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Billy Bob Thornton and Edward Burns Take ‘Three Nights’; ‘Harry Potter’ Actress Evanna Lynch Serving ‘Monster Butler’

Written by on June 6, 2012 

With the exception of, in some cases, Bad Santa, most would agree that Billy Bob Thornton‘s best, recent outing would have to be Friday Night Lights — he and Peter Berg are in this same camp, now that I think about it — which, having an overactive mind, gets me thinking history played a big part in this next career step. Or, maybe he just likes baseball.

According to Variety, he and Edward Burns are taking the top spots in Three Nights, director David Anspaugh‘s (Rudy, Hoosiers) big-screen take on Three Nights in August, a sports memoir from… Friday Night Lights author H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger. (Yes, that’s what I took too long to build up to.) Unlike that seminal account of high school football, however, Three Nights is a fictionalized portrayal of strategic choices made by St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa during a three-game, 2003 series against the Chicago Cubs. Neither are taking that part; Thornton will play Dave Duncan, their pitching coach, while Burns has been cast as the team’s catcher, Mike Matheny.

If that made you think of Moneyball, your mind is on the right track — it’s just what gave producer John Loar the incentive to go forward. But, unlike last year’s big hit, the team’s front office will be excised in favor of more on-the-field action; this writer thought the action-reaction relay between strategy and physical pay-off were the best parts of that film, so, fine by me. (I presume any Lenka songs will also be absent.) Red Bird will produce Three Lights with Marlboro Road Gang Productions, and the two groups are currently aiming for a fall shoot.

Afterward, THR says that Evanna Lynch (Harry Potter‘s Luna Lovegood) will be starring in Monster Butler, WB’s real-life crime tale starring Malcolm McDowell, Gary Oldman, Dominic Monaghan, and Joanne Whalley; Douglas Rath will make his debut, directing a script from Peter Bellwood (Highlander).

Butler stars McDowell as “Roy Fontaine (aka Archibald Hall), a bisexual jewel thief/con man/serial killer who chronicles his personal descent into darkness leading up to his eventual capture.” Playing a part in this capture is Lynch‘s character, Fiona Carrick-Smith, a wealthy girl who takes her family’s new, titular butler as “an older, wiser confidant,” using him as the conduit to express fears about her future and the desire to act irresponsibly. Things soon get serious between the two of them, with “acts of reckless behavior that lead to betrayal and tragedy” ensuing. Seeing Luna Lovegood do inappropriate things with Malcolm McDowell? My skin is already crawling, and I think that’s a good sign.

This early out, do you see promise in either film?

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