3/28/05- EN may have to find a title other than Fear Itself. "Fear Itself" is the name of a "supernatural thriller" that is currently filming. Tom Sizemore is in the cast and the film has been coming up in news stories due to his recent legal problems. [Thanks to Elizabeth for the info!]
1/31/05- Since I'm not in the film business, it's hard to gauge the progress of a film project when it's not written about in the trade papers. In that case, all I can do is notice who is not talking about the film. An interview with Hide and Seek director John Polson is posted on Dark Horizons. Polson was attached to direct Fear Itself back in 2002, but nothing else was reported on the film after that announcement. When asked about future projects, there is nothing said about Fear Itself. If he was still actively involved with trying to get the film off the ground, I'm surprised he wouldn't say anything about it. Another thing to note is that Fear Itself was set up at Miramax Films in 2002 which is going through it's own difficulties with Disney, which owns the company. I don't know whether it's in limbo at Miramax or if Class 5 Films (EN's production company) is trying to take it somewhere else.
10/13/03- In the no news is fucked up news category: Variety (10/10/03) announced that EN and Stuart Blumberg are forming a production company called Class V and have signed a three-year, first-look deal with Universal. While Motherless Brooklyn was mentioned, no word about Fear Itself was in this article or in EN's most recent interview British GQ Oct 2003.
9/12/03 The Hollywood Reporter (9/11/03) announced that John Polson is "poised" to direct Hide & Seek starring Robert De Niro. In Aug 2002, Polson was hired to direct Fear Itself. No info on the project has come out since then. The Hide & Seek announcement included the statement that Polson is attached to Fear Itself. I guess you can read between the lines that Fear Itself is still in the works however, since Hide & Seek is supposed to start filming in October, it is not on the front burner.
8/15/03 Of note, EN's collaborator Stuart Blumberg is writing the script to remake Bye Bye Birdie (Variety Aug 11). The reason I'm bringing it up is I don't know how that will impact on some of EN's upcoming projects.
7/25/03 EN was a guest on the Charlie Rose Show last night. He mainly talked about several charitable projects. In the remaining minutes, EN mentioned that he had been and continues to work on a screenplay (he did not include the name - could it be Fear Itself or MB
5/1/03 EN talked about Fear Itself in a Total Film May 2003 article while promoting 25th Hour
Moving swiftly on, the only other gig Norton has lined up is the intriguing Fear Itself, a loose remake of Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs. This he can talk about, and does so in a typically frank manner: "Straw Dogs is an over-revered classic," he states. "It's very dated, a blunt instrument. You almost want Susan George to get raped. Me and my partner Stuart Blumberg are interested in the themes of the movie and how to sophisticate it. We thought, 'What if it wasn't about a guy finding his inner animal, but about a real relationship that undergoes a crucible of violence?'"
Miramax stirring 'Straw' once more
By MICHAEL FLEMING
Variety, August 14, 2002
Koch looking to quickly cast Blumberg-penned 'Fear'
Miramax Films has hired John Polson to direct "Fear Itself," a loose remake of Sam Peckinpah's controversial 1971 drama "Straw Dogs."
The script was written by Stuart Blumberg, who will produce the film with Hawk Koch and Edward Norton. Blumberg previously wrote "Keeping the Faith," which Koch produced and Norton directed and starred in.
The original "Straw Dogs" starred Dustin Hoffman and Susan George and, though critically acclaimed, it contained such a brutal rape scene that it was only recently released in the U.K. on video, 30 years after it opened in the U.S.
The premise of "Fear Itself" is similar, focusing on a married couple confronted by a random act of violence. They flee from New York to rural Maine, but they discover that they cannot outrun the threat of violence.
Polson previously directed "Siam Sunset," but has been garnering buzz for "Swimfan," a "Fatal Attraction" for the high school set which appears to have sleeper potential. The pic, produced and financed by Greene Street and Furthur Films, was picked up for distribution by Fox and will be released Sept. 6. Jesse Bradford ("Bring it On") plays a school jock who is stalked by a fellow student ("Traffic" star Erika Christensen) after a romantic encounter.
Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein sparked both to the "Fear Itself" script and Polson's potential, and set the project, with Miramax veep Rick Schwartz overseeing it. Endeavor repped Polson, Norton and Blumberg.
Koch hoped that "Fear Itself" would stand on its own, but admitted that it is still a scary proposition.
"In some ways the message is more pertinent today, that people sometimes need to stand their ground instead of looking for a place to run away when trouble comes," said Koch, who first met Norton when he produced his Oscar-nominated screen debut "Primal Fear" for Paramount.
"Stuart, Edward and I have wanted to do this for years, but after David Fincher's 'Panic Room' and Night Shyamalan's 'Signs,' it's clear that people love to get scared. This is a scary movie. It will be John's next one and we will be looking to cast it right away."
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