Northfield producer shows Chicago's potential in 'Ca$h'
Movie producer Naveen Chathappuram wants to solidify Chicago as a movie-making locale.
At the same time, "CASH," Chathappuram's first major motion picture shot in Chicago intended for wide distribution, is putting the producer's company, Immortal Thoughts Productions, on the map.
Chathappuram, who was raised in Downers Grove and attended Columbia College, always thought Chicago, with all its dichotomies, was overlooked by Hollywood. He opened the Immortal Thoughts office in Northfield and set his sights on producing movies in the Windy City.
"My aim was to shoot in Chicago. It just went with my vision," he said. "To me, L.A. has gotten old, it's gotten boring to me."
"Ca$h" addresses the old dilemma of greed vs. morality, but it's not stale. The issue is being scrutinized today more than ever.
In this psychological thriller, some good fortune lands in the lap of a Chicago couple down on their luck, Sam and Leslie Phelan, played by Chris Hemsworth and Victoria Profeta. But, when the sinister Pyke Kubic, played by Sean Bean, shows up, the couple's fortune could be more trouble than it's worth. The couple is dragged by Kubic through one hair-raising situation after another on the streets of Chicago.
Immortal Thoughts has produced a couple films called "Beyond the Sun," a low budget effort in 2001, and "Nothing But Life," featuring some Bollywood stars and released in India in 2005. "Ca$h" was written and directed by Stephen Milburn Anderson, who also directed "South Central," "Hearts of Stone," and "Dead Men Can't Dance" among other films.
Anderson wrote the script, originally called, "The Root of All Evil," in 1993, because he was fascinated by the influence of money at that time. Fast forward 16 years, when swindlers like Bernie Madoff, sub prime mortgages and exorbitant bonuses for executives of failing companies dominate the news. Money still seems to be the root of all evil.
"It's come to be incredibly apropos," Anderson said of the story.
"I can't believe how relevant it is to these times," Chathappuram added.
Chathappuram said if a script doesn't grab him in the first five pages, he sets it down.
But, "CASH" was different.
"I read the whole script," he said. "It was very captivating."
Anderson originally set the film in Los Angeles, but changed his mind after visiting Chicago at the request of Chathappuram, who said Chicago was the better city in which to shoot. He agreed that Chicago, a city he'd never been to before, was better suited to "CASH."
He said the Phelans are more Chicagoan than they are Angelino -- they're rooted, hard-working and down to earth.
"In L.A., people are there for a job," he said. "But in Chicago, people are there because they like to live there."
Anderson, who lives in New Mexico, said another of his scripts, which is about to start shooting, is also set in the Windy City.
"I fell in love with Chicago," he said.
Producer and director are confident "CASH" will get picked up because it addresses many of today's financial concerns such as foreclosure, debt, unemployment and desperation in an action-packed way. They're anticipating a fall release in wide distribution.
Media 8 Entertainment, which produced and distributed the Academy Award-winning "Monster," is serving as the sales agent for "CASH," which was shown at the March du Film at the Cannes Film Festival last week with hopes of finding a distributor for the film.
Plus, the rising star power of Hemsworth, who appears at the beginning of the new "Star Trek" blockbuster as James T. Kirk's father and the always threatening Bean, whose works include "Lord of the Rings," "National Treasure" and "The Hitcher," are strong selling points.
"That," Chathappuram said, "is going to add to the glow of our film."
Media 8 Entertainment has taken on worldwide rights ahead of
Cannes next month to Immortal Thoughts Productions' psychological thriller Cash
starring Sean Bean.
The Los Angeles-based financing, production and sales company will introduce the completed project to buyers on the Croisette, when president Stewart Hall said he expected a strong response given the timely themes of "greed, materialism, and morality'.
UK star Bean plays Pyke Kubic, an enigmatic criminal who enters the lives of a young Chicago couple after they experience a stroke of good fortune and lures them into a vortex of violence and deception. Stephen Milburn Anderson directed from his own screenplay.
Cash was made in association with Golden Wings Cinema and Tomahawk Films and also stars Chris Hemsworth from the upcoming Star Trek and A Perfect Getaway, and Victoria Profeta.
Bean's long list of credits includes The Lord Of The Rings franchise, Flightplan, Troy, and the upcoming children's fantasy Percy Jackson.
"We are so excited to collaborate with Media 8 Entertainment, as they have worked with many other notable films that fall into the Cash genre," producer Naveen Chathappuram said.
"We are really excited to bring the movie Cash to the worldwide marketplace," Hall said. "The film is a smart, action-filled ride, with an excellent performance by Sean Bean at its centre."
Media 8 Entertainment previously produced and pre-sold Monster and The Upside Of Anger, among others. Its current roster includes Mary Mother Of Christ starring Camilla Belle and Al Pacino and Dali starring Antonio Banderas.
Previously on Filmstalker I wrote about Sean Bean's new film The Cache and we had the barest of plot outlines at the time. Now though there's a much bigger plot appeared and it sounds fascinating the film also gets a title rename as it is now called The Root of all Evil.
It seems that the plot is going to give Sean Bean a lot more to get his teeth into, it's not just the standard bad boy role that he so often gets from Hollywood, after all he looks rough and rugged, has a great sneer and carries an English accent, perfect for a bad guy. Sigh.
The outline from Moviehole tells us much more about the plot, and reveals that it may be based on one of the most important and influencial social experiments of our time:
...a psychological thriller which examines three stark and not so flattering truths about human nature -- Mans cowardice versus his courage, womens sexual attraction to bad boys, and the morality of money. These truths are woven into a thematic overview inspired by a 1961-62 Yale University obedience experiment by Dr. Stanley Milgram which proved the ease with which human beings shuck all personal responsibility for heinous acts or crimes while under the influence of an outside authority.
Wow! Tell me that isn't intriguing. There's a lot more there than at first thought, and so this could mark a rather interesting role for Bean.
It seems there's rather a large crowd out there that thinks Sean Bean often gets the short end of the casting stick, and I just hope that at some point casting agents listen. Maybe they already have?
We already heard that Steve Anderson is set to direct this story, and a little digging into Dr. Stanley Milgram tells us that his controversial experiments into obedience were used to explain the events of the My Lai Massacre, a film that Oliver Stone will be making, as well as discussed in relation to the trials of various Nazi officials.
Milgram's experiment is the famous one for obedience, where an instructor and teacher subject are in one room and a learner subject (an actor) is hidden away in the adjacent room. The teacher asks the learner questions and when they get one wrong the teacher is told to administer an electric shock using a scaled panel, each time increasing the scale.
The teacher can hear the pain from the learner in the room and this increases according to the scale of the shock administered. If they pause or stop the instructor tells them they must continue.
The surprising results were that most people did, and half even went to delivering a full 450-volt shock three times in succession.
What's also interesting is that the idea of six degrees of separation comes from one of Milgram's experiments too. He tracked chains of acquaintances in the U.S. Using parcels and a letter telling the recipient who the parcel was intended for, they were to forward it to someone who was more likely to know the target person than they were.
A fascinating story indeed, so how far is the film going to delve into this area, or is it just going to use it to describe the plot? I would really like to see something a lot deeper and meatier for Bean to play, perhaps this could be it?
Sean Bean is The Root of All Evil
Ive been a big fan of Sean Bean for a very long time now. The first time I remember seeing him was when he played the bad guy in Goldeneye, where he was a nice mirror to Pierce Brosnans new Bond and I enjoyed the almost ying/yang chemistry they had there. His Alec Treleyan was one of the more complex Bond villains we had seen in years and a total breathe of fresh air to the franchise.
Being predominately a British television actor in the 90s with his series Sharpe he was constantly on my television screen and I came to really admire his acting ability. He had a great likability factor but always with a hidden depth of darkness, which Peter Jackson brought out well in his Lord of the Rings trilogy, no doubt the finest moments of Beans career.
I thought he would become a huge star after the exposure of Rings, but he hasnt really. Yeah hes constantly working in Hollywood but he is restricted to leading thrillers which barely open in the top five at the box office or type-cast in villain roles in things like The Island and National Treasure. Not quite the leading man roles I was expecting.
Nevertheless, as long as hes working its all good. The latest movie he has signed up for is The Root of All Evil, a psychological thriller examining the truth depths of human nature and how far we can all be pushed into terrible acts of crime and violence when influenced by an outside authority.
Stephen Milburn Anderson has written and will direct the film. Anderson won critical acclaim for his movie South Central 15 years ago but has sparsely worked in Hollywood since despite many claiming him to be a hot prodigy in the early 90s and as Moviehole point out he was put in the same breathe as Quentin Tarantino.
Sean Bean is The Root of All Evil
Date : September 1, 2007 Posted By : Clint Morris
A couple of weeks ago Kirby mentioned a new film Sean Bean is doing called "The Cache" - today we scored a little more information on the movie, including word on it's new title.
Root of All Evil - previously known as "The Cache" - is a psychological thriller which examines three stark and not so flattering truths about human nature -- Mans cowardice versus his courage, womens sexual attraction to bad boys, and the morality of money. These truths are woven into a thematic overview inspired by a 1961-62 Yale University obedience experiment by Dr. Stanley Milgram which proved the ease with which human beings shuck all personal responsibility for heinous acts or crimes while under the influence of an outside authority.
The film will be directed by Stephen Milburn Anderson. Anderson hit the scene with his critically acclaimed debut film ''South Central'' (produced by Oliver Stone Warner Bros. 1992). You'll recall Janet Maslin of The New York Times considered Anderson along with Tarantino and Tim Robbins among the hottest young up and coming directors in the mid-90s. Anderson also penned the script.
Thanks to 'Naveen'