Director McNaughton back to his thriller film roots

DIRECTOR JOHN McNAUGHTON is back in the horror film business with The Harvest, “the first horror script I’ve been interested in in 25 years,” he says, adding, “it’s kind of cool to return to the genre.”

Now in production in New York, “The Harvest,” described by McNaughton as a cross between “Hansel and Gretel” and “Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolfe,” stars Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire), Samantha Morton (The Messenger) and Peter Fonda (Ulee’s Gold).

Producers are Chicago’s Steven A. Jones (producer of McNaughton’s previous movies), Elephant Eye Films’ principals Kim Jose and David C. Robinson and actress/proucer/writer Meadow Williams, who has a role in the film. 

The story is about a couple who keeps their sick son in a secluded environment and find their controlled lives challenged by a young girl who moves in next door.

Living Out Loud Productions is financing the $10 million budget and Elephant Eye Films is handles international sales. 

ANOTHER SEASON FOR “SHAMELESS,” a no-brainer since the Chicago-set comedy leads Showtime Sunday with 2 million viewers. L.A. crews shoot here frequently for the Chicago-set comedy which stars William H. Macy, whose movie acting career was launched here.

THE COLONIE’S ANNUAL BASH Feb. 7 features the art of the amazing Tom Mackechney on walls throughout the post house’s spacious office.

Mackechney is a former award-winning SVP/GCD/writer/art director at major local agencies, who overcame a serious stroke seven years ago, left the adbiz and turned his considerable talents exclusively to art.

A NEW DIRECTION for film/video creative editor Steve Morrison, late of Foundation Content/Chicago. He’s freelancing and says he likes it a lot.  He can be reached at 630/945-6534. 

Morrison had been Foundation’s VP/general manager for exactly one year before being replaced by Tom Cronin who had less than a month to settle in before the local office abruptly closed last week.    

CH. 11 STAPLE, “CHECK PLEASE,” producer David Manilow’s weekly show that’s been airing for a record-making 12 years (probably second only to “Chicago Tonight”) is seeking a new host.  Alpana Singh, who for the past decade has three guests at a popular new restaurant every episode, is leaving to set up her own restaurant.  Qualifications Mainly require experience in the culinary world. Application deadline is March 4.

A SCREENWRITER’S TELESEMINAR Feb. 5 brings New York screenwriting career coach Lee Jessup to Linda Frothingham’s ChicagoHollywood.com.  Her topic is: “No nonsense advice for the scrappy screenwriter, the business of screenwriting and the steps to success.”  Jessup, who has lectured to full houses in Chicago many times in the past, will be interviewed by Frothingham, 7-8 p.m.

What’s your story?  Tell all in an Email to ruth@reelchicago.com.

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