New roles bond to thesp (11-04-05)
By Ian Mohr, Adam Dawtrey
Moving into his post-007 period, Pierce Brosnan is looking to shake and stir expectations: Thesp is taking on the gritty role of a kidnapper who pulls a family apart in the indie thriller "Butterfly on a Wheel."
Mike Barker will direct the pic, to be produced by Icon, Irish DreamTime and Infinity Feature Canada.
Icon Entertainment Intl. has snapped up world rights to the thriller, penned by William Morrissey.
Plot centers on a happy couple with a seemingly perfect life whose daughter is abducted. Over the course of a day, the kidnapper dismantles the family's lives with brutal efficiency.
Brosnan takes on the role of the "Butterfly" baddie after playing a hitman in the Weinstein Co.'s upcoming "The Matador." Beau St. Clair -- a principal with Brosnan in Irish DreamTime -- explained that the actor is seeking darker roles following his successful Bond run.
"This was a very conscious shift, in terms of the company, and a new direction for Pierce," St. Clair told Daily Variety. "Darker, edgier roles are really attractive to him right now. In the post-Bond phase, it's time to take that chance. A role can box you in a bit, and Bond is so iconic, it can hang on you."
A February start is skedded, with locations in Canada and Chicago. Producers said further cast will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
"We believe that is a solid commercial addition to our worldwide sales slate," said Icon chairman Bruce Davey.
He added that Icon will distribute the pic in the U.K. and Australia and offer "Butterfly" to international buyers at AFM.
Irish DreamTime has been developing the project with Barker and Morrissey, and Marina Grasic brought in the project to Icon. CAA brokered the pact that brought the various parties together, and the tenpercentery is partnering with Icon on the pic's domestic sale.
Icon's slate includes Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto" and the Brosnan-Liam Neeson starrer "Seraphim Falls."
DreamTime's slate includes the Brosnan-Greg Kinnear vehicle "Matador," and the banner is developing with Sony "The Topkapi Affair," a follow-up to "The Thomas Crown Affair."
Infinity's "Capote" is in release via Sony Pictures Classics. Shingle's "Just Friends" is being rolled out by New Line.
Date in print: Fri., Nov. 4, 2005, Los Angeles
By: Lynne McNamara
January 18, 2006
Heartthrob alert. Pierce Brosnan will be arriving here in the next month or so to co-star in the indie thriller, Butterfly on a Wheel, with Maria Bello and Scottish star Gerard Butler. Mike Barker will direct for Brosnan's L.A.-based production company, Irish DreamTime (which was formed in 1996 with his biz partner Beau St. Clair with the goal of fostering new talent and producing independent and studio films), Icon Productions and Vancouver producer William Vince's Infinity Media, Inc.
Executive producers are Brosnan, Mel Gibson, St. Clair and Bruce Davey.
Brosnan gained my undying respect back in 1993 while here shooting a teensie TV movie called Don't Talk to Strangers.
He was sick as a dog with the flu, but nevertheless pulled himself together for an interview for my teensie BCTV News segment, Star Tracks. And his greeting: "McNa-mawra, for a Paddy, ya scrub up good!"
A mensch, if there ever were one.
This was before Bond. In fact when I asked him if the rumours that he'd soon take on the role were true, he said he'd heard the gossip, too, but was still waiting for the call. Well, a few years later, he's finally shedding that glossy image with his role in The Matador, where he plays a slimy hit man and in Butterfly, where he'll take on the juicy part of a brutal, kidnapping psycho whose deeds ruin an upscale family. Exteriors, we hear, will be shot in Chicago.
And Brosnan has just razored off the Uncle Sam-style chin hair grown for Seraphim Falls, a Civil War era western, co-starring Liam Neeson, shot in New Mexico and Oregon.
(By the way, did you see Phillip Seymour Hoffman accept his Golden Globe best actor award for Capote on Monday night? You may have noticed he gave a special thanks to the film's producer and his company: "Thank you Infinity, thank you Bill Vince, for helping us and sticking your neck out." That's because Vince took on the art house project when nobody else would. His reward: Infinity owns Capote!
And next, the Oscars....
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By: Lynne McNamara
April 22, 2006
At B.C. Place last Monday night -- handsome devils Pierce Brosnan, Gerard Butler and glam Maria Bello shooting scenes from their thriller, Butterfly on a Wheel.
Long-legged Brosnan, in jeans and leather jacket and equally lanky Butler, in a suede jacket looked warm and comfy, while Bello, in four-inch stilettos and a strappy dress, shivered in the rain shooting until the very wee hours. One of the stadium's entrances was standing in for Chicago's Union Station, with extras milling about and taxis pulling up during a desperate altercation between parents (Butler and Bello) and Brosnan, who's kidnapped their child.
By: Glen Schaefer
POST BOND: He looks for roles that can make him a surprise
TORONTO -- Pierce Brosnan is lounging at a restaurant table at the Hotel Intercontinental, nursing a breakfast coffee. Just off a spring and summer spent mainly in Vancouver making two movies, and doing the festival rounds for yet another movie, he's laid back, stylish -- a relaxed-fit version of that character he played in those spy movies. He doesn't mind admitting that those movies gave him the clout to do whatever he wanted, but the routine got to him.
"In the early days of my career as Bond, I realized I could make films anywhere in the world," Brosnan says, in a meandering conversational mood after premiering his new western Seraphim Falls for a festival crowd the previous night. That movie opens in theatres later this year. "But I kind of painted myself into a corner there with suave and debonaire."
Point out the contrast between Seraphim Falls's shaggy civil-war veteran and the chatty 1940s bon vivant he just finished playing in the Vancouver-filmed thriller Marriage, and Brosnan leans back in his chair.
"So what does that say? It just means I'm an actor looking for a good role, looking for a good job, just like any actor is," he says. "You want to be, hopefully, an unexpected surprise. At this point, that would be a mantra to live by, having played somewhat the same . . ."
He trails off and ponders for a moment.
"One was educated and taught and led to believe that if you want to play a character you must transform the physical being, the physical speech. Then you find yourself coming to America and you kind of play the same. You get into a style -- not a rut, but you find a groove for yourself. You go off and do a big movie, they say 'do it again.' You do it again, but within that comes a certain ennui. You're not scared anymore, where you used to scare yourself."
All of which led Brosnan from 2002's Die Another Day on the career track that ultimately landed him in Vancouver last March as star and executive producer of Butterfly on a Wheel. Maria Bello and Gerard Butler are also featured in a close-quarters contemporary thriller.
"It's a toughie, really, thrillers are always tough to pull off," says Brosnan, who got to play scary for British director Mike Barker and Vancouver producer Bill Vince. "It's about this husband and wife who get waylaid by this crazy, horrid psychotic guy. I'm the psychotic guy. For one day I hold them ransom with their child -- it's not until the end that you find out why."
Almost as soon as that movie wrapped, Brosnan signed on to stay in Vancouver for the summer making Marriage, a quite different thriller set in a 1940s American small town. Both movies hit theatres in 2007. American director-writer Ira Sachs resumes filming Marriage next month with Chris Cooper and Patricia Clarkson, while Brosnan finished his role in August as the questionable confidant to Cooper's married man.
"I just loved the character, it was so well-written," says Brosnan. "It had such a lovely Hitchcockian tone to it -- film noir, thriller, romantic, whodunit. We talk a blue streak, we just talk and talk, lots of dialogue."
Cooper's character meets his friend for lunch and tells him that he must leave his wife (Clarkson) because he's met another woman (Rachel McAdams).
"I look over my shoulder, and here she comes," Brosnan says. "God she's beautiful. She sits down and thus starts the story. It's really quite delightful. I'm the narrator of the story."
Is he also the story's conscience?
"No, not really. The burden of conscience does not weigh heavily on my shoulders, because I'm a rogue. But a sincere rogue."