×

Friedkin wraps difficult ‘Hunted’ shoot

GOOD MORNING: “It was the most difficult movie I’ve ever made,” director Billy Friedkin admits as he has finally wound “The Hunted” for Par. The film shut down in June when Benecio Del Toro suffered a fractured wrist in a fight scene with Tommy Lee Jones when both were reaching for a knife. Del Toro underwent surgery at UCLA after which he had extensive therapy. In the interim, Friedkin was, of course, able to edit. But he now admits the time also allowed him to review “the concept” of the film. And although there were originally only eight or nine days left to film, the original locations in Oregon were under 20 feet of water following floods. So, they spent two months readying, shooting and in post up there. Benecio, fully recovered, did all his stunts “in the wall-to-wall” action film, which includes a huge chase. Friedkin says, “He was very courageous.” The pic will be released in October. Now back in town, Friedkin checked the new MGM DVD of his “To Live and Die in L.A.” (1985) which he approved heartily. He also got word from (Bert Fields’ office) that his (and Bill Blatty’s) suit(s) vs. WB are moving along with a Nov. 4 court date set for Superior Court for the civil suit over “The Exorcist” proceeds. Their federal suit of copyright infringements is still in the discovery state. And for a change of pace, Friedkin’s readying to direct the two operas for Los Angeles Opera, “Duke Bluebeard’s Castle” and “Gianni Schicchi.”

THE FAMILY’S NOW COMPLETE for the Douglases’ “Smack In the Kisser” — also known as “Smack in the Puss” or “Family Jewels”: Bernadette Peters will play Michael Douglas’ psychologist-wife and mother of their two sons, Cameron (Douglas) and 11-year-old Rory Culkin (who was mothered by Laura Linney in “You Can Count On Me”). The Further Films pic for MGM-Buena Vista starts shooting in N.Y. March 18 with Fred Schepisi directing. Bernadette gets days off to comply with several concert dates. Her new album, “Bernadette Peters Loves Rodgers & Hammerstein” (Angel) hits the stalls Tuesday. And she returns to B’way to star in “Gypsy” in January. She recalls singing the chorus of the road company — when she was 13! … Michael Douglas wound a comedic guestint in “Will & Grace” last week and returns to comedy in June in “Till Death Do Us Part” at WB … Scott Glenn and wife, painter Carol Glenn, will host Ellie Weisel at their Ketchum, Idaho, home, April 21 in a $100/head event to fund a campaign by the Jewish community in Idaho to promote tolerance. Glenn, whose heritage is Irish and native American, converted to his wife’s Jewish faith when they married decades ago. Ex-Marine Glenn, no stranger to military roles and upcoming in Miramax’s “The Buffalo Soldiers,” is also working with the Department of Defense in a campaign to assure national support of service men and women engaged in the war against terrorism … Joe Cortese, who has played characters named “Sardini,” “Rosetti,” “Vitali,” “Bonnatti,” “Marino,” “Romano,” “Gubiacci,” “Varese” and “Bolanti,” thought he was to play another you-know-what in “Against the Ropes,” (“The Jackie Kallen Story: The Lady and the Champ” for Par). Instead, the producers and director Charles Dutton chose him to play — Irv Abel, Meg Ryan’s Jewish mentor. Cortese has also scripted “A Moment In Time” for Joe and Jack Productions. He’s “Joe.” “Jack” is his 11-year-old son … Clint Eastwood’s new film, “Blood Work,” gets even more diverse in its casting as Paul Rodriguez joins as Eastwood’s LAPD adversary.

JAMIE LEE CURTIS WILL HOST the Starlight Children’s Foundation 19th anniversary “Dream” gala, April 6 at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom. Jamie knows first hand of the Starlight’s activities — when her 5-year-old son was hospitalized. The Foundation’s Fun Center in the hospital “completely changed my son’s experience in the hospital from one of anxiety and pain to one of happiness, playfulness and distraction.” And fortunately, Jamie Lee’s son is now completely recovered … The ladies of SHARE distributed another million-$ to 16 local charities aiding women’s and children’s causes, bringing to $36 million SHARE has given to such causes. SHARE prexy Joni Berry and chair Marilyn Katleman officiated at the distribution ceremonies at the BevHillls Friars Club … Wendie Malick and Robert Urich will co-host the Ark Trust’s 16th annual Genesis Awards March 16 at the BevHilton. The awards honor outstanding individuals in the news and entertainment media who have spotlighted animal issues with courage … Jamie Farr, Cpl. Klinger for 11 years on “MASH,” receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters on March 15 at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City … Ace fotog Alan Berliner, who has chronicled every celeb in the biz for over 40 years, was partied on his 70th birthday by wife Ruth with a big bash at — Los Alamitos Race Track’s Vessels Club. Family and friends winged in from as far as Greece and Italy to toast the well-loved lenser … And the amazing publicist Julian Myers, ran fifth in his age group at the L.A. Marathon. Myers is 84 and it was his 18th marathon. Time 8¾ hours! … Jason Stuart is inked for three additional segs in ABC’s “My Wife and Kids” — as an openly gay psychiatrist solving the problems of a straight couple.

More Film

  • Rosie Day, Harriet Sanson Harris, Natalia

    Rosie Day, Harriet Sanson Harris, Natalia Tena Set For Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s Thriller ‘Baby’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    CANNES– Rosie Day (“Outlander”), Harriet Sanson Harris (“Phantom Thread”) and Natalia Tena (“Game of Thrones”) will star in Spaniard Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s psychological thriller “Baby,” Variety has learned exclusively. The project will be pitched on May 19 at Fantastic 7, a new Cannes initiative seeing seven of the world’s most prestigious fantastic festivals back and [...]

  • Polish Fest’s Industry Event Presents Upcoming

    New Horizons’ Polish Days Goes to Cannes With Five Films in Progress

    CANNES  —  Buoyed by a wave of international successes, including Pawel Pawlikowski’s 2019 foreign-language Oscar nominee “Cold War,” Polish cinema will get a fitting showcase Sunday morning with the presentation of five new projects at New Horizons’ Polish Days Goes to Cannes. Organized in conjunction with the Polish Film Institute, Polish Days is the most important [...]

  • Cannes, Annecy Animation Day Hosts ‘Bob

    Coala to Pitch ‘Bob Spit: We Do Not Like People’ at Cannes, Annecy Animation Day

    São Paulo-based Coala Filmes impressed in the series competition at last year’s Annecy Intl. Film Festival with an episode of their popular stop-motion series “Angeli the Killer,” based on the famous comics of the Brazilian comic-book writer of the same name. This year, the film’s director Cesar Cabral and producer Ivan Melo are participating in [...]

  • Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich’s $100 Million

    Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich’s $100 Million Film Fund Launches

    CANNES  —  Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s $100 million private film fund Kinoprime is ready for business, the fund’s CEO, Anton Malyshev, said in Cannes this week. Financed to the tune of $100 million over the next three years, the fund can provide up to 50% of a film’s production budget, with a $2 million cap [...]

  • Russian Helmer of Blockbuster ‘Stalingrad’ Looks

    Russia’s Fedor Bondarchuk Unveils Four New Films in Cannes

    CANNES  —  Russian director Fedor Bondarchuk introduced four new productions from his Art Pictures Studio Saturday in Cannes, including “Attraction 2,” the sequel to his 2017 sci-fi blockbuster. The invitation-only showcase at the Gray d’Albion hotel also unveiled footage from three new features that Bondarchuk is either directing or producing. Sci-fi thriller “Sputnik” is the story [...]

  • "The Whistlers" Review: The Romanian New

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Whistlers'

    With all due respect to Lauren Bacall, there’s always been a bit more to whistling than putting your lips together and blowing. Certainly for Cristi (Vlad Ivanov), the corrupt Bucharest policeman embroiled in a comically complex plot to get a local gangster off the hook in Corneliu Porumboiu’s Cannes competition title “The Whistlers,” it is [...]

  • 'Vivarium' Review: Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen

    Cannes Film Review: 'Vivarium'

    Ah, the suburbs. The rec rooms and Formica kitchens and manicured lawns. The cozy suffocating middle-class conformity. The way they once stood for everything that was worth rebelling against. For decades, the suburbs have been the ultimate cheap-shot movie punchline — not just a location but a state of mind, a place to thumb our [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content