Paramount Chief Wants Kavalier Made

The film adaptation of Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is one of several movies singled-out by Paramount’s president as must-film projects, HollywoodReporter.Com reports.

The site reports that Gail Berman, who took the studio’s reins 13 months ago, is “ardently pursuing” two Scott Rudin productions, Kavalier and an adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections.

Focusing on smart, adult-targeted movies is important for the studio come Oscar season, Berman said. Other projects along those lines include Babel, World Trade Center and Freedom Fighters.

“Paramount has not been where the awards have been,” Berman said. “It’s important come award season that we’re competitive.”

Portman ‘Strong Likelihood’ As Rosa

Natalie PortmanNatalie Portman “is a strong likelihood” to play Rosa Saks in the film adaptation of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon announced Wednesday.

“The fate of this project–whether it will move at last from the nebulousness of pre-pre-production into really-truly pre-production, with a budget and cast and everything, will be decided on or around 12 July 2006,” Chabon said in a posting on his Web site.

Casting continues, Chabon said, along with the script, with “a lot of cutting” taking place. Several “top-drawer” animation students are conducting tests for the movie’s comic book sequences, Chabon said.

Portman, of Star Wars and V for Vendetta fame, previously came up as a possibility for the role of Rosa in a January 2005 Web site update by Chabon, in which he called her “perfect” for the role. Other casting rumors at the time included Tobey Maguire as Sam Clay and Jamie Bell as Joe Kavalier.

Chabon also briefly confirmed the existence of certain scenes and themes, including the Golem, a gay love story and Salvador Dali. He also confirmed Kavalier would go to Antarctica, a scene his wife, Ayelet Waldman, had said in 2002 audiences would “never see” on film.

However, several notables are missing from the film at this moment, Chabon said, including the ruins of the World’s Fair, Long Island, Orson Wells, any references to Betty and Veronica, and Stan Lee.

Pittsburgh’s Lead Cast

Max Minghella, star of Art School Confidential, will play Art Bechstein in the film adaptation of Michael Chabon’s first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Friday.

The film, directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball) has been budgeted at $6 million and will film in Pittsburgh. Reports in April had suggested producers were considering filming in other cities, but that’s no longer the case, according to one producer.

“I think that we feel pretty confident that Pittsburgh is giving us every reason to make the movie in Pittsburgh. Our issues are more just pleading the financing for the movie now, which we’re in the home stretch of,” Michael London, CEO of Groundswell Productions, told the paper.

Minghella, son of English Patient director Anthony Minghella, also recently appeared in Syriana and Bee Season. Other actors in the movie announced so far include Peter Sarsgaard and Sienna Miller.

To read the rest of the article, head over to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which is increasingly the home for all Mysteries of Pittsburgh scoops.