January to April 2006
|April 30, 2006
NY Daily News
Today's New York Daily News has an interview with EN
to be home
|April 28, 2006
Illusionist Production Notes, Pride and Glory cast change, Valley trailer
I've posted the Production Notes for
The Illusionist that were used for its premiere at the
Sundance Film Festival.But beware, the notes have big PLOT SPOILERS!!! Also, if you like production notes, take a look at the ones from
Cannes for Down in the Valley that I posted earlier
but hid away in a sea of updates.
In today's Hollywood Reporter it is announced that Jennifer Ehle will
replace Samantha Morton in Pride and Glory. If you've been reading the
IMDB Pride and
Glory message board for a while, this is not breaking news. What might surprise people
who have read the board is that the reason given for Morton leaving the role
was scheduling conflicts. I don't traffic in gossip so I feel very stupid in even discussing
this subject. We're not going to know definitively whether Morton was fired, quit, or
there was a mutual decision for her departure. And we're not going to know the specific reasons
that led to the decision. What I think you can take away from the information posted on the
board is that it was an abrupt departure that probably had absolutely nothing to do with
anyone's schedule. Why am I bringing it up? In the future, I will never read the phrase "scheduling
conflicts" in trade papers again without wondering if it is some diplomatic way to report a casting change.
The trailer has now been posted on Down in the Valley
official website and on Apple's Movie Trailer site
[Thanks to Brent for the info!!!]
|April 27, 2006
May Interview Magazine, Rolling Stone Review
The May issue of Interview Magazine with EN and Evan Rachel Wood
on the cover is now on the newsstands and the spread on them is huge!
Lots of pics and an interview with each. I've posted the scans.
May Interview Magazine
has posted a favorable review of Down in the Valley
|April 25, 2006
Valley poster, website
THINKFilm's website now includes a new
poster for Down in the Valley (see below). They also have put up
Down in the Valley official website
(for the U.S. release). It has bios, production notes, a gallery, and a list of dates as to when
the film will open in certain cities, where which is invaluable to a limited release. But one
thing really bothers me: with less then 10 days to go, the trailer is "Coming Soon". Don't they
want to encourage people to see the film? Never fear, the
UK site (Icon Films) a trailer posted
(it opens there May 26) plus some pics from the film and a weird front pic (see below) that
I hope they're not using for the U.K. poster. You can also check out a
different trailer at the Japanese Valley site. There
is also a French Valley site .
|April 24, 2006
Globe and Mail, Total Film June
Today's Globe and Mail newspaper (Canada) has an article about the High Line
with a little bit of EN's history with the railway.
Manhattan urban relic becomes ribbon of green.
June's Total Film magazine has a small section on Down in the Valley as well as
a review Total Film June 2006 [Thanks to Amo for the scans!!!]
One thing that caught my notice from the article is the following statement
Edward told me that his father recently saw the film and said it was the best film his son has
|April 23, 2006
EN and Evan Rachel Wood make the cover of the May issue of Interview Magazine.
However, the April issue with Gretchen Mol (EN's costar in Rounders) is still
on newsstands, so it may be a few more days before it becomes available.
|April 22, 2006
EN made the cover of Baltimore Magazine. It's a long article with several great pictures
as well as a favorable review article on Down in the Valley.
Here are the scans [Thanks to
False Millennium for the info!!!]
|April 21- later PM update
I understand that this is a lot of posts over a short period of time, but I
had to report this ASAP. Entertainment Weekly's Summer Movie Preview Issue
(with Tom Hanks on the cover) includes a small article each on Down in the Valley
and The Illusionist. Here are the scans: Valley,
|April 21- PM update
Edward Norton has donated three autographed posters to be auctioned off by charity buzz for
the Third Annual Chevy Chase EarthDay Auction to benefit the Center for Environmental Education Online,
Earth Day Network, and the New York Coalition for Healthy School Lunches. The three posters are
25th Hour, Rounders and American History X. If you have the money, this is
your best opportunity to get an authentic autographed poster (actually, three of them) and help raise money for charity. The
fake autographs business is very widespread. Please visit my autographs page
for more information. You can never be 100% sure it's authentic unless you personally witness the
signature, even when it comes to charities. However, you can reduce your risk. This is a high profile
auction and the auction house sent out a press release on behalf of the charities. EN is personally
donating the lot, not a dealer. It seems pretty safe.
Unfortunately, that probably means it will be costly. Best of luck to you.
|April 21, 2006
Happy Earth Day (one day in advance)!!!. April 22 is Earth Day, so you might see EN and other
environmentally conscious celebs engaging in activities to raise awareness of Earth Day (or he
could be busy with work - you know, he has to pay the bills). If you haven't checked out
National Geographic's Strange Days on Planet Earth, now's the time.
EN hosts this four part series on changes occurring around the world that are altering habitats.
You can rent it through Netflix or buy it through
Amazon.com. Find out
more about EN's brainchild in promoting solar energy as a way to reduce costs for low income families,
the Solar Neighbors program, in the article Edward Norton
- Rays of Hope. Less than 2 weeks ago, there was a groundbreaking ceremony on the conversion of the
High Line, an elevated railway, into a park. EN is on the Friends of the High Line Board of Directors.
You can find out more about the High Line at the FHL official website
and even see a 12 minute film on the
High Line that includes an interview with EN. EN's commitment to environmental issues didn't come out
of thin air. His father, Ed Norton, is the senior advisor of the
Nature Conservancy's Yunnan Great Rivers Project
in Kunming China. His brother, Jim, directed the documentary Yunnan Great Rivers Expedition
which EN narrated (film was shown on the Outdoor Life Network and in festivals and is not available on DVD).
For this Earth Day, consider
donating money to FHL or the
Nature Conservancy or another worthy cause. Find events in
your area through earthday.net or
or spend the day outside. I was going to walk around the nature preserve nearby, but
it looks like the weather is not going to cooperate.
|April 20, 2006
Article Scans, 8 Years
As I've mentioned in previous updates, EN has been appearing in several great interviews/articles
lately: Total Film (May 2006 edition- Tom Cruise cover),
Best Life (May 2006- Edward
Norton cover), Vanity Fair
(May 2006 - Green Issue), and the New York Times article
on the difficulty of finding a buyer for Down in the Valley. I've been overwhelmed with
work so I've finally gotten a chance to post the scans of these article. You might be asking yourself
"Why Best Life? Why did EN choose a magazine put out by Men's Health?". Graham Fuller, the
writer of the article, has done three other articles on EN Interview
magazine Jan 1997, Interview
magazine Nov 1999, and an interview that was published in both Cineaste magazine vol XXV
and the book Projections 10. So that might have something to do with it. Here are the scans:
It's been 8 years since I've created this website (4/7/98). At that time,
filming on American
History X had long been completed and wouldn't come out until fall. EN had done his
first commercial with Matt Damon for the Independent Film Channel and both
would soon be competing in the 1998 World Series of Poker to promote Rounders. The casting
of Fight Club was coming together and EN's future directorial debut Keeping the Faith had been
already announced in the trades. I was living in Hawaii at the time, working on my second Masters degree
(MS in biomedical sciences with a major in tropical medicine). Now I'm working at Johns Hopkins. It's been an
|April 16, 2006
Yet Another NYT Article, Valley Poster
Happy Easter! In addition to the article I mentioned just below, EN is in another NY Times article
(albeit briefly) scheduled to be published Sunday Apr 16.
This time, it's about the High Line:
How Does Your Urban Garden Grow?. Don't forget
Edward Norton and the Shoot-Out at the Indie Corral
Also, a new version of the Down in the Valley poster can be found
here. This differs from the one from Cannes
[Thanks to J for the info!!].
The ThinkFilm official
website has a list of dates as to when Down in the Valley will make it to specific
theaters (go to Down in the Valley page and click tickets and showtimes section). The
film is coming out as a limited release. It looks like
May 5th, it will only be in NYC while on May 12th it will start playing more cities, including
lucky for me, Baltimore.
|April 15, 2006
NY Times Article
EN and the difficulty to find a distributor for Down in the Valley
is featured in the New York Times. It's dated April 16 so it should be in
the Sunday paper rather than today's.
Edward Norton and the Shoot-Out at the Indie Corral
|April 13, 2006
Illusionist Release date
In today's Variety, it was announced that The Illusionist
will be released into theaters on August 18 (Aug 18 is also EN's birthday).
|April 11, 2006
High Line Groundbreaking
EN was on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony for the conversion of the
High Line into a park. EN has been a supporter of this project for quite a
while. There is a picture of EN and Kevin Bacon in hard hats
|April 3, 2006
Magazines, Film Fest, Public Health Week pics
EN is one of the individuals included in Vanity
Fair's Green Issue [Thanks to spurgonia for the info!!!] Also, EN is on the cover of the
May issue of Best Life Magazine. With the release of Down in
the Valley only weeks away, there should be more interviews coming soon.
The Illusionist will close the Newport Beach Film Festival
on April 27th.
Getty images has posted pics of EN from today's APHA event to kick off National
Public Health Week. Here's a few:
|April 2, 2006
EN helps launch Public Health Week
On Monday, April 3, "Edward Norton will join the American Public
Health Association (APHA) during a Capitol Hill briefing to launch National
Public Health Week, April 3-9, 2006. The event will showcase proven
solutions that communities can implement to improve the built environment
-- roads, sidewalks, parks and community design -- and improve
from press release [Thanks to Calligyna for the info!!]
All the travel and stress has left me with a bad cold so I'm still
pretty out of it.
|March 29, 2006
I just got back from my vacation in Savannah and Charleston, so I'm trying to catch up on everything.
There's a new EN interview in the May 2006 edition of Total Film (its a UK magazine that you should be
able to find in Borders and Barnes and Noble). But you don't have to wait to see it: scans are up at the
[Thanks to Ikeagirl for the info and posting the scans!!!]
|March 21, 2006
Nothing new to report except I'll be away from the site for a few days.
|March 15, 2006
24 rumor(again), Still More Pics
In the Mar 3 post, I investigated the FALSE rumor that EN was
guest starring on 24 which was posted in EN's IMDB filmography. It now looks
like this rumor has spread to a whole new improbable level. Papers today (mainly
Irish ones) are reporting denials by 24 producers that EN is in talks to replace Kiefer
Sutherland. While I would have believed and would have enjoyed a one episode guest role for EN
on 24 (many well-known actors go this type of route), committing full time to a series
doesn't sound right, he's got too mcuh going on.
24 producers deny Norton rumours
hit TV show 24 are fiercely denying rumours they're set to replace the show's
star Kiefer Sutherland with 'The Italian Job' villain Ed Norton.
is reportedly in negotiations to replace Sutherland's Jack Bauer on the show in
A spokesman for 24 says: "We have no idea how this rumour got
started. We are big fans of Edward Norton's work over here at 24. However, at
this time, there are no plans for him to join the cast of
From the IMDB boards, more pics from Pride and Glory filming posted on
Empire Online. These are
the best pics for the simple reason that they don't include a watermark or other writing to mar the pic
|March 13, 2006
Casting change Pride and Glory, More Pics
Today's Variety reports that Jon Voight will replace Nick Nolte in
Pride and Glory
New Line's "Pride and Glory," which director Gavin O'Connor is shooting in
New York, has just recast Jon Voight in the role of the patriarch of a cop
family. Pic, which stars Edward Norton, Colin Farrell and Noah Emmerich, had
Nick Nolte set to play that pivotal role. However, after he'd put in months of
research into the role with O'Connor, a chronic knee injury flared up when Nolte
got to the set and he was unable to perform.
More pics were taken of EN filming Pride and Glory.
These were taken at 15th Ave and 212th Street in Bayside, Queens on March 7th and 8th.
The photographer put his email address over the pics before posting them, so they're really
only good to give you an idea of what's going on [Thanks to Matt for the info! Thanks to Brad
who took the pics and thanks to Maria who posted them on Imdb].
|March 9, 2006
Valley release, Miller commercials
The release date for Down in the Valley has been
pushed back from April 21 to May 5.
EN has done voiceover on at least 2 Miller commercials. They should be on
Miller Website [Thanks to Robin for the info!!]
|March 8, 2006
Pride filming, Miller commercial online
I can't be sure whether this info is correct or whether EN is scheduled for today but
filming on Pride and Glory is supposed to be filming yesterday
and today in Bayside, NY on 212th Street and 15th Avenue [Thanks to Todd for the info!!!]
This is also posted on IMDB
Pride and Glory Board, so if you're near the area.
The Miller Commercial in which EN does the voice over is posted online at the
Miller Website. The commercial is
called "Hello/Goodbye" (however, I'm having problems finding it right now).
[Thanks to Julia and Robin for the info!!]
|March 6, 2006
Miller commercial, Paradise Follies
Although EN was not a part of last night's Academy Awards ceremony, he did contribute
to one of the commercials played during the break. EN provided voiceover to a Miller Genuine
Draft commercial which played at least twice last night (I missed it the first time, but
caught it the second thanks to a speedy tip off from Danielle!).
Last night was the CCTA benefit that EN was scheduled to
attend. I haven't found any mention in the local papers. Hopefully, it will make it into
EN is on the benefit committee and is expected to attend
Paradise Follies, a gala to support the Hourglass Group
and to honor Ziegfeld Girl Dorothy Wegman Raphaelson on March 26, 2006 in NYC. If the ticket prices
for some of the previous benefits have been out of your price range, this one is not. General
Admission is $30 while a Patron Ticket is $100. Paradise Follies
|March 3, 2006
24 Rumor FALSE
I checked on the rumor that EN will be in an upcoming 24 episode.
IT'S FALSE. It's a great idea, but it's false.
|March 2- 6:30 PM update
EN on 24? Or is he a little pony?
IMDB's filmography on EN includes an
entry of 24 episode Day 5: 8:00-9:00 PM where EN would play "John Bauer". The episode
is scheduled to air March 27, 2006. This is the first time I've heard anything about this. I hope
it's true, but I think we'll just have to classify it as rumor until there's more info.
[UPDATE- It's FALSE].
IMDB also gives him a voice credit in
My Little Pony: The Princess Promenade
which I desperately wish was not true.
My Little Pony: The Princess Promenade [Thanks to spurgonia for the info!!!].
|March 2, 2006
Crash and Illusionist legal battles
Angeles Times all have articles on the legal battles between financier Bob Yari and producers
Cathy Schulman and Tom Nunan. The majority of the dispute revolves around the film Crash but there
are some issues involving The Illusionist. On a happier note, the HR
article includes a comment by producer Michael London that The Illusionist
is close to a sale.
|March 1, 2006
Signature Theatre Gala
According to BroadwayWorld.com,
EN will be one of the attendees at the Signature Theatre Company's Tribute to Horton Foote on March 13
at the Ritz Carlton New York in Battery Park at 6:30 PM. Tickets to the gala range from $500 to $1,000;
they are available by calling 212-967-1913, ext 28. EN is on the Board of Trustees of the Signature Theatre
and won an Obie for his performance in the Signature production of Burn This.
I can't find the info up on The Signature Theatre
Company website, so check out the
Here's a little more on the attendees
Fellow playwrights Edward Albee, John Guare, Adrienne Kennedy and Romolus Linney, as well as novelist
Harper Lee, and actors Matthew Broderick, Ellen Burstyn, Robert Duvall, John Guare, Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Edward Norton, Lois Smith, Jean Stapleton, and Harris Yulin will turn out for the event, which will be
held the day before Foote's 90th birthday. Former U.S. president Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Rodham
Clinton will serve as the honorary chairs of the evening.
|February 28, 2006
Variety mention, X-men 3 comment
EN is mentioned in a Variety article called "Do-good Celebs", looking at environmentally
conscious Oscar nominees.
Edward Norton His New York home is solar-powered, and he used recycled
materials to build it. Doesn't own a car, and rents hybrids when he drives.
Launched the BP Solar Neighbors Program that persuades celebrities to use solar
energy and donates solar panels to low-income families. Board member of
Enterprise Foundation and Global Green USA. Contributes to a Peacemakers Fund at
Yale. Narrated National Geographic documentary "Strange Days on Planet
I'm not sure about the accuracy of the first sentence. EN lives in New York City
and he talked about getting interviewed to move in by the co-op board on a
Oct 02, 2002 Letterman interview. The description
seems more likely with an individual home not a co-op building. I have read that
he owns a solar system, but I somehow associated it with a Los Angeles home. It's
possible that it's referring to a vacation home in New York, like in the Hamptons, but I don't
know. Other than talking about living in NYC, he doesn't discuss that type of personal info.
I have never heard that his residence was built of recycled materials. The rest of
the section on him is correct.
An article on an
X-men 3 cast and director Q&A has this comment from director Brett Ratner on the character
of Angel and EN's interest in it. Interestingly enough, there was some buzz around EN for the
first X Men film (even that he had read for a part). Check the casting
rumors page for more info/speculation. Ratner's comments are below
Angel! Oh my god! That was such a hard thing. Every handsome, gorgeous young
actor came in and wanted the part. Even Ed Norton, who I worked with on "Red
Dragon," called me and goes, "I wish I wasn't in China right now making a movie.
I want to play Angel!" It's like everyone's favorite character. And for me, the
important thing was to get a great actor.
In the comic, he's kind of drawn as a beautiful, angelic - which makes sense
- guy, but I wanted to go for the guy who personified…Angel is a pretty
tormented character, and one of the most powerful scenes - emotionally - in this
movie is with Angel. I saw hundreds of actors and Ben Foster came in and stole
the part. He was just, like, "I am this guy." And I believed him, and he's done
a fantastic job acting out the complexity of Angel. Because you could have been
safe and just had a beautiful young man who can spread his wings and fly, but
there's more to it than that.
|February 27, 2006
Edward Filming Pride and Glory
WENN has posted pics of EN on set today filming Pride and Glory on location on
Audobon Ave and 176th Street
[Thanks to Danielle for the info!!!] The WENN website has larger versions of the photos, but
they are marred by the WENN logo to prevent them from being published elsewhere, so
I prefer the smaller ones. Here are two of them:
|February 20, 2006
KOH DC DVD details, Painted Veil Photos and Release date
DVD active has
posted the details on the upcoming Kingdom of Heaven Director's
Cut. Here's the details [Thanks to David for the info!!!]
Fox has announced a director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven which
stars Orlando Bloom and Liam Neeson. This new four-disc special edition will be
available to own from the 23rd May, and should retail at around $34.98. The film
itself will be presented in anamorphic widescreen, along with both English Dolby
Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 Surround tracks. Extras will include an introduction by
Ridley Scott, an audio commentary with Ridley Scott, Writer William Monahan,
executive producer Lisa Ellzey, film editor Dody Dorn, visual effects supervisor
Wes Sewell and first assistant director Adam Somner, some story notes, a
multi-part documentary entitled Path to Redemption (Part I: Good Intentions,
Part II: Faith and Courage, Part III: The Pilgrimage Begins, Part IV: Into The
Promised Land, Part V: The Burning Bush and Part VI: Sins and Absolution), a
"Tripoli" Overview & Gallery, a first draft screenplay by William Monahan,
Screen Tests, cast rehearsals, a Costume & Weapon Design featurette,
multiple galleries (location scouting, production design, conceptual art, and
costume), and a Creative Accuracy: The Scholars Speak feature. Completing the
package will be storyboard comparisons, an Unholy War: Mounting The Siege
featurette, deleted and alternate scenes, a sound design suite, visual effects
breakdowns, a press junket walkthrough, footage of the Japanese and London
premieres, multiple trailers and tv spots, a ShoWest Presentation, and footage
of the Director's Cut and DVD campaign. Stay tuned for the official region one
New pics from Painted Veil are available on
[Thanks to Wilson and huihui for the info!!!] Warner Independent Pictures website currently gives
a release date for Painted Veil as sometime in November 2006.
Please note that release dates do change.
|February 16, 2006
Pride and Glory misstep
There is a follow-up in the NY
Daily News on yesterday's story on NYPD Officer Eric Hernandez being honored in
Pride and Glory. It appears that Officer Hernandez's family had not
been told of the plans to honor him with a headstone, a plaque at his precinct, and a tribute
at the end of the film as well as Colin Farrell attending the funeral and portions of the funeral being
filmed. In yesterday's NY Daily News article, his maternal aunt expressed surprise that his mother's side of the
family had not been told in advance. In today's article, his father stated that he was informed
after the funeral, not before. The main source for yesterday's information was the NYPD football team
manager. The NY Daily News article from yesterday also includes a quote from executive producer
Marcus Viscidi: "The director's father is retired NYPD. Everything was handled, and meant, in a most
respectful way." Unfortunately, this seems to have been mismanaged. The director and/or producer along
with an NYPD representative probably should have approached each side of the family quietly for their approval
before the funeral or they should not have gone ahead with anything. It makes the difference between
a respectful tribute and hard feelings. Since the articles first appeared yesterday, the story has been
|February 15, 2006
Pride and Glory honors fallen officer, KOH director's cut DVD, Magic
Today's NY Daily News and
report that NYPD Officer Eric Hernandez, who mas mistakenly shot by another cop, will be honored in Pride and Glory.
Officer Hernandez "had agreed along with other members of the NYPD football team to be extras in the film."
The film's production company will pay for his cemetery headstone and an honorary plaque in his precinct stationhouse.
Colin Farrell attended the funeral on Monday. Portions of the funeral procession were filmed to
serve as a guide to help the re-creation of a funeral procession in the film. From the
NY Daily News
One of the main characters in the film, which also stars Edward Norton, is a
player on a fictional police football team. Hernandez, a star running back on
the NYPD squad, was asked to appear in the film to lend the scene some
authenticity. The movie crew also rented the NYPD team's jerseys and helmets,
The end of the film will include a tribute to Hernandez, [NYPD football team manager Edward]
The Kingdom of Heaven Director's Cut will be released into stores on May 23.
FOX Home Entertaiment doesn't
have any details up, it's not listed on Amazon.com, but it is up on the websites of other retailers.
There are no verifiable details available. Buy.com
just mentions the release date, Bestbuy.com states that its a 2 disc set, deepdiscountdvd.com states
that it's a whopping 4 disc set. More Edward Norton? Who knows? [Thanks to David for the info!!!] .
Today's USA Today has an article on the presence of magic in upcoming films including
The Illusionist. Other than a summary of the film, it just includes
a quote by the director.
Magic does the trick in upcoming thrillers
"I'm no more into magic than the next guy," writer/director
Neil Burger says. "But I am interested in that uncanny sense that nothing is
what it seems. All the illusions are based on existing illusions from the time.
We just pushed them another 10%-25% and made them more fantastical."
|February 14, 2006
Valley release date, Hackett pushed out by Dems
Entertainment Weekly reports that the release date for Down in
the Valley is April 21 [Thanks to Justin for the info!!!].
I'm ashamed to be a Democrat today. This morning's New York Times reports that Iraq war veteran
Paul Hackett has withdrawn from the Ohio Senate race under pressure from Democratic Party leaders, who
have decided that another candidate has a better shot at the seat. They went so far as to contact his donors
and request that they stop contributing to his campaign. I've heard Mr. Hackett in interviews and have been very
impressed with his energy and straight talk. I think this is a huge mistake. I've already sent an email and
called the National Democratic Party Headquarters regarding my feelings and sent an email to Mr. Hackettt at the
Hackett for Senate website (and it's not even 9AM yet!). If you have the same
opinion, please visit Democratic Party website and let them know.
For more information, NYT
article: Popular Ohio Democrat Drops Out of Race, and Perhaps Politics. [Sorry for the off-topic
|February 06, 2006
Not so new Illusionist review
DON'T READ "Norton conjures up old-world magic in 'Illusionist'". This is
a review that originated in the
Reporter around 1/29 and it has now been picked up by several newspapers. Unfortunately, it contains
MAJOR SPOILERS. Unless you want to know everything but the ending of the film, you might want to skip this review
(see 1/29/06 update).
|January 29, 2006
Still More Illusionist
The Illusionist costar Paul Giamatti won for best supporting
actor for his work in Cinderella Man at the SAG awards. The Hollywood Reporter has finally posted a review for
The Illusionist. It is a favorable review, but
it does include MAJOR SPOILERS (while it doesn't give away the ending, it does
seem to give away a big plot point).
HR review: The Illusionist
Here's an excerpt from the review:
An old fashioned entertainment set in 1900 Vienna, "The Illusionist" features a
standout performance by Edward Norton as the magician Eisenheim, who may or may
not have supernatural powers. Outstanding production values and mysterious
subject matter give the film a surprisingly opulent feel for an independent
Sundance entry, which could work to its advantage in some mainstream markets.
[Further down in review]
Years later, he is back in Vienna and the talk of the town. Sporting a
distinguished goatee and displaying a great inner stillness, Eisenheim commands
the grand stage. There has always been an undercurrent of mystery about Norton,
so he was an excellent choice for the role, and after a relatively low profile
for the past few years, he reminds you what a powerful performer he is.
Tomorrow's Variety has more on the Sundance marketplace. Below is the section on
But distributors have found recent success in releases like "Napoleon
Dynamite," "March of the Penguins" and "Open Water," erasing the memories of
earlier Sundance disappointments. The latter film became Lionsgate's largest
release of all time when it played on some 2,700 screens in 2004.
That has had a big impact on the festival. Studios are jumping into the fray,
looking for wide releases to fill out their slates. Last year it was Paramount.
This year Universal -- as opposed to Focus Features -- became a Sundance player,
throwing its name in the ring for Edward Norton starrer "The Illusionist." Pic
is being described as sufficiently commercial to justify a wide release, with
specialty arms reluctant to pay the $20 million or more in P&A costs it
|January 28, 2006
Today's Calgary Sun has a good article on The Illusionist
called Biel, Giamatti in a spellbinder.
Here is an excerpt:
The result, the spellbinding The Illusionist, premiered at Sundance this week
with Biel and Giamatti in attendance. Norton was M.I.A. because he's busy
preparing to shoot his next movie in New York.
Then again, Norton's disappearing act may have been for the best as it meant
he didn't have to explain either himself or his attraction to the story.
"Edward is a bit of a mystery and he brings a powerful intensity to the
part," Burger says of Norton, who portrays the title character -- a magician who
may or may not have supernatural powers.
The Fight Club star, Burger recalls, went so far as to go on a diet to make
his angular face more gaunt. "He transformed himself."
And given the modest budget, he adds, Norton "wasn't doing it for the
|January 27, 2006
Today's Reuters article
cold, hard facts at Sundance includes a little bit on The Illusionist under the
section "Good Producers Make Better Movies":
Similarly, when Michael London ("Sideways") couldn't get studio backing for
"The Illusionist," Neil Burger's period romance starring Edward Norton as a
magician, he turned to the financier of last resort in Hollywood, real estate
mogul Bob Yari ("Crash"), who, while he makes the production process miserable
for many filmmakers, at least gets the movie made. At festival's end, London,
who also produced "The Family Stone," was in mid-negotiations with Universal
Pictures for a mainstream studio release.
|January 26, 2006
Close to a deal?, Giamatti article
The Hollywood Reporter still has not posted a review of
The Illusionist, but they have some info on the
dealmaking. From the Reuters/Hollywood Reporter article "Lionsgate opens
worldwide 'Door' to thriller" posted today:
In other acquisition developments at Sundance, negotiations surrounding Neil
Burger's "The Illusionist" have moved out of Park City and back to Hollywood.
While there are still several buyers in the mix, expectations are that Universal
Pictures will strike a domestic deal for the film, which stars Edward Norton.
The deal, which is expected to settle in the $8 million-$9 million range, could
close as early as Thursday
Illusionist co-star Paul Giamatti is featured in
a pretty good Reuters article
Giamatti works hard but longs for lazy days
|January 24, 2006
Reaction to the Illusionist
The first reviews for The Illusionist are making their
appearance. Unfortunately, one that I stumbled on gave away too much of the plot without any warning,
so explore at your own peril. Variety has just posted a very favorable review with only minor
spoilers Variety review. Industry reaction has also been covered in Variety articles.
From today's "Film flurry": "'The Illusionist' -- being sold here by the Yari Film Group -- was juggling
four offers after its preem Sunday night, and the movie's reps expected to have
a deal in place overnight. Pic drew a positive reception, and one potential buyer said that indie film
execs were looking twice: 'It's not really a Sundance film,' he said. 'It's a
commercial movie. Sometimes that throws people, and they need to see what to do
with it.'". From tomorrow's "Docu sales slow at fest": "Edward Norton starrer 'The Illusionist' was
drawing keen interest from Universal on Tuesday and was being screened in Hollywood for studio bosses
by the Yari Film Group." There is also an excellent article (no spoilers) in the Toronto Star
magic on a budget which focuses heavily on The Illusionist as the new type of
independent film: one made on a small budget but looks like an Hollywood studio picture. It
also mentions in the article that the film received a standing ovation at its screening.
EN is in NY rehearsing for Pride and Glory and, therefore, was unable to make
the Sundance premiere.
From Variety review:
A bizarre story of intrigue, magic and murder in turn-of-the-century Vienna casts a
considerable spell in "The Illusionist." Impeccably crafted second feature from writer-director
Neil Burger(2002's "Interview With the Assassin") will be tricky to position commercially, since i
t will strike some arthouse types as pulpy and conventional, and may prove too aristocratically
rarefied for the general modern public. But an enterprising distribdistrib could locate an appreciative
audience for the mesmerizing aspects of this classy and well-acted period melodrama.
[Further down in article]
Title character is deliberately presented as remote and unknowable. His
powers, and the intellect that enables them, seem superhuman, but he is driven
above all by a lost love. Working within these strictures, Norton creates a
commanding figure, one who would never attempt anything he thought he couldn't
|January 23, 2006
Edward's Great Disappearing Act, Illusionist video clips, Valley release
EN was a no show at Sunday's world premiere of The Illusionist
(if he was there, he managed to avoid all the photographers - talk about a magic trick!).
Co-stars Paul Giamatti and Jessica Biel and director Neil Burger were on hand. To
be fair, I had never seen it mentioned anywhere that he definitely would be attending (last
evening, I was going through the coverage on the Salt Lake Tribune website I found that his
name conspicously absent among the list of celebs
confirmed to be promoting their films). But the fact that he is not currently in the middle of
filming and that the The Illusionist has been receiving a lot buzz and
looking for a buyer made me think that it was all but certain he would be there. I've been waiting
for the Variety and Hollywood Reporter reviews as well as the Sundance daily newsletter,
but none of them have yet come out.
The first three video clips from The Illusionist are available through
[Thanks to Susanne for the info!!!]
The THINKFilm official website now has the
Down in the Valley release date as April 2006. Since this film
is going to be a limited release, the date which it will come to your local theater will vary.
|January 20, 2006
Who's seen The Illusionist- everybody but us
Today's Variety includes an article on underground trading of screeners.
The Illusionist has been one of the films that has
apparently made the rounds. This also is one of the items mentioned in the lawsuit
(see Jan 18 update). So if a rough cut of the film is floating around, will it make it to
the Internet? Who knows. Here is the Variety article "Sneaks hit peak at Sundance fest":
At Sundance each year there is both snow and subterfuge.
This weekend, for example, many potential buyers complained there was nothing
worth seeing, while others candidly admitted they had already seen almost
That's because the underground trading in screeners, which acquisitions execs
float around in advance to get a leg up, has reached frenzied proportions.
This year, many acquisitions pros said that they saw more pics than ever
before via screeners coming into the festival. For buyers left out of those
circles, the mere thought of a seller preferentially screening a pic to some
companies and not others can create major paranoia: When Bob and Harvey
Weinstein preemptively bought "Wolf Creek" before it screened here a year ago,
the competish cried foul and accused the pic's sales agent, Arclight, of
slipping "Creek" to the brothers in advance. The Weinsteins contended they
bought the buzz title sight unseen.
This time around, "The Illusionist" -- starring Edward Norton, and produced
by Bob Yari, Michael London and "Ocean's Thirteen" scribes Brian Koppelman and
David Levien -- has generated similar scuttlebutt.
As buyers scrambled to get sneak peeks at as many pics as they could before
the fest, "Illusionist" was one title that routinely came up as having been
seen. That was news to the pic's producers -- who had pledged to keep a lid on
the film after a test screening went well. When rampant rumors began floating
around town that the pic was being pooh-poohed, London said, he began some
detective work to see if there had been a leak.
"The head of one company saw an unfinished cut of our movie, probably from a
DVD that was stolen or copied during post-production," said London, whose
previous credits include "Sideways." "He loved the movie and asked me to convey
a preemptive offer to buy the movie before Sundance to Bob Yari. At the time I
was so horrified by the whole conversation that I just kept it to myself."
London told the exec he'd have to wait till Sundance to bid on "Illusionist"
along with everyone else -- and fended off requests from other rival distribs to
get a look-see -- but even more murmurs emerged that the film was being actively
screened by other companies.
"Within a couple of weeks, word got around about the potential buyer, and all
of a sudden there were a dozen people at other companies claiming that they'd
seen the movie as well," London said. "None of it was ever substantiated. It
seemed to be a lot of people with their own agendas trying to either hurt our
prospects or help their own job prospects. Or both. We had to go reassure the
heads of each company that no one has been shown the movie and that no one would
be negotiated with before Sundance."
Still, buyers from a few companies contend they have seen the movie, and Yari
has filed a lawsuit against producer Cathy Schulman, claiming, amid allegations
over the pic "Crash," that she interfered with the sale and promotion of
"Illusionist" by prematurely releasing early cuts of the film.
Meanwhile, the producers of other buzz pics were scrambling to play down hype
on their titles: When the lineup was being crafted, one rep even asked the fest
to move his pic out of the opening weekend so as not to get caught in the
But even if a pic leaks, acquisition and distribution execs say that they
like to see how a film plays on the bigscreen before making up their minds. "We
don't like to watch those Avid output tapes," said one studio distribution
topper, who added he had not seen "Illusionist."
Away from the controversy, but perhaps sensing the palpable frenzy for titles
this year, Sundance honchos Geoffrey Gilmore and Robert Redford were telling the
press corps Thursday not to get swept up in the buzz ahead of a pic's actual
"It's hard to talk about the festival when you guys haven't seen the films
yet," Gilmore told the press at the Kimball Arts Center while introducing the
opening-night pic, Nicole Holofcener's "Friends With Money." "Hold your judgment
about what the festival is until you get through the festival," he added.
"We provide, you decide," said Redford. "We don't program for commerciality.
We program for diversity."
With organizers characterizing this year's lineup as substantially more
"indie" -- and following decidedly mixed reactions by buyers to Cannes, Toronto
and the American Film Market -- the studios' specialty execs seemed more tetchy
than ever as they jockeyed for position and planned to screen top priorities.
There are a few pics pegged in advance as "commercial" in a weekend
frontloaded with buzz titles: "Little Miss Sunshine" today, "The Night Listener"
on Saturday and "The Illusionist" on Sunday. Adding to the logjam will be Michel
Gondry's "The Science of Sleep" and Robert Downey Jr. starrer "A Guide to
Recognizing Your Saints," among others.
Behind the scenes, an elaborate dance was playing out Thursday as blase
acquisitions execs downplayed interest, nervous sales reps managed expectations
to avoid overhyping their projects and animated agents pumped pics in which
their clients were starring.
Such divergent outlooks -- a festgoer can be led to believe the event is
either an imminent dud or a bonanza, depending on whom one runs into in the Park
City Marriott lobby -- seem more intense this year than ever, as execs at
retooled studio banners hope to fill their slates and impress their bosses and
fewer projects are tagged as obvious targets.
In the end, it's the weekend screenings that will make or break the films
rather than any espionage.
"The circus surrounding the higher-profile titles this year has been
especially bizarre because of all the new competition among the specialized
divisions," London said. "The bottom line is that come Sunday night, each of
them will sit and make up their own minds about the movie and hopefully come out
very enthusiastic. Nothing else matters."
|January 19, 2006
Today is the opening day for the Sundance
Film Festival. As a result, The Illusionist is
gathering more attention. In today's Variety The Illusionist
is included in a list of films that are apparently receiving a lot of buzz.
Variety also includes an interview with Illusionist director
Neil Burger (10 Directors to Watch). The Daily Bruin has posted an interview
with Illusionist producer (and UCLA professor) Cathy Schulman
|January 18, 2006
It might be a bit tense at the afterparty...; American
Visionary Art Museum
With The Illusionist set to make its world premiere in a few days
at the Sundance Film Festival, you might think the producers would be dancing on air. Not exactly.
Today's Variety reports that producer Bob Yari has filed suit against producers
Cathy Schulman and Tom Nunan. Since this is not my area of expertise, I've included the entire
text of the article below
Moneyman and prolific producer Bob Yari has sued producers
Cathy Schulman and Tom Nunan, claiming they siphoned off funds owed to his
production company Bull's Eye Entertainment.
The suit also alleges that Schulman wrongly claimed that she and not Yari
made the decision to produce the film "Crash" and that she interfered with the
sale and promotion of "The Illusionist," the high-profile film starring Edward
Norton and Paul Giamatti, which will have a special screening at this week's
Sundance Film Festival.
Schulman's attorney, Melvin Avanzado, denied the allegations in the lawsuit
and said some charges in the complaint were "demonstrably false."
Claiming that motion picture credits are very valuable and that denying
entitlement to such credits is like stealing, Yari's suit seeks to dissolve
Bull's Eye on the ground that "Schulman's antics are so disruptive that the
parties cannot do business together." The suit also seeks damages of at least $1
According to the suit, which was filed earlier this month in L.A. Superior
Court, Sony Pictures Television was to pay advances to Bull's Eye, but actually
paid the money to Schulman's attorney, who in turn distributed it directly to
Schulman and Nunan. Yari claims that under an oral agreement, Schulman and Nunan
received an advance from Bull's Eye for their producing services, but that Yari
is the sole owner of the company until he recoups his investment.
The bulk of the complaint alleges that Schulman took credit for producing
"Crash" and that she claimed Yari was not a producer under Producers Guild of
According to people familiar with the case, the suit was triggered after Yari
lost a guild arbitration over producer credit on "Crash." Yari and three other
producers had their credits removed, leaving Schulman and writer Paul Haggis as
Yari's attorney James Wohl denied that there was any connection between the
guild arbitration and the lawsuit.
Less directly, the allegations on "The Illusionist" also seem to involve
credit stealing, with Yari claiming that Schulman prematurely released early
cuts of the film, and interfered with the promotion of the film at Sundance by
getting all the festival passes for herself.
Date in print: Wed., Jan. 18, 2006,Los
Sun has an article on American Visionary Art Museum and its director. It briefly mentions
EN in the article. EN hosted a benefit premiere of Frida in November 2002 with
the proceeds going to AVAM and its expansion the Jim Rouse Visionary Center, which is named after
EN's grandfather. Museum
|January 17, 2006
Yesterday's Variety carried the Down in the Valley distributor that
I mentioned in the last update. There was no new info, but it did include a new pic.
|January 13, 2006
Valley gets a distributor!!!, Healthy lovebird
Just in from the Hollywood Reporter: Down in The Valley has
just snagged a U.S. distributor. This sounds like a late afternoon deal since the article is dated Jan 14. It
will have a limited release in the spring. When we get a more definite release date, I'll post it. The
article is below
'Valley' gets pickup from ThinkFilm
NEW YORK -- ThinkFilm has nabbed North
American rights to the Edward Norton/Evan Rachel Wood romantic crime drama "Down
in the Valley." The film from writer-director David Jacobson will have a limited
release in the spring. The Element Films production centers on a disaffected
high school senior from the San Fernando Valley (Wood) who encounters a
mysterious cowboy type (Norton). The two bond in the face of objections from the
girl's sheriff father (David Morse), who is concerned over disparities in their
ages and backgrounds. "We are thrilled to be collaborating with Edward on this
labor-of-love," ThinkFilm head of U.S. theatrical Mark Urman said Friday,
referencing Norton's role as a producer. "They're a very daring company and have
a great knack for communicating with audiences about challenging films," Norton
said of ThinkFilm. The deal was negotiated by ThinkFilm executive vp
acquisitions and business affairs Randy Manis and Element Films chief operating
officer Marc Schaberg.(Gregg Goldstein)
Good news from the vet. All of my lovebird's tests have come back normal so she's
finally kicked the respiratory infection.
|January 11, 2006- UPDATED PM
Peter Pan, Benefit, Solar Roof Initiative victory
Lisa was nice enough to send pics of a playbill from one of EN's early productions,
Peter Pan, in which he played Michael. More info from a July 2001 article (Norton is back to settle 'Score'):
EN was 8 years old when he was in Peter Pan and his father held the ropes while he flied around the
stage. His acting teacher Toby Orenstein is opening another dinner theatre and EN will be at the pre-opening event
which will benefit the Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts. More info on the event
[Thanks so much to Lisa for the pics and the info!!!]
Global Green USA has issued a press release that includes a quote from EN, who has spent a lot of
promoting solar power alternatives. Press release:
"Green" Affordable Housing Advocates Celebrate Anticipated Solar Roofs
Victory; Urge PUC to Go Further to Meet Needs of Californians Who Can Benefit
Most -- Low Income Families
Global Green USA applauds the historic action of the California Public Utilities Commission, which is
expected to approve a $3.2 billion solar program today that includes a 10% set-aside for low-income families,
but cautions that this victory for the Affordable Housing program will be ineffective without a
low-interest loan fund.
"I applaud the PUC for approving this historic Solar Roofs Initiative and for setting aside funding
for solar on affordable housing," said actor/activist Edward Norton, a board member of Global Green USA
and the Enterprise Foundation. "We need the PUC to help low income families, who are the hardest hit by
utility bills and who get the biggest benefit from solar power, by creating a loan program that meets
the unique needs of the sector, and makes funds more accessible to all Californians." Edward Norton
joined Global Green USA in 2003 to first advocate for the loan program and set aside for affordable
|January 8, 2006
As I wrote in my Dec 16 post, an article mentioned EN was
going to be in a film called
HEADHUNTERS. This did not seem likely for several reasons which I described in the post. Since that post, it has been
confirmed that EN has absolutely no connection with the film. Unfortunately, there have been additional articles
that have come out recently that state that faulty information. I just wanted to make it clear that EN is not
involved with the film. The Illusionist world premiere is only a few weeks away at
the Sundance Film Festival. Filming on his next project Pride and Glory is scheduled to
start in February.
|January 4, 2006
Illusionist Pics, You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake
RopeofSilicon.com has posted eight
brand new pictures from The Illusionist. Plus, the
Sundance website has posted a
summary of the film which I've included below. With only weeks before the film
premieres at Sundance, we should be seeing more and more about the film [Thanks to ChewieDC for the info!].
Are you the kind of person who scrutinizes
magic tricks, or do you surrender yourself to the thrill of the moment? Either
way, The Illusionist will keep you on the edge of your seat and transport
you to a time that embraced the supernatural. Set in 1900 Vienna, this stunning
romantic thriller is the story of Eisenheim, a brilliant mysterious magician
bent on solving a puzzle that has eluded him since childhood. His ability to
mesmerize crowds and his apparent attraction to the crown prince's
fiancée–Duchess von Teschen–threatens the prince and ignites suspicion from
Chief Inspector Uhl. When the duchess is murdered, Eisenheim summons
extraordinary powers in a desperate attempt to overcome Uhl, prove the prince
guilty, and bring down the monarchy before it destroys him.
At its heart, Neil Burger's film is about social
position and the will to challenge it. Eisenheim, a cabinetmaker's son,
iconoclastically dares to love a noblewoman and ridicule the prince. Uhl, on the
other hand, believes royal fealty is his only ticket to power. From Eisenheim,
he learns to listen to his inner sense of justice.
With its glowing amber palette, splendid spectacles,
and nuanced performances, The Illusionist explores art and technology as
populist forces. Eisenheim's otherworldly conjurings, which create a
"protocinema," stir his audiences to question authority, while he enlists acts
of magic to serve the power of true love.— Caroline Libresco
'Fight Club' - a salute to friendship. Does this sound like the mindblowing film with EN and Brad Pitt?
Didn't think so. There is a new film from India with the title "Fight Club" which apparently bears little resemblence
to the original. Fight Club' - a salute to
Last updated on Thursday, April 17, 2008
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Note: Articles and images have been posted without permission for noncommercial and nonprofit use
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actors, films, and studios. I have included author names and links to sources whenever possible.