You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Rider’ sequel won’t be easy

GOOD MORNING: Easy Rider” rides again — and again — and again. And this time for sure, I am assured by the latest group of producers, the Malibu Movie Co., to tackle a followup to the 1969 cult fave starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson, directed by Hopper from a screenplay by Terry Southern, Fonda and Hopper and featuring camera work by Laszlo Kovacs. The triumvirate that now owns the rights and will produce is Conroy and Harry Kanter and Phil Pitzer. Conroy, an actress who was also co-producer of “Ghost Rock,” is married to Harry Kanter, son of Joe Kanter and president of United West Labs. Pitzer is a Cincy criminal attorney. Last year, Lauren Lloyd’s Lloyd Entertainment was set to produce an “Easy” sequel, with Glenn Tobias to fund the project with an anticipated spring 2003 start, Daily Variety reported. However, Malibu’s attorney, Marty Barab, says Malibu bought out “all sequel rights” two weeks ago from David Kaplan, who foreclosed on Tobias. Malibu has to start principal photography by July 1, 2004 … Since all the principal story characters of the original “Rider” rode off into the sunset, what tack will the sequel take? “The times are similar,” Conroy said, “and our story and its characters will tell what freedom means today.”

MUSIC, IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER ONSCREEN. First to Algiers, La., where Taylor Hackford is directing Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles in “Unchain My Heart.” The state’s doubling for locations in New York, Houston, Atlanta — every place except Louisiana — but the state’s giving the film company a tax incentive “that helps keep moviemaking in the United States,” Hackford happily reports. The $30 million pic is fully financed by Crusader Entertainment’s Phil Anschutz and has long (12 years) been a dream of Hackford’s. Foxx, who plays Charles from 20-35 and is “a helluva musician himself,” went side-by-side at the piano with Charles before getting the role. Charles also read the James White script (in Braille) and OK’d. Foxx will play the role with prosthetics to complete his sightless appearance when he removes his glasses. “It is a great gift for a director to have that kind of actor. This is what a director lives for,” Hackford told me… Warner Records gets the pic’s platter — of 60 different music moments … While Billy Friedkin’s “The Hunted” is currently onscreen, he is busy prepping to direct Placido Domingo in a film based on a year in the life of composer Giacomo Puccini. Friedkin will also stage Wagner’s “Tannheuser” at L.A.’s Music Center in September 2004 as well as in Berlin and D.C.’s Kennedy Center. Peter Seiffert will star. “Duke Bluebeard’s Castle” and “Gianni Schicchi,” which Friedkin also staged in L.A., will play the Kennedy Center in 2006 then return to L.A’s Music Center. He’s also readying to direct Tommy Thompson’s Spain-set psychological thriller “Serpentine” for Tom Rosenberg’s Lakeshore, with script by Ar Monterastelli… And May 11, Friedkin delivers the commencement address at Loyola Marymount’s graduation exercises, where he’ll receive a Doctor of Humane Letters … Sidney Lumet is directing his first musicvideo — Met Opera tenor star Neil Shicoff singing the aria from Halevy’s “La Juive.” The 1935 opera and Shicoff are the subjects of a documentary being produced by Millennial Arts founder Paula Fisher. “La Juive,” banned by the Nazis, will be performed next season at the Met and at the Paris Opera in 2005.

SUSAN LUCCI WILL RECEIVE SoapNet’s first Diamond Award at Saturday’s Soap Opera Digest Awards, exec produced by Cort Cassady … Daytime Emmy nominee “Wheel of Fortune” tapes this week in San Diego, where military personnel can participate … And “Jeopardy!,” another Emmy nominee from exec producer Harry Friedman, resumes its celeb contenders for the first time in two years during the week of April 28 … Director George Hickenlooper has won the 10th Beatrice Wood Film Award for his film “The Man From Elysian Fields.” Hubert Cornfield initiated the award 10 years ago to keep Wood’s name alive … Hollywood’s famed Nine O’Clock Players — theater for children — is readying its 75th-anniversary celebration for next year at its Assistance League Playhouse. The ambitious season closed Sunday with “Oz,” directed and choreo’d by Nick DeGruccio … Another landmark, the Regent Beverly Wilshire, celebrates its 75th anni through the end of the year … The Mosaic Hotel in BevHills has two guest packages: the Arnold Schwarzenegger package on the right side of the building, the Michael Moore package on the left side … A.E. Hotchner, writing the story of Elaine’s celebrating its 40th anni, is also writing the story of (Paul) Newman’s Own and the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang Camps. There are now 77 products of Newman’s Own and eight camps, with three more being built … Chaya Brasserie is celebrating its 20th anni serving Asian-fusion cuisine … Bruce Dern received his plaque on the Walk of Western Stars in Santa Clarita … Brad Cafarelli joins the ranks of single parents with the arrival of a son. “I feel like the luckiest guy on earth,” he exudes … Roger Moore, who guestarred in previews of “The Play What I Wrote,” returns for two more turns this week. Another Brit hit, Ray Cooney’s “Run for Your Wife” plays L.A.’s Theater East this weekend, moves on to Palm Springs April 25-27 and then on to Las Vegas.

More Film

  • Rugrats. Nickeoldeon Animation Studios

    Film News Roundup: 'Rugrats' Writer David N. Weiss Honored by Animation Writers

    In today’s film news roundup, David N. Weiss is honored, Rin Tin Tin is getting a modern movie and “The Shasta Triangle” finds a home. WEISS HONORED David N. Weiss will receive the animation writing award from the Animation Writers Caucus of the Writers Guild of America West. The award will be presented by Weiss’ [...]

  • Marrakech Chief on Selecting Arthouse Films

    Marrakech Chief on Selecting Arthouse Films With a Big Stress on the Word 'Art'

    The 18th edition of the Marrakech Film Festival (Nov. 29-Dec. 7) – one of the leading cultural events in the Africa and Middle East region – will screen 98 films from 34 countries. The fest is also reinforcing its industry presence this year through the second edition of the Atlas Workshops, sponsored by Netflix, which [...]

  • Emma Stone Brad Pitt Damien Chazelle

    Paramount Lands Damien Chazelle's 'Babylon,' Dates It for Christmas 2021

    Paramount Pictures has landed the worldwide rights to Damien Chazelle’s next feature film “Babylon,” sources tell Variety. Insiders add the studio has dated the film for a Dec. 25, 2021 limited release, with plans to go wide on Jan. 7. The release date puts in prime position for another awards season run for Chazelle, who [...]

  • Chris Pratt

    Chris Pratt's Sci-Fi Film 'The Tomorrow War' Gets Release Date

    Chris Pratt’s upcoming sci-fi actioner, which was recently retitled “The Tomorrow War,” has set a Christmas Day 2020 release date. The Paramount film was formerly titled “Ghost Draft.” It follows a man (played by Pratt) who is drafted to fight a future war in which the fate of humanity may rely on his ability to [...]

  • Kim Dong-Ho of GIFF Chairman of

    Inaugural Gangneung Film Festival Pays Tribute to Pierre Rissient

    The opening ceremony of the first edition of the Gangneung International Film Festival was dominated by a tribute to the French film scout and festival selector Pierre Rissient, who died in May 2018. The new festival, 240 km from Seoul, counts former Busan festival co-founder Kim Dong-ho as its chairman and former Bucheon festival head [...]

  • 'Waves': Sterling K. Brown and Trey

    'Waves' Cast Reflects on the Making of the Tragic Family Drama

    “Waves,” a partially autobiographical film written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, is a visually arresting look at the fraying of an upper-middle class black family in South Florida in the aftermath of a violent tragedy. It examines themes of grief, domestic violence, substance abuse and modern-day pressures on kids to succeed. “Propelled by color, [...]

  • Gaston Pavlovich

    Gaston Pavlovich Talks About Producing 'The Irishman'

    Through his production company Fabrica De Cine, Gastón Pavlovich is one of the producers on Martin Scorsese’s two most recent movies: 2016’s “Silence” and 2019’s “The Irishman.” The 51-year-old native of Mexico first gained notice as an executive producer on the Tom Hanks comedy-drama “A Hologram for the King.” Pavlovich also began working with Scorsese [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content