Michelle Pfeiffer To Star With Tim Robbins And Chole Moretz In "Man Down"
Tim Robbins to Direct, Star In Dark Comedy ‘Man Under’
Michelle Pfeiffer and Chloe Moretz also star in the film telling the story of a Yonkers family whose lives are changed when a photo of them in a museum makes them celebrities.
Tim Robbins is going to direct and star in Man Under, a dark comedy which will also star Michelle Pfeiffer and Chloe Moretz.
Based on a screenplay by Ann Cherkis, it is being produced by Alexandra Milchan through her company EMJAG Productions, along with Scott Lambert of Film 360 and Aimee Peyronnet.
The movie is described as being in the vein of American Beauty and The Royal Tenenbaums. It is about a dysfunctional Yonkers, New York family whose lives are changed after a photo of them ends up in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, turning them into celebrities.
It was first set up with producer Scott Rudin at Miramax Films in 2008, but neither Rudin nor Miramax is involved any longer.
Robbins recently starred in the drama Thanks For Sharing, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. He is next scheduled to be seen in the drama Back To 1942 which is set in China, and also has directed episodes of HBO’s Treme.
Robbins was nominated for a Golden Globe last year for HBO’s Cinema Verite and won an Oscar, SAG Award and Golden Globe for is work on Mystic River. He was also nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe as a director for Dead Man Walking.
Pfeiffer recently starred in People Like Us and was seen in the feature Dark Shadows, which starred Johnny Depp. She has been nominated for three Academy Awards and six Golden Globe Awards, winning for her critically acclaimed work in The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989).
Moretz most recently starred in Dark Shadows and was in Hugo. She is currently filming the sequel to Kick Ass, reprising her role as Hit Girl, and will next be seen in the MGM remake of Carrie.
Cherkis wrote the 2008 drama The Secret, which went straight to DVD in the U.S.
UTA Independent Film Group is arranging the financing and representing the film for sale. Robbins is a UTA client and is also represented by manager Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas at 3 Arts. Pfeiffer is represented by CAA, Management 360 and attorney. Moretz is represented by WME, 3 Arts and the law firm Jackoway Tyerman.
Review of the script. Michelle going lesbian??
About: Tis an artsy film with a nod towards The Squid And The Whale. Totally out of left field and a unique read.
Writer: Ann Cherkis
Man Under is a rather odd story about a family from Yonkers that’s all sorts of fucked up. Stephen, the father, lives in the basement and refuses to talk to his family. Miriam, the mother, is a beautiful librarian who dreams of collecting first edition books she can’t afford. Wally, their geeky teenage son, is so used to getting bullied that he’s actually bored of it. And Joy, the fellow-geek daughter, is so obsessed with “cock” that she sneaks a peek at male porn whenever she gets a chance. The family has basically given up on being a family.
I’m not really a “wacky family movie” kind of guy. But this script had so much depth to the characters that it made up for a lot of the things in the genre that I usually hate (don’t get me started on Little Miss Sunshine!). The film that most comes to mind when reading Man Under is The Squid And The Whale. However whereas that movie forces its depression down your throat for the sole purpose of wanting to depress you , the depression here stems from an actual event – a subway train the father was driving hitting and killing a suicide jumper – what is known as a “Man Under”. The event destroys the father and sends him into a deep depression, ultimately taking the rest of the family along with him. One death, five lives lost.
But then the family receives a mysterious trunk in the mail that contains dozens of old but fashionable (in a quirky retro way) clothes. On a whim, everyone (sans the father) decides to throw on an outfit and head into Manhattan. Once there, they’re spotted by a strange but beautiful photographer, who asks to take their picture. When the photographer dies three months later, the picture becomes semi-famous, and the family finds themselves becoming mini-celebrities.
Each family member uses their mini-celebrity to pursue things they were previously too afraid to, and each storyline that results is quietly interesting. Wally asks out the hot girl. Joy starts dating a man twice her age. Miriam develops a relationship with a fellow book lover - a woman - that teeters on romance. And Stephen? Well, he’s still haunted by that horrible day. But even he finds redemption. That’s one of the unique aspects I liked about the script. Usually the “coming-of-age” story centers around a single person. Here, it tackles an entire family.
Man Under does what any good story should. It introduces you to a cast of characters you’d never find in your day-to-day life, and makes you want to follow them. I don’t think the narrative here is mainstream enough to propel the script to the big screen. But it’s a wonderful character study, and something you might enjoy reading if you have a couple of hours.
WHAT I LEARNED FROM MAN UNDER
The power of a unique character holds a lot of weight. Coco is a 14 year old girl obsessed with ballet so as to help forget the memory of her sister. Joy is a geek obsessed with sex. Wally isn’t scared of bullies. He’s bored with them. Sherman has given up on his family. Miriam is a beautiful librarian who hasn’t thought about accentuating her beauty until now. I haven’t read a single character like any of these people in any screenplay I’ve ever read. Remember that when writing your characters.