Hear those ‘Sirens?’ Denis Leary pilot on its way

DENIS LEARY gets back to his comedian’s chops with a pilot he’s been co-writing and developing for the past year for Fox TV Studios.  The single camera half-hour comedy, “Sirens,” is set in Chicago and will be shot on locations throughout the city, starting in late October, the Reel has learned.

The plot, according to a USA Network release, sounds like it could be a spinoff of “Chicago Fire:” “Swept along by an endless tide of bodily fluids rarely their own, the Sirens trio bicker, fight and shag their way through the darkly funny maelstrom of their lives.  

“Behind the uniforms, the sirens and the incredibly fast driving, they are three ordinary blokes trying to make it through yet another shift. But once they’ve finished saving other people’s lives, they need to salvage their own.”

(“Blokes” may come from the fact that “Sirens is an adaptation of a short-lived UK comedy.  Leary says, It’s got some of the same feel, but ultimately it’s a different show.  I hope it ends up on the air.”)

Leary said he’s casting “all unknowns … I want the show to be all new talent.”  The producers looked at actors in New York and are expected to hire some here, as well.

If greenlit as expected, the six episode series will air on USA Network.

A REEL DEAL. Essanay’s Wayne Kubacki reports that his company is supplying the lighting equipment for Mark Castelaz, the gaffer on the feature, “August: Osage County,” based on the award-winning play by Steppenwolf playwright Tracy Letts.

Filming from Sept. 24 through Nov. 16 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, it stars Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Ewen McGregor, with Chris Cooper, Sam Shepard, Juliette Lewis and Margo Martindale. Director is John Wells.

DURING THE SHOOTING OF “DHOOM 3” a stuntman was reportedly bruised but not injured during some sort of a car accident that happened during a high speed chase scene for the Bollywood feature shooting on locations here.

According to one report, “A source from the sets said that (action star) Aamir Khan was part of the chase sequence.  When the accident happened, he was so shocked he couldn’t react for a little while.”  The stuntman was back in action almost immediately. 

AT CUTTERS’ SOL DESIGN division, lead designer Chris Anderson and senior VFX artist/compositor Brian Higgins were bumped up to creative director, design and creative director, VFX, respectively. Anderson has been with Cutters for five years and Higgins for nine.

BEST OF THE BEST – that’s Vitamin’s short film “Other” directed by Danny DelPurgatorio, winning a bunch of top honors at Elvira’s Horror Hunt festival in Indianapolis this past weekend: Best Short, Best Director-Short, Best Screenplay and Best Score. 

 “Other” is being featured Sept. 13 at a special red carpet screening at Hollywood’s Vista Theatre and will be in include in “Stan Lee’s Comikaze” convention in Los Angeles Convention Center Sept. 14-16.

Since “Other” debuted at the 2012 SXSW festival, it has screened at 30 international film festivals.  DelPurgatorio and Vitamin AD Rob Foster conceived it, and adapted in collaboration with screenwriter Anthony Williams. Vitamin is Filmworkers Club’s production wing.

Busy times mean lots of news to throw our way.  Send your notes and news releases to ruth@reelchicago.com.