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By Romeo San Vicente
Schumacher reteams with Cage and Kidman for ‘Trespass’
Gay director Joel Schumacher didn’t exactly set the world on fire with his rich-kids-on-drugs melodrama “Twelve” this year – even if it did get him his first invitation to Sundance. But the filmmaker is back on familiar ground in his next project, working with big stars on what sounds like a standard-issue thriller (hey, you’re good at what you’re good at). Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman are set to star in Schumacher’s “Trespass” as a married couple who gets taken hostage and who discover that the situation reveals hidden cracks in their relationship. It’s a reunion, of sorts; Schumacher previously directed Cage in “8MM” and Kidman in “Batman Forever.” With shooting under way in Louisiana – the cast also features “Twilight” heartthrob Cam Gigandet, and breakout indie guy Ben Mendelsohn from “Animal Kingdom” – “Trespass” is set to break and enter into theaters next year.
Van Hansis vacates daytime for ‘Occupant’
The recent cancellation of “As the World Turns” has meant the loss of one of daytime TV’s most incident-prone gay characters, Luke Synder, played by actor Van Hansis. He survived “ex-gay” therapy, the loss of a boyfriend in a train accident, expulsion from school for trying to rig a student election and several dozen other moments of soapy intrigue, all the while becoming half of a supercouple with Noah Mayer (played by Jake Silbermann, part of the pair collectively known as “Nuke” by hardcore fans). But with “ATWT” just a memory, Hansis is moving on to other challenges, namely the starring role in a new indie film, “Occupant.” He plays the inheritor of a spacious New York apartment who, by the terms of the will, has to lock himself in for 12 days. But is he alone in there? And does it really matter that it’s a piece of primo Manhattan real estate if he has to share it with a demon or psychotic person? Also starring Jamie Harrold (“Erin Brockovich”), “Occupant” could move into theaters as early as this winter.
French titans Deneuve and Depardieu clash in Ozon’s ‘Potiche’
Francois Ozon is one of the most exciting younger directors working in France today. And while he is gay and not hesitant toward homo subject matter in movies like the twisted “Criminal Lovers,” the tragic “Time to Leave,” or the lush mystery-musical “8 Women” , he’s an amazingly eclectic auteur. With “Potiche,” which recently premiered at the Venice Film Festival, he makes his very first full-on comedy, and he does it with a cast of French screen legends. Catherine Deneuve stars as a bourgeois housewife who becomes a corporate executive, bringing her into farcical conflict with union organizer Gerard Depardieu. With supporting performances by Jeremie Renier (“Summer Hours”) and the darkly handsome Sergi Lopez (“Pan’s Labyrinth”), “Potiche” promises to be one of 2011’s most hotly anticipated imports.
Hilary Swank faces life after wartime
Hard-working lesbian producer Christine Vachon (“I’m Not There,” “Boys Don’t Cry”) always keeps a full dance card, and it looks like one of the more notable projects coming from her is “Dreams of a Dying Heart,” the directorial debut of writer Shawn Lawrence Otto (“House of Sand and Fog”). This suspenseful drama stars Hilary Swank as an Iraq war veteran who returns home to her husband (Josh Brolin) and daughter with her body in one piece but her mind shaken by the experience. Almost as soon as she arrives at the airport, she starts having visions of a ghostly boy in blue. Soon, she’s waking up screaming and covered in blood, pictures of her are missing from the wall, and there’s a strange Middle Eastern man in her house – who seems to have designs on her daughter. Sounds chilling – and Swank is always at her best in a short haircut. Shooting starts in October, with “Dreams” set to haunt the big screen in 2012.