Ben Foster Dons Producer Hat For Crooked Cop Film ‘Rampart’

rampart-movieFormer child actor BEN FOSTER was most recently seen on the big screen in THE MECHANIC and is probably best known for his roles in the TV sci-fi drama FLASH FORWARD and as the cold-blooded killer Charlie Prince in the 2007 remake of 3:10 TO YUMA. Now, he’s taking a step behind the camera.
Next up for FOSTER is RAMPART, a crime drama loosely based on actual events occurring at the infamously corrupt Los Angeles police station of the same name. Directed by OREN MOVERMAN (THE MESSENGER) from a story by JAMES ELLROY, cast members joining FOSTER are STEVE BUSCEMI, SIGOURNEY WEAVER, ROBIN WRIGHT, WOODY HARRELSON, ICE CUBE, CYNTHIA NIXON and ANNE HECHE. As one of the producers of RAMPART, FOSTER is taking a very “hands-on” approach to its release. During our recent interview, he talked about this new aspect of his career. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO) LANGUAGE NSFW
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RAMPART opens in theaters 1/27/12

“THE RITE” EXORCISES ITS DEMONS FOR A FIRST PLACE FINISH AT THE BOX OFFICE

ANTHONY HOPKINS stars as Father Lucas in New Line Cinema's psychological thriller "THE RITE," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

ANTHONY HOPKINS stars as Father Lucas in New Line Cinema's psychological thriller "THE RITE," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

The Rite landed at number one this weekend. The supernatural thriller, starring Anthony Hopkins, pulled in $15 million between Friday and Sunday, which puts the pic nearly halfway to its production costs of $37 mil.

Good news for Paramount, the romantic comedy, No Strings Attached has surpassed its $24 million budget by taking in an additional $13.6 million in its second week in theaters. That brings the estimated total to $39.7 million and puts the Ashton KutcherNatalie Portman flick in second place.

The Mechanic, the remake of the 1972 action thriller of the same name debuted in third place with $11.5 million. The Mechanic’s box office and ranking is a disappointment considering the talent, Jason Statham and Ben Foster, as well as the hype prior to the film’s release.

The Green Hornet brought in an additional estimated $11.5 mil and landed in fourth place. Though the movie tied The Mechanic’s box office totals, Hornet was in roughly 800 more theaters, hence the slight edge for The Mechanic.

The King’s Speech continues to draw in an audience fueled by its Oscar nomination, though it dropped from fourth to fifth place this week. The pic added an estimated $11.1 million to its take bringing its total to $72.2 mil. Still, it’s an impressive box office take for a pic that cost just $15 million.

Rounding out the top 10:

6.    True Grit $7.6 million

7.    The Dilemma $5.4 million

8.    Black Swan $5.1 million

9.    The Fighter $4 million

10.  Yogi Bear $3.1 million

BEN FOSTER SNAPS SHOULDER DURING ‘THE MECHANIC’

Ben Foster and Jason Statham in 'The Mechanic' (CBS Films)

Ben Foster and Jason Statham in 'The Mechanic' (CBS Films)

Ben Foster’s (The Messenger, 3:10 to Yuma) trademark intensity is on full display in The Mechanic, a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson picture which is now playing nationwide.  The movie centers on a cerebral assassin named Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) who is tasked with eliminating his close friend Harry (Donald Sutherland) on the orders of his boss (Tony Goldwyn).  Conflicted by his last job, Arthur takes his late friend’s volatile son Steve (Foster) under his wing.  Although they actually work well together as a team, the past eventually drives a wedge in their relationship, leading to a rather deadly chess game between the two killers.  During one sequence, Foster tangled with a guy who looks twice his size, and it’s easily The Mechanic’s most brutal moment.  The actor spent three months prepping for the scene, but he still managed to snap his shoulder in the process.  Click on the media bar and listen to Foster recount putting his physical well-being on the line for The Mechanic.

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The Mechanic was directed by Simon West, the filmmaker behind Con Air, The General’s Daughter, and When A Stranger Calls.

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi

IN THEATERS – JANUARY 28TH, 2011

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The Rite stars Colin O’Donoghue as Michael Kovac, a seminary student who travels to Italy to study at an exorcism school. Naturally, he doesn’t buy into the practice and is urging his superiors to look to psychiatry to help the supposed victims of possession.

He is sent to study with Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins), who has performed thousands of exorcisms – and it is under Father Lucas’s mentoring that Kovac learns that there are things that defy logical explanation.

This pic is hyped as being based on a true story. You be the judge.


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Jason Statham is The Mechanic, AKA Arthur Bishop, an elite hit man who is the best in the hit biz. After his mentor and close buddy, Harry (Donald Sutherland) is murdered, Bishop begins his newest assignment, to snuff out the person or persons responsible for killing Harry.

The story takes a twist when Harry’s son Steve (Ben Foster) has the same thing in mind – and he wants Bishop to teach him the ropes. But, of course, nothing is quite what it seems as Bishop takes Steve into his dark world.

The Mechanic is a remake of the classic 1972 Charles Bronson pic of the same name.

IRWIN WINKLER LOOKS BACK ON ‘RAGING BULL’ & ‘ROCKY’ PRODUCING DAYS

'The Mechanic' producers David Winkler, Irwin Winkler, & Director Simon West (CBS Films)

'The Mechanic' producers David Winkler, Irwin Winkler, & Director Simon West (CBS Films)

Irwin Winkler has been making films since the late 1960s, and during his career he has produced They Shoot Horses Don’t They, Rocky, Raging Bull,  ‘Round Midnight, and Goodfellas. Along with his son David Winkler, the pair are producers on the latest Jason Statham film The Mechanic, a remake of the Charles Bronson picture of the same name (Irwin Winkler also produced the original).  This writer asked Mr. Winkler if Guilty By Suspicion, a drama on the Hollywood blacklist that was headlined by Robert De Niro and directed by Winkler, could be released today.  “You look around and look at the pictures that are doing a lot of business and are Academy worthy films like Black Swan, The Fighter or The King’s Speech, they are in that genre,” said Winkler, who also directed Night and the City and Home of the Brave. “It’s harder to get them made, but it’s always been hard to get those films made.”  Click on the media bar and listen to Winkler talk about the challenges he faced producing Raging Bull and Rocky.

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The Mechanic, which co-stars Ben Foster and Donald Sutherland, opens Friday.

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi