Star Trek to star Shrek?

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News -

Now film­ing in North­ern Ire­land, Man on the Run is a thriller set there in the 1980s and fea­tures Jim Sturgess (from Across the Uni­verse) as an IRA in­former, with Rose McGowan ( Death Proof) as his girl­friend and Ben Kings­ley (right) as a Spe­cial Branch agent. The movie’s Cana­dian di­rec­tor Kari Skog­land loosely based her screen­play on Martin McGart­land’s au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, Fifty Dead Men Walk­ing, so ti­tled be­cause McGart­land be­lieves his un­der­cover ac­tiv­i­ties saved that many lives be­tween 1987 and 1991.

Mur­der most foul

An Os­car win­ner for Gandhi, Ben Kings­ley is next set to join Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruf­falo and Michelle Wil­liams in

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Hav­ing long failed to take the Star Trek se­ries se­ri­ously (and been be­rated on the let­ters page of this news­pa­per for such ir­rev­er­ence), even I was sur­prised to re­ceive a press re­lease stat­ing that Shrek “is ru­moured to be mak­ing a cameo” in Martin Scors­ese’s im­mi­nent pro­duc­tion, Shut­ter Is­land, based on a novel by Den­nis Le­hane, the au­thor of Mys­tic River and Gone Baby Gone. In what will be his fourth film for Scors­ese, DiCaprio plays a US mar­shal in­ves­ti­gat­ing the es­cape of a mul­ti­ple mur­derer from a men­tal asy­lum on a re­mote New Eng­land is­land in 1954.

Short for Sun­dance

From the thou­sands of short films sub­mit­ted for next month’s Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val in the US, Si­mon Fitzmaurice’s The Sound of Star Trek XI, the pre­quel di­rected by JJ Abrams and due for re­lease in De­cem­ber 2008. The press re­lease – ac­com­pa­nied by a pic­ture of Shrek with Ge­orge Takei, who played Sulu in the se­ries – was is­sued by the Ir­ish pub­li­cists of the Shrek the Third Peo­ple is one of 19 films se­lected for the short drama com­pe­ti­tion. It fea­tures young Belfast ac­tor Martin McCann, who will be seen later this month in Richard At­ten­bor­ough’s Clos­ing the Ring.

Two short films by Ir­ish di­rec­tor Ken Wardrop – Pack­ets of Ten and Scor­ing – will be shown in the doc­u­men­tary shorts sec­tion at Sun­dance. Wardrop re­ceived an honourable men­tion from the jury when his Un­dress­ing My Mother was shown at Sun­dance last year.

Green Porno, a short film di­rected by Isabella Ros­sellini, and Wel­come, a short di­rected by Kirsten Dunst and fea­tur­ing Wi­nona Ry­der, will also be screened at Sun­dance.

Milk­ing it

Gus Van Sant has won the race to make a film on Har­vey Milk, the gay San Fran­cisco politi­cian mur­dered by po­lit­i­cal op­po­nent Dan White in 1978. Shoot­ing starts next month on Van Sant’s film, Milk, which will star Sean Penn in the ti­tle role, with James Franco as his lover and Emile Hirsch (from Penn’s Into the DVD. “The gi­ant ogre has be­come so pop­u­lar that the mak­ers of the film felt they just couldn’t leave him out” the re­lease con­tin­ues. “With his slightly odd looks, Shrek will cer­tainly fit into the ‘alien’ en­vi­ron­ment.” No com­ment. Wild) as a gay rights ac­tivist. Josh Brolin is likely to play White.

Van Sant has got a sig­nif­i­cant head­start on di­rec­tor Bryan Singer, now busy in post-pro­duc­tion on the Tom Cruise film, Valkyrie, set to open next sum­mer. To com­pli­cate mat­ters, Singer’s project, based on the Randy Shilts book The Mayor of Cas­tro Street, could not go ahead any­how be­cause the screen­play by Christo­pher McQuar­rie (who scripted Singer’s The Usual Sus­pects) was not handed in be­fore the screen­writ­ers’ strike started. Milk has been the sub­ject of an Os­car-win­ning doc­u­men­tary fea­ture ( The Times of Har­vey Milk, 1984), two TV movies and an opera. md­wyer@irish­times.ie

Ben Kings­ley is busy star­ring in new movies from Jim Sturgess and Martin Scors­ese

Shrek and Ge­orge Takei, aka Sulu, boldly pose in space

Har­vey Milk: to be played by Penn

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