This past week, THE BARBER PROJECT has been filming in Pasadena and on the immaculately trimmed streets of the Old Town district in the city of Orange, California. Planeteers Sage and Amélie scoped out the Old Town location, where 1940s-era Buicks, Chevrolets, and Fords in cherry condition were decked out along the very streets where Tom Hanks filmed THAT THING YOU DO a few years ago. Old Town was transformed into small-town ’40s splendor, with a vintage plumbing truck, repainted storefronts for radio repairs, sewing shops, male extras in period hats, and whatnot. We didn’t see any barbershop nor, alas, did we get to see Billy Bob (he’d finished filming for the day, and they were cleaning out his trailer when we happened by). We can report that the production values look pretty high!
A noirish period piece, THE BARBER PROJECT will feature Billy Bob as a barber named Ed married to a faithless woman, played by Oscar™ winner Frances McDormand. Things get twisty between this less-than-happy couple when her boyfriend turns up dead. The Coen Brothers (Joel and Ethan) are currently basking in the glow of positive response for their new film O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU. According to Angelina Jolie from her trans-Atlantic phone calls with her husband, Billy Bob has learned, among other things, how to powder a neck
FROM “Ain’t it Cool News”
A while back I reported on “O Brother Where Art Though” and now I have news on the latest Coen Brothers’ script “Untitled Barber Movie,” which already has Billy Bob Thorton and Frances McDormand attached in the leads. I won’t give away any pertinent plot details, but I will say the story is steeped in noir and reads like text-book Jim Thompson with a running voice-over straight outta Cain’s “Double Indemnity.” The script is set in 1949 and revolves around a “second chair” barber and his cheating wife. UFO’s, Dry-cleaning, homosexuality, barbers, fast-talking lawyers and dim-witted detectives all figure prominently in the script. I don’t see any reason why the Coen’s can’t make a very good film out of this material, but saying that, if I were an investor, I would not touch this script with a ten-foot pole. There are two kinds of people who will go see it: Coen diehards and 40s noir fiction fans. That should bring the box office total to about 5 million. But who cares??? Now, if we can just talk them into shooting the script in B&W;, I could die with a smile on my face without feelin’ like the good Lord gypped me…
Coens land Thornton for ‘barber’ film Billy Bob Thornton has signed on to star in the as-yet-untitled new film from maverick filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen, Variety reports.
The movie, which is being referred to by insiders as “the barber project”, is a period film noir described as being similar to “The Postman Always Rings Twice.” Frances McDormand, who won an Oscar in the Coens’ “Fargo,” will portray a femme fatale married to a barber.
Shooting begins June 21, with Joel Coen (McDormand’s husband) directing and Ethan Coen producing.
Meanwhile, the brothers’ next film is the 1930s chain gang story “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”, with George Clooney. Other Thornton projects awaiting release are the just-completed “Wakin’ Up In Reno” and “Daddy And Them,” a comedy he wrote, stars in and directed. It is to open in September.
Thornton also directed an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s western novel “All The Pretty Horses,” which is due to open in October. After shooting the Coen brothers film, Thornton will then star with Bruce Willis and Cate Blanchett in director Barry Levinson’s “Outlaws,” Variety reports.
Coen brothers Joel and Ethan are to reunite with actress Frances McDormand in a new project due to begin shooting this summer. But Getting together isn’t exactly a logistical nightmare for the team that gave Fargo its sparkle, as McDormand and Joel Coen are married, and Joel and Ethan have been working together since 1983’s Blood Simple, which also starred McDormand. The as-yet-unamed project will be a noir-ish drama made by UK production company Working Title.