This week has been a Prince of Persia extravaganza, but we did get some new shots for Brothers. Only one shot of Jake Gyllenhaal (with Natalie Portman). But perhaps it is a good sign that Lionsgate remembers the movie is out in a month!
Today is Sam Shepard's 66th birthday - so Happy Birthday to the man who plays Jake's father in Brothers.
An accomplished playwright, screenwriter and actor, Shepard was the source of this amusing moment for Brothers director Jim Sheridan:
Stage actors adhere to a playwright's words. But movie actors, more committed to the action portrayed, often change dialogue. For a dinner scene in this ensemble about a family changed by the war in Afghanistan, director Jim Sheridan remembers actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman and Tobey Maguire talking about who would say what: "We were having a grand old time rewriting the script, when in walked Sam Shepard, who was playing the father but who, of course, is a great playwright. And Sam said, 'Isn't this a fantastic scene?' Immediately, we shut up and performed David Benioff's scene just as he wrote it."
I'm sure Benioff was happy to hear that. As hard as it is to remember, Brothers was shot during the writers strike, so Benioff could not be on set for the filming:
CS: This is an interesting time because there's a highly-publicized strike going on and you have like a thousand projects in the works in various stages of being filmed. How's that been working out? I know that "Brothers" just started filming in New Mexico...
Benioff: Yeah, "Brothers" they're shooting in Santa Fe, and unfortunately, I can't be there with them, because I'm not allowed to be on set, so maybe with any luck, the strike will be over before the movie finishes shooting, and I can fly over there and check it out. I've never not been on set for at least a part of the time for any movie that I've written, and it would be sad if I couldn't see them for a little bit.
CS: Did you get a chance to spend some time with Jim Sheridan beforehand?
Benioff: I did and we were working together pretty intensively right up until the deadline, which was a great experience. I was working with Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman and that was also a lot of fun.
He goes on to discuss the idea of remaking a Danish film, believing that it makes more sense for the story to be set in America:
Benioff: Yeah, I think the American setting part actually makes a lot of sense. In a weird way, it's one of those movies where the original I thought was such a great movie, but it kind of makes more sense being about Americans, because there are like 50 Danish soldiers in Afghanistan. It's not like a real big national issue for them. Obviously, there are thousand and thousands of Americans there, and it's much more of present in the American psyche. As wonderful as that movie was, moving it to America didn't frighten me as much as it would with certain remakes...
Making things even more interesting is the current state of the war in Afghanistan. This is much more of a hot topic now than it was at the time the movie was filmed. Tobey Maguire discussed the pressures and issues soldiers face, in his recent interview with the LA Times.
IGN has a Video Rewind feature, in which Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner reviews and comments on the trailer, including the first moment he saw Jake Gyllenhaal on set.
"One of the really cool moments for me was meeting Jake in character, in costume on set, and seeing that he had the dagger of time in his belt. I was like, "Excuse me - is that..." "Yeah, do you want to hold it?"
Finally, some news on the production company for Nailed. Lots more legal woes - it's a mess and it's too late for me to sort through. But this could be promising:
There are other movies Bergstein's companies did finance that might be releasable, including "Nailed," a $33 million production directed by David O. Russell and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jessica Biel and Tracy Morgan. "Nailed" was shut down several times during production by SAG and the DGA, but Bergstein resolved the concerns of those guilds.
Matthew Rhodes, a producer on "Nailed," said there are funds for postproduction, and "Nailed" will be offered to domestic distributors and international buyers next year at Cannes. He called the movie "fantastic" and "wonderful."
We need to see this movie! I hope that isn't just spin, and that the movie really can be saved. And seen.
(Photos courtesy of IHJ.)