March 29, 2011 by Mike McNamara
SUPER SUMMER: Multiple sources confirm that the blockbuster “Superman: Man of Steel” will be filming in Chicago this summer and fall. Production team includes writer David S. Goyer and producer Christopher Nolan, who were both in Chicago for “The Dark Knight.” And it looks like we might see a familiar face going up against the Man of Steel. Oscar nominee Michael Shannon, who began his career in the Chicago theatre community, most notably as an ensemble member of A Red Orchid Theatre, is reportedly a contender to play the primary bad guy for “Sucker Punch” and “300” director Zack Snyder. Confirmed cast includes brit Henry Cavill (“The Tudors”) in the title role, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane. We’ll keep you posted!
GUS AND GRAMMER: Emmy winner Kelsey Grammer is heading to Chicago to star in eight episodes of “Boss” for the Starz network. This series marks the first TV drama role for Grammer, best known for his work on the comedies “Frasier” and “Cheers.” The pilot episode also boasts the TV directorial debut for Gus Van Sant, an Oscar nominee for “Good Will Hunting” and “Milk.” This series from “Apocalypto” screenwriter Farhad Safinia has been described as a modern-day King Lear, starring Grammer as the embattled mayor of Chicago. Though “Boss” was initially headed to Pittsburgh, you can rest assured all eight episodes will be shooting in Chicago, beginning in late April. Exciting stuff!
WISCONSIN WORKING: Tom Berenger – most recently on the big screen in Oscar winner “Inception” – will star in “The Surface,” filming in the Milwaukee area from July 11th through August 13th. In this indie drama, two men save each other’s lives over the course of a day. Production team includes writer/producer Jeff Gendelman, cinematographer/producer Jimmy Sammarco and unit production manager Nick Langholff, who also produced “Feed the Fish,” which took home the Best Feature Award at the Midwest Independent Film Festival this past year. The production is currently accepting cast and crew submissions at email@example.com.
AND SPEAKING OF FEED THE FISH: This Wisconsin-made comedy starring Tony Shalhoub is currently out on DVD and just received another 1,500 DVD order from Netflix, so keep adding this film to your queue, my friends!
AND SPEAKING OF NETFLIX: Following its December Showtime premiere, the feature length gangster film “Chicago Overcoat” will have its North American home video release on April 19th. The film will be available for rental at Netflix and Redbox, and for purchase at Amazon, iTunes, and Hastings. For more details go to www.beverlyridgepictures.com. We better see “Overcoat” in your Netflix queues!
PILOT UPDATES: NBC’s “The Playboy Club” wrapped up its 14-day shoot in Chicago on March 29th while the CW pilot “Cooper and Stone” finished up on March 30th.
Is your film heading into production? Please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.