What Is Michelle Rodriguez’s Citizen Jane?

Did you know that Michelle Rodriguez (Avatar, Fast and the Furious) is starring in an action remake of Orson Welles 1941 classic Citizen Kane titled Citizen Jane? Me neither. The first mention of the project was in a press release issued earlier this month for Rodriguez’s appearance at Fantastic Fest, a boxing fight with Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League. Then when I arrived in Austin, a teaser poster for the film was found in the hallways of the drafthouse. And tonight at the Fantastic Debates event, mini-posters were attached to each chair in the boxing gym, and postcards were available near the entrance.

The posters direct people to an official website, CitizenJaneMovie.com, which includes a teaser trailer created specificly for Fantastic Fest. You can watch the trailer now embedded after the jump, along with the official poster and a plot synopsis.

Fantastic Fest Teaser Trailer:

Citizen Jane Fantastic Fest Teaser from citizenjane on Vimeo.

Teaser Poster:

The Official Plot Synopsis follows:

“The 70th anniversary of the film that started it all. Citizen Jane stars Michelle Rodriguez as Charlotte Foster Jane, a lethal assassin hell bent on avenging the murder of her parents in this guns blazing, action packed retelling of Orson Welles 1941 classic, Citizen Kane. She will do anything for her Rosebud… “

Is this movie real? Fake? Something in between? It seems more of a joke than anything else, but I don’t quite understand the end game. The special effects seem like something that the Austin-Based Robert Rodriguez-owned Troublemaker Studios might produce. The promotion for the film here in Austin seems to be for something more than just a fun gag.

I initially thought the September 5th 2011 release date could be a clue? I thought it might have something to do with next year’s festival, but currently that is scheduled to run from September 22nd-29th. It turns out that Citizen Kane was released on September 5th 1941, and September 5th 2011 would be the exact “70th anniversary.”

The page gives another clue, a copyright notice that lists “Urban Arson”, which seems to be the pseudo name of Aaron Burns, a visual effects artist/supervisor who worked on Grindhouse, Planer Terror, and has a feature directorial debut on a dark comedy indie titled Blacktino. The $1 million film is about “an overweight half-black, half-hispanic nerd named Stefan Daily” who was “raised by his black grandmother in a medium sized suburb of Austin, TX.”

“Struggling to find his place in a mostly white high school, Stefan finds sanctuary among the eclectic mix of social outcasts in the school’s Theatre Department.”

The film features Rodriguez regulars Danny Trejo, Jeff Fahey and Daryl Sabara. So could this all be a stunt for Burns’ Blacktino? I noticed the following update on the official Facebook page for the film:

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