Radha Mitchell toplines “The World Without You”

Radha Mitchell

Chicago-based SB Productions announces Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill, London has Fallen), last seen in the faith-based film, The Shack, alongside Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer, will star and executive produce, The World Without You, based on Joshua Henkin’s best-selling novel of the same name.

The film represents the directorial debut of established actor Damon Shalit, who was the writer and producer of African Gothic and A-List.

Adapted by screenwriter, Dan Pulick (Quantico), the film explores how the Frankel family copes with the death of son Leo, a journalist killed on assignment in Iraq. During a weekend memorial service, old hurts and dark secrets emerge that threaten to tear the fragile threads holding the family together.

Along with Mitchell, the all-star cast includes Chris Mulkey (Captain Phillips), Perrey Reeves (Famous in Love, Entourage), James Tupper (Big Little Lies, Men in Trees), PJ Byrne (Wolf of Wall Street, Horrible Bosses), Annika Marks (Anguish), Lyndie Greenwood (Sleepy Hollow), Lynn Cohen (Hunger Games, Munich), and Suzanne C. Johnson (Empty Space).

Casting director Valerie McCaffrey added, “Having a story that addresses the intimacy of loss, I knew I could attract name actors who are interested in doing work that is deep and meaningful. Super excited by this amazing cast.”   

SB Productions is producing along with Mitchell, Bradley LaRocco, Charles Mudd and Shalit. The film begins lensing in Chicago on July 11th.

Man v. Food is back

Man v. Food host, Casey Webb, and his crew arrived in Chicago Thursday as the Travel Channel announced a reboot of the fun eats show.

Man v. FoodMan v. Food is set to premiere 8 p.m. Aug. 7. Webb, who takes over the role previously held by Adam Richman, and his team posted from various spots in Chicago Thursday including Millennium Park and Navy Pier.

The 10-episode season has Webb crisscrossing America to uncover tasty treats and tackle the country’s iconic eating challenges.

The premiere is slated to kick off with his visit to New York and Milwaukee.

Richman helmed the popular reality series from 2008-12. The Travel Channel describes Webb as a “food lover, actor and restaurant business veteran.”

Courtney White, senior vice president of programming and development at the Travel Channel, said on The Travel Channel’s website, “Man v. Food is a true, pop culture phenomenon that has inspired more than 1,000 new restaurant-eating challenges in the last several years. Travel Channel couldn’t resist getting back on the road, visiting cities across the United States, where our ‘Man’ will take on new unbelievable foods and flavors.”

Empire begins Season 4

The Empire strikes back as the stars of the hit Fox TV drama have arrived back in the Windy City to start filming Season 4.

Terrence HowardAccording to the Chicago Tribune, Terrence Howard, who plays hip-hop mogul, Luscious Lyon, was spotted Wednesday at O’Hare International Airport. Jussie Smollett, who plays Lyon’s son Jamal, was photographed at the Chosen Few Picnic in Jackson Park over the weekend.

Other cast members began arriving after attending an Empire panel at the Essence Festival in New Orleans.

Casting for this season’s extras has started as well. Chicago casting firm, 4 Star Casting, is seeking left leg amputees and “thug”-looking security guards, according to their Facebook page.

Season 4 of Empire is scheduled to premiere 7 p.m. Sept. 27. Last year, a red-carpet event for the Season 3 premiere was held at the Harris Theater. Season 3 filming took place in Chicago from July 2016-March 2017.

Tika Sumpter stars in new thriller

Tika Sumpter

Production company CorradoMooncoin has cast Tika Sumpter (Southside with You, The Haves and Have Nots), Ben Tavassoli and Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, Scream Queens) in the political thriller, The Pages, which is currently in its third week of shooting in Chicago.

Written and helmed by veteran film and TV director Joe Chappelle, (The Wire, Fringe and Chicago Fire), the film is a female driven story of obsession, betrayal and regret. Sumpter, who just earned acclaim for her portrayal of Michelle Obama, plays a US Security advisor who is threatened by associates from her past which include Rachel Burke, a scheming politician (Curtis).

Super Narcoleptic Girl hits crowdfunding goal

The Larry Ziegelman-helmed web series, Super Narcoleptic Girl, slightly passed its crowdfunding goal of $5,000 on Indiegogo.

Created, written by and starring Sarah Albritton and Catherine “Povs” Povinelli, the web series focuses on Keelyn Klein, a low-level, narcoleptic superhero with the power to make people dance as she struggles to save the day and stay awake.

The web series is set to film July 27-30 in Chicago.

Follow Colin Costello on Twitter @colincostello10.