The Call Sheet

The Call Sheet

COOPER & STONE IN CHICAGO: Alex Breckenridge (Life Unexpected) has been tapped as one of the 2 leads in CW's pilot Cooper & Stone. The pilot, from writer-exec producer Laurie Arent and CBS TV Studios, is about Jenna Cooper (Breckenridge) and Stone, two smart young female detectives on Chicago’s North Side who are best friends, equally adept at discussing fashion, music, pop culture as they are solving homicides. John Wirth serves as showrunner.

They are currently based out of Chicago Studio City and John Dahl (“The Last Seduction,” “Dexter”) is set to direct....

PLAYBOY PARTY IN MARCH: March 7th is the scheduled start date for the one-hour NBC pilot “Playboy,” which centers on the Bunnies and patrons of the original Playboy Club in 1960’s Chicago. Executive producers include Brian Grazer (who was here in 2010 with “The Dilemma”) and screenwriter Chad Hodge (“Tru Calling,” “Runaway”); cast will reportedly feature Amber Heard (“Pineapple Express,” currently in theaters with “Drive Angry”). The show synopsis says it will use the Playboy Club as a starting point to explore the changing nature of sexuality in the 60s… yes, please.

THE NEW LAND OF OZ… SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN? “Evil Dead” director and Royal Oak, MI native Sam Raimi (yeah, yeah, he directed “Spider-Man,” too) is expected to head to southeast Michigan with a huge mega-production… Disney’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz.” However, Team Disney is still searching for its star, as Oscar noms Robert Downey, Jr. and Johnny Depp have both passed on the project. The latest Oscar nom being considered is the newest one of them all, Mr. James Franco. More news on this one next month…

HERCULES DEVELOPING NICELY: After producing feature-length documentaries for the past twenty-five years, Bob Hercules is now developing his first narrative feature, a comedy entitled “Waiting for the Clash.” Here’s the setup: It’s 1978 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In an effort to save their college radio from shutting down, our heroes hatch an unlikely plot to bring the British punk band, the Clash, to play a fundraising concert, with disastrous and comedic results. Hercules will direct the script he co-wrote with Jeff Rogers, Keith Walker is slated to shoot, Larry Lundy will head up art direction and Lisa Pooler is on board as producer. No shoot dates yet as this feature is still in development, but Bob plans to shoot in Chicago and Kalamazoo… I’ll keep you posted!

MAIDEN VOYAGE IN MADISON: Madison-based production company The Spinning Gyre is currently prepping its debut feature, a comedy entitled “The Worm and the Poodle.” Writer/director Amy Thorstenson and producer Sarah Hesch will begin filming in Madison toward the end of April. You can send cast and crew submissions to thespinninggyre@gmail.com and follow this production company at http://www.thespinninggyre.com.

A KING’S WAY PREMIERES THIS MONTH: Filmed on the South side of Chicago, the debut episode of “A King’s Way” will premiere February 26th at 11:30 pm WCIU. The beauty, danger and angst of urban city living is on display in this dramatic thirty-minute series, co-directed and co-written by Darryl Pitts. Cast includes talented Chicagoans Morocco Omari, Dion Strowhorn and Glenn Stanton. Additional episodes currently filming in and around Chicago, find ‘em on facebook!

Is your film heading into production? Please drop me a note at mac@midwestfilm.com and tell me all about it. I’ll do my best to include it in “The Call Sheet.”

Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, www.midwestfilm.org. Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at www.findmac.com.