It’s official now, as previously reported, Ben Affleck will join Michael again for “Pearl Harbor.”
Affleck serves ‘Harbor’ duty for no upfront
By Anita M. Busch
Ben Affleck is the second high-profile actor to jump aboard Disney’s “Pearl Harbor” for filmmakers Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay, despite the project’s budgetary restrictions on casting. Negotiations were completed late Friday night on a deal by which Affleck will take no money upfront for the lead role.
“Harbor” is emerging as a case of talent rallying around talent. Cuba Gooding Jr. was first to come aboard for Bruckheimer and Bay. The involvement of Affleck and Gooding Jr. comes after the filmmakers’ very public, very bumpy negotiations with the studio to get the project greenlit. Adding to the interest from A-listers is Randall Wallace’s gritty, engaging script, several sources said.
Both actors are friends of the filmmakers. Affleck was cast in the Bruckheimer-produced, Bay-directed “Armageddon” before winning a best original screenplay Oscar for “Good Will Hunting”; Gooding Jr. plays in Bruckheimer’s hockey league.
Gene Hackman, who has worked with Bruckheimer on “Enemy of the State” and “Crimson Tide,” might also come aboard, but no decision has yet been made.
Bruckheimer and Bay experienced a rough review at the studio for “Harbor” after the departure of former chairman Joe Roth, who championed the project and gave it its first greenlight. After Roth left, Eisner re-evaluated Roth’s decision to make the film at a price tag of $145 million and had the filmmakers make further cuts to bring it down another $10 million.
Bruckheimer and Bay reduced their own fees and then, because the bulk of the project cost is being applied toward its massive production, were left with only a small budget to cast even the lead roles. The filmmakers plan to re-create fully the Dec. 7, 1941, early-morning bombing by the Japanese of the Hawaiian naval base, a pivotal moment that pulled the United States into World War II. Any budgetary overages must be shouldered by the filmmakers.
Affleck began talking seriously last week about joining the project (HR 3/2). He will play the lead fighter pilot in the story that follows two brothers who fall in love with the same woman. A lead actress has yet to be cast.
“Harbor” is expected to go before cameras in April or May and shoot for six months.
Affleck’s agreement to join “Harbor” delays two other projects: “Cinderella Man,” a Universal Pictures/Miramax Films co-production in which he was expected to star, and Warner Bros.’ “The Ugly Truth,” in which he was negotiating to star with Gwyneth Paltrow. The latter project is seeking a director after Barry Sonnenfeld exited last month to direct “Big Trouble” at Disney.
Thank you to all those who sent a birthday email to Michael. He actually was very pleased and got a kick out of it.
Well, there might be a possibility that that Michael could be reunited with one of the stars of “Armageddon” for the up and coming “Pear Harbor.” Hollywoodreporter mentions the follwing:
“In the latest rounds of casting surrounding Disney’s megabudgeted “Pearl Harbor,” Ben Affleck is in talks to come aboard. “Pearl” would reteam the actor with director-producer Michael Bay and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who cast Affleck in their asteroid pic “Armageddon” two years ago, before Affleck became Hollywood’s golden boy after winning an Oscar for “Good Will Hunting.” Affleck is repped by CAA.”
Happy Birthday Michael! Enjoy it where ever you are.
Bombs Away Bombs Away Charlize Theron says no to ''Pearl Harbor'' — The actress explains why she's passing up a star-making role in Disney's high-priced epic 'SWEET' TALK Theron will star in the smaller ''November'' instead of the big-budget ''Harbor'' by Craig Seymour Industry buzz had it that Charlize Theron would likely become a female lead in ''Pearl Harbor,'' Disney's WWII epic whose $135 million preshooting budget makes it the most expensive film ever greenlit. But the increasingly hot Theron, who next stars opposite Ben Affleck in John Frankheimer's ''Reindeer Games'' (opening Feb. 25), tells EW Online that she's passing on the project. Instead she'll join Keanu Reeves in a remake of the '68 romantic drama ''Sweet November,'' which starts shooting at the same time as ''Harbor.'' ''Whomever is in it [''Harbor''] will probably become a huge star and the movie will do extremely well,'' says Theron. ''But I know I'm here [in my career] because I've always made decisions based on what felt right to me and what felt challenging to me.'' Theron denies that her choice was influenced by the negative hype surrounding ''Harbor'''s initial price tag, which dwarfs the greenlighted budgets of both ''Titanic'' (less than $100 million) and ''Waterworld ($65 million). ''I made my decision based on the character in 'Sweet November,''' she says. (We can see why: In the original version, Sandy Dennis plays a woman who takes a new lover every month.) So while ''Pearl Harbor'' still has ''Armageddon'' director Michael Bay at the helm, and lots of stunt people, pyrotechnics, and ''Titanic'''s water tank to re-create the infamous Dec. 7, 1941, attack, it's now short one soon-to-be A-list actress. But, then again, with a $135 million budget the producers can surely afford a new one. RenŽe Zellweger, perhaps?
My suspicions have been confirmed…Charlize Theron won’t play nurse. EW has reported she decided to pass on this project. Why? My opinion? She either didn’t like the money or her character in the plot. Then again, this is the same woman who came out in “Mighty Joe Young,” and “The Astronaut’s Wife” Am I missing something here??? Anyway, got this from EW online:
Charlize Theron says no to ”Pearl Harbor” — The actress explains why she’s passing up a star-making role in Disney’s high-priced epic ‘SWEET’ TALK Theron will star in the smaller ”November” instead of the big-budget ”Harbor”
by Craig Seymour
Industry buzz had it that Charlize Theron would likely become a female lead in ”Pearl Harbor,” Disney’s WWII epic whose $135 million preshooting budget makes it the most expensive film ever greenlit. But the increasingly hot Theron, who next stars opposite Ben Affleck in John Frankheimer’s ”Reindeer Games” (opening Feb. 25), tells EW Online that she’s passing on the project. Instead she’ll join Keanu Reeves in a remake of the ’68 romantic drama ”Sweet November,” which starts shooting at the same time as ”Harbor.” ”Whomever is in it [”Harbor”] will probably become a huge star and the movie will do extremely well,” says Theron. ”But I know I’m here [in my career] because I’ve always made decisions based on what felt right to me and what felt challenging to me.”
Theron denies that her choice was influenced by the negative hype surrounding ”Harbor”’s initial price tag, which dwarfs the greenlighted budgets of both ”Titanic” (less than $100 million) and ”Waterworld ($65 million). ”I made my decision based on the character in ‘Sweet November,”’ she says. (We can see why: In the original version, Sandy Dennis plays a woman who takes a new lover every month.) So while ”Pearl Harbor” still has ”Armageddon” director Michael Bay at the helm, and lots of stunt people, pyrotechnics, and ”Titanic”’s water tank to re-create the infamous Dec. 7, 1941, attack, it’s now short one soon-to-be A-list actress. But, then again, with a $135 million budget the producers can surely afford a new one. RenŽe Zellweger, perhaps?
The HollywoodReporter says the following regarding Brad Pitt:
“…He’s also eying “Pearl Harbor…’The Mexican’ is likely to be Pitt’s first project of the millennium. However, that all could change if Pitt goes aboard “Pearl Harbor” for Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay.
Cuba Gooding Jr. just can’t escape the Navy.
In the first casting for Disney’s “Pearl Harbor,” Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. — who next stars in Fox 2000’s “Navy Diver” — is in final negotiations to come aboard the Jerry Bruckheimer/Michael Bay megabudgeted project.
The project has also garnered the interest of Kevin Costner, who is due to begin shooting the indie pic “3,000 Miles to Graceland” next month. The actor was expected to segue into Mandalay Pictures’ “Beyond Borders” for director Oliver Stone. However, “Borders” co-star Catherine Zeta-Jones fell out of the project last month, and the producers have not yet secured a female lead, thus pushing back the planned start date.
The Bruckheimer-produced “Pearl Harbor” will be directed by Bay from a script by Randall Wallace (“Braveheart”). The project will go before the cameras in April or May and shoot for about six months.
With “Harbor” proceeding full steam ahead, Gooding will take the smaller but pivotal role of the ship’s Dorie Miller, a mess attendant third class who was serving on the U.S.S. West Virginia when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Like many sailors in the segregated U.S. Navy of World War II, Miller was assigned to kitchen duty. Navy archives say the powerfully built Texan was collecting laundry when the Sunday morning attack began.
Historical accounts show that two bombs hit the West Virginia deck, and the battleship suffered below-deck flooding as her crew endured five torpedo hits to the port side. During this, Miller carried wounded sailors to safety, helped the ship’s fatally wounded captain and then fired an anti-aircraft machine gun at Japanese planes for some 15 minutes until the gun’s ammunition was spent and abandon ship orders were given.
Surviving the attack, Miller’s unbridled courage earned him the Navy Cross in 1942. The war hero died in 1943 when the escort carrier he was serving on was torpedoed during the U.S. invasion of the Gilbert Islands. In 1973, a Navy frigate was named the U.S.S. Miller.
Gooding Jr., repped by CAA, won a best supporting actor Oscar for his role in “Jerry Maguire.”
AICN has reported that Cuba Gooding Jr will have a small part on “Pearl Harbor.” And to those of you asking if there are any composers attached to “Pearl Harbor,” I will let you know as soon as I get some info. Personally, I think Treveor Rabin did a wonderful job with “Armageddon,” and Hans Zimmer did a cool job with “The Rock.” Maybe they should have both!