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Production Watch: Watts Joins DiCaprio & Hammer for Eastwood’s J. Edgar, Mark Webber Keeps It Indie

Production Watch: Watts Joins DiCaprio & Hammer for Eastwood's J. Edgar, Mark Webber Keeps It Indie

Earlier this month Charlize Theron stepped aside (and into Snow White and the Huntsman), moving Naomi Watts and Amy Adams up in line to be considered for Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar Hoover biopic. Watts has won the role of secretary Helen Gandy, whom Hoover considered an “indispensable” part of his political and personal life. Gandy spent the weeks following Hoover’s death destroying files which contained incriminating information which the President used to control the capital’s most powerful men. Eastwood couldn’t have chosen better. Watts joins the male cast of Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Ed Westwick, Josh Lucas, Damon Herriman and Ken Howard.

Watts, who was overlooked for two stand-out performances this year (Fair Game and Mother and Child), also has coming up Jim Sheridan’s Dream House with Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz (September), action-drama The Impossible with Ewan McGregor (in post-production), from Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage), and Andrew Dominik’s Marilyn Monroe adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ novel, Blonde, in pre-production (not to be confused with Michelle Williams’ My Week With Marilyn), plus a handful of projects in development, including one with Nicole Kidman, Need, from screenwriter Whit Anderson, who is also penning the Buffy the Vampire Slayer film (in development at Warner Bros.).

– He played Stephen Stills in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and now Mark Webber has written — is directing and starring in– an untitled feature film currently in production around Los Angeles.

Webber and his two-year-old son star along with Michael Cera, Amanda Seyfried, Shannyn Sossamon and Jason Ritter (all of whom are friends of Webber and will play versions of themselves. “I’m getting them to show a real side of who they are and smash that up with people’s expectations of celebrity,” says Webber. The budget is shy of $1 million and in good indie-spirit focuses on a struggling actor-father who is raising his son solo after the child’s mother dies. It mirrors Webber’s own life, and after “spending so much time with my son being a father,” has become “obsessed with the idea of showing the most authentic father-son dynamic on screen.” To minimize the intensity of shooting a film for his son (and to keep it on the cheap),Webber’s entourage consists solely of a DP, sound guy and Canon 5D. Doing it this way has allowed him to “create the scenes and moments that seem realistically uncomfortable…It’s been an exercise to capture real life moments and still tell a compelling story.”

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