is Last Flag Flying, a sequel to The Last Detail that is on Richard Linklater's slate of upcoming projects. Despite reports elsewhere, it's not in production but still in the script stage, Linklater's able assistant says. In the hope chest is Charlie Wilson's War, which recently added Philip Seymour Hoffman as a CIA agent and is expected to shoot, somewhere, in October. The movie stars Tom Hanks as the Texas congressman who helped secretly arm rebels fighting Soviet troops in Afghanistan, and filmmakers have looked at Austin and other Texas locales.

Something's rockin' in the state of Denmark

Austin director Spencer Parsons is in Århus, Denmark, as you read this preparing for I'll Come Running, which the frequent Chronicle contributor calls a "broken romance" about a Danish guy who has a fling with a Texas woman, only to have her appear on his doorstep later. It stars Melonie Diaz of Raising Victor Vargas and Birgitte Raaberg of Lars Von Trier's The Kingdom, and will shoot in Denmark in July and Austin in August. It's produced by Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, and Anish Savjani, who were also behind Steve Collins' Gretchen and Kelly Reichardt's Old Joy. Why Denmark? Knudsen is from there and has connections in the Danish film industry, plus it's a place Americans know little about, Parsons says.

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The Hitcher, Kabluey, Z:A Zombie Musical, Charlie Wilson's War, I'll Come Running

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