Red Dragon enters it's fourth week of shooting in downtown Los Angeles as rumors of tension on the set have begun swirling around Hollywood. Ratner has rounded up a phenomenal cast for this prequel to Silence of the Lambs, which is based on the novel Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. Many of you may recall that Michael Mann adapted the novel into the film Manhunter back in 1986. Well, producer Dino De Laurentiis, who has retained the rights all this time and recently made Hannibal, has commissioned Oscar winning screenwriter Ted (Silence of the Lambs) Tally for the script and even pulled Cinematographer Dante Spinotti back into the mix. Spinotti shot Manhunter some 16 years ago.
The rumors of trouble began mid-way into the third week of shooting when tipsters began to spread the word that actor Edward Norton is keeping up his rep as one of the more difficult actors to work with in Hollywood. He and director Ratner have apparently had several... discussions (some in front of the crew) about their disagreements as far as the direction of the film and Norton's character. One insider even mentioned that it seemed as though Norton was positioning himself to try and take over the film... Anyone remember American History X?
Hopkins seems to be enjoying the process of once again becoming Lecter. Passers-by who saw him doing some stills in Pasadena a few weeks ago said that he appeared to be having a great time mugging for the camera as police officers led him out of a building in shackles. The film company was in Pasadena doing some scenes in which Lecter attends a Symphony Orchestra.
If you're expecting a far different film than Manhunter though, don't hold your breath. Word is, the screenplay is almost exactly the same save for the opening 10 or so pages. The big difference here is the cast. Norton, Emily Watson, Keitel, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Mary Louise Parker, and Ralph Fiennes as Frances Dollarhyde, aka The Tooth Fairy. More news when we get it....
Michael Mann & Scorsese team up.
We've had dueling asteroids, and dueling volcanoes. Now get ready for the Spruce Goose to go head to head with... The Spruce Goose?
That's right folks, two Howard Hughes biopics are in the wings, but it's no mystery which one'll hit the multiplex first. Michael Mann has long been associated with this project, but has recently made a move away from the directors chair. Perhaps he decided to just produce because his last two pictures have been fact based accounts of real characters, but his decision was certainly made easier when director Martin Scorsese agreed to direct. The screenplay by John Logan, is apparently finished, and Scorsese wants DiCaprio to play Hughes as soon as he's done on Catch Me If You Can. DiCaprio is nearly a lock for the film since he actually began developing the idea with Mann several years ago. Across town, Richard Hack's book Hughes: The Private Diaries, Memos and Letters has been optioned for Memento director Christopher Nolan to make. Don't hold your breath for this one though since Nolan doesn't even have a script yet.
Cruise/Spielberg to shoot Ghost Soldiers.
Tom Cruise, long rumored to take the lead in Anthony Minghella's Cold Mountain, has finally chosen his next project. Cruise is developing Ghost Soldiers, based on a bestseller by Hampton Sides about survivors of the Bataan Death March of WWII, in which U.S. soldiers remained POW's in Japan until more than two years after the end of the war, when they were rescued by Allied forces. Several other similar projects are being explored around town, but Cruise and partner Paula Wagner have placed this one on the fast track. If it goes, it would be Spielbergs next film after Catch Me If You Can is completed.
Spielberg has finally moved away from his long in development Memoirs of a Geisha, with plans to possibly just produce the project through DreamWorks with another director.