Athens will play host to another Hollywood film crew this summer, its second this year. This time, though, there’s a local connection.
James Ponsoldt, a 1997 graduate of Cedar Shoals High School, is in town now scouting locations and casting for a new film titled “The Spectacular Now” that’s set to begin filming in late July.
On Wednesday afternoon, Ponsoldt helmed a casting session at Ciné, part of a Southeast-wide attempt to rally acting talent for the film.
The project is in the pre-production stage, which means, Ponsoldt explained, his team is propping the organization by hiring a crew and cast simultaneously, and setting up its offices.
At this point, his crew numbers six. By the time shooting ramps up, that number will grow to 40, not including actors, and will employ some Athenians.
Hot off her acclaimed supporting performance in Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants,” Shailene Woodley has signed on to topline “White Bird,” a new indie project from writer-director Gregg Araki.
Drama is told from the point of view of Woodley’s character, a troubled young woman whose life is upended following the mysterious disappearance of her mother.
With Woodley in place, Araki will turn his attention to casting the other key roles, including the protag’s parents and the lead detective on the case. Araki will produce “White Bird” with his frequent collaborators Pascal Caucheteux and Sebastien Lemercier of Why Not Prods.
One of the most lauded and prolific production companies in France, Why Not was responsible for four films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, including Jacques Audiard’s “Rust And Bone,” Ken Loach’s “The Angel’s Share,” Cristian Mungiu’s “Beyond The Hills” and Bruno Podalydes’ “Adieu Berthe.” Shingle, which has produced over 75 features including Audiard’s “A Prophet,” is currently shooting “Jimmy Picard” with Benicio Del Toro and Mathieu Almaric.
It was Shailene Woodley’s first time at the MTV Movie Awards, and also her first win.
“The Descendants” star took home the Best Breakthrough Performance Golden Popcorn and commanded the stage during her acceptance speech. But it turns out she was actually much more nervous than she let on.
“I started sweating a whole lot. Like, a waterfall of sweat,” she reminisced when MTV News caught up with her immediately after her win. “I don’t even remember what happened, except for Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield’s smiling, awesome faces. Thank God they were up there. I would have been so nervous.”
Sure, Woodley was nominated for a number of prestigious awards thanks to her fantastic performance in “The Descendants,” including a Golden Globe nom. But being invited to — and winning at — the MTV Movie Awards is still a big accomplishment in her life.
“It’s the MTV Awards!” she gushed. “Let’s be real. This is crazy.”
It turns out that this was an especially great experience for Woodley because she is a huge Russell Brand fan. She called his opening monologue “awesome” and then dove into her passion for his particular brand of comedy.
“He’s one of my favorite comedians. I think he’s just so effing funny, and I’m all about him and everything that he’s saying. He’s like a political, or like an anti-political activist, you know? And I really love his revolutionary thinking. I’m into it,” she said. “[He has] a really profound message, and without being preachy.”
Shailene has received yet another nomination for her work in The Descendants and this time it’s an MTV Movie Award. She’s nominated in the Breakthrough Performance category, which is unfortunately a non-voting category so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that Shailene takes home another award for her work come June 3rd!
Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”
Rooney Mara, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
Liam Hemsworth, “The Hunger Games”
Elle Fanning, “Super 8”
Shailene Woodley, “The Descendants”
Congratulations to Shai! I’m sure this will be another great role for her.
After four years in development, Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber’s adaptation of Tim Tharp’s award-winning novel “The Spectacular Now” is finally moving forward with Shailene Woodley (“The Descendants”) attached to star and “Smashed” helmer James Ponsoldt set to direct for Global Produce and 21 Laps.
Coming-of-age dramedy follows a teenage girl (Woodley) who convinces an alcoholic high school senior that his philosophy of living only for the moment may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
Global Produce principals Tom McNulty and Marc Shmuger will produce with Shawn Levy of 21 Laps, while “500 Days of Summer” scribes Weber and Neustadter will exec produce. Billy Rosenberg and Dan Cohen will oversee the project for 21 Laps.
UTA Independent Film Group is repping “Spectacular,” which Ponsoldt’s fellow Sundance helmer Lee Toland Krieger (“Celeste and Jesse Forever”) was originally attached to direct before scheduling issues forced him to leave the project. Woodley nearly followed him before seeing Ponsoldt’s sobriety drama “Smashed,” which convinced her to stick with the pic.
The jurors who will decide the winners of the competitive categories at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival are your usually unusual bunch of entertainment industry notables, including Academy Award winners, up-and-comers and the guy who manages Justin Bieber.
Irwin Winkler, the “De-Lovely” director and producer of “Rocky,” “Raging Bull” and “Goodfellas,” will be president of the jury, organizers for the Tribeca festival said on Monday. Mr. Winkler will also be a juror for the world narrative competition, alongside the actresses Patricia Clarkson and Dakota Fanning; directors Mike Newell and Jim Sheridan; and the film critic Lisa Schwarzbaum. The jurors for the world documentary category are the directors Michael Moore, Lucy Walker and Julia Bacha; K’naan, the Somalian poet and rapper; and the “Sex and the City” star Kim Cattrall.
In other categories: jurors for the best new narrative director include Whoopi Goldberg and Kellan Lutz, a star of the “Twilight” movies. Olivia Wilde, the “Tron: Legacy” and “Cowboys and Aliens” star, will be among those weighing in on the best new documentary director. Actors Hugh Dancy and Bridget Moynahan will help decide a winner for the narrative short film competition. And jurors for the documentary and student short film competitions include the actresses Susan Sarandon and Shailene Woodley; the “Tower Heist” director Brett Ratner; and Scooter Braun, the manager who helped discover Mr. Bieber.
This year’s Tribeca Film Festival opens Wednesday and runs through April 29.
Source: New York Times