Coming off one of the best films of last year, Tangerine, director Sean Baker is going from iPhone to 35mm for his next feature, The Florida Project. We spoke with him about the drama and now it’s recently gone into production, with Willem Dafoe spotted on set. Currently shooting in Orlando, it follows a six-year-old and her group of friends during summer break as they adventure and soar on youth while their parents handle real-life problems. Although there are no details on his role, one could assume Dafoe will play one of these parents. [Page Six]
In other news, Woody Harrelson may already re-team with director Rob Reiner after their recently-shot LBJ with a “politically charged” Iraq war drama titled Shock and Awe, Deadline reports. James Marsden has also been added to the growing cast list. The drama will be penned by Joey Hartstone, who also wrote their last collaboration. The film follows Knight-Ridders reporters Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel (potentially Harrelson and Marsden), who ask tough questions about Saddam Hussein’s alleged WMD’s (the official stated reason Bush and co. invaded Iraq). The meet with their bureau chief John Walcott after 9/11 to get the bottom of what really happened. The film is set to go into production this fall, produced by Reiner himself along with Matthew George, and Michele Reiner.
Lastly, director Joseph Kahn is returning to the world of film after his darkly satirical Power Rangers: Bootleg Fan Film with Bodied, which has begun principal photography. It is described by co-producer Renn Brown as, “A satirical look at race and a lot of other big ideas through the lens of competitive battle rap.” Producers Adi Shanker (The Grey) and Jil Hardin (Out of the Woods) are returning after their work on Power Rangers with Kahn, who developed the story himself with champion battle-rapper Alex “Kid Twist” Larsen.
The cast is led by Callum Worthy, a grad student who gains success in the rap battle game, an unexpected development. He is guided by an “unlikely mentor” in Jackie Long. The film is rounded off by Rory Uphold, Anthony Michael Hall, Debra Wilson, Charlamagne Tha God, Walter Perez, Shoniqua Shandai, along with popular rap battlers Jonathan “Dumbfoundead” Parks, Dizaster, Loaded Lux, Hollow Da Don, and “many more.”Kahn recently won a VMA and Grammy for Best Music Video with Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood.”