IN PRODUCTION: “THE F WORD,” “AN UNKINDNESS OF RAVENS,” “MALAVITA” and “MAD MAX: FURY ROAD”
“In Production” is a regular column which focuses on notable independent films that are currently shooting.
Daniel Radcliffe is stuck in the friend zone in Michael Dowse’s The F Word. Resuming his post-Harry Potter career, Radcliffe stars alongside Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks) in this romantic comedy about a young man who meets the love of his life only to discover that she is already spoken for — not the most uncommon circumstance. The cast also includes Rafe Spall (Prometheus), Megan Park (ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager) and the terrific Adam Driver (HBO’s Girls). Written by Elan Mastai (The Samaritan), The F Word is currently filming in Toronto, Canada, with David Gross (The Goon) producing and Entertainment One overseeing the project.
A Fourth of July celebration turns into an absolute nightmare in Russell Friedenberg and Randy Redroad’s dark comedy An Unkindness of Ravens. Currently shooting in Idaho, the film stars Amy Smart (Shameless) and Joshua Leonard (Humpday) as an unhappy married couple who invite a group of their friends for a reunion on the aforementioned national holiday. Things take an unexpected turn with the arrival of an oddball nature photographer (Will McCormack). The film also stars Friedenberg (Ibid – which he also directed), Christian Campbell (HBO’s Big Love) and Natalie Imbruglia (Johnny English). In 2001, Redroad received the Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker’s Award for his Sundance title The Doe Boy. An Unkindness of Ravens is being produced by Laura Mehlhaff, Teddy Grennan, Jeff Steen, Dori Sperko, Jerri Moore and Heather Rae.
What if The Sopranos were transplanted to Normandy, France? This is the concept behind Luc Besson’s latest, Malavita, starring Robert De Niro (Being Flynn), Michelle Pfeiffer (Dark Shadows), John D’Leo (Wanderlust), Dianna Agron (ABC’s Glee) and Tommy Lee Jones (No Country for Old Men). Based on the book Badfellas by Tonino Benacquista, the comedy-action film focuses on the Manzonis, a crime family who migrates to France under a witness protection program. While attempting to make the transition, they soon find themselves returning to their old ways. An intriguing idea for a Besson film; let’s just hope he revisits some of the excitement and poignancy of Leon: The Professional. Principal photography is currently underway in France with Relativity Media’s Ryan Kavanaugh (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Europa Corp’s Virginie Besson-Silla (Besson’s The Lady) producing.
George Miller, the eclectic Aussie director who brought you the Mad Max trilogy, Happy Feet and The Witches of Eastwick, is presently filming Mad Max: Fury Road, with Tom Hardy (Bronson) replacing Mel Gibson in the titular role. The film also stars Charlize Theron (Young Adult), Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class), Zoe Kravitz (It’s Kind of a Funny Story), Riley Keough (Magic Mike), Rosie Huntington-Whitley (Transformers: Dark of the Moon) and Hugh Keays-Byrne (the original Mad Max villain who was set to star as Martian Manhunter in Miller’s cancelled Justice League of America film – sigh). In this installment, Max (Hardy) joins a group of people led by Imperator Furiosa (Theron) who are attempting to cross a wasteland only to get caught up in a large-scale road war. Due to severe flooding in its original location of Australia, the production had to move to the Republic of Namibia, Africa, for its appropriately desolate Mad Max-esque scenery. Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures are producing.