a series of exciting new projects at the Cannes Film Festival, including funding of feature film, “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea”
. Jessica Biel
("New Year's Eve"), Jeffrey Dean Morgan
") and young actress, Chloe Grace Moretz
") have reportedly signed on to star in the New Orleans-set drama. According to
The Hollywood Reporter, the film “follows Henry (Morgan), a grieving widower who recently lost his wife (Biel) in a car accident, as he finds refuge by helping an imaginative young girl (Moretz) fulfill her dream of building a raft and sailing across the Atlantic Ocean." Bill Purple
will direct from a script by Robbie Pickering and begin principle photography for the project this fall in New Orleans!
Biel will produce as well with Michelle Purple
under their production company, Iron Ocean Films
alongside Preferred Content's Ross M. Dinerstein
and AngelWorld's Darby Angel.
Excitingly enough, this project will be the first professional collaboration between Biel and her fiance, Justin Timberlake
. He is set to compose the film's soundtrack and serve as music supervisor. MTV
makes note of Timberlake’s “self-imposed” vacation from the music industry to focus on his film career and wonders if this means he will also make an appearance in this film. We can hope so!
Plus, we love to see actors make it back to the Hollywood South! In this case, Morgan will return to New Orleans to film “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” as he shot crime thriller, "The Courier" here in October 2010.
The continuous momentum of the Louisiana Entertainment industry has been a topic of local and national attention for the past 2 years- but now, it has even captured the notice of Forbes
. The famous publication recently released an in-depth analysis
of the success of the Hollywood south. Mentioning some of the more obvious specifics, such as the tax incentives and low cost of living, the article also discussed how the cultural community here in New Orleans is fueling the growth of this industry. Kotkin writes
, “the Big Easy and the state of Louisiana have managed to turn the region’s creative energy into something of an economic driver
”. From artists, musicians, and actors, to special effects gurus and animators, the residents of NOLA provide directors and production teams a wide employee base without having to bring in outside talent. This, in turn, lowers costs and continues to add to the appeal of a LA shot picture.
The culture here, including history, food and architecture, has also attracted a great many celebrity residents. Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Saundra Bullock, Lawrence Fishbourne, Nicholas Cage
and John Goodma
n have all purchased homes here in New Orleans- and frequently host celebrity guests. Many local actors are also making their break into the big time thanks to their proximity to the Hollywood South. Brett Lapeyrouse
performed in locally-filmed “21 Jump Street
” alongside Channing Tatum
and Jonah Hill
, and Madison Wolfe
recently played the daughter of Will Ferrell
in the new comedy “Dog Fight
”. Both Lapeyrouse and Wolfe received training at the John Robert Powers Performing Arts Academy
. Local resources, like JRP
, are also seeing the benefits of this boom in our area’s entertainment industry. The experts are predicting that New Orleans may rival Los Angeles for the number of projects filmed, which would be an enormous spotlight on Louisiana. This is exciting news for everyone here in Louisiana, not to mention everyone at Southern Celebrity Gossip.
For the full article, please visit Forbes
The 1989 film, “Steel Magnolias
” depicts a group of women living through love and loss in the great state of Louisiana. The original movie cast a remarkable catalog of actresses including Sally Field
, Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton, Daryl Hannah, Shirley MacLaine
, and Olympia Dukakis
. However, when the Lifetime Network
had the opportunity to make a modern version of this iconic film, they jumped at the chance! The new version
, which should premiere this year will feature an all African-American cast of equally fabulous talent. Actress and singer, Queen Latifah
will take on the role of “M’Lynn”, with Alfre Woodard
as “Ouiser”, Phylicia Rashad
as “Clairee”, Grammy winner Jill Scott
will be in the part of “Truvy”, Adepero Oduye
will play “Annelle” and Condola Rashad
will take on Roberts’ part of “Shelby”. Sources are not certain if the film will still be set in Louisiana, but they are confident that it will shoot in Atlanta, GA.
Taking on the task of remaking such a famous, and favored film, poses many challenges. But the production staff for this film is equally as talented as the new cast. Sony Pictures Television
will produce the new “Steel Magnolias
”, and the movie will be executively produced by Craig Zadan
and Neil Meron
), as well as actress Latifah. The three have worked together before on several projects and are hopeful to sustain their creative chemistry. Kenny Leon
of "A Raisin in the Sun
" will be consulting on the script as it is adapted for television.
This incredible talent and exciting new project has audiences and industry experts all anxious for its’ release. Helen Verno,
Vice President of Movies and Miniseries at Sony Pictures Television even said
that it is “an honor… to be revisiting the classic Sony film Steel Magnolias under the creative auspices of our producing partners…acclaimed director…and team of brilliant actor
For more on this story, visit CNN Entertainment
Hollywood icon, Tom Cruise
is making his way down to New Orleans to film a new sci-fi thriller this spring. Joining the cast will be local actress Melissa Leo
, who was made famous
by the HBO series “TREME”
portraying the character, Toni Bernette. Before landing the role with Cruise, Leo was predominantly a television star having appeared in “Criminal Minds
” and “Law and Order
”. The actress is excited to join the cast for “Oblivion
” which will be filmed mainly in Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas. The cast for this picture includes actors Morgan Freeman, Andrea Riseborough
and Olga Kurylenko
. Local actress, Lindsay Clift,
will also be appearing in the picture playing the part of “young mother”. Clift is an active performer in New Orleans, and also is an acting coach at the John Robert Powers Performing Arts Academy. Joseph Kosinski
the film. Kosinski is best known for the "TRON: Legacy"
, which features similar themes and aesthetics to the
much anticipated “Oblivion”
For more on this story, visit NOLA.com.
Last spring, Zac Efron made a visit to New Orleans to film the new movie “The Paperboy”. At Southern Celebrity Gossip, we reported on the buzz of this film- as well as the candid shots of Efron around NOLA. Zac definitely enjoyed his trip to the Crescent City, but it was perhaps the company that he enjoyed best of all. In the Toronto Sun, the young star opened-up about his deep appreciation for actress and co-star, Nicole Kidman. In “The Paperboy” the two share more than one romantic scene, and Efron said that it was the highlight of his career! The Sun quotes Efron, “Nicole is so gorgeous. It was everything you dreamed of. She was such a lovely person. I pinch myself everyday, especially after doing love scenes with Nicole Kidman”. Now we’re all curious to see this pair on the big screen after the movie’s release sometime in 2012. The Paperboy promises to show off both new and mature talent, as well as the beautiful Louisiana scenery!
Actor and comedian Seth Rogan
has been the center of attention in the entertainment industry with movies like “Knocked Up
”, “Pineapple Express
” and “Superbad
”. But now the funnyman is trying on a whole new role- that of director. Having previously worked as a screenwriter for some of his better known films, Rogan feels prepared to take his creativity to the next stage in his career. Collaborating with Rogan for this screenplay is Evan Goldberg
who is also co-directing
the project. Goldberg is also credited as a writer for many other Rogan projects, including “The Green Horne
”, and “Pineapple Express
”. Joining this talented behind-the-scenes duo are actors Jonah Hill
, James Franco
, as well as actor-turned writer- turned producer- turned director- turned actor Seth Rogan
. Most of these actors will be playing versions of themselves in the movie, which is set in a post-apocalyptic world. In this movie, the characters are barricaded in a house after the end of the world has occurred. Over the course of the movie the friends realize how little they like each other, as close-quarters turns into torture- not to mention hilarity! The movie will begin filming here in New Orleans this April in preparation for its 2013 release.
For more information, visit NOLA.com
A new film, featuring actresses Emma Thomson
, and Lovem, Actually
), and The Help
’s Viola Davis
, begins filming in Louisiana this spring. This movie, experts
explain is a “hauntingly intense coming of age story set in the South (about) two star-crossed teenage lovers, Ethan, a local boy, and a mysterious new girl, Lena, who uncover dark secrets about their families, their history and their town
”. Thompson will be portraying both the religious troublemaker Mrs. Lincoln, and the evil witch that possesses her. While Davis takes on a tamer role
of the town librarian who is also the caretaker of Ethan. Jack O’Connell
and Alice Englert
have already booked the roles of Ethan and Lena, who are the story’s central characters. O’Connell is a young English actor previously seen in “Weekender
”, and Englert is an actress from New Zealand. Casting directors are still auditioning many roles for this picture, and anticipate opportunities for extras here in Louisiana.
For more on this picture, visit IMDB.com
Two Louisiana directors have earned their 15 minutes of fame- and they managed to do it in just over 14! Authors William Joyce
and Brandon Oldenburg
put together a short cartoon called “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
” which has just received an academy award. The short, which is a production of Moonbot Studios
in Shreveport tells a “magical story about the joy of books
”. Specific to the origin of this studio, the short also suggests a New Orleans theme. The main character, Morris Lessmore has his library destroyed in a Katrina-esque storm. Following the destruction, all of his books are replaced with an enchanted library of flying volumes. A brief clip of this short is available on Moonbot’s website
. This special received the award for Best Animated Short Film, and has made the city of Shreveport, as well as the state of Louisiana very proud of the talent that we have here! To watch the short in its entirety, visit youtube.com.
Don’t let the title “The Last Exorcism
” fool you- because the creative team is already making plans for the sequel! That’s right, “The Last Exorcism II
” is already in pre-production, with plans for a 2013 release date. Actress Ashley Bell
is cast to revisit the role of Nell Sweetzer in this new addition in the Exorcist
saga, however no other actors names have yet been released for this project. The Director
will be Ed Gass-Donnelly
who has been making a name for himself at various film festivals. This horror flick begins filming here in New Orleans this spring, and local casting directors have already been scouting local talent. Check back to Southern Celebrity Gossip for more updates about this project.
For more on this movie, visit NOLA.com.
As you are all very aware, the Carnival season has passed. But, while Mardi Gras may officially be over, but that doesn't mean the buzz has died down on the Celebrity Sitings! Over the past 4 or 5 days here in New Orleans stars from music, television and films have been parading around town decked in their very best costumes. Here are some pictures of the star-studded cast of this year's celebration for those of you that missed seeing it in person:
Patricia Clarkson in the Krewe of Muses
Maroon 5 in the Krewe of Endymion
Mariska Hargitay in the Krewe of Orpheus
Hilary Swank in the Krewe of Orpheus
Harry Connick Jr. in the Krewe of Orpheus
Bret Michaels in the Krewe of Orpheus
Cyndi Lauper in the Krewe of Orpheus
Will Ferrell in the Krewe of Bacchus