All the King's Men: Production has begun on location in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Columbia Pictures' All the King's Men, based on Robert Penn Warren's 1946 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, a classic of American literature that examines the spectacular rise and fall of a charismatic Southern demagogue, it was announced today by writer/director Steven Zaillian and producers Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer and Ken Lemberger.
With a screenplay written and directed by Zaillian, who won an Academy Award® for his adaptation of Schindler's List, All the King's Men features an all-star cast including Oscar® winner Sean Penn (Mystic River), Jude Law (Closer), Kate Winslet (Finding Neverland), James Gandolfini (The Sopranos), Mark Ruffalo (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Patricia Clarkson (Pieces of April) and Academy Award® winner Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs).
A Columbia Pictures and Phoenix Pictures/VIP3A/VIP 4A Production in association with Rising Star, All the King's Men is produced by Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer and Ken Lemberger. The executive producers are Michael Hausman, James Carville, Todd Phillips, David Thwaites, Andreas Schmid and Andreas Grosch.
All the King's Men is a story of human nature, power, corruption, idealism, romance and betrayal. A uniquely American story, it is steeped in the atmosphere of the South during the 1940s and 50s, but its message is still timely and relevant today. All the King's Men uses politics as a framework to delve into the more profound dilemmas of human existence -- sin, guilt and redemption. In its exploration of the corrupting aspects of power, the story focuses on a once just man who has lost his moral center and will use any means possible to achieve his goals.
Warren's novel was inspired by the career of Louisiana governor Huey P. Long and other political demagogues and had a profound effect on contemporary literature, serving as a model for some of the best-selling political novels of the past half-century, in which both the light and dark sides of life are explored.
"The moral question of All the King's Men deals with means and ends, whether good made from bad is still good," said Zaillian.
Zaillian received an Oscar® for his screenplay Schindler's List, directed by Steven Spielberg. He was also nominated for Awakenings and Gangs of New York. He has directed the films Searching for Bobby Fischer and A Civil Action. Medavoy and Zaillian were teamed together for the writer's first produced screenplay, The Falcon and the Snowman, which starred Penn.
Academy Award® winner Penn (Mystic River) stars in the upcoming The Assassination of Richard Nixon. He recently starred opposite Nicole Kidman in Sydney Pollack's The Interpreter. Other Oscar® nominations include I Am Sam, Sweet and Lowdown and Dead Man Walking. Penn starred in Zaillian's first
produced screenplay The Falcon and the Snowman.
Two-time Academy Award® nominee Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley, Cold Mountain) starred in several films this year including I Heart Huckabees, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Alfie and Mike Nichols' Closer. He also appears in a cameo role in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator. Other recent films include Road to Perdition and AI: Artificial Intelligence.
Winslet's 2004 screen appearances include starring roles in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Finding Neverland. She recently completed filming John Turturro's Romance and Cigarettes. Winslet has been nominated for three Academy Awards® for her performances in Sense and Sensibility, Titanic and Iris. Her other films include Enigma, Quills and The Life of David Gale.
Clarkson was nominated for an Academy Award® and a Golden Globe for her performance in Pieces of April. She was named Best Supporting Actress by the New York Film Critics for her role in Far From Heaven. Ms. Clarkson recently starred in The Station Agent and Dogville. Her other film credits include The Green Mile and The Pledge.
Gandolfini is a three-time Emmy Award winner and a Golden Globe recipient for his role as Tony Soprano in the prize-winning HBO series The Sopranos. Gandolfini had a major role in Zaillian's A Civil Action.
Ruffalo stars opposite Jennifer Aniston in Rob Reiner's upcoming Rumor Has It. He starred this year in several hit films including Collateral, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and We Don't Live Here Anymore. Ruffalo was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his role in Kenneth Lonergan's You Can Count on Me.
Academy Award® winner Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs) was also nominated for Oscars® for Amistad, Nixon and The Remains of the Day. He is currently featured in Oliver Stone's Alexander and recently reprised his award-winning role of Hannibal Lector in two films, Red Dragon and Hannibal.
All the King's Men will be filming in various locations throughout southern Louisiana until March 2005.