If you recognize Christopher Abbott, it’s probably from his turn as poor overlooked Charlie on HBO’s Girls. But a lack of appreciation definitely isn’t an issue in his new film, Hello I Must Be Going.

Directed by Todd Louiso (Love Liza, also Dick in High Fidelity), the Sundance romcom centers around thirtysomething Amy (Melanie Lynskey, Heavenly Creatures), who’s recovering from a painful divorce. While at a dinner with her parents, she meets the 19-year-old Jeremy (Abbott), and the two strike up an illicit affair that gives her a fresh new outlook on life. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Not too long ago, Paramount Vantage seemed like one of the best faux-indie arms out there. As recently as 2007, the studio indie had two major heavyweight pictures: No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood. But the label was folded into the heaving, tentpole-happy bosom of Paramount Pictures, a process which has left pictures essentially orphaned, waiting to be dumped. One of them is Todd Louiso‘s The Marc Pease Experience, and the filmmaker is understandably frustrated by the decision. Read More »

Sundance Labs

Sundance has announced the 12 projects they have chosen for the 2009 Directors and Screenwriters lab. Why should you care? Well because the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program has hand picked some of the most original filmmakers of the last 28 years.

Here are some of the films that have come out of the program: Quentin Tarantino‘s Reservoir Dogs, Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Hard Eight, Kimberly Peirce‘s Boy’s Don’t Cry, Darren Aronofsky‘s Requiem for a Dream, John Cameron Mitchell‘s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Peter Sollett‘s Raising Victor Vargas, Miranda July‘s Me and You and Everyone We Know, Ryan Fleck‘s Half Nelson, and most recently Cary Fukunaga‘s Sin Nombre and Alex Rivera‘s Sleep Dealer.

So, what 12 projects have been chosen for this year’s Summer labs? Find out after the jump.
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wattsNaomi Watts will star in an adaptation of Amy Sutherland’s Kicked, Bitten and Scratched: Life and Lessons at the World’s Premiere School for Exotic Animal Trainers for First Look Pictures. Todd Louiso (Love Liza) and Jacob Koskoff are scripting it into a romantic comedy.

fey and poehlerFormer SNL Weekend Update duo Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will co-star in the comedy Baby Mama. Fey will play a single executive whose desire to have a child and keep her career leads her to hire a surrogate mother, played by Poehler. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me co-writer Michael McCullers will make his directorial debut.

Rob SchneiderRob Schneider is in talks to join frequent collaborator Adam Sandler in You Don’t Mess With the Zohan. The script by Judd Apatow, Robert Smigel and Sandler centers on a Mossad agent (Sandler) who fakes his death so he can move to New York and become a hair stylist. Schneider would play an East Yistannen cab driver.

bustaRapper Busta Rhymes’ new movie Order of Redemption started shooting yesterday WITHOUT Rhymes. Apparently the NYPD scared the rapper away: “The production agreed that Busta Rhymes would not be participating in the scenes shot here after the Police Department raised public safety concerns.” Director Jeff Celentano is pissed: “This is tremendously unfair to Busta, who has been nothing but professional during this project. This is a bigger loss for the city of New York.”

Ashton KutcherNeil LaBute (In the Company of Men) is in negotiations to direct and Ashton Kutcher is in talks to co-star in Screen Gems’ thriller Lakeview Terrace, which follows an LAPD officer (Samuel L. Jackson) who will stop at nothing to force out the interracial couple (Kerry Washington & Kutcher) that moved in next door.

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