Saturday, November 28, 2009

Toronto Film Updates- 2005-2006: The Way We Were...

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January 26, 2006

The comedy feature "Run Robot Run" has now wrapped a 4-week shoot in Toronto. Set in the future, the Darius Films, Laughing Man Productions' film focuses on a factory worker (Chris Gibbons) who loses his job to an android (Peter Mooney)."Run Robot Run" is produced and directed by Daniel O'Connor.

January 19, 2006

Opening April 21, 2006, "Silent Hill", an Ontario-shot, big screen video game adaptation, directed by Christophe "Brotherhood Of The Wolf" Gans, focuses on 'Rose', desperate to find her child 'Sharon', who suddenly becomes trapped in an alternate dimension.Rose follows her daughter's silhouette to the town of 'Silent Hill', smothered by fog, and overcome by a living 'Darkness' that transforms everything it touches.Joined by 'Cybil', a local police officer, Rose searches for her daughter, realizing that Sharon is a pawn in a much larger game.

January 18, 2006

Clive "Sin City" Owen, Monica "Brotherhood Of The Wolf" Bellucci and Paul "Cinderella Man" Giamatti will be in Toronto, the end of January to shoot the 'dark' feature "Shoot 'Em Up".Written and directed by Michael Davis, premise of the film focuses on a man named 'Mr. Smith' (Owen), who delivers a woman's baby during a shootout, then called upon to protect the newborn from an army of gunmen.

January 10, 2006

Filming continues at Toronto Film Studios on the Double Agent Productions' feature "BREACH". Starring Chris "Adaptation" Cooper, Ryan "Crash" Phillippe and Laura "Kinsey" Linney, "BREACH" is written/directed by Billy "Shattered Glass" Ray.The film is produced by Bobby "Training Day" Newmyer, Scott "The Last Samurai" Kroopf and Scott "Mindhunters" Strauss.Executive producers are Adam Merims, Sidney Kimmel and William Horberg.Inspired by true events, based on the book "The Eleventh Hour" by Adam Mazer/Bill Rotko, "BREACH" is a thriller set inside the FBI."This is a story about lying in the pursuit of truth," said Ray."It's also about how our mentors can teach us even as they are betraying us."Screenplay focuses on 'Eric O'Neill' (Phillippe), promoted out of a low-level FBI 'surveillance' job into working for operative 'Robert Hanssen' (Cooper), in a new 'information assurance' division, created to protect classified FBI Intelligence.

Hanssen is suspected of being a 'mole' for the Soviet Union and O'Neill is asked to draw Hanssen out of 'deep cover'. O'Neill finds himself fighting to get Hanssen before the ruthless double agent can destroy O'Neill, his family and the nation they are both sworn to serve.Linney portrays 'Special Agent Kate Burroughs', FBI staffer in charge of O'Neill, and Dennis "24" Haysbert is ''Special Agent Dan Plesac', who teams with Burroughs to bring Hanssen down. Also in the cast are Kathleen "Apollo 13" Quinlan, Gary "Wanted" Cole, Caroline "Wonderfalls" Dhavernas.
Cinematographer is Tak "The Sixth Sense" Fujimoto and production designer is Wynn "A Beautiful Mind" Thomas. Unit Production Manager is Steve Wakefield. 1st AD is Richard Fox. Filming in both Toronto and Washington, DC locations, "BREACH" is set for a wide release later this year.

December 21, 2005

A recent ruling by the Ontario Municipal Board has cleared the way for construction to finally begin on a 1.2 million-square-foot film/media complex 'megastudio' in Toronto.Toronto Film Studios said that the board dismissed an objection to a minor variance from a competitor.The planned 'Filmport' will be built in Toronto's port area.Construction on the C$275 million project, on land owned by the Toronto Economic Development Corp. (Tedco), will now begin summer 2006.The first phase of Filmport will include six soundstages, with a 45,000-square-foot stage and production office/support facilities totaling 232,000 square feet.Filmport is expected to house more than a dozen soundstages totaling 550,000 square feet of production space.

December 5, 2005

TriStar Pictures are inviting fans/amateur artists to design the official movie poster for the Toronto-area shot feature "Silent Hill", set for release in theaters April 21, 2006.

For the first time, entrants will be able to view their posters via mobile telephone and encourage others via text blasts to participate from wireless devices. Fans can enter the contest via the film's website where they will be able to download creative elements from the film (photography stills, title treatment and billing block) to create their own poster design. Deadline for entries is January 3, 2006 and all valid entries will be posted January 4th for online and WAP site voting to begin. January 17th, 2006, TriStar Pictures will review the 50 posters with the most votes for a selection of five finalists. The finalists will be posted on January 20th and fans will cast their votes for the winner. TriStar will unveil the winning poster February 22, which will then be displayed in theaters prior to the release of the film.

Premise of the film focuses on the deserted ghost town 'Silent Hill', where a young mother is desperate to find a cure for her child's illness. Unable to accept the doctor's diagnosis that her daughter should be permanently institutionalized for psychiatric care, 'Rose' (Radha Mitchell) flees with her child, heading for the abandoned town in search of answers, ignoring the protests of her husband (Sean Bean).

The town is smothered by fog, inhabited by a variety of strange beings and periodically overcome by a living 'Darkness' that transforms everything it touches. As Rose searches for her little girl, she begins to learn the history of the strange town and realizes her daughter is a pawn in a larger game.

"Silent Hill" is directed by Christophe "Brotherhood Of The Wolf" Gans, written by Roger Avary and produced by Samuel Hadida and Don Carmody. Executive producers are Andrew Mason and Victor Hadida.
TriStar Pictures is a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

November 4, 2005

Toronto/Los Angeles-based Peace Arch Entertainment Group Inc. has announced the formation of genre division 'Archetype Films', to produce/distribute action, horror, thriller and science fiction films.

The new label, which makes its debut at the 2005 American Film Market now underway in Santa Monica, California, is off to a quick start with five films already in production:

"The Veteran" starring Ally Sheedy, Canada's Michael Ironside and Bobby Hosea, is an action thriller about a Vietnam War veteran confronted by an old comrade who forces him to relive the bloody battles of his past;

"Heartstopper" starring Robert "Nightmare On Elm Street" Englund, Meredith Henderson and James Brinkley, is a classic horror about two teens trapped in a dilapidated hospital while a maniac stalks the halls;

"Warriors Of Terra", currently shooting in Toronto, stars Edward "Canes" Furlong, Ellen Fury and Andrew Lui, in a sci-fi/horror where a team of young animal 'liberationists' penetrate a biotech facility, only to discover a genetically engineered creature.

"The Last Sect" starring David "Kill Bill" Carradine as a descendant of vampire hunter 'Van Helsing', focuses on a group of seductive female vampires who use an internet dating service to recruit their prey.

"5ive Girls", currently being cast, revolves around five wayward teens sent to an all-girls reform school where they discover their own supernatural powers AND battle an ancient demon.

"Our new slate of cutting-edge, story-driven projects have proven ancillary market appeal and break-out box office potential on the margin of "Saw" and "Open Water" said Peace Arch President John Flock.

"As we expand our offerings to include more theatrical titles, we are also excited by our ability to rapidly grow our library with a substantially increased output of commercially reliable genre productions."

Peace Arch recently announced its first two films intended for worldwide theatrical markets :

"Chapter 27" starring Jared Leto and Lindsay Lohan;

"Delirious" starring Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt and Alison Lohman.

November 3, 2005

Sneak Peek's Michael Stevens worked on the ABC drama mini-series "The Untitled History Project" AND comedy feature "Rexx The Firehouse Dog" but still managed to send in these current updates of productions shooting in and around the Toronto area.

"Hotel". Series.Sept. 12 - Nov. 10, 2005. Toronto, Ottawa. "Freedom". Series.October 2005 - May 2006. Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal. "This Is Wonderland III". Series.July 25, 2005 - Feb. 4, 2006. Toronto."Biblical Archaeology". Feature Doc.May 2005 - May 2006. Canada, Int'l.
"The Naked Archaeologist". Doc Series.August 2004 - December 2005. Toronto "Barstool Words". Feature.Oct. 24 - Nov. 25, 2005. Toronto."Situation Critical II". Doc Series.July 2005 - February 2006. Toronto."Captain Flamingo". Anim. Series.June 2005 - September 2006. Toronto."Atomic Betty 2". Anim. Series.April 2005 - March 2006. Toronto."My Opposition - The Diaries of Friedrich Kellner". Doc. Sept. 1, 2005 - April 2006."Erky Perky". Anim. Series.August 2005 - 2006. Toronto."Meteor The Monster Truck". Anim. Series.January 2005 - November 2006. Toronto."A Giants Walk Home". Doc.Oct. 31 - Nov. 10, 2005, Jan. 16-22, 2006. Ontario, South Africa. "Skinwalkers". Feature.Sept. 19 - Nov. 11, 2005. Toronto."Naturally Sadie". Series.Sept. 12, 2005 - February 2006. Toronto. "GirlStuff/BoyStuff II". Series.February 2005 - January 2006. Toronto."Delilah & Julius". Anim. Series.Sept. 6, 2004 - March 17, 2006. Toronto."Firehouse Dog". Feature.Sept. 21 - Dec. 1, 2005. Toronto."Breach". Feature.Nov. 21, 2005 - Feb. 1, 2006. Toronto."Degrassi: The Next Generation V". Series.May 6 - Nov. 11, 2005. Toronto."The Hades Factor". Miniseries.October - December 2005. Toronto."The Heat with Mark McEwan". Series.March 1 - Dec. 16. 2005. Toronto."Save Us From Our House". Series.July 11 - Nov. 15, 2005. Toronto."Get Ed". Anim. Series.January 2005 - March 2006. Toronto."Killshot". Feature.Oct. 3 - Dec. 2, 2005. Toronto."The Making of Chun Yi: The Legend of Kung Fu". Doc. Aug. 20 - Nov. 30, 2005. Toronto."Project Passion". Series. Aug. 1, 2005 - April 1, 2006. Toronto."Spiritual Gardens". Series.Aug. 31, 2005 - April 30, 2006. Toronto."Scandal in Saltlake". Doc.Sept. 15- Dec. 31, 2005. Toronto."Underwater Detectives". Series.Dec. 15, 2004 - Dec. 31, 2005. Toronto."Hush". Feature.Oct. 31 - Nov. 14. Toronto."Carl Squared". Anim. Series.February 2005 - April 2006. Toronto, Ottawa."Shades of Black". MOW.Oct. 19 - Nov. 12, 2005. Toronto."Dark Oracle II". Series.Oct. 11 - Dec. 6, 2005. Toronto."Regenesis II". Series.July 25 - Dec. 9, 2005. Toronto."Talk to Me". Pilot.Nov. 2-16, 2005. Toronto.

October 8, 2005

Shooting has now started in London, UK on a TV biopic about Conrad Black, aka 'Lord Black of Crossharbour'."Shades of Black" stars Canadian actor Albert Schultz as the media baron.The show will wrap mid-November in Toronto, for a two-hour broadcast on CTV and BBC, spring 2006.Actress Lara Flynn "Twin Peaks" Boyle plays Black's wife Barbara Amiel.

September 30, 2005

According to the National Post, the planned FILMPORT film studio, to be erected next year along Toronto's waterfront will receive approximately $10 million in support from Toronto's development arm for 'remediation' and construction of foundations.Toronto City Council approved a 99-year lease between the city-owned Toronto Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO) and Toronto Film Studios Inc., for construction of a $100 million studio complex in the city's derelict Port Lands area.TEDCO said their organization would need to clean the industrial land, in an arrangement between the city and previous owner Imperial Oil.According to TEDCO, the petroleum company paid Toronto to take ownership of the land, because of the poor condition of the site."We have a piece of land that is so badly polluted, ESSO paid us to take it off their hands," said Toronto Mayor David Miller.According to TEDCO, in addition to the cleanup, the city will pay to extend the Don Roadway and contribute to the cost of building foundations, because the land is currently 'goo'.

September 9, 2005

Toronto-born actor, musician Douglas Smith has been cast as the lead in the Telefilm-backed feature "Citizen Duane", now shooting in Hamilton, Ontario.Premise of "Citizen Duane", described as an 'offbeat' comedy/drama, focuses on teenager 'Duane', tormented by a town bully named 'Chad'. Driven to correct past and present injustices, Duane decides to run for mayor, with the results leaving the southern Ontario town of 'Ridgeway' changed forever."Citizen Duane" is directed by Michael Mabbot.20-year old Smith recently starred in the prairies-shot "Santa's Slay" for producer Brett Ratner, slated for a November release through Lions Gate, is the juvenile male lead in HBO'S Bill Paxton/Jeanne Tripplehorn TV series "The Big Love", and the lead in features "Rock The Paint" and "States Evidence".Smith is the younger brother of Gregory Smith, Canadian star of the Treat Williams WB TV series "Everwood".

August 29, 2005

Quentin "Kill Bill" Tarantino will executive produce the Miramax feature adaptation of author Elmore "Get Shorty" Leonard's 1989 bestseller "KILLSHOT, now booked from October through November at Toronto's Cinespace Film Studios.Director of "KILLSHOT" will be John "Shakespeare in Love" Madden, starring "Sin City" fan fave Mickey Rourke, Diane "The Perfect Storm" Lane, singer Justin Timberlake and Viggo Mortensen.

Mortensen recently starred in David Cronenberg's Toronto-shot "A History Of Violence" , while Lane appeared as 'Toni Mannix' in the upcoming George Reeves/'Superman' biopic "Truth, Justice and the American Way", also filmed in Toronto earlier this year.

August 23, 2005

Filming continues on the award-winning high school TV series, "DEGRASSI : THE NEXT GENERATION", with Kevin "Clerks" Smith directing the episode "Jay & Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh ?".

Toronto's Eglinton Avenue West (at Avenue Road) was the location for a few days filming at the former 'Eglinton Theatre', now renovated as the luxurious banquet venue 'Eglinton Grand'.

August 23, 2005

Emmy-winning TV director Todd Holland will unleash "Firehouse Dog", a live action feature, currently sniffing out Toronto locations for Regency Enterprises.Story will focus on 'Rexxx', Hollywood's top dog star. After getting lost, Rexxx is adopted by a firehouse, then teams up with a 12-year-old boy.Screenplay is by Claire-Dee Lim.Toronto location shooting starts September 18.

August 10, 2005

Filming continues at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens on director Peter "Garfield" Hewitt's "THE RETURN OF ZOOM".

The Sony/Revolution comic book-to-film feature has now completed 20 days of principal photography of a scheduled 53 day shoot.

The Carlton Street arena was slated to be converted into a Loblaws grocery super-store last year, until director Ron Howard decided to shoot his "Cinderella Man" boxing scenes in the authentic 1930's style venue last year.

For "THE RETURN OF ZOOM", the arena's 80 foot high ceilings have been rigged and scaffolded to accomodate the $120 million comedy feature, including laboratories and a life-size flying saucer.

"THE RETURN OF ZOOM" stars Tim "Tool Time" Allen as 'Capt Jack Zoom', a bagged-out super-hero coming out of retirement, Chevy "Three Amigos" Chase as scientist 'Dr. Grant' and Courtney "Friends" Cox as 'Marsha', employee of a hi-tech training facility.

Producers of "THE RETURN OF ZOOM" are Suzanne Todd, Jennifer Todd and Todd Garner. Executive Producers are Neil Machlis, Nick Osborne and Trevor Engelson. Co-Producer is Julie Ragland. Associate Producers are Joe Boccia and Matt Carroll.

July 30, 2005

Lifetime Television has found an audience for Season 3 of the Toronto-shot dramatic TV series "MISSING", ordering up an additional six episodes.

"MISSING" stars Vivica A. "Kill Bill" Fox, Caterina Scorsone, Mark Consuelos and Justin Louis as FBI agents.

Fox is also executive producer of the show.This brings the "MISSING" full-season order to 19 episodes.According to Lifetime, total viewership for "MISSING" is up 20% compared with Season 2 (2.4 million vs. 2 million).

JULY 26, 2005

From Ken Ferguson, President, Toronto Film Studios Inc. :"The new Mega-Studio in Toronto’s Port Lands is about to become a reality. Toronto Film Studios and TEDCO are finalizing a lease that will be presented to the TEDCO board before the end of July."For those in the industry, it means that for the first time Toronto will be able to attract and accommodate Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster productions. This benefits everyone because every dollar spent directly on a film generates another $1.50 in trickle-down activity."While the City’s political leadership and the vast majority of the film community are strong supporters of the Mega-Studio, some unfounded rumours have been circulated recently by parties who are opposed to the project."Here are the facts:

"The Mega-Studio will mean more films are produced in Toronto; not just the big blockbusters but also medium sized US and Canadian productions that are our industry’s bread and butter. It will NOT monopolize the industry or kill other studios and film-related businesses - it will actually increase their workload."The existing TFS Studio at 629 Eastern Avenue will continue to be operated as film studios as long as it is in demand. It has served us well and is currently very busy so we have no intention of closing it in the foreseeable future."The Mega-studio development is NOT dependent in any way on the zoning application for TFS’s Eastern Avenue lands. The Mega-studio financing is arranged and will be announced soon. As prudent land owners, we are preparing to develop our 9 acre vacant lot and expanding our options for the future."Toronto Film Studios won the right to build the Mega-Studio in an international competition. We are paying market value for the lands, having bid a higher price than anyone else. No other studio owner in the city can claim to be disadvantaged by this open and highly scrutinized process."During a limited stabilization period and to satisfy development financing, TEDCO will be restricted from leasing to other studio operators in the immediate vicinity of the Mega-Studio. Other film-related tenants such as equipment suppliers will be welcomed to the area and no existing TEDCO tenants such as P.S. Production Services will be affected."Recent eviction notices to film-related companies in the West Donlands have been issued by the Province of Ontario for Waterfront Revitalization. The eviction of these tenants by the Province has nothing at all to do with the Mega-Studio, TFS, the City of Toronto or TEDCO. Toronto needs the Mega-Studio now. Mayor Miller and our City Councillors have worked hard to make it happen. Let them know that you appreciate their commitment to our industry and that you support the Mega-Studio in the Port Lands."

July 6, 2005

Revolution Leaf Productions is currently prepping at Toronto's Cinespace Studios for the Revolution Studios/Sony Entertainment comic book-to-film feature "The Return Of Zoom", scheduled for principal photography July 11 to October 3 .
"The Return Of Zoom" is based on Jason Lethcoe's graphic novel "Zoom's Academy For The Super Gifted", about a 13-year old girl who discovers her father is a teacher at a school for kids with powers and that she has super-human abilities as well. The series was picked up November 2004 by Ballantine Books, a subsidary of Random House Publishing.Sony's "The Return Of Zoom" stars Tim "Tool Time" Allen, Chevy "Three Amigos" Chase and Courtney "Friends" Cox. Directed by Peter Hewitt, the family comedy revolves around an academy for training 'gifted' teens, with Allen playing 'Captain Zoom', a bagged out super-hero father, who emerges from retirement to train his daughter and her friends.Jennifer and Suzanne Todd produce.One of the sets for the FX-heavy film is being built at Cinespace's Booth Avenue location."The Return Of Zoom" will be released by Revolution Studios, Team Todd and Underground Films.

June 21, 2005

The Montreal-shot "Lucky Number Slevin", starring Bruce Willis and Lucy Liu (the title takes its name from a race horse), recently came to Toronto for a week of re-shoots using photo-doubles and BG, with some scenes taking place in Toronto's downscale Queen Street West, 'Parkdale' district.

June 10, 2005

Toronto's Epitome Pictures, with support from federal agency Telefilm Canada, are developing a big screen feature based on CTV's high school teen series "Degrassi: The Next Generation", with Kevin "Jersey Girl" Smith tapped to direct for a late August shoot in Toronto. Smith recently appeared on the series alongside "Jay And Silent Bob" sidekick Jason Mewes.Two "Degrassi: TNG" books and a TV doc are currently in the works, with the fifth season now prepping for Toronto production."Degrassi: TNG" airs on The 'N' network in the US, also broadcasting in the UK, Australia and France.The series was removed from the broadcast schedule of publicly-funded PBS network, following complaints from citizen's rights groups objecting to the series' realistic portrayals of teens involved with drugs, sex and rock 'n roll.The show is filmed in a mock-up village/school south of Toronto's Eglinton Avenue East, with daily usage of classrooms, training the next generation of Degrassi actors."Degrassi" is the name of an actual street in downtown Toronto's east end.

May 25, 2005

"Everybody you know is here shooting something," said Richard "Lethal Weapon" Donner on the phone from Toronto to movie trade mag Variety.

"They're building stages everywhere".

Donner is in Toronto directing Bruce "Die Hard" Willis and Mos Def in the Millennium/Emmet/Furla production"16 BLOCKS".

But, he said, "We should be in L.A.".

"It's a cardinal sin we don't have production back home, but our governor doesn't have the guts to do anything about it. He should have his SAG card rescinded."

Donner complimented the Toronto film crew.

"They've made their city look just like New York ... the action of "16 Blocks" takes place in two hours ... and that's approximately what the film will run.

"There's no wardrobe changes for anyone".

He says that co-producer Willis is always on set, whether in a scene or not.

Donner's wife Lauren "Constantine" Shuler-Donner, is prepping Fox/Marvel's "X-Men III" for a 4 month Vancouver shoot starting in August.

May 10, 2005

The 'Space' cable station has greenlit a first season of sci-fi TV series "ICE PLANET", starring Canadian Michael "Starship Troopers" Ironside as the captain of a marooned interplanetary crew.Daniel D'Or/Phil Jackson, producers of "Star Hunter" are projecting a 5 season storyline.Filming begins in Toronto and the UK this summer on a budget of $32.5 million.

The 'twinned co-production' series, partners Toronto-based SpaceWorks Entertainment with London-based Highgate Films.The first episode of "ICE PLANET" will air fall 2006.

May 8, 2005

May 8 was the last day for re-shoots on the MOW "Secret Santa", starring Canadian Andrea "Rescue Me" Roth as a sexy, single mom. Also starring is Howard "WKRP" Hessman.The show is produced by Blueprint Entertainment for Lifetime and the W Network. Producers are Noreen Hapern, John Morayniss and Joey Plager.

Director is Eleanor "DeGrassi" Lindo.The final scene, complete with a department store Santa and his elves, was shot late at night inside the toy department at the massive Hudson's Bay Company flagship store at Queen and Yonge.Budgeted between $3 - $5 million, the TV movie will also air on Movie Central and YTV.

May 6, 2005

Filming has now wrapped on writer/director Gary Lennon's "Point 45".The indie feature stars Milla "Resident Evil" Jovovich, Angus MacFadyen, Andie MacDowell and Stephen "Blade" Dorff.The story focuses on a married couple involved in small-time crime in New York City's 'Hell's Kitchen' during the 1970's.MacFadyen plays 'Ed', who deals guns and drugs.

After abusing his girlfriend (Jovovich) for the last time, she uses her beauty and charm to seduce his friends into framing him for murder."Point 45" is produced by Brad Wyman and Donald Kushner.