After making a big splash in the super summer blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises as Batman’s larger than life enemy, Bane, Tom Hardy looks to be heading Hollywood East way in a new movie that could be filming sometime next year.
Earlier this month, Hollywood insider pub, Variety, reported that Bullhead director Michael Roskam is being eyed by Fox Searchlight and Chernin Entertainment to lead the charge on the latest cinematic adaption of a Dennis Lehane novel. The book, entitled Animal Rescue, follows the story of a Boston bartender who gets more than he bargained for after adopting a puppy he finds in an alleyway. Hardy is is currently a strong contender for the lead.
Boston-based author Lehane has had a successive string of novels that have become successful cinematic features, including Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, and Shutter Island. His most recent literary work, Live By Night, is in development at Warner Bros., with Ben Affleck attached to write, direct, produce and star.
Chernin Entertainment, which will be co-producing the picture, recently wrapped the female-driven cop comedy The Heat, starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, and was filmed in Boston earlier this summer.
As the project is currently considered to be “in development,” no final casting notices or locations have been secured. We’ll stay on top of this story as more details develop!
Dennis Lehane is a staple among Massachusetts writers. His most famous novels Shutter Island, Mystic River and Gone, Baby, Gone are all Hollywood blockbusters set in the Boston area. Now, he is taking on new literary territory with the announcement of his own line of novels at HarperCollins’ William Morrow imprint. After two decades of his books being printed at the company, Lehane will give up-and-coming authors a chance to be the next Dennis Lehane.
Lehane was born and raised in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, the youngest child of Irish immigrants. He attended Boston College High School before leaving the area to attend Eckerd College and Florida International University in Miami. Besides his many successful novels, Lehane has written plays, short stories and even wrote and directed his own independent film, Neighborhoods. Lehane has even dabbled in television with a guest role as himself as the crime drama “Castle” and a spot on the writing staff of “The Wire.”
The new line will release a select number of fiction works with a “dark edge” each year and Lehane is looking to put the spotlight on writers he admires. ”I’m one of those people who buys ten copies of a book I like and sends it to people I think would enjoy it,” Lehane said in a statement about the line. ”My goal is to call attention to worthy writers, who for some unknown reason aren’t as popular as they should be.”
★ Charlie Sheen tells a Boston radio station that he might return to “Two and a Half Men.”
★ Henry Louis Gates, who appeared in the PBS-TV series “African American Lives” and “Faces of America,” died.
★ Can you hear me now? Verizon ad guy, who resides in Connecticut, ends his contract.
★ Maine resident Kara DioGuardi admits she was molested as a child in her new book.
★ Catherine Zeta Jones checks into a mental health facility in Connecticut to treat her bipolar disorder.
★ Of the celebrities who have gone to college, many of them have gone to colleges here in Boston, including Harvard and Emerson.
★ NBC to air Concord, MA native Steve Carell’s final episode of “The Office” on April 28.
The popular game show pitting Massachusetts high schools against one another is back for a second season — “High School Quiz Show” returns! The program, sponsored by Bank of America, showcases 16 eastern Massachusetts public high schools who compete in qualifying matches, then six playoff matches before an eastern Massachusetts championship. The winners then go head-to-head against the western Massachusetts public school winners of As Schools Match Wits, a co-production of WGBY and Westfield State University.
“Based on the feedback that we got about the show and some things we learned from the process, we did make a few improvements this season,” says executive producer of “High School Quiz Show,” Hillary Wells. “Quiz shows really are their own beast.”
One such improvement was the addition of a new host for the show, the voice of local radio show “Matty in the Morning” on KISS 108 and host of NECN’s “TV Diner:” Billy Costa. “We wanted someone who is very connected to the community in a meaningful way. Someone who could help us expand our audience and bring an energy and feel that the show needs,” Wells says.
Costa is not the only familiar face scheduled to appear on the show this season; many celebrities such as high profile athletes, actors, and scholars have pledged their support by contributing video questions. Katie Couric, Phylicia Rashād, Alec Baldwin, Dennis Lehane, Mark Wahlberg, Noam Chomsky, and Queen Noor are just a few of the many famous names involved in “High School Quiz Show.”
“We also updated the look and feel of the show,” says Wells, which included updating the the color palette on the set. Based on feedback from the teams and schools that competed last year, the show was also restructured to be more competitive; this season it is based on a bracket format and a single-elimination tournament.
Additionally, the lengths of the final lightning round and the head to head round were increased this season, while the point value of the final round went from 10 to 20 per question. “What we found last year was that it was tough coming out of the third round to come back. We wanted to give the trailing team a chance to come back.”
In the end, though, what will audiences enjoy most about WGBH’s “High School Quiz Show?” “It comes back to the original intent of the show- celebrating and showcasing academic achievement,” says Wells. “The show attracts a broad multigenerational audience – younger siblings who are aspirational, and 90-year-old grandparents. There aren’t very many programs out there that attract this kind of enthusiasm and support.”
The first episode of “High School Quiz Show,” a battle between Natick vs. Acton-Boxborough, will be airing on February 13 at 7 p.m. on WGBH, after a marathon of the 2010 “High School Quiz Show” finals. In advance of the new season, the creators will be launching an online version of the quiz on their website so all members of the audience can participate. Also be sure to check out the website for more information on the game, the schools, and to watch video footage of “Super Sunday,” when over 70 public high schools in Massachusetts who were invited to the WGBH studio participated in taking a qualifying quiz for the show.
Stay up to date and become a fan of the show on Facebook!
★ Actress Jill Clayburgh died at age 66 at her home in Lakeville, Connecticut.
★ The show “The Whole Truth” staring Mass. native Maura Tierney has been axed by ABC.
★ Brookline’s Conan O’Brien prepares for his return to TV, and opens up about the shake-up with fellow Mass. native, Jay Leno.
★ Massachusetts and Connecticut could be possible contenders for landing a new TV show on HBO.
★ Ben Affleck aging over the years; a timeline.
★ New England Patriots star Tom Brady gets a raise, but is it enough to compete with his supermodel wife?
You’ve seen the trailer for the soon-to-be-released Shutter Island, directed by Martin Scorsese. But did you know it was shot almost entirely in the Boston area? Excluding a documentary on The Rolling Stones, Scorsese has most recently brought us the academy award winning film, The Departed, which was also famously filmed in Boston. Based on the novel by Dennis Lehane, who is himself a Boston native, Shutter Island has an all-star cast and is sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
“Someone is missing.” That is the publicized tagline for the dramatic thriller set in 1954 at a secluded island off the coast of Boston. Shot mostly in or around the Boston Harbor (including Peddocks Island), the creepy Medfield State Hospital campus, and the scenic Acadia Nat’l Park in Maine, Shutter Island marks the fourth collaboration between Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio.
DiCaprio plays Teddy Daniels, a U.S. Marshal investigating the recent disappearance of a woman incarcerated for murder at a hospital for the criminally insane, which is located on Shutter Island. She vanished from her room overnight and is supposedly hiding somewhere on the premises. Daniels’s search for the woman uncovers terrible mysteries that the doctors and staff would rather keep quiet. Is that another fake Boston accent we hear Leo attempting? When asked about what it was like working with Scorsese, DiCaprio said in this interview, “he expects you to do all the research” and “it’s a really empowering process when someone gives you full ownership over the character.” In addition to DiCaprio, the cast includes Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo, Emily Mortimer, and Patricia Clarkson.
With such classics as Taxi Driver and Cape Fear under his belt, Scorsese is not inexperienced with the darker side of cinematic storytelling. However, he’s taking a slightly different turn with his new plot-based and genre-oriented film. “I tried to pull back a few times and not get so emotionally and psychologically involved,” says Scorsese of the filming, as quoted in the Los Angeles Times. “But this story, these characters — it was a very unsettling experience.”
Scorsese wasn’t the only person affected by the project, as DiCaprio also fell victim to the intensity of the production. “It was draining,” says DiCaprio. “It got to the point where it became more and more realistic the deeper it got – swerving away from anything stylistic and becoming more about human nature.” In fact, a psychologist was deemed necessary to be on the set during filming due to the emotional demands on the actors.
Having come a long way from the blockbuster Titanic in 1997 – which launched him into the public eye – Leonardo DiCaprio has established himself as one of Hollywood’s most sought after leading men. He has appeared in over 20 films throughout his career, taking on challenging roles that have only added to his popularity. DiCaprio’s partnership with Scorsese has lead to three critically acclaimed films, and their newest will likely join those ranks.
Shutter Island overcame a postponement from its original planned release in October 2009, moving it to February 2010. Though this removes it as a contender for the 2010 Oscars, the film is open to nomination for the following year.
Whether it will truly become a classic and grabs some Oscars like so many others of Scorsese’s films still remains to be seen. And yet DiCaprio seems confident, saying, “There were moments on set where I definitely felt like we were going into uncharted territory.” Only time will tell if the unique experience the actors had making the film translates to the screen.
Shutter Island opens nationwide February 19th, 2010.
“Advance preparation is not my strong suit, making stuff up is, that’s why I’m a writer.” Dorchester’s own Dennis Lehane explained at Emmanuel College’s 87th commencement exercises on May 9th. Lehane, whose most well-known works include Mystic River and Gone, Baby, Gone has yet another silver-screen adaptation of his work arriving this fall with the Martin Scorsese directed “Shutter Island”.
As the keynote speaker and honorary recipient of a doctor of humane letters degree by the college, Lehane spoke practically to the class of 2009. “I’m glad we are no longer at a time in this country where we are saying ‘yes, you can drive us off the cliff, as long as you take the scenic route’. That we are no longer being told ‘mission accomplished’ when it is not. We are being talked to like adults. We are being told, ‘no, everything is not ok’. Isn’t that great to hear?” he remarked, to a certain amount of applause. His outlook–”If things are bad, for God sakes, don’t give up. If you believe it can’t get any worse, God help you. If you believe it can’t get any better, you’re wrong.”
Lehane, who at one time worked as a bookstore manager and even a parking attendant before his writing career took off, maintained his life’s purpose has always been clear. Ever the smart-mouthed Boston-blood, Lehane quipped on the flip side of fame. “We live in a world where we are forced to know who Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan are. Its an ugly world.”
Lehane turned sentimental before the Catholic college crowd when recalling past events of his own life, and related the lessons he learned. “You don’t have to believe in God to believe in miracles. If you believe it can’t get any worse, God help you. If you believe it can’t get any better, you’re wrong.” Lehane was one of a number of famous names in the Boston area to deliver commencement speeches. Smokey Robinson spoke at Berklee College of Music on May 9th, filmmaker Ken Burns will be at BC on May 18th, and Steven Spielberg will be receiving an honorary degree from BU on May 17th.
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