is blockbuster time. Popcorn movie time. A time for grown-ups
to curl up with a good book and something tropical to drink
while the kiddies invade the multiplex. Those are the rules.
of course, youre Tom Hanks. If youre Tom Hanks
you can open a serious drama in July and make lots of money
and collect scads of Oscars. Hes done it before. Saving
Private Ryan hit theatres at the end of July 1998, took
in more than $216 million (in the United States alone) and
won five Academy Awards.
Road to Perdition is Oscar-bait is indisputable,
with former winners Hanks, Paul Newman and director Sam
Mendes leading a cast of highly-regarded actors. What remained
to be seen at press time is how a film set in 1930s Chicago
a film about a feared hitman out to avenge the murder
of his wife and son (with his surviving son in tow)
will perform in this summer of feel-good sequels.
moves on to Catch Me If You Can, the
true story of Frank Abagnale, the young forger who made
the FBIs most-wanted list, then later went to work
for the bureau as a consultant. Its directed by Steven
Spielberg (Minority Report). Jeff Nathanson
(Coyote Ugly, Rush Hour 2) wrote
the screenplay. Leonardo DiCaprio (The Beach)
stars as Abagnale, Hanks the FBI agent who pursued him.
Christopher Walken (Scotland, PA, Country
Bears) costars with Martin Sheen (O),
Amy Adams (Pumpkin), Brian Howe (K-Pax),
Natalie Compagno and Frank John Hughes (The Funeral).
DreamWorks hopes youll catch it later this year.
is as handsome does, they say, and, though how his character
looks and what he does in Road isnt pretty,
handsome Jude Law is moving from large supporting roles (like
hitman Maguire, in Road) to big, starring roles.
Diary of a Young London Physician, is writer/director
David Mamets next film and it will likely star Law in
the title role. Penélope Cruz is reportedly set to
take on the female lead in this version of the Dr. Jekyll
and Mr. Hyde story. Rebecca Pidgeon (Heist) was
also set to star. Warner Bros. tentatively plans a 2003 release
for the film, which was to have begun production in mid-May.
Law will then try on the character of a badly injured Confederate
soldier who struggles to make his way back home in Cold
Mountain. The drama, set during the Civil War, is
based on the novel by Charles Frazier. Anthony Minghella (The
English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley)
will reportedly direct from his own screenplay. Laws
costars include Nicole Kidman (Birthday Girl),
Renee Zellweger (Bridget Joness Diary),
Natalie Portman (Star Wars: Episode II Attack
of the Clones), Philip Seymour Hoffman (State
and Main), Giovanni Ribisi (The Gift), Brendan
Gleeson (Harrisons Flowers,), Donald Sutherland
(The Art of War), Jena Malone (The Dangerous
Lives of Altar Boys) and Ray Winstone (Last Orders).
Filming was scheduled to begin in mid-July for a Christmas
2003 release. Miramax has the domestic rights, MGM the international.
Stanley Tucci, playing Al Capones right-hand man Frank
Nitti in Road, does everything possible to thwart
Hanks Michael Sullivan. In The Core,
a group of terranauts must do everything it can
to navigate an experimental ship to the Earths core
and set off a nuclear detonation. Seems a chemical waste disaster
causes the Earths core to change temperature, threatening
the Earths revolution. Jon Amiel (Copycat,
Entrapment) directed from a screenplay by Cooper
Layne, John Rogers (American Outlaws) and Sean
Bailey. Tucci costars with Aaron Eckhart (The Pledge),
Hilary Swank (Insomnia), DJ Qualls (The
New Guy), Bruce Greenwood (Thirteen Days),
Tcheky Karyo (Kiss of the Dragon), Alfre Woodard
(K-Pax), Delroy Lindo (Heist), Richard
Jenkins (The Man Who Wasnt There) and Allejandro
Abellan (Say it Isnt So). Paramount unearths
it Nov. 11.
Laws hitman character is nicknamed the Reporter,
for his habit of blending into crime scenes, camera in hand.
Ciarán Hinds (currently onscreen in The Sum of
All Fears), curiously, appears next in two films revolving
around reporters in violent circumstances.
Guerin is a fact-based drama about an Irish journalist
who was murdered after she wrote a series of revealing articles
about various drug dealers. Joel Schumacher (Bad Company)
directed from a screenplay by Carol Doyle (Washington
Square) and Mary Agnes Donoghue (Beaches).
Cate Blanchett (Charlotte Gray) stars in the title
role, with Hinds, Brenda Fricker (The General),
Gerard McSorley (Felicias Journey) and Colin
Farrell (Minority Report) among the supporting
cast. Buena Vista plans a 2003 release.
The Weight Of Water is a thriller about a
contemporary female newspaper photographer who sets out to
investigate the details of a brutal 1873 double-murder, only
to find parallels to the incident in her own life. Its
based on the 1997 novel by Anita Shreve (The Pilots
Wife). Kathryn Bigelow (K-19: The Widowmaker)
directed from a screenplay by Alice Arlen (Cookie)
and Christopher Kyle (K-19: The Widowmaker). Hinds
costars include Sean Penn (I Am Sam), Catherine
McCormack (A Rumor of Angels), Elizabeth Hurley
(Bedazzled, Servicing Sara), Sarah
Polley (No Such Thing), Josh Lucas (A Beautiful
Mind), Katrin Cartlidge (No Mans Land),
Ulrich Thomsen (The World is Not Enough), Vinessa
Shaw (40 Days and 40 Nights), and Anders Wodskou
Berthelsen (Italian for Beginners). Lions Gate
starts the presses Nov. 1, 2002.