Director Sydney Lumet‘s 1973 undercover police drama Serpico earned Al Pacino his second Oscar nomination for Best Actor. While it was another in a long-running streak of Oscar nominations for Pacino that resulted in no wins until 1992’s Scent of a Woman, Serpico‘s other Oscar nomination was for Best Adapted Screenplay for screenwriters Waldo Salt (Midnight Cowboy, The Day of the Locust) and Norman Wexler (Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive). Although Serpico proved to be the last Oscar-worthy project of Wexler’s, Waldo Salt had a much longer, and much darker story in Hollywood screenwriting history.
Waldo Salt was born on October 18, 1914 and grew up in Chicago an accomplished academic. He was so accomplished, in fact, that he graduated from Stanford University at the same time his friends were graduating from high school. Shortly thereafter, Salt was in Hollywood working as a screenwriter for MGM. There he worked on and assisted with various writing projects, but his first solo writing adaptation was with a 1937 film called The Bride Wore Red. The next year, Salt joined the American Communist Party, putting himself on the radar for the House Un-American Activities Committee during the Red Scare/McCarthy era 12 years later. Continue reading →
A new comedy from screenwriter Steve Conrad (The Pursuit of Happyness, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) and director Ken Scott (The Grand Seduction, Delivery Man) called Unfinished Business is opening in theaters this March 6th. Starring Vince Vaughn (Old School, Wedding Crashers), Tom Wilkinson (The Patriot, Selma), and Dave Franco (21 Jump Street, Now You See Me), the movie follows three business associates who encounter bizarre obstacles as they travel across Europe to close a deal that will make-or-break their business. Check out the trailer here on MADE, then check it out on the big screen March 6th.
Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg are once again collaborating on a new project after the huge popularity of their last film, This Is The End, which the two co-wrote together and which featured all of their celebrity co-stars playing themselves, including Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, James Franco, and Danny McBride. Now the two are working on an animated comedy-film, titled Sausage Party, that follows a sausage and his pales who must navigate their way through the super-market and get back to their proper location on the shelf before the big Fourth of July sale. The movie will once again feature Franco, Hill, and Cera, as well as Kristen Wiig, Edward Norton, and David Krumholtz all providing voices for the R-rated characters, but now there is news that Salma Hayek will also be joining the cast. Rogan and Goldberg are currently writing the project, but the two will not be in the director’s chair this time around. Instead, experienced animation directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan will be taking over the responsibility, but we’ll have to wait for more news before we know anything else. The movie has not official release date, but it will most likely be ready for release sometime in 2015.
Director Steve Conrad has finally secured an actor to play the lead role of late comedian John Belushi in his upcoming biopic. While names like Adam Levine and Joaquin Phoenix have been tossed around, the role was finally given to actor Emile Hirsh. Belushi rose to fame in the late 1970s when he became a hit on Saturday Night Live and starred alongside Tim Matheson, Peter Riegert, and Karen Allen in National Lampoon’s Animal House. Belushi was also a huge fan of blues music, releasing an album entitled Briefcase Full Of Blues, and of starring in The Blues Brothers with fellow comedian and collaborator Dan Aykroyd. The sudden and accelerating rise to fame unfortunately became too much for Belushi, who died in 1982 at the age of 33 in Los Angeles, but his legacy has lived on and he has become one of the most iconic and memorable names in comedy. The project is now waiting for production to begin in New York this coming Spring, but with a lead actor and director already in place, filming may begin shortly after that.