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Sep 20th
03:09 pm
A comment from Lee on 'Paperboy' Filming  
From indieWire - Thompson on Hollywood:
Director Lee Daniels has wrapped his follow-up to Precious, 60s erotic thriller The Paperboy. Shot around New Orleans, Lousiana, with Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, David Oyelowo, Macy Gray and Scott Glenn, the film is based on Pete Dexter’s novel and subsequent screen adaptation. Set in Florida, the synopsis is below. Release dates are pending as Toronto-generated pre-sales continue. As Daniels heads into post-production, he praises his cast for bringing “these offbeat characters to life. Everyone has knocked it out of the ballpark with their performances.”

There is also a summary at the source, but it is kind of a weird write-up so I'm skipping it.

I'm glad to hear there was some action at Toronto, I was hoping for that.
Mood: blankblank
29 29 comments Comment
Miranda gives everyone a chancemirandagirll on September 20th, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC)
I'm excited to see Zac in this even more excited than I was about TLO. I'm probably the only one, but I don't understand what Toronto has to do with this movie.
Bee: Zac – Details - looking away - redjeezbee on September 20th, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC)
It's always nice hearing something like that and I hope it's true. I wish we would have a way to know what he is really thinking because what else is he going to say about his movie which just wrapped.

Either way, I'm very excited for this movie. It has really potential to be good and I hope Zac learned a lot.
kleth on September 21st, 2011 01:47 am (UTC)
"I don't understand what Toronto has to do with this movie"

I think the reference is to the Toronto Film Festival. "Toronto-generated pre-sales" would be tentative deals made with distributors in various countries at the last Toronto event. Producers of independent films often announce their plans, show scripts, or screen initial cuts of their films at these film festivals to spark interest and close deals with distributors so they can get their movies into theaters.
Miranda gives everyone a chancemirandagirll on September 21st, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC)
Thank You
kleth on September 21st, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
"because what else is he going to say"

Exactly. "Everyone has knocked it out of the ballpark with their performances" is standard boilerplate, what a director has gotta say. But considering the cast, I think it could also be true.

I like the "erotic thriller" bit. Hope that's true.
Miranda gives everyone a chancemirandagirll on September 21st, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC)
And have you read the book? There are lots of sexual references in the book.
kleth on September 25th, 2011 07:37 pm (UTC)
I'm also encouraged by that phrase, "these offbeat characters." So, an erotic thriller with offbeat characters. This one could open well.
Beejeezbee on September 26th, 2011 03:06 pm (UTC)
It's not an erotic thriller, it's a sexual thriller. There is a difference.

And anything sex related is actually a really, really difficult sell in the US and is rather counterproductive at the box office. But that's perfectly ok in my opinion because making a good movie is much more important.
annabelle83 on September 26th, 2011 02:20 pm (UTC)
When can we expect to see new trailers of The Lorax and The Lucky One? I think The Lorax trailer may debut with either Puss in Boots or Happy Feet Two. Is there any chance that TLO trailer will be shown in front of the new Twilight movie? Gosh, I miss seeing Zac (or hearing his voice) on big screen.
kleth on September 26th, 2011 02:37 pm (UTC)
Trailers are merely a temporary paliative. But I'd think that there ought to be something for New Year's Eve, opening in just ten weeks.

And this allows me to discuss my theory about why he did The Lucky One in the absence of a topical new post. Of course, it will be (or was at the time of filming) Z's first movie in which he plays an adult from beginning to end. "It's all about the progression," he said regarding all his movies.

But, even more important, it appears that when he finished CStC in 2009 he had lots of projects in early stages of development but nothing ready to actually start shooting in the coming months. If he hadn't signed on for TLO, he would have gone a year and a half without stepping in front of a camera (and that drought was broken by New Year's Eve, which wasn't on the to-do list until just before filming). Without the happy hook-up with NYE, it would have been two full years without performing in a major movie.

If you had absolutely nothing definite on your schedule for at least a year and maybe two, wouldn't you have closed your eyes, crossed yourself, and agreed to star in The Lucky One?
annabelle83 on September 26th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
I know a lot of people think TLO and NYE are bad choices on his part, but I bet these movies were still better than the other offers he passed on at that time. Zac is a smart guy. I don't think he would have accepted these roles if he could pick better ones. Poor guy probably was getting offered mostly teen craps or musicals.
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on September 26th, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC)
Zac has gotten offered other and better things. He isn't just getting teen crap or musicals anymore.

I do think maybe TLO was the first thing they could get together quickly, but without some pressing unknown reason, that doesn't justify doing a questionable movie.
annabelle83 on September 26th, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
Then, maybe some nice indies he was interested in, didn't go into production? I'm really worried how this economy will affect his career. I don't see how studios will happily invest on a Zac Efron movie. It looks like they are mostly hiring "proven" stars or complete nobodies for big movies these days. They stopped giving opportunities to other young actors. :(
kleth on September 26th, 2011 03:50 pm (UTC)
"but without some pressing unknown reason, that doesn't justify doing a questionable movie"

1. TLO is a Warner project, and he's cozy with Warner. So without the excuse of having other projects to do, maybe he didn't want to disappoint anyone at WB, home of most of his future projects.

2. Dare I suggest it? Without any other jobs in 2010, maybe he needed the paycheck? He's got a lot of mouths to feed (agent, manager, publicist, accountants, lawyers) and now a production company with a payroll and no NRW movies yet producing cash flow. I know he has said that he doesn't do projects for the money, but situations change, and as we mere-mortals know, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Zac may be too close to the action to see things as clearly as we do, and I imagine he has justified the project in his own mind. Yes, it's another dubious romantic chick flick, but he gets to play a grown-up (a rugged Marine!), pursue a relationship with a women who has a child, and perform with a dog (Zac: Remember W. C. Fields' admonition -- never go on stage with a kid or a dog!).
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on September 26th, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC)
He is cozy with WB and I can see that as a reason they ended up setting this up. However, WB is an investor in his production company and have made known their desires to make Zac a star, and I'm disappointed if they don't understand that putting him in a dubious chick-flick is NOT going to make him a star or give him a bigger box office history or a better reputation. Without a miracle and/or brilliant marketing, The Notebook this is not.

And as I said before, I don't know what sort of ill-planning and bad-decision-making led to this but he's had better options if he needed a paycheck, ones that don't hurt his career long-term. He could even go "teach" surfing in Australia again if need be.
kleth on September 26th, 2011 07:09 pm (UTC)
Well, in about ten months, when the promo phase for TLO starts, we'll get Zac's explanation. The interviewers will ask, "What drew you to this project?" and he will answer. Of course, he'll only give us the positive side of it, but that's worth something. I don't think anyone will ask him straight out, "What impelled you to make this dumbass move?" nor of course would he answer if they did.

Till then, we are lots of time to pray for that miracle or brilliant marketing. Who knows, maybe the dog will do something and go viral in the Internet and everyone will mob the theaters to see it. Last-minute flurry of posters and ads featuring Zac and the dog. Maybe *that* will be the love story that strikes everyone's fancy.
Beejeezbee on September 26th, 2011 02:56 pm (UTC)
If Zac had no other option than TLO, he should fire his agent and manager. And no, doing a bad movie because others aren't ready yet is way worse. Nobody will tear you apart for a movie which didn't bomb (critically and/or commercially) but the damage a bad movie can do is way bigger than waiting a bit longer. If you want to look at a recent example, you don't have to look further than the reporting on Abduction.

And while Zac might not have been able to get his dream project at that time, he surely should have been able to get something better than TLO. Just look what the media (the ones who even bother to report) thinks about a project like it: example 1 or 2. This is not a good move coming already of a romantic drama he knew would fail. I'm sure he could have gotten a decent indie instead (like the ones he did NOW in 2011) or eg a comedy. It was a shitty decision all around.
annabelle83 on September 26th, 2011 03:11 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's his agent's or manager's fault. As everyone knows, when you're from Disney it's REALLY hard to be taken seriously in the industry. At least for Zac, I think it's quite an accomplishment for a former Disney actor to get adult roles in mature films. Yikes, I sound desperate to find something nice to say about these movies. Haha. To be honest, I can't defend TLO anymore..
Beejeezbee on September 26th, 2011 03:21 pm (UTC)
But if Disney was the problem, why could he get 3 interesting indies now? It's surely Zac's problem in part (and with that I also mean, he might have not been convincing enough in meetings/auditions/etc to sell himself) but a big part falls onto his agent.

Esp since in the second half of 2009 where he should have lined up something to film for 2010 he was coming off 17 Again which he opened to $23.7m and decent reviews. If an agent can't get something halfway decent out of that, idk when then. It was a very obvious failure all around from Zac and his team.

Had they done their job properly in 2009, he would have had at least 1 or 2 projects lined up to film in 2010 and didn't have to pick such dreck as TLO.

ETA: I should add that I think his development projects are actually interesting and I like them for the most part a lot. And the projects he picked this year, esp The Paperboy and the Bahrani movie look very promising. But the non-activity after 17 Again and signing up for TLO (and partly NYE) which led to this unfortunate situation with no movie coming out for a long time as well seem very obvious bad decisions no matter how you look at them.

Edited at 2011-09-26 03:43 pm (UTC)
annabelle83 on September 26th, 2011 03:55 pm (UTC)
But how powerful was Zac after 17 Again? He was still fresh from HSM and people still thought of him as a Disney guy. 17 Again was no doubt a success, but I'm not so sure how much that could help his career at that time. It was still a teen movie after all, and it was just an okay movie. I thought it had fun, good script, and had it been directed by a good director(Sorry, but I don't think Burr is a good director at all) it could've been a very good movie and helped Zac's career a lot, like what Easy A did to Emma Stone.

Zac has definitely matured since then(both in looks and acting), and I think that might have helped him scoring nice indies this year. I think he successfully distanced himself from Disney now, and Charlie St. Cloud proved that he can do well in a drama.
Beejeezbee on September 26th, 2011 04:09 pm (UTC)
There are not many people who can open a movie to that amount on their name. Zac had a lot of leverage at that time (until CStC came out, then he lost a lot because that movie didn't do that well at the box office).

The general consensus (which I personally agree with) is that the script was actually the weak link. Burr isn't that great but he was good enough for 17 Again imo; he was definitely not the problem for me. And comparing
17 Again to Easy A is actually not that far off... with the difference that Emma and her people leveraged it was better than Zac.

Plus, he already had the M&OW reviews from TIFF even though the movie wasn't out in theaters yet.

His power clearly came from the box office though. He did really well with 17 Again there and while a teen comedy, it was a PG-13 movie and it wasn't Disney. Has he distanced himself now even further? Absolutely. But he had enough distance back then to line up something halfway decent for 2010.
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on September 26th, 2011 04:39 pm (UTC)
Powerful enough WB gave him money for a production company.

As the Twistars have shown, not every heartthrob can pull in over $20 million. I don't think Zac could've kept that up long-term, no matter his next step, at his age/experience level but it definitely was a big accomplishment.

And 17 Again, aside from the box office, helped him immensely. He needed positive critical reception and he got it. He needed to prove he could do something other than a musical and he did. He needed to get some more guys not hating him and he did. It was a brilliant move.
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on September 26th, 2011 03:29 pm (UTC)
It is their fault though. Some of it is Zac's fault too ofc. But Disney isn't Zac's problem really now in terms of getting projects. In audience reception it is to a point, yes. But he's done well with 17 Again and even the lesser-seen films have made people believers.

I totally believe that Zac had/has to mature some to really establish himself but after 17 Again he had a lot of options and power. And they did very little to leverage that to find some good interim projects.

But whatever, lol. In the end it will work itself out ofc, as long as Zac keeps doing good work.
It's Audrey not Aubrey: Laughaudrey_za on September 26th, 2011 07:08 pm (UTC)
If Zac had no other option than TLO, he should fire his agent and manager.

I can't, LOL. This is why I like you! (Sorry I know this was a legit convo, but I cracked up at that blunt line and couldn't go on. EXCUSE MY IMMATURITY and continue!)
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on September 26th, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
"If you had absolutely nothing definite on your schedule for at least a year and maybe two, wouldn't you have closed your eyes, crossed yourself, and agreed to star in The Lucky One?"

No, I wouldn't have personally, lol.

Would taking a longer break really have made a difference?

Either way, NYE is the first movie since Charlie St. Cloud that will get to theaters. And after that The Lorax for sure. And possibly Liberal Arts at Sundance. And if we're lucky Paperboy or Bahrani at Cannes. So basically all these other movies he did later, are going to get out first (admittedly the indies won't go wide before TLO).

He could've waited, used the time to better purposes like getting together an actually good studio project. He really does have better options and especially coming off of 17 Again did, idk why they didn't capitalize on that better, lined up something to keep him busy after CStC. But even if he'd waited and gotten something better together and filmed it this spring, it still could've been ready before TLO is coming out.
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on September 26th, 2011 02:46 pm (UTC)
There should be a new NYE trailer coming this week I think. Either that or they are moving the trailer with stars talking into theaters but I'm guessing new.

I'm actually kinda surprised they didn't put a Lorax trailer or even teaser in front of Lion King or Dolphin Tale. Usually animated film trailers come out much earlier than other types of movies.

IDK what they'll do with TLO. They have a trailer but it is early.
annabelle83 on September 26th, 2011 02:54 pm (UTC)
WHAT WHAT? New NYE trailer this week? We have something coming out SOON! YAY!!!
It's Audrey not Aubreyaudrey_za on September 26th, 2011 07:11 pm (UTC)
Either that or they are moving the trailer with stars talking into theaters but I'm guessing new.

That NYE feauture with the actors talking is already showing in theaters. I saw it a week ago at a Regal movie theater in LA before "Drive".

I meant (and forgot) to tell you, my bad! :/
kleth on September 27th, 2011 05:05 am (UTC)
So, getting back to The Paperboy, I'd like to point out that Team Efron seems to have taken the advice offered here earlier.

Calcified, August 2, 2010 (several other posters agreed):

"IMHO his team is operating on the proven-to-be-outdated model of building up a star in Zac through vehicles. The more modern and more useful platform is to get him into movies people want to see, regardless of his presence, and build up not a fanbase (which he already has, though not in all that worthwhile of a sense in terms of credibility) but a sense of good acting and good choices."

Maybe they got scared by TLO in the cold light of day. Anyway, after wrapping that one, everything he's done since then has been in an ensemble project with other name actors: NYE, Untitled Bahrani Project, The Paperboy (I don't count the walk-on in Liberal Arts). Looks like a change in stategy to me.