APRIL - JUNE 2008:
production began this month in Rome on ANGELS & DEMONS. Here are
some on-location photos taken last Thursday and this Monday. You'll
recognize Tom Hanks and that's director Ron Howard in the hat.
only a month away before theatergoers can enjoy
MAMMA MIA! At last there's a summer blockbuster for folks over
40! There will be two star-studded premieres for the film. The first
will take place in London on June 30 at the Odeon Leicester Square.
Attending the event will be Prince Charles and wife Cornelia. The US
premiere will be held in NYC on July 16, two days before its opening
date. The film's music soundtrack will be released on CD on July 8. For
an exclusive look at the movie,
visit this ET link.
have some DVD news today. Vertigo Films and Contender Home Entertainment
have announced the UK Region 2 DVD release of WAZ
on June 16. The film premiered in UK cinemas on February 22. In
the US distributor Genius Products has just announced the film's Region
1 DVD release for August 12. Be aware that it has been renamed - THE
KILLING GENE. The disc will include 3 deleted scenes, a
Making of featurette, a Torture featurette, and an in-depth interview
with the director, producer and screenwriter. It should retail for
around $19.97. Look for an on-set visit in Fangoria's #275
issue on sale in July.
Akiva Goldman, who adapted Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, has
written a screenplay based on another of Brown's books called ANGELS
& DEMONS. Upon publication back in 2000, The San Francisco
Chronicle called the book, “A Breathless Real-Time Adventure.
Exciting, fast-paced, with an unusually high IQ.” Sources indicate that
the Vatican City thriller, produced by Sony/Columbia pictures, is a
actually a prequel to The Da Vinci Code, but has been
restructured to serve as a sequel. Despite being generally panned by
critics, the 2006 film became a worldwide megahit earning over $750
million at the box office. The sequel will again be directed by Ron
Howard with Tom Hanks reprising his role as Dr. Robert Langdon. Israeli
actress Ayelet Zurer (Munich) had landed the female lead opposite
Hanks. Ewan McGregor will take on the role of Camerlengo Carlo
Ventresca, the Pope's closest aide, who helps Langdon with his
investigation. In an interview with Aftonbladet, Stellan says, "I
will be playing a captain of the Swiss Guard in a fairly large role."
Production will begin in Rome in June before heading to Los Angeles. The
film is set to open on May 15, 2009.
to Britfilms TV Limited, director Tom Shankland says getting
WAZ's leading star on board didn't take the
usual sort of methods. He relates his casting of Stellan as Eddie Argo,
the cop with a hidden past. - "Well, you just have to get down beg him
and drink a bit. Stellan always loved the second half of the script.
first 30 pages he thought it was just the usual thing. Cops – killers,
the usual. Then he suddenly realized that this
is actually a sort of twisted love story, so for him it suddenly became
a European movie and not an American one. But he obviously wanted to
know who this schmuck of a director who he’d never heard of was, so we
went out to meet him.” It was at this meeting that Tom was asked some
very important questions by the well respected thesp. “One of the big
questions from Stellan was whether I drank or not, I told him I liked
the occasional glass of wine and he said, ‘okay, I’ll do it’. We were in
seventh heaven when he committed to it.. He’s just one of those actors that have something epic
about his face, and the type of feature that shows that he’s kind of
haunted by something, you just don’t know what it is yet. He can just
convey acres of thought, and it comes across so well.”
And ain't that the truth!!
countdown is ten more weeks until MAMMA MIA!
hits US screens this summer. Expectations are high for the film's
success. There will be some changes though. Three songs from the stage show have been dropped -
Thank You For The Music, Under Attack and Knowing Me,
Knowing You - although the movie
introduces another ABBA number, When All Is Said And Done.
The film version will also focus more on Meryl Streep
and Pierce Brosnan than the young lovers and there'll be a higher tempo
with everything taking place within 24 hours. Before he began filming
last summer at Pinewood Studios, Stellan jokingly talked about his
co-star - "Meryl Streep isn't totally without talent, right? I haven't
met her yet, but there surely isn't anyone who'd not like her as an
actor." Continuing to be the comic, he relates how he got the role. "My
agent called and said, 'Stellan, can you sing?' No, I said, what kind of
role it is? His agent responded, 'They will film ABBA's Mamma Mia!' Yes,
then I can sing, I said. Because I thought that in film everything can
be fixed afterwards in the studio. Folks can fly in a film. So my agent
said that I can sing."
Being at the recording studio was
highly enjoyable according to our Swede who said working with his peers
always went well. "Imagine me, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth in the
studio singing together about romantic walks in Paris! It was
unbelievably great fun. I was happy like a child as I've never
taken part in a musical before." He admits, "It was incredibly cool to
sing Voulez-Vous." And what does he think of his voice - "My
voice is.... well, some sort of...." But when ABBA's Beeny Andersson was
asked how well the three men could sing, he responded, "They can sing.
All three. Better than they think. Stellan thinks he can't sing, but he
can. He has good timing and a good voice." Firth is keeping his fingers
crossed that their voices won't kill the movie. He says, "They didn't
auditon me to sing. They didn't audition Pierce Brosnan to sing. Or
Stellan Skarsgård. So they get
whatever they deserve as far as I'm concerned." Despite being Swedish,
Stellan claims he missed out on ABBA the first time around. "Of course,
I was aware of them. The thing was to try and avoid them. But then I did
the film and I realized that the music was more intricate than you
think. You can listen to the songs over and over and hear new things all
came across an undated article from Nordic Reach magazine
that came out sometime during the release of his Exorcist films.
It put forth the question why Stellan Skarsgård
has succeeded in America while so many others have
failed. Only a handful of Scandinavian actors have made a
comparable name for themselves in Hollywood. Stellan responded, "I don`t
know. I guess I`ve been lucky to make a couple of films that got
international attention. The first was DEN
ENFALDIGE MÖRDAREN (1982),
directed by Hans Alfredsson, which won a Silver Bear in Berlin. That
brought me out to the States for the first time, and I got an agent in
the USA." Stellan has no illusions that all of his films are
diamonds: "Ten or 15 percent are really good, 10-15 percent are really
bad, and the rest are normal films," he estimates. He then relates how
his sister came to Rome to visit him while he was on location.
Apparently, she was so impressed that his dressing room had once been
part of an apartment where the legendary film director Felini lived that
she hugged the toilet where the great man once sat! As to whether or not
Stellan would sit in the director's chair, he replies, ""It would be
interesting to direct at some point, but only if I find a story I feel I
have to tell."
are some production drawings & photos from BBC's
GOD ON TRIAL, set to air later this
According to Swedish sources, Stellan has just been cast in Dan Brown's
Da Vinci Code sequel, ANGELS AND DEMONS. More detailed
Tuesday Stellan was out in the Big Apple once more with his new love
interest at his side. They attended
a screening of "The Life Before Her Eyes" at the IFC Center. Swedish papers
report that Miss Everett is 32 years old, works in the film industry
and hails from Ireland. Could he have met her while he was filming
WAZ in Belfast during the spring of 2006?
Monday evening Stellan, accompanied by Megan Everett, attended the 35th Annual Film Society of Lincoln Center Gala Tribute
to Meryl Streep. Among the guests were Christopher Walken, Robert
Redford, Uma Thurman, Stanley Tucci, Amy Adams, Mike Nicholas, Jonathan
Demme, and Glenn Close. Someone asked Stellan if he had any Meryl Streep
anecdotes whereupon he replied, "No. I'm afraid I'm not very good at
that kind of thing." Here are the photos: