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AFM News Briefs: Seyfried as Lovelace, Farrell & Rapace’s Violent Spree, Lautner Gets Van Sant

AFM News Briefs: Seyfried as Lovelace, Farrell & Rapace's Violent Spree, Lautner Gets Van Sant

– Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard are now in talks to star as porn star Linda Lovelace and her pornographer husband, Chuck Traynor, in Lovelace, an adaptation of Eric Danville’s book The Complete Linda Lovelace, from Howl directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. W. Merritt Johnson (TV’s In Treatment, Temple Grandin) and Andy Bellin (Trust) wrote the adaptation. After Lovelace and Traynor’s notorious Deep Throat became a porn classic, she left her husband and accused him of forcing her into pornography and prostitution.

Olivia Wilde was the latest actress to be linked to the role before Seyfried. James Franco and Kate Hudson were at one point attached to the project. There’s another Lovelace picture in the works (the one Lindsay Lohan was once attached to), which Malin Akerman has taken over. Paz de la Huerta and Matt Dillon are also attached to Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story, along with director Matthew Wilder.

We could understand taking on a risky porn biopic if the director and writers inspired total confidence (few do), but given the sorry critical response to Seyfried’s last few films (Red Riding Hood, In Time, Dear John), it appears this may be the best of her options.

– Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon have begun shooting Sunlight Jr. in Florida. Watts plays a convenience store clerk with a paraplegic boyfriend (Dillon). News of their pregnancy sparks some excitement in their lives, but after she loses her job and the pair is evicted from their motel, things continue to go wrong. The film, from writer-director Laurie Collyer (Sherrybaby), is being produced by Charlie Corwin (Half Nelson), Andrea Roa and Ariel Elia.

Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace–a great pairing–will star in mob drama Dead Man Down, from Niels Arden Oplev, the director of the Swedish The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (starring Rapace). IM Global is selling the project at AFM. Original Films’ Neal Moritz and Ori Marmur are producing alongside the film’s screenwriter J.H. Wyman (The Mexican). Farrell plays a mobster hitman who falls for a disfigured former beauty, played by Rapace. The pair go on a violent spree, à la Bonnie & Clyde and Natural Born Killers.

– You may not want to hear this, but Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk) is working with Taylor Lautner (Twilight) on the teen hunk’s latest attempt at credibility. After the actor’s disappointing Abduction, his team clearly wants a director with indie street cred (although Abduction‘s John Singleton did direct Boys n the Hood) for this low budget film, which is based on a New Yorker article. Lautner’s post-Twilight fee is ridiculous; his usual $7.5 million may need to slide if he’s committed to being taken seriously by working with top directors and writers. THR has more details. The 19-year old and his father, Dan Lautner, will produce the Van Sant project through their Quick Six banner. Is the poor performance of Van Sant’s Restless to blame for him taking this job?

Paranormal Activity‘s Oren Peli’s latest original horror story–about a bunch of friends stranded in a desolate post-nuclear radioactive ghost town–has just began principal photography in Eastern Europe. Peli is also producing with Brian Witten; Brad Parker directs. Susanne Bier and Nicholas Winding Refn’s longtime cinematographer Morten Søborg is also on board. The unknown young cast includes Jonathan Sadowski, Devin Kelley, Jesse McCartney, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Nathan Phillips, Ingrid Bolso Berdal and Dimitri Diatchenko. Top dog film seller FilmNation is financing the film and handling international sales, while CAA and Linda Lichter are handling domestic.

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