Thomas Jane Joins Chicago Feature
September 17, 2015 by Mike McNamara
Actor Thomas Jane is in talks to star in Zack Parker’s independent thriller INVERSION, which has targeted next spring to begin filming in Chicago. Indiana resident Parker, who also produces, co-wrote the script with fellow Indiana filmmaker Kevin Donner. Chicago native Sonny Mallhi, whose directorial debut ANGUISH is currently on the festival circuit, is also producing while Jeremy Platt and Guy Danella are serving as Executive Producers and Chicago's Angie Gaffney is set as Line Producer.
INVERSION tells the story about two polar opposite guys who are connected by their mutual desire for change. As their lives intersect, they question whether they’re searching for a change in life or a change in themselves.
So how was Parker able to attract Thomas Jane, who was last in the Midwest to film the popular HBO series HUNG in Detroit, to this project? "The short answer is that we're both at the same agency," Parker told SCREEN. "Just simple accessibility to an actor at Tom's level for an indie filmmaker can be incredibly challenging. But achieving that accessibility never guarantees they are going to like your work. I was fortunate that he saw my previous film and liked it. We then talked about INVERSION and he seemed very enthusiastic about it. I got the feeling straight away that we were wanting to make the same movie. He is that rare breed of leading man and character actor, and that is exactly what is essential to this film."
Parker’s previous film PROXY (which filmed in Indiana with a cast that included Chicago's Joe Swanberg) played in the Vanguard Section of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and was acquired by IFCMidnight. So how does Parker feel about INVERSION as the follow-up to PROXY? "I feel like this is the one I've been working toward," Parker commented. "I have been reworking the idea/script for close to 15 years. Every time I'd finish a film, I'd go back in and try to apply what I learned to this script. It's finally time to take all these experiences and newfound resources and really utilize them."
"It's a departure in that it is the largest film in terms of scope, and the most complicated in terms of structure," added Parker. "Also, even though the tone remains dark, I think it has the most potential in regard to viewer entertainment and humor than the previous films."
Regarding Parker's commitment to filming in the Midwest, "I can't say that I'll always make films here, but this will be my fifth feature doing so. This is where I'm from. This is where my family is. I think the dream for many artists is to create their works in their own backyard. That said, I am from Indiana, and this will be my first film outside of Indiana. I lived in Chicago for a few years, and this is the best place to shoot this particular film. The city itself is quite a large inspiration for the story. I feel that the locale should always compliment the tone of the piece you are creating. It remains to be seen what exact tone will be required for the next one."
As INVERSION heads into production in 2016... as always, I'll keep you posted.
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.