Although films have been made about the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 ("The Guys," "The Great New Wonderful"), until now feature filmmakers seem largely to have avoided projects depicting the actual events of that horrible day.
Television has moved more quickly. Two dramatic re-creations of the events leading to the airliner crash in rural Pennsylvania have already aired: 2002's "Let's Roll" and this year's "The Flight That Fought Back." An A&E dramatization called "Flight 93," from director Peter Markle, is also reportedly in the works, along with a Toronto-filmed miniseries based on "The 9/11 Commission Report."
Now feature directors are likewise beginning to approach the subject. Paul Greengrass' film about the Pennsylvania crash, also called "Flight 93," will reportedly film in the area late this month. And the ever controversial Oliver Stone is beginning the Paramount project "September," which is about Port Authority officers trapped beneath the collapsed twin towers.
Is America ready, more than four years later, to see action-adventure pictures -- or even just heartfelt, character-driven dramas -- about such a horrific chapter of recent history? Although some New Yorkers may shudder at the thought, filmmakers are apparently ready to bank on the premise.
Films Currently Shooting
(WARNING: Most casting directors request that all contact be made only by mail or email. Do not phone or visit their offices unless specifically instructed to do so.)
Quid Pro Quo is a comedy about a semiparalyzed radio reporter on an investigative assignment. Vera Farmiga, Nick Stahl, Kate Burton, Aimee Mullins, and James Frain head the cast. Carlos Brooks directs, Oct. 3-27. Principals: No further casting. Background: Amerifilm Casting (195 Chrystie St., Ste. 502G, NYC 10002).
Cleaning up his act.... In Brooklyn Boyz, from director Joseph Johnson, a leader of a drug gang falls for a young woman and attempts to escape his past. The drama began filming Aug. 15 and concludes Nov. 1. The cast includes Allen Coye, Shafee Wilson, the singularly named Loon, Nicole Ray, G. Dep, and Reiney Smith. Principals: No further casting. Background: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nov. 4 is the new wrap date for Uncertain Terms, from director-screenwriter Eric Mandelbaum. Dawn Saylor joins previously announced cast members the Rev. Jen Miller, Rachel McKibbens, Christopher D. Stackhouse, C.R. Avery, and Jacob Grigolia-Rosenbaum. The story concerns a young wife's confession of infidelity and its effects on the love lives of seven New Yorkers. No further casting.
Made in Brooklyn consists of four comic vignettes from four different directors (Sharon Angela, Jeff Mazzola, Luca Palanca, and Joe Tabbanella). The project shoots Oct. 10-Nov. 7 with a cast that includes Costas Mandylor, John Enos, Esai Morales, Nick Turturro, and Dan Grimaldi. No further casting.
Chad Lowe is reportedly directing William Hurt in Beautiful Ohio, Oct. 5-Nov. 8. Principals: No further casting. Background: Amerifilm (see above).
Woman's best friend?... A young man faces a formidable rival for his girlfriend's attention: her new dog. Director Marcel Sarmiento's The Underdog is now set to film Oct. 13-Nov. 11. Principals: No further casting. Background: Underdog LLC (257 West 52nd St., 2nd floor, NYC 10019).
Beginning Oct. 17 and wrapping Nov. 15 is Paramount's drama September, about two Port Authority officers trapped in the rubble of the World Trade Center. Oliver Stone ("Alexander") directs. Cast: Maria Bello, Nicolas Cage, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena. Principals: No further casting. Background: Grant Wilfley Casting (123 West 18th St., 8th floor, NYC 10011). See related casting notice in this week's issue.
In Margaret, from writer-director Kenneth Lonergan ("You Can Count on Me"), a bus accident is witnessed by a 17-year-old girl. Cast: Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo, J. Smith-Cameron, and Jeannie Berlin. The shoot began Sept. 12 and continues through Nov. 18. Principals: No further casting. Background: Sylvia Fay/Lee Genick & Associates Casting (71 Park Ave., NYC 10016).
Diabolical.... Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway head the cast of The Devil Wears Prada, directed by David Frankel ("Band of Brothers"). Based on the novel by Lauren Weisberger, the story follows a young woman who goes to work for a powerful editor. Filming continues through the end of November. Principals: No further casting. Background: Barbara McNamara Casting (150 West 28th St., Ste. 1601, NYC 10001 or email@example.com).
Joining previously announced Sarah Jessica Parker in the drama Spinning Into Butter are Beau Bridges, Miranda Richardson, Mykelti Williamson, James Rebhorn, Peter Friedman, Victor Rasuk, and Paul James. Theatrical director Mark Brokaw will make his film directing debut with this drama, based on the successful play by Rebecca Gilman about political correctness and hate crimes on a college campus. Shooting began Oct. 12 and will continue for six weeks. Principals: No further casting. Background: Kee Casting (P.O. Box 3170, Guttenberg, NJ 07093).
Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, and Robert De Niro headline the De Niro-directed The Good Shepherd, based on the life of James Jesus Angleton, one of the early leaders of the CIA. The supporting cast includes William Hurt, John Turturro, Billy Crudup, Tammy Blanchard, Michael Gambon, Alec Baldwin, Timothy Hutton, Keir Dullea, Eddie Redmayne, Lee Pace, and Gabriel Macht. Filming continues in New York through Dec. 1 and then moves to the Dominican Republic and Great Britain. Principals: Amanda Mackey Johnson, Cathy Sandrich Gelfond, and Sig De Miguel (180 Grand St., 3rd floor, NYC 10013). Background: Grant Wilfley Casting (see above).
The Bollywood project Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (English title: Never Say Goodbye) continues lensing here through Dec. 14. The last parts of the project will film in Bombay. Seventy percent of the dialogue is in English. Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee, and Preity Zinta. Principals: No further casting. Background: Extras Casting by Booked (295 Greenwich St., #513, NYC 10007) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A previously untitled Julie Taymor musical, now reportedly called Across the Universe, continues filming here through Jan. 12. Jim Sturgess, Joe Anderson, Dana Fuchs, and Martin Luther join already-announced cast members Evan Rachel Wood and T.V. Carpio. Although previously referred to as a "Beatles musical," the film has an original story and production reps want to make clear that this is not a Beatles biopic. Principals: Bernard Telsey Casting (145 West 28th St., Ste. 12F, NYC 10001). Background: Grant Wilfley Casting (see above).
Wham! Biff! Zowee! In Super Ex-Girlfriend, a guy dumps his superheroine sweetheart, who then proceeds to make his life miserable. Luke Wilson, Uma Thurman, Eddie Izzard, and Anna Faris star in the comedy from director Ivan Reitman ("Six Days Seven Nights"). Shooting began Oct. 14 and continues through January. Principals: No further casting. Background: Amerifilm (see above).
Mary Magdalene is alive and living in New York City in Mary's Dilemma. Jeff Goldstein directs Stephanie Braxton, David Tully, Enza Cannarozzi, and Joyce Korbin. The lengthy shoot began April 1 and will wrap in March. No further casting. However, the production seeks interns for crew positions. Contact email@example.com.
Alan Chan's The Alan Chan Band, about a 40-ish comedian who decides to become a rock star, began filming Oct. 16 and has extended its original January wrap date to sometime in March. The film is an improvisational project in the style of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Chan (Nick at Nite's "Hi-Jinks") also stars. He is especially seeking actors (male and female) who play bass guitar and flute. Principals: "The ACB" (c/o Alan Chan Productions, 481 Eighth Ave., Ste. 1710, NYC 10001) or firstname.lastname@example.org. Background: Not casting at this time.
Flight 93, from director Paul Greengrass, is the story of the airline flight that ended in tragedy in rural Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001. Unconfirmed NYC filming dates are Oct. 24-28. Meghan Heffern has been reported as a cast member. No casting information available at press time.
In School for Scoundrels, a young man in a confidence-building class must compete with his instructor for the affections of his dream girl. Todd Phillips ("Old School") directs the remake of a 1960 British film. Jon Heder and Billy Bob Thornton star, Oct. 26-Nov. 30. Background: Grant Wilfley (address above). See related casting notice in this week's issue.
Moved back to a late October or November start is director Gautham Menon's Cross Road (aka Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu). The film is about a police officer from India who collaborates with New York cops. Kamal Hassan and Jyotika star. No further casting.
A homeless youth, a pop-music diva, and a member of the paparazzi all figure in the offbeat drama Delirious, from director Tom DiCillo. Steve Buscemi and Michael Pitt are announced cast members. It shoots Nov. 9-Dec. 15. No casting information at this time.
Director Solon Quinn's drama Three Chords and the Truth deals with race and gender issues. It starts in mid-November and continues into December. Principals and background: Youl ah Kim (315 Green Valley Rd., Staten Island, NY 10312) or email@example.com.
Fangs a lot.... The vampire thriller Blood Rush will begin filming in October or November in upstate New York. Randel Cole ("2B Perfectly Honest") will helm. Casting is now complete.
Jennifer Westfeldt and Chris Messina will star in the romantic comedy Ira and Abby, helmed by Robert Cary ("Anything but Love"). Westfeldt also wrote the film, which is set to shoot in and around Manhattan from early November to mid-December. Principals: Bernard Telsey Casting (see above). Background: No information available.
Ed Lauter, James Madio, Ray Elson, and Foster Lee are slated for The Grasslands, to be directed by Chris Raffaele. Set in the Bronx, the film is a love story centered on a murder. The start date will probably be sometime in November. Principals and background: Mellicent Dyane (c/o 4/10 of a Mile Productions, 1934 Williamsbridge Rd., Bronx, NY 10461).
Intercultural romance.... Shanthikumar Chilumalu directs an untitled romantic comedy, the story of an American man who travels to India and falls in love with a young woman. The first 10 percent of the film will be shot in New York City and Long Island, and then production will move to India. The start date has been pushed back to January. No further casting.
February is now the projected start date for director Bobby Guions' Ten, about a government agent who is kidnapped, thrown into a room, and forced to fight for his life. Cast: Morgan Benoit, Kate Kenney, Eric Blaze, Jason Veil, Quentin Jordan, John Bertrand, and Craig Pleug. Filming is in Newark. Principals and background: BG Films (33 Myrtle Ave., Irvington, NJ 07111).
Ray Daly Jr. will direct Gratuitous Violence, a suspense drama set in the entertainment industry. It's now set to commence filming in February or March in Manhattan, Queens, and Long Island. Principals and background: Fighting Irish Productions (251 East 51st St., #6H, NYC 10022) or RayDalyJR@aol.com.
Tricia Mara and Jessica Bohl are set to appear in director Gorman Bechard's The Second Greatest Story Ever Told. The start date has been pushed back from January to March 2 and it will film in Connecticut, New York, and Italy. In this "irreverent take on the Second Coming," God sends his 18-year-old daughter to save the world. No casting info at this time.
A family drama about a young violin prodigy, August Rush will star Robin Williams, Liv Tyler, and Freddie Highmore, with Kirsten Sheridan directing. Filming will begin sometime in the winter of 2006. No casting info at this time.
TV Series Shoots
Law & Order: Shooting for next season proceeds through April 1. Principals: Lynn Kressel Casting (Pier 62, Room 304, West 23rd Street and Hudson River, NYC 10011). Background: Grant Wilfley Casting (see above).
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Shoots through May 30. Principals: Lynn Kressel Casting (see above). Background: Grant Wilfley Casting (see above).
Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Shoots through April 1. Principals: Lynn Kressel Casting (see above). Background: Grant Wilfley Casting (see above).
The Sopranos: Production proceeds through mid-November. Principals: Walken/Jaffe Casting (729 Seventh Ave., Ste. 14A, NYC 10019). Background: Grant Wilfley Casting (see above).
Hope & Faith: The season continues through Feb. 24. Principals: James Calleri Casting (416 West 42nd St., NYC 10036). Background: Kee Casting (see above).
The Bedford Diaries: The hourlong WB series began filming Aug. 10 and continues through Dec. 23. Principals: Alexa Fogel (330 West 38th St., Ste. 906, NYC 10018). Background: Sylvia Fay/Lee Genick Casting (see above).
The Book of Daniel: The new NBC clergy drama began Sept. 8; no wrap date is set. Principals: Julie Tucker (c/o Apostle Films, 568 Broadway, Ste. 301, NYC 10012). Background: Grant Wilfley Casting (see above).
(Note: The casting directors of these New York-based daytime dramas stress that you should not make unsolicited visits or calls to their offices.)
All My Children (ABC): Judy Blye Wilson (casting director), Robert Lambert (associate, under-fives and background), 320 West 66th St., NYC 10023. Send headshots, resumes, postcards.
As the World Turns (CBS): Mary Clay Boland (principals), LaMont Craig (under-fives), Kate Martineau (background), 1268 East 14th St., Brooklyn, NY 11230. Send headshots and resumes.
Guiding Light (CBS): Rob Decina (casting director), Darlene Failla (associate casting director), 222 East 44th St., NYC 10017. Accepts postcards and showcase invitations.
One Life to Live (ABC): Julie Madison (casting director), Victoria Visgilio (associate), Sheryl Baker-Fisher (assistant), 157 Columbus Ave., 2nd floor, NYC 10023. Send headshots and resumes or postcards only.