Memphis filmmakers have been in the news lately with developments on a series of projects at various stages of readiness.
Add another title to the list of projects to which Craig Brewer has been attached with Gangster Princess of Beverly Hills, based on a 2012 Rolling Stone article about Lisette Lee, a woman who portrayed herself as an heiress but who was actually a drug mule. The film, a Paramount project, will likely be shot in California if and when it gets off the ground. In the meantime, Brewer is directing the pilot for Boomerang, a potential television series for Fox about a family of assassins that co-stars Felicity Huffman and Anthony LaPaglia. Brewer's co-written script for Tarzan remains the foundation for that project, which is now in pre-production under the direction of Harry Potter veteran David Yates.
But it looks like Memphis-bred filmmaker Ira Sachs might beat Brewer to the starting line with his next feature project. Sachs waited five years between his highest-profile film, 2007's Married Life, and his most lauded, last year's Keep the Lights On, but may be back in the saddle soon with Love is Strange, a New York-set relationship drama co-starring Alfred Molina and Michael Gambon. Also signing on is actress Kathy Reilly, fresh off a commanding supporting turn opposite Denzel Washington in last year's Flight. Love is Strange is scheduled to begin shooting this summer.
There's been a lot of news on the acting front lately for local indie filmmaker Kentucker Audley (Open Five 2). Sun Don't Shine, the lovers-on-the-lam film from director Amy Seitmetz, which co-stars Audley and which debuted locally at Indie Memphis last October, was picked up for theatrical distribution by the indie company Factory 25. Ain't Them Bodies Saints, a Texas-set outlaw story from director David Lowery, who helped shoot Audley's Open Five, debuted to strong notices at the Sundance Film Festival. Audley has a supporting role in the film, which stars Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara. Ain't Them Bodies Saints was purchased at Sundance by IFC Films, which should guarantee good theatrical and on-demand distribution. On the way is The Sacrament, which Audley was shooting in the midst of last year's Indie Memphis festival. A horror film from director Ti West (V/H/S) and producer Eli Roth (Hostel), The Sacrament is a Jonestown-inspired story of a suicide cult. The film's ensemble cast includes Audley, Seimetz, and Joe Swanburg.