Friday, February 29, 2008

Val Kilmer in Public Enemies?

"Sam Raimi is directing 'Drag Me To Hell' which we start shooting the end of March and we're doing a film with Michael Mann called Public Enemy, it's the John Dillinger movie with Johnny Depp and Val Kilmer"

The above quote came from the article found here: and was referenced by Greg Nicotero of KNB special effects studio, you can read more about them]here.

Short Script Review of PUBLIC ENEMIES

Short Script Review of PUBLIC ENEMIES
Posted by ColliderStaff

Hello to all my fans in La La Land. It’s Your Friendly Neighborhood Fidel from Florida here. I’m back to yap at ya about something set to grab the silver screen and shake it down.

Public Enemies was written by Ronan Bennett with revisions by Michael Mann (Heat, Miami Vice) and Ann Biderman (Smilla’s Sense of Snow). The draft was dated November 2007. Needless to say, things can change since the strike is over, but Universal greenlit the movie based on this draft.

Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd, Pirates of the Carribean) is set to star as John Dillinger and, on the opposite side of the coin, Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, 3:10 to Yuma) as Melvin Purvis. Fresh off the Oscar win, Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose) is going to raise her status instantly in her turn as Dillinger’s squeeze Billie Frechette. Channing Tatum (Step Up, GI Joe), Giovanni Ribisi (My Name is Earl, Friends) and Stephen Dorff (Blade, S.F.W.) are set to round out the cast and some of Dillinger’s criminal cohorts.

THE STORY Public Enemies focuses on John Dillinger from around the time he meets Billie Frechette to his death at the hands of law enforcement. This is also the story of the lawman, Melvin Purvis, set to task by J. Edger Hoover to bring him in.

THE SKINNY John Dillinger is a gentleman’s bandit. While he’ll rob from a bank, he won’t take the customers’ cash as well. He’s a charmer and quick to sweep coat check girl Billie Frechette off her feet. He’s also a loyal friend and we first see him starting a jail break to bust pals out of the clink. These qualities elevate him to the status of a cult hero which makes Hoover all the more keen on catching him.

Melvin Purvis is a square-jawed lawman who finds himself in the deep end. After nailing Pretty Boy Floyd, he gets assigned to bring down Dillinger for Hoover and the Feds. Dillinger’s craftiness leads to some slip ups which wear down on Purvis. He isn’t out to make a name for himself, but learns early on his role to make a name for Hoover. Ultimately, Purvis sees Hoover for the bag of hot air that he is.

These two men are set on a collision course with bodies left in the wake.

The writing is terse and to the point, but easily conveys the tone and the world of crime-riddled 1930s Chicago. With a couple of robberies, the constant chase and some well-known criminals thrown in, the pace and excitement never slow. I think the weight of the love story will fall on Depp and Cotillard, but they’re up to the challenge. I’m really looking forward to Depp playing more of a standard leading man role after some fantastic, but fantastical, roles.

The thought of Depp vs. Bale has my knees weak in a totally hetero way. Those of you who caught Bale in 3:10 to Yuma know what he can do with a somewhat reticent lawman role.

THE FINAL WORD This cast and story spell good things for Michael Mann. Mann just so happens to know his way around a crime flick and Public Enemies is a love letter to the gangster films of old. The Untouchables comes to mind as its more recent movie kin.]this

Wenham, Graham join 'Public Enemies'

Wenham, Graham join 'Public Enemies'
By Borys Kit
Feb 22, 2008

David Wenham and Stephen Graham have joined the cast of Universal's "Public Enemies," Michael Mann's gangster film starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. An adaptation of Brian Burrough's book "Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-43," the film centers on the government's attempt to stop John Dillinger and his gang. Depp is playing Dillinger to Bale's famed FBI agent Melvin Purvis. Wenham is playing Pete Pierpont, a member of Dillinger's crew who has a violent hostility to all authority. British actor Graham will portray Baby Face Nelson.
Also in the cast are Marion Cotillard, Channing Tatum, Giovanni Ribisi and Stephen Dorff. Shooting begins in March in Chicago. Wenham recently finished production on Baz Luhrmann's "Australia," opposite Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, for 20th Century Fox. He also appeared in the "Lord of the Rings" movies and "300." He is repped by Endeavor, Artists-Independent Management in the U.S. and Shanahan Management in Australia. Graham ("This Is England") is repped by Kritzer Levine Wilkins Entertainment and in the U.K. by Independent Talent Group.

Public Enemies script review
By Jeremy Smith
Published Today News
The Crop: Public Enemies
The Studio: Universal Pictures
The Director: Michael Mann
The Writers: Ronan Bennett w/ revisions by Ann Biderman and Mann
The Cast: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Channing Tatum, Giovanni Ribisi, Jason Clarke, Stephen Dorff and John Ortiz

The Premise: Gentleman bank robber John Dillinger and square-jawed federal agent Melvin Purvis do the Neil McCauley/Vincent Hannah dance in an impeccably structured narrative that starts with Dillinger's 1933 escape from the Indiana State Prison and concludes with his assassination outside Chicago's Biograph Theatre in 1934.

The Context: Does Michael Mann really need a hit? That depends on the studios' willingness to continue granting the sixty-five-year-old director substantial budgets and final cut even though his films rarely gross north of $70 million domestically (Collateral, starring a pre-couch Tom Cruise, is his only film to crack $100 million). For a while, Mann dodged this kind of ruthless, bottom-line thinking by attaching bankable stars to his less-than-bankable projects (strange to think that Ali wasn't bankable, but boxing hasn't been a serious draw in this country since Mike Tyson bit off Evander Holyfield's ear*), but then Miami Vice happened. Suddenly, the studios weren't so hot on the notoriously exacting filmmaker.

We know this because I'm not writing about what will probably (and sadly) be known in perpetuity as Mann/Logan Project. A lavishly imagined film noir set against the backdrop of 1930s Hollywood, the production couldn't entice a single studio in town despite the marketable leading man presence of Leonardo DiCaprio to offset its proposed $120 million (New Line tried to interest Mann in a massively scaled-back $90 million rendition, but he wisely declined). Had Mann come calling in the wake of The Insider, the answer almost certainly would've been "Is $120 million all you need?" But after the extreme commercial disappointment of the very pricey Miami Vice in 2006, there was a sense that the filmmaker couldn't be trusted, that his instincts were off. The Insider had bought Mann all kinds of prestige clout, but, evidently, this goodwill was all used up.

So Mann began to cast about for something a little more affordable, or, barring that, vastly more commercial than a backlot noir starring one of today's hottest stars. One potential project was The Winter of Frankie Machine, an adaptation of Don Winslow's aging hit man yarn being developed by Robert De Niro. Getting back together with one-half of Heat's thespian dream team sounded promising enough, but was the material durable enough to withstand Mann's aggressive tinkering? Before we could see a script, Mann was on to the next big thing, a second go-round with Will Smith called Empire. Described by Smith as a Richard III-influenced character study of a media mogul, the screenplay was still in its nascent stages back in December of '07; it would be some time before it was up to Mann's precise standards.

Well, since the studios aren't buying 1930s noirs, how about Public Enemies, a... 1930s gangster epic centered on the adversarial relationship between expert criminal John Dillinger and stolid G-man Melvin Purvis? It's like the Mann/Logan project, but stripped of glitz and DiCaprio! If the studios aren't going for DiCaprio as a gumshoe, you'll get shut down all over town unless you've got, say, Johnny Depp attached as Dillinger.

So Mann went and got, say, Johnny Depp attached as Dillinger. But how's the Dillinger saga more commercial than the Logan noir?

The Script: I imagine the pitch going something like this: "What if I could give you a younger, sexier Heat in 134 minutes with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale?", at which point Universal quickly forgot the myriad headaches of Miami Vice and coughed up the nine-figure budget.

At least the studio knows all of the shooting will take place in the continental United States. Even more important, they've got to be excited to have Mann shooting a relatively compact gangster flick that's heavier on heists and getaways than brooding meditations on cop/criminal duality (though I should not that I'm working from Mann's 11/4/07 revisions; he's had over three months to go nuts on the tête-à-têtes). For Mann-iacs, there are definite pluses and minuses here: while the details of the bank jobs and shootouts are lovingly explicated down to the last ejected shotgun shell, the character depth is, at present, nowhere near the level of Heat and heavily imbalanced. But the latter deficiency may be intentional; despite his mental acuity (J. Edgar Hoover values intellect over common street smarts), Purvis is a neophyte compared to Vincent Hannah. He's not good enough to catch Dillinger on his own; he'll need ringers - the kinds of hired guns Hoover detests - to bring Dillinger in.

If this lopsided dynamic isn't being addressed in current rewrites (given Mann's burnishing tendencies, there's little doubt he's doing something to the script prior to principal), here's what you'll get: Depp's most unaffected star turn since Blow and Bale doing what Bale does best, which looks something like this...

I'm not complaining or taking (much of) a shot at Bale. Actors have to take cuts in their wheelhouse from time to time to keep their mechanics sharp. Also, a minimalist magician like Mann could find heretofore unexploited nuances in Bale's impassiveness; there may be a wealth of character lurking in Purvis that can't be expressed on the page.

But let's focus on what Public Enemies gets right: Dillinger and the period through which he briefly, but flamboyantly romped. The script opens with the gangster breaking out of the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. The operation - which also entails springing Harry Pierpont, Charles Makley, Homer Van Meter and Dillinger's mentor, Walter Dietrich - goes smoothly until the vicious Ed Shouse loses control and bashes the brains out of a random guard. Figuring this is his fate as well, on of the other guards lurches for Van Meter's .45; the result is a bloody, protracted firefight that leaves Dietrich dead (Dillinger thrashes, but stops just short of killing Shouse once the gang is clear of the prison).

Before moving on to Purvis's intro, there's an interlude at a nearby farmhouse where Dillinger and the boys change out of their prison duds and grab a quick bite courtesy of a poverty stricken family. This allows Mann to establish Dillinger's a) generosity (he peels off a $20 bill, which is double what their breakfast might've cost), and attractiveness to the opposite sex (the farmer's young daughter quietly pleads with Dillinger to take her with him).

Whether genuine or pure public relations put-on, Dillinger's congeniality stands in sharp contrast to Purvis's joyless demeanor (which reportedly inspired Dick Tracy's no-nonsense profile). And we get our first glimpse of it as the agent is chasing down a fleeing Pretty Boy Floyd through the woods of East Liverpool, Ohio. Purvis orders Floyd to halt, and ducks a hail of Thompson scatter for his trouble. Ultimately, Purvis has no choice but to fire on Floyd, and he puts him down for good; however, before Floyd expires, he gets the opportunity to gurgle out a "rot in hell" to his relentless pursuer. It's difficult to tell how Purvis feels about his handiwork; J. Edgar Hoover, on the other hand, is thrilled, and tasks his rising star to make Dillinger his next dead-or-alive collar.

With this, we cut back to Purvis's quarry, who's swiftly cleaning out the vault of a bank somewhere in Indiana with Van Meter, Pierpont and Makley. Dillinger's efficiency is breathtaking (later in the script, he claims he can get in and out in one-minute-forty), and the minutiae of his execution will surely prove fascinating once Mann gets this sucker up on its feet (I especially like Makley's "git", a pre-Mapquest "triptik" plotted out to the last tenth of a mile). Flush once again, Dillinger descends upon Chicago for some long overdue carousing. He also touches base with the heavy hitters in the Windy City: Alvin Karpis (the apparent mastermind of the Barker gang**), Frank Nitti, Phil D'Andrea, and so on. Karpis is enamored of Dillinger, but the others resent his devil-may-care style; in particular, Nitti and D'Andrea would prefer to keep a low-profile and work within the corrupt system rather than shake it up.

It's during this stay in Chicago that Dillinger lays eyes upon the alleged love of his life: the exotic, half-Native American Bille Frechette (Cotillard). Dillinger may live by a strict set of rules (never work with people who are desperate, never work with people who aren't the best, never work when you're not ready), but he is an absolute sucker for a pretty woman. And Bille, a coat-check girl at the Steuben Club, stomps all over every last one of his libidinal weaknesses. But Dillinger is serious. He sees Bille as the one for the long haul, and he doesn't waste time romancing her. When she protests that she barely knows him, Dillinger lets loose like a verbal Tommy Gun: "I was raised on a farm in Mooresville, Indiana. My ma died when I was three. My daddy beat the hell out of me because he didn't know no better way to raise me. I used to do dumb things, but I'm a lot smarter now. I like baseball, movies, good clothes, fast cars, and you. What else do you need to know?" Soon after, they're a couple.

You can hardly blame Mann for falling in love with the charismatic Dillinger***. After all, he's one of his guys: a stone-cold professional dedicated to doing things the right way with the minimal amount of fuss or collateral damage. Interestingly, Mann's sympathies on the law enforcement side seem to favor Purvis's ringers: Charles Winstead, Clarence Hurt and Gerry Campbell. When the shit goes down (particularly in a ferocious, late second act shootout in Manitowish, Wisconsin involving the erratic "Baby Face" Nelson), it's brutally evident that these are the only guys capable of touching a pro like Dillinger. And Mann respects that. Shit, when his time comes, Dillinger respects that. Thematically, this is overly familiar territory for Mann. If there's a new wrinkle, it's that Dillinger is as committed to a good time as he is to his chosen craft - which he will not renounce even though it's clear he's grown obsolete. "Only thing that's important is where somebody's going," he tells Bille. And when it becomes clear he'll never get there with Bille, he makes peace with the universe under the marquee of the Biograph Theatre (where he just took comfort in the second-rate charms of W.S. Van Dyke's Manhattan Melodrama).

If this isn't Mann's most personal work, who cares? This script fucking moves. And its unrelenting velocity ensures that - provided Mann does his typically brilliant job behind the camera (with Dante Spinotti, who is 100% confirmed as the film's DP) - Public Enemies will be his biggest box office hit ever. This is Mann's The Untouchables, the one that will keep him working through the next decade with final cut and budgets worthy of his expansive vision. Let the guy have a little fun, and then let him get back to being one of our most essential filmmakers.

Why It Should Be Great: There's somewhere around five heists in the screenplay and two major shootouts (the most involved being the FBI ambush of Dillinger's hideout in Wisconsin). While the action doesn't overwhelm the character development, it's more of an emphasis than it's ever been in a Mann film. If nothing else, this is going to be an enormously entertaining movie.

Why It Might Miss: No chance. Mann's a professional. This is not his Amy Brenneman.

What's Next: Land of the Lost.*Mann was also about four years late on the Ali resurgence incited by When We Were Kings and the champ's inspiring torch lighting moment at the 1996 Olympics.**A script notation quotes an historian who claims Ma Barker "couldn't organize breakfast".***The screenplay includes this excerpt from a newspaper account of Dillinger's post-apprehension press conference in Chicago: "His diction was amazing - better in many instances than that of his interviewers - his poise no less so... There was no hint of hardness about him, no evidence save in the alert presence of armed policemen that he had spent his formative years in a penitentiary. He had none of the sneer of the criminal... Looking at him for the first time...he rates as the most amazing specimen of his kind ever seen outside of wildly imaginative moving picture."

March 17 is new start date
A monster-budget film, Michael Mann's "Public Enemies" and “Kept,” the first of two low-budget horror films from local Light Tower Entertainment, are both scheduled to start production March 17.

Casting call reveals film's shooting dates

We start shooting in mid-March and shoot through June 2008. I will be holding open casting calls soon! Stay tuned.We will be shooting in Chicago and on location in Wisconsin (various towns). We will have open casting calls in Chicago for our Chicago extras and in Wisconsin for our Wisconsin extras. All casting calls TBD.

Bryan Burrough: Me and Johnny Depp—oh, and Christian Bale
February 6, 2008
Bryan Burrough
Bryan Burrough: Me and Johnny Depp—oh, and Christian Bale

There are two kinds of writers at Vanity Fair, those like Dominick and Amy and Maureen who live on the Upper East Side and lunch with moguls and fashionistas at the Four Seasons, and those like me who live in the suburbs and eat lunch in their kitchens or, on a big day, Taco Bell. I know. Not the glamorous life one might expect. Suddenly, though, I’ve found myself immersed in a project with the likes of Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, and while I’m trying to stay cool about the whole thing, there are moments I feel like a fifth-grade girl at a Hannah Montana concert.

Long story short, Hollywood is about to begin filming a movie based on a book I wrote a while back, Public Enemies, which told the story of the FBI’s birth chasing Depression-era outlaws such as John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Bonnie & Clyde. Depp is to play Dillinger. Bale is his nemesis, FBI agent Melvin Purvis. Marie Cotillard, currently nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, has signed to play Dillinger’s girl, Billie Frechette. The director is Michael Mann, whose movies include the DeNiro-Pacino Heat; Ali, with Will Smith; and Last of the Mohicans.

No, no, I didnt write the script, which will focus mostly on Dillinger and Nelson. Mann and others did. (And it’s terrific.) No, no, I’m not some big-ticket consultant. In fact, my sole ongoing involvement is my humiliating devolution into a kind of Super Fan Boy. At least three times a day, I swear, I log onto IMDb, the movie site, to see what people are saying on the new Public Enemies bulletin board. Beginning in early March, the movie is to be shot during a 90-day period in Wisconsin and Chicago, and most of the posters are Wisconsinites who want to be extras, or at least want to see the filming. Everyone else seems to spend their time arguing over which actor ought to play whom. (Philip Seymour Hoffman: Apparently you rock.) No news yet on who will play Baby Face Nelson and J. Edgar Hoover. (Val Kilmer as Hoover? More Kilmer fans out there than one might expect.)

Exciting, yes. But in a strangely indirect way. How low have I fallen? Well, at least once a day I Google “Public Enemies” and “Michael Mann” and “Wisconsin.” Because the best tidbits I get are from the Wisconsin newspapers. I’m telling you, this is big, big news in Cheese Head country. Every town in the state, it appears, from Oshkosh to Baraboo, has been visited by a location scout, and every visit seems to generate an article or two. I can tell you with authority that the big news in Madison last weekend was the arrival of a “car wrangler” who put out radio advertisements asking for anyone with a 1930s-era car, truck, or bus to bring them to a library parking lot for inspection. Those who pass muster presumably get into the movie.

If I’m lucky, I may get to visit the set at some point. In my dreams I might even get a cameo. The last time I took my 13-year-old to Taco Bell, he told me he had the perfect role for me. He wants me to play a corpse.

Cotillard making "Enemies"

Cotillard making 'Enemies' By Borys Kit
Jan 27, 2008

Marion Cotillard, who was nominated for an Oscar for her star turn in "La Vie en Rose," is in negotiations to join Johnny Depp and Christian Bale in "Public Enemies," Universal's Depression-era crime drama being directed by Michael Mann. An adaptation of Brian Burrough's book "Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-43," the story follows the government's attempt to stop the criminals John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd. Depp is playing Dillinger to Bale's famed FBI agent Melvin Purvis. Cotillard will play Billie, Dillinger's torch singer girlfriend.

Mann, Ronan Bennett and Ann Biderman wrote the script. Production is due to start later this winter in Chicago and other Midwest locales. Mann and Kevin Misher are producing.

Robert De Niro and his partner Jane Rosenthal, who originally optioned the book, are exec producing. "Enemies" is not Cotillard's first English-language feature.
The French actress has appeared in, among other English productions, "A Good Year," with Russell Crowe. Cotillard is repped by CAA.

Colleen Atwood to do costumes

In her response on Jan 23, 2008 to her Sweeney Todd Oscar nominations, Ms. Atwood shares that she is costuming PUBLIC ENEMIES. Colleen Atwood was driving to work on Michael Mann's "Public Enemies" when she heard the news about her nomination for costume design for "Sweeney Todd." "I'm really thrilled to be nominated for a movie that had such great people working on it like Johnny (Depp) and Tim (Burton)," said Atwood, who is designing costumes for Depp for his role in "Enemies." Despite the nom, Atwood, who collaborated on Burton's "Big Fish" and "Sleepy Hollow," said she felt a certain amount of discontent brought on by the writers strike. "It does feel weird to be working right now and to see all these people that do what I do who are out of work," she said. "You feel great about the nomination, but you also feel this sense of unsettlement that surrounds you."
Date: January 21, 2008
By: El Mayimbe Source: CAXE

El Mayimbe aqui… Another year, another set of dope scripts. My favorite reader in the world CAXE recently took a look at Michael Mann’s PUBLIC ENEMIES and I have to admit, CAXE got me all jazzed about seeing this. This sounds really hot, and with the addition of Depp and Bale, it should make for a kick ass film. HEAT Meets THE UNTOUCHABLES?! I’m so there in 2009. The film is an adaptation of Bryan Burrough's book "Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-43," the Universal Pictures project follows the government's attempt to stop the criminals John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd. Depp is playing Dillinger.

Bale would play Melvin Purvis, who led the FBI's manhunt for Dillinger and captured more public enemies than any other agent in FBI history.

What did CAXE have to say?

Read along… Yo Mayimbe! I just read Michael Mann’s new project Public Enemies. I wasn’t too excited about this project after Miami Vice, but now that I’ve read it – *beep* I cannot wait until 2009 because it seems Michael Mann might actually be back in top form with Public Enemies. This is Heat meets The Untouchables, with the potential for gorgeous settings, well-paced drama, and smoldering action sequences reminiscent of one of best period pieces of all time (at least in my mind), LA Confidential.

Public Enemies is about John Dillinger, but it’s not a bio pic by any means. We pick up in 1933, after Dillinger is already a notorious gangster, and follow him into the last few years of his life as he runs from the law and tries to fit into a world of crime that is quickly rendering his ways obsolete. Johnny Depp is perfect for Dillinger – a seriously spot-on, perfect piece of casting. Christian Bale will shine as Purvis, the unrelenting and Dick Tracy-esque federal agent hunting Dillinger. I’m excited to see who else will join the cast – no doubt a few more heavy-hitters because there are some meaty supporting roles here.

September 1933. JOHN DILLINGER is driven to prison by his partner and confidant, RED HAMILTON. As he gets processed into prison again, several inmates break out and report to Dillinger, who leads them back to Red and the getaway car.

Now we see MELVIN PURVIS, federal agent, run after PRETTY BOY FLOYD. After a good chase, Purvis fires at Floyd and hits him, killing the gangster.

In the throes of the Great Depression, Dillinger sets up shop in Chicago with a network of men, including a gunsmith, a corrupt cop, and a car dealer – he’s nearly invincible: His robberies are perfectly planned – every man on his team has a job and does it well. There are no casualties and to top things off, Dillinger has the public’s support – he is a charismatic and good looking gentleman who is always nice to the civilians, as he assures them he is only after the bank’s money, not theirs.

Meanwhile in Washington, a young politician named J. EDGAR HOOVER tries to get more money from Congress to fight organized crime. Hoover is an arrogant and stubborn elite, but he’s dynamic, gets results, and is bent on ridding the world of men like John Dillinger. Hoover is impressed with Purvis, Back from his capture of Pretty Boy Floyd, and assigns him on his new mission: destroy Dillinger.

Purvis tracks Dillinger and we get to see a number of old surveillance methods, including old fashioned wire taps, but Dillinger is always a step ahead. One night at a club, Dillinger meets a beautiful young girl named BILLIE and falls in love on the spot. He pursues her and his charm wins her over.

But this notoriety wears thin and Dillinger slowly realizes that his Robin Hood style antics of bank robberies may be a thing of the past. As his connections begin to dwindle, Dillinger has to start doing things he thought he’d never do to survive, all while Purvis gets closer in his pursuit – and from Hoover’s orders, it’s clear that Dillinger is wanted more dead than alive.

The first act is just stupendous. It made me skeptical because typically, when a first act is good, the rest can suck. While there is some sagging at later points in the story, however, overall, the rest of the story finishes just as good as the first act – this is a dynamite project. We have a great, twisting plot that balances Dillinger’s crime story and his love affair with the overall picture of organized crime in the 1930s and how the government was trying to stop it.

There are a ton of characters – and all of them, from the big roles down to the small supporting ones, are well written. Given the right cast, this is an ensemble that can shine like the aforementioned LA Confidential, Zodiac, or The Departed. The dialogue is slick and refreshing as well as captivating, all while matching the period. The history literally jumps out at you – in this sense, the historical accuracy in every aspect of this story reminded me a great deal of something in the scope of The Aviator. Also, there are some flat out fantastic action sequences, from the opening jail break to the final tension-filled climax.

I honestly can’t say enough good things about this. I loved it. In terms of comparison with the recent American Gangster – I honestly was a little let down by American Gangster; I liked it, but it was a little underwhelming. I think that Public Enemies is going to be everything American Gangster wasn’t for me – the story is tighter, the drama and romance better written, and the set pieces just rife with potential.

Honestly, the only criticism I would have for Public Enemies is the ending. I can forgive a weak film with a great ending, but I have a hard time forgiving a great film with a weak ending. This ending isn’t weak – the ending is kind of… a letdown. It makes total sense and resolves an important piece of the story, but my problem isn’t with the scene itself, but we need a bigger ending – something worthy of such a kick ass film, because, in the end, it’s all about the ending. It doesn’t take much to please me – even just a half a page bigger in scope and I’m happy. Let’s hope that an idea has been cooking in Mann’s head for this project during the strike.

I cannot think of anything else I did not like. Public Enemies now tops my list of films to see in 2009, and that, my friends, cannot come soon enough.
Posted: Thurs., Jan. 10, 2008, 8:20pm PT

Bale on Depp's trail in 'Public'

Actors to face off in Michael Mann's 'Enemies'
Christian Bale is in negotiations to join Johnny Depp in Michael Mann's upcoming "Public Enemies." According to a person familiar with the situation, Bale will play Melvin Purvis, the legendary FBI agent who led the manhunt for John Dillinger. Depp is starring as Dillinger in the pic, which is set up at Universal and is slated to begin production in March (Daily Variety, Dec. 6).

Mann is producing via his Forward Pass banner, with Kevin Misher and his Misher Films. Jane Rosenthal of Tribeca is exec producing. Read the full article at:

Next we got this production data: Public Enemies Logline: Set during the great crime wave of 1933-34, the government attempts to stop Depression-era criminal legends such as John Dillilnger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd and transformed J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI into the country’s first federal police force. Writer: Michael Mann Agency: Creative Artists Agency Studio: Universal Pictures Prod. Co: Forward Pass Misher Films Tribeca Films Genre: Drama Logged: 12/6/2007
Then we read this confirmation!

Actor steps up to 'Enemies'

Michael Mann and Johnny Depp will make "Public Enemies" for Universal. Meeting hours before the Hollywood premiere of Depp’s "Sweeney Todd," the director and actor shook hands on a deal that triggers a March 10 start for "Public Enemies" in Chicago.Drama is set during the great crime wave of 1933-34, when the government’s attempts to stop Depression-era criminal legends such as John Dillilnger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd transformed J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI into the country’s first federal police force. Mann wrote the script, based on Bryan Burrough’s 2004 tome. Depp will play John Dillinger, considered the most notorious gangster of the era. Mann and his Forward Pass will produce with Kevin Misher and his Misher Films. Tribeca’s Jane Rosenthal will be exec producer. While Mann had been mulling several projects that included a reteam with "Collateral" star Tom Cruise on "Edwin A. Salt" at Columbia, "Public Enemies" gained momentum in the past six weeks, and became a reality when Depp became available after Warner Bros. postponed "Shantaram" due to concerns about script, costs and the prospect of shooting in India with monsoon season approaching.

Depp casing Mann's 'Public' heist

This is the first that we heard about this project: The Vine: Depp casing Mann's 'Public' heist
By Carly Mayberry and Borys Kit
Dec 4, 2007
Johnny Depp doesn't shy away from blood in the upcoming "Sweeney Todd," for which he's being touted as a major Oscar contender, and he might again find himself awash in blood if he opts to join up with producer-director Michael Mann for a film about the Depression-era crime wave.Mann has long been interested in mounting a screen adaptation of Brian Burrough's nonfiction book "Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34" for Universal; at one point, Leonardo DiCaprio was attached to the project, but DiCaprio is headed into Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island."But Mann -- who has considered taking the helm of Columbia's spy thriller "Edwin A. Salt" but has not committed to that project because he believes it needs a rewrite -- has an open slot.As for Depp, he was to have starred in Warner/Initial Entertainment's "Shantaram" followed by Warner Independent's "The Rum Diaries," but both of those projects were postponed last month, leaving the star with an opening in his schedule.So Depp and Mann are sitting down this week to discuss the possibility of joining forces; Depp is said to be eyeing the role of bank robber John Dillinger. Along with Mann, Kevin Misher is on board as producer; Robert De Niro and his partner Jane Rosenthal, who originally optioned the book, have been involved as exec producers; and the studio is looking at a March start in Chicago if all the elements come together.

All archived Sweeney Todd information

Now that Sweeney Todd is winding down, we are archiving all of the info here on our blog.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Francesca Lo Schiavo responds to her win

Francesca Lo Schiavo responds to her win:

The press room must have looked pretty familiar to "Sweeney Todd's" Dante Ferretti and Lo Schiavo, who won the art direction Oscar three years ago for their work on "The Aviator.""Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic," Lo Schiavo said of their experience working with helmer Tim Burton. "He opened my mind, he's (such) a great artist. Really, working with him, it was an award."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sweeney Todd, Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo win Oscar©

Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo are awarded Oscars© for Best Art Direction of SWEENEY TODD at the 80th Annual Academy Awards© tonight in Hollywood.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Oscar® Nominees to Be Honored at Academy Luncheon

Oscar® Nominees to Be Honored at Academy Luncheon

Beverly Hills, CA –– Eleven of the 19 nominees in the acting categories will be among the more than 100 Academy Award® nominees who will gather at noon on Monday (February 4) at the Beverly Hilton Hotel when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will honor this year’s Oscar contenders at its annual Nominees Luncheon.

From the Leading Actor and Actress categories, George Clooney, Viggo Mortensen, Julie Christie, Marion Cotillard, Laura Linney and Ellen Page are expected to attend. Ruby Dee, Amy Ryan, Casey Affleck, Javier Bardem and Hal Holbrook are set to represent the Supporting Actress and Actor categories.

All six nominees from the Directing category – Paul Thomas Anderson, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Tony Gilroy, Jason Reitman and Julian Schnabel – are expected to represent their category. In addition, all 13 of the nominated writers will be present, including Anderson and the Coen brothers along with fellow nominees Brad Bird, Jim Capobianco, Diablo Cody, Tony Gilroy, Christopher Hampton, Ronald Harwood, Tamara Jenkins, Nancy Oliver, Jan Pinkava and Sarah Polley.

Academy Awards® for outstanding film achievements of 2007 will be presented on Sunday, February 24, 2008, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 5 p.m. PT. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.