Screen Talk: Davi does it his way


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The Independent Culture

Robert Davi (above left), a man with more than 100 screen credits alongside his name after an on-screen career spanning more than 30 years, is a big Frank Sinatra fan. So big that Davi has just released his singing debut, a CD of Sinatra covers stateside and has sold an original screenplay to LA-based production label Atmosphere Entertainment MM, run by producer Mark Canton. Davi's script revolves around the crooner but rather than play the singer, Davi is lined up to portray a character obsessed with him.

Dynamic double act

While Europe goes cap in hand to China to see if it the cash-rich empire will buy some eurozone debt, the US entertainment community continues to do build some Eastern promise for itself. The latest charm offensive sees the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) host screenings of eight US-China co-productions in Washington. The screenings, in co-operation with the China Film Co-production Corporation and supported by China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television's Film Bureau, aim to foster opportunity between the US and Chinese movie industries. Films include the John Cusack and Gong Li-starrer Shanghai, Waiting in Beijing and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, which will be attended by its producer, Wendi Murdoch. The MPAA said it hopes relations between the two "deepen and blosssom" and the industries "learn and prosper together".

Save money by moving a mountain

It seems almost counterintuitive to scale back on overseas operations while looking to maximise global growth opportunities. But that is exactly what Paramount is doing. The frosty-mountain-topped-logoed studio is relocating its international marketing hub – previously in London – to Los Angeles. It means the artwork and materials used to lure cinemagoers here will come from LA and with a positively American accent. The studio has brought in former Disney high-flyer Anthony Marcoly as president of international, theatrical to be based in LA, succeeding the widely respected Brit Andrew Cripps. The decision, billed as being part of streamlining plans, is being watched carefully in Hollywood. If it doesn't impact on revenues from upcoming releases such as Hugo in 3D, Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Young Adult, then the move might be of paramount importance to other studios looking at releasing infrastructures.

Reach for the sky

Oscar winner Melissa Leo (above centre) and James Badge Dale are in negotiations to board the Robert Zemeckis-directed drama Flight, starring Denzel Washington. The script by John Gatins centres on an alcoholic and drug-addicted pilot (Washington) whose plane engine malfunctions, forcing him to rescue the aircraft and its passengers, becoming a hero in the process. When the FAA investigates and finds evidence of drug abuse, it tries to sweep the evidence to the side to help preserve the image of the captain, who is trying to change the course of his life.

Ace up his sleeve

Author George R R Martin (above right) is in line for his Hollywood coronation after the success his HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones is enjoying on TV. Syfy Films, the theatrical division created in December 2010 as a joint venture between Syfy and Universal Pictures, has snapped up the movie rights to Wild Cards, a superhero anthology edited, co-created and co-written by Martin.

Melinda Snodgrass, one of the co-creators and co-writers, is writing the screenplay for the project. Wild Cards is a series of books and stories set in a shared universe where an alien virus has been unleashed over New York City. Those who survived were turned into either a class of deformed creatures or, more rarely, people with special powers. The first book was published in 1987.