Green’s previous film credits include the blockbuster Austin Powers in Goldmember, in which Green reprised his role as Scott Evil, Dr. Evil’s son from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Green also co-starred in American’s Sweethearts and had starring roles in Rat Race and Knockaround Guys. He began this nonstop work streak with Can’t Hardly Wait in the attention-grabbing role of Kenny Fisher, a white homeboy. Earlier, Green played a key role as a young Woody Allen in Radio Days.
On television, Green most recently began the fourth season of “Robot Chicken,” the Emmy-nominated stop-motion animated show that he and Matthew Senreich created for Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim” block. The duo exec produce, direct and write (with Green doing 35-to-60 voices each week). Debuting in February 2005, “Robot Chicken” earned critical acclaim and high ratings. In fact, the show garnered the all-time highest ratings for any “Adult Swim” program in the month of September. The DVD for Season One ranked No. 1 in sales in its first week among all TV shows released on DVD during that period. The sketch parody show, which regularly tops all other ad-supported cable and many network shows in the ratings [IS THIS TRUE?], lampoons pop culture and current events.
Green directed George Lucas in the hit “Robot Chicken: Star Wars” special that aired in 2007, for which Green won the Annie Award. The DVD was released this summer.
Green is also working on new episodes of “Family Guy,” the hit animated Fox comedy series in which Green plays the son, Chris Griffin.
Other TV credits include “Four Kings” and “Greg the Bunny.”
Green and his “Robot Chicken” partner Matthew Senreich are also currently producing two feature films, one live action and the other stop-motion animation.
Green, who has starred in films for 25 years and remains quick-witted, low-key and a known scene-stealer, mocked this image in two “Entourage” guest spots on HBO.
Previously, Marsden received rave reviews for his starring role in the blockbuster Enchanted, alongside Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey and Susan Sarandon. A romantic fable mixing live action with CGI animation, the Kevin Lima-directed film earned a Best Family Film nomination at the 13th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards.
Marsden also had a starring role in Adam Shankman’s box office hit Hairspray, which featured John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken. Marsden played Corny Collins, the host of the TV dance show. Hairspray earned multiple award nominations, including Critics’ Choice Awards for Best Acting Ensemble, Best Comedy Movie and Best Family Film, as well as a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Best Ensemble.
Marsden recently wrapped production on Richard Kelly’s psychological thriller, The Box, in which he stars opposite Cameron Diaz. The film is based on a classic Richard Matheson short story, “Button, Button.”
Marsden also appeared in Superman Returns, opposite Brandon Routh, Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth and Frank Langella, for director Bryan Singer.
Marsden’s film resume also includes playing Cyclops in the X-Men trilogy, The Notebook, The Alibi, Disturbing Behavior, 10th and Wolf, The 24th Day, Sugar and Spice and Interstate 60.
Among his notable television roles as the character Glen Floy on the final season of the Emmy-winning series “Ally McBeal,” created by David E. Kelley.
Duke is best known as the co-creator of the web comedy series “Clark and Michael,” which he wrote, directed, produced and starred in alongside his friend and comedy partner Michael Cera, star of Superbad. This landmark series, which lampooned their characters’ efforts to write and sell a television show, made many “Best Of” lists in 2007, including those of Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. “Clark and Michael” continues to enjoy massive popularity all over the world and has established Clark Duke as a creative force to be reckoned with.
Duke has also made his mark in television with the role of Dale in “Greek,” the hit ABC Family comedy series. Duke has also done multiple voices on Seth Green’s hit “Adult Swim” program on Cartoon Network, “Robot Chicken.”
A native of Hot Springs, Arkansas, Duke is also a talented musician who has launched an L.A. band with Michael Cera. Duke has a diverse slate of upcoming projects as a writer, actor, director and producer.
On television, Crew has spent the last two years starring as Carrie Miller in The N network’s hit series, “Whistler.” Recently, Crew won the 2007 Leo Award for Best Lead Female in a Dramatic Series for her role in the show, which is set in the high society winter playgrounds of North America.
Born and reared in Langley, British Columbia, Crew began her career in acting when she was cast as a regular for two seasons on the teen series “15/Love.” Her other work on television includes recurring roles on the ABC series “Life as We Know It” and the WB/CW institution “Smallville.”
Zuckerman’s other film credits include Surviving Christmas, in which he appeared opposite Ben Affleck and James Gandolfini; Pretty Persuasion, which starred Evan Rachel Wood; and the box office smash Austin Powers in Goldmember.
His diversity extends to television as well, with a recurring role in the hit ABC Family drama “Kyle XY” and a previous recurring role in the television series “CSI: Miami.” Other TV credits include “Boston Legal,” “Close to Home,” “Stand Off” and “House.”
On stage, Zuckerman starred in the one-act play “Women and Wallace” at the Actor’s Lab Theater in Los Angeles, with his performance garnering rave reviews.
After making his professional debut in an ABC movie-of-the-week, “Geppetto,” starring Drew Carey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Zuckerman then went on to recurring roles in ABC’s acclaimed dramas “Once and Again” and ”NYPD Blue” as well as a memorable role in an emotional post-September 11th episode of NBC’s “The West Wing.”
The youngest of five children, Zuckerman began acting at the age of 10 at the Los Altos Youth Theater in Los Altos, California. In addition to pursuing his acting career, Zuckerman has been attending Princeton University.
Starring JOSH ZUCKERMAN(LIONS FOR LAMBS), AMANDA CREW (THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT), CLARK DUKE (“GEEK”), JAMES MARSDEN (ENCHANTED) and SETH GREEN (AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER), and featuring a special performance by FALL OUT BOY.
Produced by JOHN MORRIS (SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE), LESLIE MORGENSTEIN (THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS) and BOB LEVY (“GOSSIP GIRL”). Executive produced by MIKE NELSON.
Directed by SEAN ANDERS (NEVER BEEN THAWED)
Written by SEAN ANDERS and JOHN MORRIS,
based on the novel ALL THE WAY by ANDY BEHRENS.
Eighteen-year-old Ian Lafferty sets out on a cross country drive with his best friends Lance and Felicia in order to lose his virginity to a red-hot babe he met on the Internet. But the journey, filled with hilarious misadventures and raunchy escapades, teaches all three more than they expected about life and love. Randy, raucous and unexpectedly romantic, Sex Drive follows three friends on the road trip of a lifetime!
Ian Lafferty (Josh Zuckerman) can’t seem to catch a break. He’s taunted by his cocksure older brother Rex, shown up in the romance department by his 14-year-old younger brother and humiliated by his job at a mall donut shop. But Ian’s biggest problem is that he’s about to start college as a virgin!
Getting nowhere with the girl of his dreams and longtime “best friend” Felicia (Amanda Crew), Ian resorts to the Internet for dates. He soon hooks up with Ms. Tasty, a flaming hot blonde who can’t wait to get busy. The only catch: Ian has to drive 500 miles from Chicago to Knoxville to consummate the deal.
Egged on by his devil-may-care pal Lance (Clark Duke), Ian risks life and limb by appropriating “The Judge,” Rex’s prized vintage Pontiac GTO. With Lance and Felicia in tow, he hits the road for a one-time rendezvous that will rock his world!
Car trouble, a stint in the pokey, a buggy tow with an Amish farmer (Seth Green) and an afternoon at a roadside carnival all complicate Ian’s journey. As he presses on to get to Knoxville before Ms. Tasty gives up and goes home, the trio’s trail of mayhem closes in on them with hilarious consequences. Will Rex find Ian before he reaches Nirvana? Will a cuckolded husband exact revenge on Lance just as he seems to have found true love? Will Ms. Tasty live up to her Internet profile? Will Ian realize what he really wants? And most importantly, Will Ian, Felicia and Lance survive the bumpy road to adulthood with all its unexpected twists and turns?
But when Tank works his magic on Alexis, he ends up meeting the challenge of a lifetime. Alexis is the first girl who knows how to call his bluff, and Tank soon finds himself torn between his loyalty to Dustin and a strange new attraction to his best friend’s girl.
An outrageous, sexy, no-holds-barred romantic comedy, Lionsgate’s MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL stars Kate Hudson, Dane Cook, Jason Biggs and Alec Baldwin. MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL is directed by Howard Deutch and written by Jordan Cahan.
Release Date: November 26, 2008
Genre: Animation, Comedy-Adventure
Voice Cast: John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Susie Essman, Mark Walton
Directors: Chris Williams and Byron Howard
Producer: Clark Spencer
Executive Producer: John Lasseter
For super-dog BOLT (voice of JOHN TRAVOLTA), every day is filled with adventure, danger and intrigue—at least until the cameras stop rolling. When the star of a hit TV show is accidentally shipped from his Hollywood soundstage to New York City, he begins his biggest adventure yet—a cross-country journey through the real world to get back to his owner and co-star, Penny (voice of MILEY CYRUS). Armed only with the delusions that all his amazing feats and powers are real, and the help of two unlikely traveling companions—a jaded, abandoned housecat named Mittens (voice of SUSIE ESSMAN) and a TV-obsessed hamster named Rhino (voice of MARK WALTON) -- Bolt discovers he doesn’t need superpowers to be a hero.
Chris Williams and Byron Howard worked on Disney’s 36th animated feature “Mulan”—Williams was a member of the story team, and Howard was an animator.
The film marks Miley Cyrus’ feature-film debut as an animated character.
Before bringing any pet into your family be sure to learn about the breed and always consider adoption from a reputable shelter or rescue program.
Release Date: October 17, 2008
Conceived and produced by: Roy E. Disney, Leslie DeMeuse
Writer/Director: Mark Monroe
Based on an original idea by: Thomas J. Pollack
Producer: Morgan Sackett
Co-produced and edited by: Paul Crowder
Team: Chris Branning, Graham Brant-Zawadzki, Chris Clark, Charlie Enright, Jesse Fielding, Robbie Kane, Steve Manson, Chris Schubert, Kate Theisen, Mark Towill, Genny Tulloch, Piet van Os, Chris Welch, Kit Will, Jeremy Wilmot
Fifteen young sailors… six months of intense training… one chance at the brass ring. This exciting true-life documentary tells the inspiring story of a group of intrepid and determined young men and women, on the cusp of adulthood, as they embark on life’s first great adventure. Racing a high-performance 52-foot sloop in the TRANSPAC, the most revered of open-ocean sailing competitions, the crew of “Morning Light” matches wits and skills in a dramatic 2,300-mile showdown against top professionals.
From their earliest training sessions in Hawaii conducted by world-class teachers through their test of endurance on the high seas, they form an unbreakable bond in the process of becoming a singular team that is greater than the sum of its parts. Directed and edited by two of the key filmmakers responsible for the acclaimed 2004 surfing documentary, “Riding Giants,” and the recent rock documentary “Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who,” MORNING LIGHT will appeal to the sense of adventure in everyone.
The team includes several college students, a Harvard graduate, a trainee at the U.S. Naval Academy, and a member of the Merchant Marine Academy—all under the age of 23 at the time of the race.
Roy E. Disney sailed the Transpac 16 times. His best finish was first place in 1999. His worst? 27th place in 1977 following a harrowing 17-day trek.
WHEN IN ROME
Release Date: Summer 2009
Cast: Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Will Arnett, Jon Heder, Dax Shepard, Alexis Dziena, Kate Micucci, with Danny DeVito and Anjelica Huston
Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Executive Producer: Mindy Farrell and Steven Roffer, Ezra Swerdlow
Producers: Gary Foster, Mark Steven Johnson, Andrew Panay
Co-Producer: Rikki Lea Bestall
Written by: David Diamond & David Weissman
An ambitious young New Yorker (KRISTEN BELL), disillusioned with romance, takes a whirlwind trip to Rome where she defiantly plucks magic coins from a “foolish” fountain of love, inexplicably igniting the passion of an odd group of suitors: a sausage magnate (DANNY DEVITO), a street magician (JON HEDER), an adoring painter (WILL ARNETT) and a self-admiring model (DAX SHEPARD). But when a charming reporter (JOSH DUHAMEL) pursues her with equal zest, how will she know if his love is the real thing?
Release Date: October 24, 2008
Cast: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, Bart Johnson, Alyson Reed, Olesya Rulin, Chris Warren,Jr., Ryne Sanborn, KayCee Stroh, Matt Prokop, Justin Martin, Jemma McKenzie-Brown
Director: Kenny Ortega
Written By: Peter Barsocchini
Producer: Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush
Co-Producer: Don Schain
Disney’s “High School Musical” phenomenon leaps onto the big screen in HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR, in which America’s favorite high school students (ZAC EFRON, VANESSA HUDGENS, ASHLEY TISDALE, LUCAS GRABEEL, CORBIN BLEU and MONIQUE COLEMAN) hit senior year. Amidst a basketball championship, prom and a big spring musical featuring all of the Wildcats, Troy and Gabriella vow to make every moment last as their lifelong college dreams put the future of their relationship in question. A crew of sophomore Wildcats (MATT PROKOP, JUSTIN MARTIN, JEMMA MCKENZIE-BROWN) joins in the fun as the film’s incredible new music and exciting dance numbers take maximum advantage of the big screen.
An international casting search involving more than 1000 teen actors across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom led to the casting of “High School Musical 3: Senior Year’s” three new Wildcats: Matt Prokop, Justin Martin and Jemma McKenzie-Brown.
The original “High School Musical” made its debut in January 2006 on Disney Channel and posted the highest ever ratings for a Disney Channel Original Movie at the time. It went on to become a smash hit internationally. It has reached more than 250 million viewers in more than 20 languages across 100 countries.
“High School Musical” won two Emmy Awards®, a DGA Award, an Imagen Award and a Director's Guild of America Award, among other honors. It received a Billboard Music Award (Soundtrack of the Year) and was nominated for an American Music Award. "High School Musical 2" was ranked the #1 basic cable telecast of all time following its August 17, 2007, premiere (18.6 million viewers) and thus far has been seen by 187 million total worldwide viewers in 24 languages.
Summit shifts vampire romance to Nov. 21
Summit Entertainment has pushed up the release date of its hotly anticipated vampire romance "Twilight" to Nov. 21, taking advantage of the B.O. opening left by Warner Bros.' surprise decision to move "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" to July.
The vampire romance, based on the first of four bestselling vampire novels by Stephenie Meyer, had been skedded to open Dec. 12 opposite Twentieth Century Fox's sci-fi remake "The Day the Earth Stood Still," starring Keanu Reeves. After WB confirmed its "Harry Potter" shift on Thursday, Summit rushed to move "Twilight" into holiday prime time.
"With a giant franchise like 'Harry Potter' in the market, we had to stay clear of it," said Summit Entertainment co-chairman and CEO Rob Friedman. "Their move created an opportunity to bring the movie to fans three weeks earlier, who have continued to show their enthusiasm, from Comic-Con to the giant 'Breaking Dawn' book sales. We felt we had to take that opportunity."
While the "Twilight" books have not sold on the level of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series, many observers have made the comparison between the two fantasy series and their passionate devotees. The "Twilight" books fall in the young adult realm and boast a strong femme following. Pic adaptation has been generating strong Internet buzz for months. At Comic-Con in July, young British actor Robert Pattinson was taken aback when women screamed at him in the San Diego Convention Center. He co-stars with Kristen Stewart in the romantic thriller directed by Catherine Hardwicke ("thirteen") from a script by Melissa Rosenberg ("Step Up"). Karen Rosenfelt, Greg Mooradian and Wyck Godfrey produce along with Mark Morgan via his Maverick Films banner. "Twilight" is the first film in Summit's thriller romance franchise.
Summit plans a wide release of "Twilight" in more 3,000 theaters, Friedman said. "Twilight" will face competition from Walt Disney Pictures' animated film "Bolt," which moved from Nov. 26 onto the Nov. 21 date.
(Domestic Release Date: Christmas 2009)
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Directors: John Musker, Ron Clements
Producer: Peter Del Vecho
Composer: Randy Newman
Voice Talent: Anika Noni Rose, Keith David, Jenifer Lewis, John Goodman
A musical set in the greatest city of them all, New Orleans, “The Princess and the Frog” marks Disney’s return to the timeless art form of traditional animation. The film teams Ron Clements and John Musker, creators of “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin,” with Oscar®-winning composer Randy Newman to tell the most beautiful love story ever told…with frogs, voodoo, and a singing alligator.
Michael Steinberg, a UCLA Film School graduate, has directed 3 features that premiered at The Sundance Film Festival and has written and/or produced 4 other features that have won numerous awards and generated hundreds of millions of dollars. In addition, he has written, directed and/or produced numerous television projects for top production companies such as DreamWorks, Brillstein Grey, Touchstone, and Paramount Television. Michael is known for his detailed work with actors and for combining his love of the freshness and freedom of indie films with the reach and professionalism of big studio features. Michael made his professional directing debut with THE WATERDANCE which starred Eric Stoltz, Wesley Snipes, and Academy Award winner, Helen Hunt. It was released by Goldwyn in 1992 and won the I.F.P. Spirit Award for "Best First Feature" and the "Audience Award" at Sundance along with many other awards from festivals around the world. The film was recently picked as one of the "Best 1000 Films of All Time" by the New York Times.
In 2005, Michael conceived and co-wrote the Sci-Fi Action Horror film, THE CAVE. The film was produced by Academy Award winner Tom Rosenberg, Andrew Mason (The Matrix trilogy) and Gary Luchesi. It stared Cole Hauser, was released wide from Sony/Screen Gems and has made over 70 million in world-wide revenues to date.
In 1998 Michael produced the smash THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY, directed by The Farrelly Brothers, starring Cameron Diaz, Ben Stiller, and Matt Dillon. It was released by Twentieth Century Fox and has made over 600 million worldwide to date. Michael was nominated for a Golden Globe as a producer and won an MTV Award for "Best Movie" of the year. In 2001, Michael made his first foray into television by writing, directing, and producing THE CASEYS, a 1-hour pilot for Fox Television. It was picked by Entertainment Weekly as the best pilot of the season. Since THE CASEYS, Michael has focused on writing and developing television shows and has sold 11 one hour pilots while working with top production companies such as DreamWorks, Brillstein Grey, Touchstone, and Paramount Television. Michael's second feature as a director was BODIES, REST & MOTION, starring Bridget Fonda, Eric Stoltz, and, Academy Award nominee, Tim Roth. This film was runner-up for the Audience Award at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival and was selected for the Un Certain Regard section at The Cannes Film Festival. It was released by Fine Line to glowing reviews and has become a touchstone, cult-classic of the Gen-X genre.
Michael's third feature directing effort, WICKED, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 1998. The black comedy thriller won his discovery, Julia Stiles, a "Best Actress" nod at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival where it was nominated for a Crystal Globe in the Main Competition. It was released by Sony Screen Gems in 2000.
In 1994, Michael co-wrote and produced the edgy romantic comedy SLEEP WITH ME. This film starred Academy Award nominee Meg Tilly, Eric Stoltz, Craig Sheffer, Quentin Tarantino, and Parker Posey. It was released by MGM and was selected as the "Opening Night Gala Premiere" for the Toronto Film Festival and the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival in 1994.
Michael is represented by Anonymous Content and Paradigm.
Bishop wrote, directed, co-produced, and starred in MAD DOG TIME. United Artists distributed the film which also starred Richard Dreyfuss, Jeff Goldblum, Gabriel Byrne, and Ellen Barkin.
Bishop wrote and starred in UNDERWORLD, a film which Trimark released. The film also starred Denis Leary and Joe Mantegna.
Larry Bishop appeared as sadistic strip club owner in KILL BILL, Vol.2 and starred in WILD IN THE STREETS while under contract to AIP where he starred in many motorcycle movies, including ANGEL UNCHAINED, THE SAVAGE SEVEN, CHROME AND HOT LEATHER. After working with Richard Dreyfuss in THE BIG FIX, Universal Pictures put Bishop under contract.
Some of Bishop's other acting credits include THE CHICAGO CONSPIRACY TRIAL, CONDOMINIUM, HOW COME NOBODY'S ON OUR SIDE (he was also a co-producer), STING II and many television shows.
Huggins served as Executive in Charge of Production for the "King Kong" sequence in Public Broadcasting WGBH/NOVA's program, "Special Effects: Anything Can Happen."
Producer credits include Thrill Ride: The Science of Fun, 3D Mania: Encounter in the Third Dimension, Alien Adventure, Haunted Castle, S.O.S. Planet, Misadventures in 3D and Wild Safari 3D.
nWave Pictures (Producers) is a multinational company specializing in 3D digital production and dedicated to special venue production and distribution. nWave Pictures is known for utilizing innovative technologies to maximize intellectual properties throughout multiple media platforms, including 2D and 3D giant-screen (IMAX), motion simulation and attraction films in all film formats and electronic media. As the most prolific producers of 3D films in the world, nWave's titles have generated over $175 million in box office revenues in special format theaters worldwide.
Founded in 1994 by Ben Stassen and Brussels-based D&D Media Group, nWave Pictures quickly established itself as the world's leading producer and distributor of ride films for the motion simulator market. In fact, the company's current library of titles makes up 60-70% of all ride simulation films being shown worldwide.
The quick financial and production maturity of the company afforded nWave the production tools necessary to expand into new areas. One year later, the company released its first film for the giant screen, Thrill Ride: The Science of Fun. Upon its release, Thrill Ride quickly gained momentum with audiences. The film was one of the top 50 highest-grossing films at the box office for over 70 consecutive weeks (as reported by Variety), and remains in distribution through Sony Pictures Classics.
To complement its rapid production growth and further establish itself in the expanding 3D giant-screen market, nWave launched its own film distribution company, nWave Pictures Distribution. The division began with the distribution of the 3D film, 3D Mania: Encounter in the Third Dimension, and continued its growth by distributing nWave's third giant-screen film, Alien Adventure 3D. The company has since distributed BBC/Discovery Pictures' award-winning production, The Human Body, H5B5's Ocean Men: Extreme Dive and the nWave-produced 3D films Haunted Castle, S.O.S. Planet (featuring Walter Cronkite), Misadventures in 3D and Wild Safari 3D.
With visionary style and confidence, nWave Pictures plans to continue setting new standards for digital and film distribution by creating a special brand of feature-length 3D entertainment.
Gallo soon found herself working on high-profile animated features such as Tarzan for Disney Feature Animation and The Road to El Dorado, Sinbad and Over the Hedge for DreamWorks.
Her love of animation was the impetus behind Fly Me to the Moon.
She has also served as Vice President of Development for Carlyle Productions. Previously, Maynard was President and Partner of Polestar Group, where she oversaw development of various projects and produced the made-for-television movie, "Gundum," based on the hugely popular Japanese series.
She was also associated with Sleeping Giant Productions, where she oversaw a partnership with Mandalay Television for reality and drama programming.
He has written, directed and/or produced a number of one-hour specialty DVD shows. Paris served as producer on the USA Network series, "Reel Wild Cinema," and "Oh! No! The Mister Bill Show" for Fox Kids Network.
He was also a producer of "Exploitica," a comedy show for Canal Plus, and has had extensive experience in numerous capacities in the reality TV world for networks and cable.
As Chief Executive Officer of nWave, Stassen expanded the company's operations into the large-format arena. His directorial debut, Thrill Ride: The Science of Fun (1997), was hugely successful for Sony Pictures Classics. Stassen followed this success with two 3D giant-screen spectaculars distributed by nWave Pictures, 3D Mania: Encounter in the Third Dimension (1998) and Alien Adventure (1999).
Stassen's talents were then employed to create and direct a series of other provocative and successful film titles for nWave. Haunted Castle (2001) blended computer-generated digital imagery and live action photography in 3D. S.O.S. Planet (2002) was the sequel to 3D Mania: Encounter in the Third Dimension, and Wild Safari 3D (2005) was filmed entirely on location in South Africa. Stassen's Fly Me to the Moon is the company's first true feature film conceived and created for the 3D environment.
A world leader in multi-platform digital filmmaking, Stassen is quoted extensively in industry and mainstream press for his strategies and opinions about the future of 3D cinema and how to utilize digital technologies to maximize intellectual properties across multiple media platforms.
Stassen graduated from USC's School of Cinema and Television.
Barbeau began performing in 1963 with the San Jose Civic Light Opera and by 1965 had already entertained our servicemen on Army bases throughout Southeast Asia and was on her way to New York, where she made her Broadway debut as Tevye's second daughter, Hodel, in "Fiddler on the Roof." A Tony nomination for her creation of Rizzo in the original Broadway production of "Grease" led her back to California and the role of Bea Arthur's daughter, Carol, in the hit series "Maude."
Since then, Barbeau has become a bestselling author, a recording artist and the star of numerous features, films for television, concert performances, musicals and plays. Her many telefilm credits include the Ace Award-winning "Double Crossed: The Barry Seal Story," opposite Dennis Hopper, and "Scott Turow's Burden of Proof," with Hector Elizondo. Lifetime Network audiences see her in the oft-repeated "Shattered Hearts" and "The Drew Carey Show" fans know her as Oswald's mom. Barbeau also starred as Ruthie the snake dancer on HBO's fascinating drama series, "Carnivale."
The actress has starred in over 25 musicals and plays, among them "Pump Boys & Dinettes," "Women Behind Bars," Kander and Ebb's "And the World Goes Round," "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and "Love Letters." She appeared in the West Coast premieres of "A Walk on the Wild Side" and "Drop Dead," the Canadian premiere of Neil Simon's "Lost in Yonkers" and the world premiere of "What the Rabbi Saw," by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore. Most recently, she returned to Off-Broadway and standing ovations as Judy Garland in "The Property Known as Garland."
As a voice actress for animation, Barbeau previously played Catwoman in "Batman: The Animated Series" and Ms. Simone in the feature Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island.
She is also the author of two books, her best-selling memoir "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" and her first vampire novel, "Vampyres of Hollywood" which was published by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press. Barbeau is currently writing the sequel.
In 1975, Lloyd began his film career in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. This was soon followed by a two-year run as Jim Ignatowski on the TV series "Taxi," for which Lloyd won two of his three Emmys. In 1992, he made Emmy history when he won Best Dramatic Actor for Disney's "Road to Avonlea." In a category dominated by series regulars, Lloyd was the first actor to win for a guest appearance. (The following year, the rules were changed to include a guest appearance category.)
Lloyd has appeared in over 90 film and television productions, including the Back to the Future trilogy, Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead, Eight Men Out, The Addams Family, Addams Family Values, BBC's "Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster," The Pagemaster, Dennis the Menace, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, Track 29, Clue, The Dream Team, Angels in the Outfield, Star Trek III, Goin' South, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, My Favorite Martian and Mike Nichols' HBO adaptation of "Wit," starring Emma Thompson.
In 1993, Lloyd won an Independent Spirit Award for his chilly depiction of a soulless murderer in Twenty Bucks.
Gore regularly performs stand-up comedy at the World Famous Hollywood Improv. Continuously incorporating current events into his hilarious routines, Gore has also kept audiences laughing at the Ha Ha Comedy Club and B.B. King's Blues Club. He has appeared on the KTLA Morning Show and lent his comedic voice to "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
Gore has appeared on many television series, including "This Might Hurt," "Wizards of Waverly Place" and "Tim and Eric's Awesome Show: Great Job!" He was a featured player on "Jeopardy! Kids Week." Gore also appeared in the documentary film The Secret Life of Leonardo Da Vinci and the Discovery Channel's "Mob Scene." He has been in many music videos and commercials for products such as Sudafed, Coca Cola and Home Depot, to name a few.
Among his many projects, the short films Pubert and Girth feature Gore in the leading role. Both films will be touring film festivals this year. Other credits include Panicked, Within Reason and What the Shadows Hide.
A stage enthusiast who enjoys the energy of live audiences, David has appeared in theatre productions such as "Faces of War" at the Lyric Theatre, "Genie (Aladdin)" at the El Portal Theatre and "Charlie Chaplin" at the L.A. Connection Comedy Theatre.
Inspired by the work of his Academy Award-winning father, Begley decided to become an actor as well. He first came to audiences' attention for his portrayal of Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the long-running hit television series, "St. Elsewhere," for which Begley received six Emmy nominations. Since then, the actor has moved easily between feature, television and theatre projects.
On television, Begley had recurring roles on "Veronica Mars," "Six Feet Under," "Seventh Heaven" and "Arrested Development." He has guest starred on such series as "The New Adventures of Old Christine," "The West Wing" and "The Practice," as well as David E. Kelley's latest show, "Boston Legal."
Begley starred in the West Coast premiere of David Mamet's "Cryptogram" at the Geffen Playhouse, in the role that he first performed in Boston and then in New York. Begley also starred in Mamet's production of "Romance" at the Mark Taper Forum.
This talented actor has also directed several episodes of ABC's hit drama series "NYPD Blue" and the stage play he wrote, "Cesar and Ruben," which won a Nos Otros Award and four Valley Theater League Awards.
Born and raised in England, Sheridan discovered a passion for ballet as a small child and studied furiously, broadening her love of the arts as a student at the Arts Educational School in London. In addition to the theatre, she nurtured her talents as an avid equestrienne as well as a thirst for reading and love of Shakespeare.
Moving to Los Angeles and being courted to explore her acting talents was a natural progression for Sheridan. She first became a household name portraying the beautiful, powerful and manipulative Paige Matheson on "Knots Landing." This led to myriad other roles, including parts in the telefilms "The People Next Door," with Faye Dunaway; "A Time To Heal," opposite Gary Cole; "Indictment: The McMartin Trial," with James Woods; and "Dead Husbands," with John Ritter. She also made a special guest appearance on the season finale of "Will & Grace."
Sheridan was first introduced to film audiences in Rob Reiner's The Sure Thing, opposite John Cusack, before going on to appear in other film comedies such as Noises Off, opposite Michael Caine; Spy Hard, opposite Leslie Nielsen; and Beverly Hills Ninja, starring Chris Farley and Chris Rock. With an affinity for the animated world, Sheridan brought her English accent to the animated series "Tarzan and Jane" and recently completed voicing the role of Zenna in the animated film Noah's Arc: The New Beginning, which co-stars Michael Keaton, Jason Lee, Eliza Dushku, Rob Schneider, Marcia Gay Harden and Sir Ben Kingsley.
Having found much success in front of the camera, Sheridan has more recently turned her attention behind the scenes and is developing several projects for film and television.
Generous with her time, the actress has lent her devotion and star presence to philanthropic causes focused on cancer, women and children at risk and natural disaster relief (e.g., Hurricane Katrina), as well as such entities as the Red Cross, Humane Society, Wildlife Waystation, Starkey Hearing Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Walter Reed Hospital.
In addition to his film work, Bolden earned recurring roles on series such as "The King of Queens" and "My Wife and Kids." His numerous other television credits include "The Bernie Mac Show," "Malcolm in the Middle" and "According to Jim."
While not busy with work, Bolden enjoys reading, traveling, going to the movies and spending time with his family and friends.
In the last six years, Gagnon has indeed been involved in almost every type of acting. He has appeared in commercials and magazine ads, performed side-by-side with incredible actors in several films, lent his voice to animated characters in projects for both film and TV, and starred in a hit comedy series for CBS opposite one of the industry's funniest ladies. He is a regular on "The New Adventures of Old Christine," starring the Emmy-winning actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Gagnon plays her son, Ritchie. He is also a series regular on Cartoon Network's "Happy Monster Band," in which he voices the character L.O., one of the silly monsters who teach preschoolers about the many wonderful countries around the world.
Currently, Gagnon is in Austin, Texas filming the Warner Bros. feature Shorts, a new family adventure/comedy written and directed by Robert Rodriguez, creator of the Spy Kids trilogy. Gagnon stars opposite William H. Macy, Jon Cryer, James Spader and Leslie Mann.
Gagnon made his acting debut in "Iron Jawed Angels," a television drama about women's struggles to achieve equality and their triumph with the Women's Suffrage Movement in the early 1900's. The telefilm starred Hilary Swank, Angelica Huston and Patrick Dempsey.
Director Tim Burton's feature Big Fish was the next big opportunity to come Gagnon's way. After a long and involved audition process, he landed a part alongside Albert Finney, Jessica Lange, Danny DeVito and Ewan McGregor in this magical film.
Gagnon has appeared in several television commercials, including a Mederma scar-cream ad in which his image appeared on the pages of numerous parenting magazines. Two more movies followed, Loggerheads and Southern Belles. Both were filmed near his hometown in North Carolina.
As a way to give back to the community, Gagnon has spent time on the "Dr. Phil" show as a celebrity guest and donated his time to various charitable organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
Upon returning from the moon, Aldrin embarked on an international goodwill tour. He was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, only the highest honor among more than 50 other distinguished awards and medals he has received from the United States and numerous other countries.
Aldrin was born in Montclair, New Jersey on January 20, 1930. His mother, Marion Moon, was the daughter of an Army chaplain. His father, Edwin Eugene Aldrin, was an aviation pioneer, a student of rocket developer Robert Goddard and an aide to the immortal General Billy Mitchell. Buzz Aldrin was educated at West Point, graduating with honors in 1951, third in his class. After receiving his wings, he flew Sabre Jets in 66 combat missions in the Korean Conflict, shooting down two MIG-15's. Returning to his education, he earned a Doctorate in Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The manned space-rendezvous techniques he devised were used on all NASA missions, including the first space docking with the Russian Cosmonauts.
Since retiring from NASA, the Air Force, and his position as Commander of the Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, Aldrin has remained at the forefront of efforts to ensure a continued leading role for America in manned space exploration. To advance his lifelong commitment to venturing outward in space, he created a master plan of evolving missions for sustained exploration through his concept, "The Cycler," a spacecraft system making perpetual orbits between Earth and Mars.
In 1993, Aldrin received a U.S. patent for a permanent space station he designed. More recently, he founded his own rocket design company, Starcraft Boosters, Inc., as well as the ShareSpace Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to opening the doors to space tourism for all people.
Aldrin has shared his vision for the future of space travel by authoring two novels that dramatically portray humanity's discovery of the ultimate frontier: The Return (Forge Books, 2000) and Encounter with Tiber (Warner Books, 1996). He has also authored an autobiography, Return to Earth, and a historical documentary, Men from Earth, which describes his trip to the moon and his unique perspective on America's space program.
Aldrin continues lecturing and traveling throughout the world to pursue and discuss the latest concepts and ideas for exploring the universe. He is a leading voice in charting the course of future space efforts from planet Earth.
On Valentine's Day 1988, Aldrin married Lois Driggs Cannon of Phoenix, Arizona. She is a Stanford graduate, an active community leader in Southern California and personal manager of all her husband's endeavors. Their combined family is comprised of six grown children and one grandson. The family spends their leisure time exploring the deep-sea world of scuba diving and skiing the mountaintops of Sun Valley, Idaho.
Patrick was recently seen in Flags of Our Fathers, Clint Eastwood's Golden Globe-nominated WWII epic focusing on the battle for Iwo Jima and the iconic photograph of the U.S. flag raisers. He also appeared alongside an all-star cast headed by Matthew McConaughey in We Are Marshall.
Born in Marietta, Georgia, Patrick was an avid athlete growing up but became taken with acting after sitting in on drama classes in high school. He moved to Hollywood in 1984 and was cast in the beatnik play "Go." Patrick got his break during this performance when he was discovered by legendary producer and director Roger Corman.
Other film credits include The Marine, alongside John Cena; Firewall, with Harrison Ford; and the Golden Globe-winner Walk the Line, in which Patrick played Johnny Cash's father for director James Mangold. He starred as a heroic firefighter alongside John Travolta and Joaquin Phoenix in Ladder 49.
Patrick also appeared in Spy Kids, opposite Antonio Banderas; All the Pretty Horses, starring Matt Damon and directed by Billy Bob Thornton; Copland, alongside Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro; Eye See You, also with Stallone; Striptease, with Demi Moore; and the independent film The Only Thrill, opposite Diane Keaton, Diane Lane, and Sam Shepard. Other films include Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle, The Faculty, From Dusk Til Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money, A Texas Funeral, Fire In the Sky, Double Dragon: The Movie, Decoy, The Last Gasp and Hong Kong '97. Patrick also made an impression with his chilling appearance in Rosewood, appearing as a personal favor to filmmaker John Singleton.
Television audiences may best remember the actor's turn as Agent John Doggett from the last two seasons of the cult-classic series "The X-Files," but Patrick has an extensive small-screen resume. He received critical acclaim for his high-profile performance in the second season of "The Sopranos." He was also featured in an episode of "The Outer Limits," the TNT original "Bad Apple" and the CBS mini-series "Elvis," in which Patrick played Elvis's father.
Always involved in all aspects of his trade, Patrick enjoys producing films when he is not performing. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Barbara and their two children.
On television, Curry has been seen in numerous mini-series and telefilms, including the starring role as William Shakespeare in "Life of Shakespeare" and as Theodosius in "Attila" for USA Network. Other television credits include "Jackie's Back!" for Lifetime, "Titanic" for CBS, "It" for ABC, "The Worst Witch" for HBO and "Oliver Twist" for CBS. He also starred in several telefilms for the BBC, including "Three Men in a Boat," directed by Stephen Frears, "Napoleon and Love" and "Schmoedipus." Curry was a member of the initial cast of "Family Affair" and "Over the Top" as well as a series regular on "Wiseguy." He has had recurring roles on the series "Rude Awakening" and "Earth 2." Curry has also been a guest host of "Saturday Night Live."
As a stage actor, Curry earned Tony Award nominations for his Broadway roles in "Amadeus," in which he played Mozart, and "My Favorite Year." He also starred in Broadway's "Travesties." On the London stage, Curry starred in the Royal National Theater productions "Pirates of Penzance," "The Rivals," "Love for Love" and "The Threepenny Opera." Curry also starred in both the London and Broadway productions of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."
A trailblazer in the now red-hot field of 3D filmmaking, director Ben Stassen has been making movies in three dimensions for 14 years, building his nWave Pictures into the leading supplier of 3D films in the world. Fly Me to the Moon is the culmination of a long-held dream for Stassen-the first feature length animated film conceived and created as a 3D experience.
Stassen and nWave, the production company he co-founded in 1994, have produced nearly a quarter of all films ever made in 3D IMAX, including 3D Mania: Encounter in the Third Dimension, Wild Safari 3D and Haunted Castle. It is estimated that 250,000 people watch an nWave film every day, despite the fact that most of these films can only be seen in limited venues such as science centers, museums and other specialized sites. Fly Me to the Moon is the very first animated feature film created and designed in 3D, produced in 3D for a 3D-only release.
"Without taking ourselves too seriously, it's like we're pioneers," says Stassen. "Some people treat 3D as a mere evolution, like going from black and white to color. But I believe that 3D is a revolution in the history of cinema. There has been only one previous revolution, when movies went from silent to talkies. After that transition, everything was different-scripts, casting, editing and pacing-and cinema became a new language. 3D cinema is another brand new language."
Filmmakers have been experimenting with 3D technology almost as long as films have been made. The legendary Lumière brothers experimented with it in their early 20th century forays into moviemaking, and the first confirmed public showing of a movie in 3D to a paying audience was in Los Angeles in 1922. During the early 1950s, and again in the 1980s, major Hollywood studios turned out a spate of films in 3D, but they were largely viewed as novelties.
A turning point for recent interest in the technology was the 2003 release of Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, says Stassen, which was followed by the 3D IMAX version of Polar Express. "That was a milestone. It grossed $45 million in just four theaters. Hollywood woke up to the fact that people will flock to 3D cinema, and that got the ball rolling again."
Even though neither film was originally shot in 3D, their successes were enough to capture the imagination of the entertainment industry. With almost 15 years of creating documentaries and motion simulation ride films under his belt, Stassen decided it was time to find a feature film script that he could translate into this new cinematic language.
"I wanted to tell a story that would be told very differently than it would in 2D," says the director. "The 3D technique turns something that is predictable into something that's really magical."
While Stassen strongly believes 3D cinema is on the verge of becoming a major force in the out-of-home entertainment market, he's keenly aware that not every story lends itself to 3D. nWave spent two years in search of just the right script before discovering Domonic Paris' screenplay Fly Me to the Moon.
"It was perfect in terms of both its content and its form," says the director. "It has a cute take on a landmark event-mankind's first steps on the moon-and it's one we could tell in a fresh and new way in 3D."
Charlotte Huggins, nWave president and producer of Fly Me to the Moon, concurs: "It had everything we were looking for. Unlike scripts that are written with an in-your-face 3D 'punch line' every few pages, Fly Me to the Moon has elements and environments that lend themselves well to a compelling use of 3D space throughout the story. It takes place in three different worlds: the human world, the macro world of outer space and the world from the flies' perspective, which is incredibly cool visually for 3D. And on a practical level, there was simplicity in terms of the number of characters, so we could produce it with our 50 or so animators instead of needing over 200."
Paris and his production company, Illuminata, originally planned to make the story of three thrill-seeking insects into a traditional 2D animated film. Once he teamed up with nWave, Paris got a crash course in 3D and learned there were certain guidelines to writing an effective 3D script that required him to make a few key revisions to his screenplay. "Because this is truly the first animated movie fully conceived for a 3D environment, I had to be aware of things that a writer doesn't normally deal with, like camera moves," says Paris. "Everything has to be organic to the storytelling. If you treat 3D as a gimmick, people will see it as one."
For the screenwriter, learning to factor in the physical element of 3D was crucial. "People will lean left and right to try to see around objects floating in front of them, which of course, they can't really do," he adds. "So you don't have dialogue exchanges as quickly as you would in a 2D landscape. And you have to be very careful you are not dispensing important dialogue as characters are really popping off the screen. Otherwise, the audience may miss what's being said because of the impact of the visuals."
Although it is important to keep the 3D presentation in mind during the writing process, Stassen says, a script should never be written specifically for 3D. "If a writer writes for 3D, he will just write effects," he says. "We rewrote the script more for storytelling reasons. We focused on dialogue and also enhanced sequences that would be really great in 3D, not in terms of effects, but in terms of the audience's sense of really being there.
"For instance, we created a very long sequence when the astronauts take their first steps on the moon, and it has paid off. In preliminary screenings, audiences have been mesmerized. They feel like they're physically present on the lunar surface with the astronauts."
Another highlight is what the filmmakers refer to as "the 'Blue Danube' scene," in which the flies experience weightlessness for the first time and perform a ballet to Johann Strauss' famous waltz, echoing the famed scene from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. "It was just two lines in the script," says the director. "It ended up being a three-minute sequence without any dialogue and no cuts."
In order to create the kind of immersive experience he strives for, Stassen says he had to "break the frame around the picture." "Basically, 2D filmmakers have been using the screen as a window through which they show the story. Most 3D films released to date also used the screen as a window. The filmmaker creates perspective behind the window and throws things at the audience in front of the window. They're just adding a 3D layer to a 2D movie. People see it as a gimmick and get tired of it very quickly.
"When I'm making a 3D film, I don't want to use the screen as a window, but rather as a cinematic space into which we transport the audience," says Stassen. "This is a major distinction in the way you position the viewer. You're not just adding depth and perspective to a 2D image. Instead of telling a story through a window, you're giving the audience a very strong immersive experience."
The filmmakers go one step further by filming certain scenes as if the audience is seeing them from the flies' point of view. "In 'fly-vision' 3D, the ordinary is transformed into the extraordinary," explains the director. "We use not just a normal perspective, but also 'macro vision,' where you see things from a fly's perspective. To the flies in this film, the human environment around them appears gigantic. If a fly lands in a cup of coffee, it becomes a giant swimming pool. A head of hair is a dense forest."
This also gave the filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their expertise in motion simulation. "We tried to build the feeling of a ride into the movie," says Paris. "For example, early in the movie, when we fly over a junkyard, it has almost a roller coaster feel. And again later, after the malfunction on the ship, they open a little door and zip through the wires and electronics. It helps to create the feeling of complete immersion."
The fact that the film's central characters are flies turned out to have a number of advantages for 3D. "One of the most challenging things about 3D is that when an object breaks frame-that is, when an actor or object touches the edge of the screen-the 3D effect is destroyed," Stassen explains. "A human is always standing on something. Whether it's a road, or a ladder, whatever they're standing on will touch the edge of the screen. That's why theme park attractions use arrows and other things that can come at you and are not attached to the environment. It's also why space and underwater are settings that lend themselves so well to 3D.
Paris explains the basics of 3D filmmaking this way: "In simple terms, to create 3D, you need two cameras. It's like a left eye and right eye. In our case, because it's animation, they are virtual cameras within the computer software. How you place those cameras in relationship to actors or objects creates 3D."
The secret to eliminating what Stassen calls "the window effect" is to shoot with the two cameras in parallel rather than the more commonly used converging cameras. "When cameras converge, both will see the same image at the screen plane level," says Stassen. "Whatever is behind the plane will be in perspective and whatever is in front will be coming off the screen. When you project this, the right eye and left eye have the same image of the screen plane.
"If you put cameras parallel, you don't have a window anymore," he goes on. "You create a space. It's really a drastic difference. You can take the audience and transport them into the middle of the scene. By using this approach, we've tried to create a film where we're taking the audience along on a trip to the moon."
The result, says Paris, is a unique cinematic experience. "Everything is coming off the screen," he says. "The perceived border of the screen moves to a position behind the audience so they are completely immersed in the 3D environment."
nWave Pictures' entry into feature filmmaking comes at a time when the industry is recognizing the value of 3D digital projection to attract audiences to theaters, says Stassen. "To me, there is as much difference between a standard feature film and a 3D film as there is between a film and a video game. You can relate to a 2D film intellectually and emotionally. With 3D, you add a physical level. Not just big, in-your-face effects, but the feeling that you've been transported into the movie.
"3D is truly a different type of cinema," says Stassen. "You feel like you are literally in the environment-almost a part of the story. I'm not suggesting that every feature film released in the future will or should be in 3D," he says. "But I think once audiences get a taste of good 3D presentations in their local multiplex, there's going to be pressure to create more event movies in stereo."
(A 1969 Space Story)
The year is 1969. Nat the fly loves listening to his grandfather (Christopher Lloyd) tell stories of adventures from his youth. Desperate to experience some derring-do of his own, Nat convinces two of his friends to stow away on Apollo 11. The high-flying trio have the adventure of a lifetime when they must prevent a Russian bug (Tim Curry) from sabotaging the mission.
FLY ME TO THE MOON SYNOPSIS
"It took a monkey to get man into space, but it will take three flies to get them back!"
Three tiny explorers make history in the action-packed outer space adventure Fly Me to the Moon, the first-ever animated feature film designed, created and produced entirely in 3D. Fly Me to the Moon takes the historic Apollo 11 moon mission and turns it into a launch pad for a family comedy that introduces a new generation to NASA's ultimate achievement as a trio of tween-aged houseflies stow away aboard the first manned flight to the moon.
A funny, heartwarming journey that bucks the conventional wisdom that "dreamers get swatted," Fly Me to the Moon features an all-star voice cast including Kelly Ripa ("Live with Regis and Kelly"), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Nicollette Sheridan ("Desperate Housewives"), Tim Curry ("The Wild Thornberrys"), Ed Begley Jr. (For Your Consideration), Adrienne Barbeau ("Carnivàle), Trevor Gagnon ("The New Adventures of Old Christine"), Philip Daniel Bolden (Are We There Yet?), David Gore (Nomad), Robert Patrick (Bridge to Terabithia) and real-life Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Directed by Ben Stassen and written by Domonic Paris, Fly Me to the Moon is produced by Charlotte Huggins, Gina Gallo Paris, Mimi Maynard and Caroline Van Iseghem.
Every American school child knows the story of the summer of 1969, when Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins made the first manned moon landing in the Apollo 11 lunar module. But lost to history until now is the story of the mission's unsung heroes, Nat (Trevor Gagnon), IQ (Philip Daniel Bolden) and Scooter (David Gore), three young flies whose quick thinking and courage saved the mission from sure disaster.
Young Nat grew up listening to his Grandpa (Christopher Lloyd) relive his audacious rescue of Amelia Earhart as she crossed the Atlantic on her historic flight. Inspired by Grandpa's derring-do and eager for an unforgettable adventure of his own, Nat convinces his two best friends to join him as stowaways aboard NASA's historic moon mission.
Thinking the trip will be over in a matter of minutes, the fly boys-and their earthbound families-are shocked to learn they will be in space for a week. When a Ground Control official catches sight of the three winged stowaways, he instructs the astronauts to store them in a test tube for later study. But after an electrical short causes the ship's engine to malfunction, the three intrepid insects manage to escape from their glass mini-brig just in time to discover the wiring problem and fix it.
After a difficult lunar landing, Nat tags along with Neil Armstrong on his legendary moon walk. The mission appears to be a success, until Grandpa's old flame Nadia (Nicollette Sheridan) arrives from Russia to warn him that her government, angry over losing the space race, has dispatched fly-spy Yegor (Tim Curry) to Cape Canaveral to sabotage the computer flight plans. With the Apollo 11 hurtling toward Earth, it's up to Nat's family to save the mission-and the trio of brave flies-from disaster.
VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA
Writer-Director Woody Allen
What's New Pussycat? 1965/screenwriter, actor
What's Up, Tiger Lily? 1966/co-screenwriter, actor
Casino Royale 1967/actor
Take the Money and Run 1969/director, co-screenwriter, actor
Don't Drink the Water 1969/co-screenwriter
Bananas 1971/director, co-screenwriter, actor
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask 1972/director, screenwriter, actor
Play It Again, Sam 1972/screenwriter, actor
Sleeper 1973/director, co-screenwriter, actor
Love and Death 1975/director, screenwriter, actor
The Front 1976/actor
Annie Hall 1977/director, co-screenwriter, actor
Academy Award nominee (& winner), Best Director
Academy Award nominee (& winner), Best Original Screenplay
Academy Award nominee, Best Actor
Interiors 1978/director, screenwriter
Academy Award nominee, Best Director
Academy Award nominee, Best Original Screenplay
Manhattan 1979/director, co-screenwriter, actor
Academy Award nominee, Best Original Screenplay
Stardust Memories 1980/director, screenwriter, actor
A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy 1982/director, screenwriter, actor
Zelig 1983/director, screenwriter, actor
Broadway Danny Rose 1984/director, screenwriter, actor
Academy Award nominee, Best Director
Academy Award nominee, Best Original Screenplay
The Purple Rose of Cairo 1985/director, screenwriter
Academy Award nominee, Best Original Screenplay
Hannah and Her Sisters 1986/director, screenwriter, actor
Academy Award nominee, Best Director
Academy Award nominee (& winner), Best Original Screenplay
Radio Days 1987/director, screenwriter, narrator
Academy Award nominee, Best Original Screenplay
September 1987/director, screenwriter
Another Woman 1988/director, screenwriter
New York Stories
("Oedipus Wrecks") 1989/director, screenwriter, actor
Crimes and Misdemeanors 1989/director, screenwriter, actor
Academy Award nominee, Best Director
Academy Award nominee, Best Original Screenplay
Alice 1990/director, screenwriter
Academy Award nominee, Best Original Screenplay
Scenes from a Mall 1991/actor
Shadows and Fog 1992/director, screenwriter, actor
Husbands and Wives 1992/director, screenwriter, actor
Academy Award nominee, Best Original Screenplay
Manhattan Murder Mystery 1993/director, co-screenwriter, actor
Bullets Over Broadway 1994/director, co-screenwriter
Academy Award nominee, Best Director
Academy Award nominee, Best Original Screenplay
Don't Drink the Water 1994/director, screenwriter, actor
Mighty Aphrodite 1995/director, screenwriter, actor
Academy Award nominee, Best Original Screenplay
Everyone Says I Love You 1996/director, screenwriter, actor
Deconstructing Harry 1997/director, screenwriter, actor
Academy Award nominee, Best Original Screenplay
The Sunshine Boys 1997/actor
Antz 1998/actor (voice)
The Impostors 1998/actor (cameo)
Celebrity 1998/director, screenwriter
Sweet and Lowdown 1999/director, screenwriter, on-camera interviewee
Small Time Crooks 2000/director, screenwriter, actor
Picking Up the Pieces 2000/actor
Company Man 2001/actor (cameo)
The Curse of the Jade Scorpion 2001/director, screenwriter, actor
Hollywood Ending 2002/director, screenwriter, actor
Anything Else 2003/director, screenwriter, actor
Melinda and Melinda 2004/director, screenwriter
Match Point 2005/director, screenwriter
Academy Award nominee, Best Original Screenplay
Scoop 2006/director, screenwriter, actor
Cassandra's Dream 2007 director, screenwriter
Academy Awards summary
Nominated six times for Best Director; won for Annie Hall
Nominated fourteen times for Best Original Screenplay; won for Annie Hall and Hannah and Her Sisters
Nominated one time for Best Actor
Two films nominated for Best Picture; won for Annie Hall
Messina has just signed on to star in the upcoming untitled Sam Mendes comedy film about a couple who decide to travel around the US trying to find the perfect place to start their family. The film features comedic stars Toni Collette, John Krasinski, Cherly Hines, Allison Janney and Maya Rudolph.
Messina can also be seen in the romantic comedy MADE OF HONOR opposite Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan. Comedy arises when a man falls in love his best friend who is engaged and tries to win her over after she asks him to be her maid of honor. Messina will soon be seen in Alan Ball's feature film directorial debut TOWELHEAD, in which he co-stars as the boyfriend to Maria Bello's character, a man with a limited sense of propriety and responsibility.
TOWELHEAD premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews.
He previously shot J.J. Abrams' HOPE AGAINST HOPE for HBO, based on the book "The Anatomy of Hope" by Jerome Groopman. In this extraordinary new pilot set in the oncology ward of a hospital, Messina plays an experienced oncologist whose life is affected by the fates of his patients. He was seen in 2007 starring as Ira in the "divorce comedy" IRA & ABBY opposite Jennifer Westfeldt, Fred Willard, Robert Klein, Judith Light, and Frances Conroy. The film won the audience award at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival in 2006.
Other upcoming films include HUMBOLDT COUNTY, in which he stars opposite Brad Dourif and Fairuza Balk, set in the world of pot growers in Northern California, and a cameo appearance opposite Julianne Nicholson in BRIEF INTERVIEWS WITH HIDEOUS MEN, John Krasinski's directorial debut based on the acclaimed David Foster Wallace novel.
Messina first came to national attention for his performance in HBO's hit series SIX FEET UNDER's final season as Ted, the love interest to Claire played by Lauren Ambrose. Among his many stage appearances, he starred opposite Frances McDormand in Caryl Churchhill's "Far Away" at New York Theatre Workshop, directed by Stephen Daldry, and on Broadway appeared in "Salome" opposite Al Pacino and Marisa Tomei. Other notable plays include Adam Rapp's "Faster, This Thing of Darkness" for Craig Lucas at the Atlantic Theatre Company, "Blur" at Manhattan Theatre Club, and "Good Thing" for director Jo Bonney at The New Group, and Frank Pugliese's "Late Night, Early Morning," which premiered at the 2004 Tribeca Theatre Festival and won the Jury Award for Best Theater at the 2005 Aspen Comedy Festival.
Messina currently resides in New York City.
In May 2008 she will debut her album, "Anywhere I Lay My Head," a collection of Tom Waits covers featuring one original song. She recently wrapped production on her directorial debut, a short film called, NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU. She also wrapped production on two films; HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU and THE SPIRIT. HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU is slated for an October 2008 release, and THE SPIRIT is scheduled to be released in January 2009. She was last seen playing Mary Boleyn opposite Natalie Portman in THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL.
At the age of 12, Johansson attained worldwide recognition for her performance as Grace Maclean, the teen traumatized by a riding accident in Robert Redford's THE HORSE WHISPERER. She went on to star in Terry Zwigoff's GHOST WORLD, garnering a Best Supporting Actress Award from the Toronto Film Critics Circle. Johansson was also featured in the Coen Brothers' dark drama THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE, opposite Billy Bob Thornton and Frances McDormand.
Her other film credits include the critically acclaimed Weitz brothers' film IN GOOD COMPANY, as well as opposite John Travolta in A LOVE SONG FOR BOBBY LONG, which garnered her a Golden Globe nomination (her third in two years.) and Woody Allen's MATCH POINT, which garnered her 4th consecutive Golden Globe nominee in three years. Other film credits include GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING opposite Colin Firth, THE ISLAND opposite Ewan McGregor, Brian DePalma's THE BLACK DAHLIA, Christopher Nolan's THE PRESTIGE and THE NANNY DIARIES.
Her additional credits include Rob Reiner's comedy NORTH; the thriller JUST CAUSE, with Sean Connery and Laurence Fishburne; and a breakthrough role at the age of 10 in the critically-praised MANNY & LO, which earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead.
A New York native, Johansson made her professional acting debut at the age of eight in the off-Broadway production of "Sophistry," with Ethan Hawke, at New York's Playwright's Horizons.
Johansson currently divides her time between New York and Los Angeles.
Hall will soon be seen as Caroline Cushing in Ron Howard's FROST/NIXON, based on Peter Morgan's screenplay about the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon. She is currently working on Nicole Holofcener's untitled new dramatic comedy, starring alongside Catherine Keener and Amanda Peet.
Last year, Hall starred opposite Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Hugh Jackman in Christopher Nolan's THE PRESTIGE, a tale of two turn-of-the-century London magicians whose rivalry jeopardizes the lives of everyone around them. In Tom Vaughn's STARTER FOR TEN, a coming-of-age comedy about university students struggling to find themselves while learning the differences between knowledge and wisdom, Hall starred opposite James McAvoy.
Hall received wide acclaim for her performance as Rosalind, Shakespeare's love conflicted heroine in Peter Hall's production of "As You Like It," which began at The Theatre Royal Bath in 2003 and was followed by an international tour. It was revived in 2005 at the Rose Theatre in Kingston and subsequently ran at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theater and the Curran Theater in San Francisco. In summer 2004, she starred in three productions at the Theatre Royal, Bath: as the title role in Timberlake Wertenbaker's "Galileo's Daughter," (d: Peter Hall), Elvira in Simon Nye's version of the Moliere comedy "Don Juan" (d: Thea Sharrock) and as Ann Whitfield in Shaw's epic "Man and Superman" (d: Peter Hall). In summer 2003, she starred as Barbara in D.H. Lawrence's "Fight for Barbara" (d: Thea Sharrock) at the Theatre Royal, Bath. For her West End debut as Vivie, the tough minded daughter in "Mrs. Warren's Profession" (Strand Theatre, premiered October 2002), Hall garnered the Ian Charleson Award. In 2003, she was again nominated for the Ian Charleson Award for "As You Like It."
Hall's television credits include Brendan Maher's WIDE SARGASSO SEA (BBC 4), EINSTEIN AND EDDINGTON (HBO/BBC Films) with David Tennant and Andy Serkis, JOE'S PLACE (HBO/BBC Films) with Michael Gambon, Peter Hall's acclaimed adaptation of Mary Wesley's novel THE CAMOMILE LAWN for Channel 4 and DON'T LEAVE ME THIS WAY, directed by Stuart Orme.
Kevin is currently starring on the wildly lauded ABC sitcom, SAMANTHA WHO? where he plays Christina Applegate's father. The show has received incredibly high ratings and has really pushed Kevin's presence into the spotlight. The show is coming into its second season strong, as it has amassed quite an audience. People have really fallen in love with Kevin's character on the show.
Kevin had a very memorable cameo appearance as a news station director opposite Meryl Streep in LIONS FOR LAMBS. Kevin also starred in THE GRIDIRON GANG directed by Phil Joanou and produced by Neil Moritz. He played alongside The Rock as the director for a recreation center.
Kevin's previous work includes such classics as DAVE, where he co-starred with Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline. Kevin also starred in such films as NIXON, CHAPLIN, and BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES.
First introduced to American audiences in the Spanish films JAMON, JAMON and BELLE EPOQUE, in 1998 she starred in her first English language film, HI-LO COUNTRY for director Stephen Frears opposite Woody Harrelson, Patricia Arquette and Billy Crudup. In 1999, Cruz won the Best Actress award at the 13th Annual Goya Awards given by the Spanish Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for her role in Fernando Trueba's THE GIRL OF YOUR DREAMS.
Confirming her status as Spain's hottest international actress, Cruz landed the coveted role opposite Matt Damon in the film adaptation of ALL THE PRETTY HORSES, directed by Billy Bob Thornton. Next, she portrayed Isabella, in WOMAN ON TOP for Fox Searchlight. The film was a whimsical tale of a gifted gourmand who journeys across the world in search of success, but ultimately finds herself.
Other featured credits include her starring role in the thriller OPEN YOUR EYES, TWICE UPON A YESTERDAY, Pedro Almovodar's LIVE FLESH and TALK OF ANGELS. Additionally, Cruz co-starred in Pedro Almovodar's critically acclaimed ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER which was awarded the Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Foreign Film.
Up next for Penélope was BLOW for director Ted Demme. The film portrayed the true story of how cocaine became the designer drug in the U.S. in the early 70's seen through the eyes of an American, played by Johnny Depp, who became one of the biggest traffickers for reputed drug kingpin Carlos Escobar. Cruz portrayed Depp's wife. She next starred opposite Nicolas Cage and Christian Bale in CAPTAIN CORELLI'S MANDOLIN. The film, directed by John Madden, was shot in Greece and is based on Louis de Bernieres' bestselling novel set during WWII.
Penélope starred opposite Tom Cruise in the erotic thriller VANILLA SKY. The film also starred Cameron Diaz and Jason Lee and was directed by Cameron Crowe. She then tackled MASKED & ANONYMOUS, FAN FAN LA TUIPE, which opened the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, and DON'T TEMPT ME. She received rave reviews for her eagerly awaited performance in DON'T MOVE ("Non ti Muovere") in which she was honored with a David Di Donatello Award (Italian Oscar) and European Film Award for Best Actress.
Penélope's next films only added to her already brilliant and diverse choice of film credits. Recent films include GOTHIKA, in which she co-stared with Halle Berry and Robert Downy Jr; director John Duigan's romantic drama HEAD IN THE CLOUDS opposite Charlize Theron and Stuart Townsend; NOEL opposite Susan Sarandon; and CHROMOPHOBIA with Ralph Fiennes. Penélope also co-stared with Matthew McConaughey and William H. Macy as Dr. Eva Rojas in the action packed film SAHARA.
In 2006, Penélope starred in VOLVER, which again teamed her with director and friend Pedro Almodovar. Critically acclaimed for her role as Raimunda, she won the "Best Actress" awards at the European Film Awards, the Spanish Goya Awards, the Cannes Film Festival, and received both Golden Globe and Oscar nominations. Penélope's next film, THE GOOD NIGHT, written and directed by Jake Paltrow, opened in select theaters this past fall. Cruz next appears in ELEGY opposite Sir Ben Kingsley.
Clarkson recently starred in Ira Sachs' MARRIED LIFE starring Clarkson, Chris Cooper and Pierce Brosnan. MARRIED LIFE is a romantic drama set in the 1940s about and adulterous man (Cooper) who plots his wife's (Clarkson) death instead of putting her through the humiliation of a divorce.
Prior to that, Clarkson was last seen in LARS AND THE REAL GIRL opposite Ryan Gosling and Emily Mortimer. LARS is the story of a timid man (Gosling) whose life changes dramatically when an Internet friend comes to visit. The beautiful, religious missionary is in fact an inanimate replica of a woman. Clarkson plays the doctor who is trying to help him.
This past January, Clarkson attended the Sundance Film Festival on behalf of Stanley Tucci's BLIND DATE and Daniel Banz's directorial debut PHOEBE IN WONDERLAND.
BLIND DATE centers around a couple (Tucci and Clarkson) who has suffers a tragedy and tries to rebuild their relationship by pretending to be other people by meeting on blind dates.
In PHOEBE IN WONDERLAND she stars opposite Felicity Huffman, Bill Pullman and Elle Fanning. Clarkson plays the role of an unconventional drama teacher who tries to guide a rebellious little girl (Fanning).
Next, Clarkson will be seen in ELEGY opposite Sir Ben Kingsley and Dennis Hopper premiering at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival. Directed by Isabel Coixet, the film is based on the novel by Philip Roth about a cultural critic, played by Kingsley, who's life is thrown into disarray after an encounter with a student.
Additional credits include: ALL THE KING'S MEN, GOODNIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK, THE DYING GAUL and THE WOODS, FAR FROM HEAVEN, PIECES OF APRIL, THE STATION AGENT, MIRACLE, HIGH ART, DOGVILLE, WELCOME TO COLLINWOOD, THE PLEDGE, THE GREEN MILE, EVERYBODY'S ALL-AMERICAN, THE DEAD POOL, ROCKET GIBRALTAR, TUNE IN TOMORROW, JOE GOULD'S SECRET, WENDIGO and Brian De Palma's THE UNTOUCHABLES, her film debut.
In 2003, Clarkson's work in two independent films earned her unparalleled recognition. She was nominated for an Academy Award, Golden Globe, SAG Award, Broadcast Film Critics Award and an independent Spirit Award for her role in PIECES OF APRIL. In addition, the Sundance Film Festival awarded her the Jury Prize for Outstanding Performance in PIECES OF APRIL, THE STATION AGENT and ALL THE REAL GIRLS. Her performance in THE STATION AGENT earned her a SAG Award nomination for Best Actress and Best Ensemble Cast. The National Board of Review and the National Society of Film Critics named her Best Supporting Actress of the Year for her work in PIECES OF APRIL and THE STATION AGENT.
She also won best-supporting-actress awards from the New York Film Critics Circle and National Society of Film Critics for her performance in Todd Haynes' FAR FROM HEAVEN. That role also earned her a nomination from the Chicago Film Critics Her performance as Greta in Lisa Cholodenko's HIGH ART earned her a nomination for an IFP Independent Spirit Award.
On television, Clarkson won an Emmy in 2002 and 2006 for her guest-starring role on HBO's acclaimed drama, SIX FEET UNDER.
Clarkson made her professional acting debut on the New York stage. Her theatre credits include "Eastern Standard" (on and off-Broadway), "Maidens Prayer" (for which she received Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Award Nominations), "Raised in Captivity," "Oliver Oliver," "The House of Blue Leaves" and "Three Days of Rain." Her regional credits include performances at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, South Coast Repertory, and Yale Repertory.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Clarkson began acting in school plays in her early teens. After studying speech at Louisiana State University for two years, she transferred to Fordham University in New York, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in theatre arts. She earned her MFA at the prestigious Yale School of Drama, where she appeared in "Electra," "Pacific Overtures," "Pericles," "La Ronde," "The Lower Depths" and "The Misanthrope."
She currently lives in New York.
Javier Bardem is the first Spaniard to have been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor, an honor he received for his portrayal of the Cuban poet and dissident Reinaldo Arenas in Julian Schnabel's BEFORE NIGHT FALLS. He was also named Best actor at the Venice Film festival for this role, which also won him Best Actor honors from the National Society of Film Critics, the Independent Spirit Award and the National Board of Review, as well as a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. Javier has received a total of seven nominations and four wins for the Goya Award, which is the Spanish equivalent of an Oscar.
Most recently, Javier starred in the critically acclaimed film NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. For his role as the chilling Anton Chigurh, Bardem won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and NY Film Critics Award. The film won an Oscar for Best Picture, as did the Coen brothers for Best Director. The cast, which also includes Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin and Woody Harrelson won a Screen Actors Guild for Best Ensemble as well as a National Board of Review Award.
In 2004 he went on to win another Best Actor Award from the Venice Film Festival (only one other actor has won the Best Actor Award twice in Venice) for his performance in Alejandro Amenabar's film THE SEA INSIDE. For this role, he also won a Goya Award and received a Golden Globe nomination. Bardem's other film credits include Luna's GOLDEN BALLS, THE TIT AND THE MOON, BETWEEN YOUR LEGS, DIAS CONTADOS (Best Actor, San Sebastian), MOUTH TO MOUTH, ECSTACY, Almodovar's LIVE FLESH, DANCE WITH THE DEVIL, WASHINGTON WOLVES and SECOND SKIN.
Javier Bardem was born March 1, 1969 in Las Palmas Gran Canarias (Canary Islands, Spain). His mother is Pilar Bardem, a respected actress who has worked continuously from the mid-60s to the present day, and his uncle was Juan Antonio Bardem, one of Spain's most celebrated directors, jailed by the Franco regime when his DEATH OF A CYCLIST won the critics prize in Cannes. Many other members of the Bardem family are also well-known actors, including his grandfather Rafael Bardem and grandmother Matilde Muñoz Sampedro.
Javier was four when his mother secured him a minor role in the Spanish mini-series EL PICASSO. As a youth, Bardem studied painting in the Escuela de Arte Y Officios Art School while playing small roles on TV. It was in the early 1990s when the Spanish director Bigas Luna offered him a role in THE AGES OF LULU that his acting career got seriously underway.
After a small role in Pedro Almodovar's HIGH HEELS, Bardem made his name in 1992 with a lead role in the film JAMON, JAMON. Bardem was nominated for the Best Actor Award at the San Sebastian film festival and won several other awards for his performance.
Recent works include in John Malkovich's directorial debut THE DANCER UPSTAIRS, Fernando Leon de Aranoa's MONDAYS IN THE SUN, which was named best film at the San Sebastian film festival, Michael Mann's COLLATERAL; GOYA'S GHOSTS opposite Natalie Portman and in LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA.
In 2008, Javier was honored with the Montecito Award at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.
Of the trio, Scarlett offers "I think they see in one another what they don't like to see in themselves, and Cristina provides a buffer for them. When they love her together it allows them to appreciate one another without having their relationship combusting." "For Maria Elena it's totally natural and normal to live with two people at the same time," says Cruz. "And inside a situation that is not common, she feels safe. Because she's so full of contradictions, it makes sense for her. It's a very peculiar way of thinking: she doesn't see Cristina as a threat for her relationship with Juan Antonio, she thinks Cristina brings balance into their relationship."
Allen teams for the third time with Scarlett Johansson, after MATCH POINT and SCOOP. "Every now and then in my professional life, I find an actress with the kind of gift that inspires me to create parts for," says Allen. "She's very smart, sexy, very gifted, and with a big range. And she's lightning fast with her sense of humor and is a phrase-maker which always impresses me." "I think Woody and I have a very similar sensibility and sense of humor certainly, and when I read his scripts I feel very connected to them," says Johansson. "I think we just appreciate each other as artists and we enjoy working together because we're always laughing and having a good time. It's wonderful to be able to work with your friends, and I think that's why we keep doing it."
Allen had never seen Penélope Cruz in a film until he saw her Oscar-nominated performance in Pedro Almodovar's VOLVER. "I just thought she was amazing," he says. "And of course I couldn't wait to get her for my movie. And then her agent called and said Penelope knew I was doing a movie in Spain and she called and said she knew I was doing a movie in Spain and wanted very much to be a part of it. To me, that was the greatest thing I could hear. Maria Elena is a force of nature, and that's what Penélope is. She's beautiful and amazingly sexy in a way that no other woman in the world is-a very special kind of beauty. And she's a tremendous actress and she conveys it. Of course it's overwhelming."
Javier Bardem, a recent Academy Award-winner for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, joined the cast as the flamboyant Juan Antonio. "He was maybe the only actor in the world who could have done this role for me," says Allen. "I needed a Spaniard who was sexy without being movie actor conventional pretty, but deeper than that. I've seen him in movies, and I thought he was just the greatest. I was thrilled to work with him-I didn't know that that would ever happen in my life."
For the role of Vicky, Allen looked for someone who had a contrasting personality to Johansson and Cruz. "[Casting Director] Juliet Taylor said you've got to meet Rebecca Hall," says Allen. "And as soon as I saw her I thought she was right. Rebecca has got a real beauty and dignity to her, and of course she's a wonderful actress."
Patricia Clarkson, another Academy Award nominee, plays Judy, Vicky and Cristina's host in Barcelona. "She is again another example of where I got the chance to work with an actress that I've loved for a long time," says Allen. "Judy represents the direction that Vicky could go eventually, when you get married to a safe guy and don't take the risk. If she had to do it over again, she would not have made that choice, or would she?"
While the actors (aside from Allen regular Johansson) felt a bit nervous about working with a filmmaker they admire, he soon set them at ease. "He is such a nice man," says Bardem. "Every time I needed him, he gave me the right answer, a very helpful answer for me to really understand what I had to do. And working with Woody Allen is like having jewels in your mouth. The dialogue is so brilliant and so very helpful for any actor to move ahead and find the reason of the scene through the words."
"With somebody else I would have been scared to play a character that approaches every situation with the same level of energy," says Cruz. "When you have a character that is so extroverted and so loud and brings so much chaos, I think, maybe because of fear, I wanted to do some of the scenes a little bit quieter. And I tried a couple of times to make things smaller and he said, 'No, she lives in that state permanently.' He gave me a clear direction-'Be brave!'-and I think he was completely right about that."
Allen decided to enlist a narrator (Christopher Evan Welch) to comment throughout the action of VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA as it unfolds. "The story has the quality of a tale," he says. "It's the story of what happens to these two girls in the summer. And I thought somebody should just relate it, and it would work that way. And it would save me a lot of boring expositional scenes, and the story could be moved quickly forward or in any way I wanted, by the narrator effortlessly."
VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA is a film that is indelibly linked to its location. "When I began writing the script, I wasn't thinking of anything other than creating a story that had Barcelona as a character," says Allen. "I wanted to honor Barcelona, because I love the city very much, and I love Spain in general," he says. "It's a city full of visual beauty and the sensibility of the city is quite romantic. A story like this could only happen in a place like Paris or Barcelona."
When the film's title characters Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) arrive for their summer in Barcelona, they are at very different stages in their lives. "Vicky has a plan ahead of her," says Hall. "She's getting married, she's getting her Master's, she's moving out of the city and she's going to have babies. She feels that everything is falling into place as expected." Cristina, on the other hand, is completely at loose ends: she just broke up with her boyfriend and has walked away from a short film she worked on for six months (and now hates). "Cristina is kind of a wandering lost soul," says Johansson. "She's aimless and doesn't really know what she wants. She's exploring her youth with no responsibility and coasting wherever the road takes her."
Allen sees contrasting advantages and trade-offs for the life choices the two women make. "A person who's more conventionally middle-class like Vicky, stands to have what most people would consider a happier life," says Allen. "It's a more structured, a more stable, and a more well-functioning life. It may not achieve any goals she has that are beyond it, but she'll have a good life with her husband, who's a nice guy, and it will be fine. Whereas a character like Cristina has less of a chance of satisfying herself, because she's always looking, and she only knows what she doesn't want. But she'll have a more varied menu, until maybe someday she'll get lucky and something will drop into her lap."
In Spain, Vicky and Cristina are drawn into a series of romantic entanglements involving two intense and passionate Spaniards, the painter Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem) and his fiery ex-wife Maria Elena (Penélope Cruz). Despite being head over heels in love, the two of them are always in bitter conflict for reasons neither one of them fully understand. "They tried many times to be together," says Cruz. "It always ended in a very bad way, but they keep trying." The pain from the failure of their relationship hangs heavily over Juan Antonio. "He's a man with a wound to be healed," says Bardem, "as a person, as an artist and in his relationship with Maria Elena. It's like there's a sign that is flashing over his body all the time. But his way of dealing with his fears is to face them." Juan Antonio's most conspicuous quality is his ability to speak with complete candor at all times. "He's not an ambivalent person," says Bardem. "That's why he's so direct. He needs to tell the truth and that creates some funny and also hard moments for other people."
While Juan Antonio is a no-nonsense and relatively easy-going person, Maria Elena is a whirling emotional tornado, endangering everyone in her path. "Maria Elena is great at everything-playing the piano, painting-but she can't really do anything with her life because she's too nuts," says Allen. "She's too full of passion, too full of feeling, and it ruins her from really accomplishing things in a certain sense. He continues, "She's too full of jealousy and willing to stick a knife in somebody because she feels so deeply about everything." Penélope Cruz thinks Maria Elena's problem is that she's unhappy: "She suffers tremendously. It's not easy for her to deal with her mind. All the chaos that she brings-I think she can't help herself. I don't think it's something she does just to get attention. It comes from being totally confused in many ways and very scared-and at the same time very brave."
The two worlds of the film collide when Juan Antonio approaches Vicky and Cristina in a restaurant with a proposal in his signature direct style: accompany him to the small Asturian town of Oviedo, where they will take in the local sights, eat and drink well, and all make love. "Vicky's thinking, 'Who is this horrid European artist sleazeball cliché?'" says Hall. "She wants to get Cristina away from him as quickly as possible." But as the story reveals, Vicky is mistaken in her judgment of Juan Antonio. He is a very unusual man and his offer is not the crude come-on it first appears to be.
"Juan Antonio is truly overwhelmed by their beauty and their personalities," says Bardem, "and he tries to create a different kind of relationship between the three of them. Sexuality is a very important experience for him, but it's not the end-it's the beginning of something much more important. He really has a different way of perceiving life. I guess from an ethical point of view that's not fair to everybody, but Juan Antonio's ethics are different from what some people might expect, and that's one of the keys to this story." Bardem and Allen agree. "He's thinking with no guile," says Allen. "He's a very decent guy and to him, lovemaking is just one part of life. A nice part of life."
While in Oviedo, Juan Antonio intuits that Vicky may not be clear-headed as she presents herself. "Vicky is seemingly together," says Hall, "but she's a little too vehemently 'together,' a little bit 'the lady doth protest too much.' She's capable of wanting all sorts of things which are much more romantic and wild, but it's hard for her to take risks because she has always been very in control and she doesn't trust herself when things are outside her control. She doesn't know how crazy she might go."
Allen believes that Vicky has difficulty with too much freedom. "She might flirt now and then with doing something more adventurous, but what she really wants is the safety of a less risky formula existence." Hall thinks Vicky's plight expresses one of the larger questions the film is posing about love. "I think Woody's looking into the tension between the fantasy-land of love and the real world," she says. "The things you live with as opposed to the things you dream about. And then what happens when your fantasies intrude on your 'real world.'"