6-hour TV mini to start rolling here next week
A six-hour television miniseries will begin production next month on Oahu, which will double for the charming (but not quite as tropical) Catalina Island. "twentysixmiles" is the story of a free spirit who becomes a workaholic businessman -- until his frustrated wife takes their children and moves to Catalina Island, 26 miles off the California coast. He follows, in search of happiness and himself.
Executive producers Rann and Gina Watumull ("Flight 29 Down") and David and Shauna Jackson of Hawaii Film Partners are leading the project with Rob Miller of Tower 17 Productions.
Casting has begun in California and Hawaii, with several roles for teens. "While the kids of Catalina Island surf, play music, go to school and everything else that teenagers do, the pressures of small town vs. big city living play out in their lives and in our stories," Miller said in a statement.
Gina Watumull said her company "is thrilled to take on the challenge of making Hawaii double for Catalina Island. While we will be doing backgrounds and second unit on Catalina, we hope that our Hawaii locations and style of filming will give the audience a seamless encounter." Stay tuned for updates on where and when the miniseries will air.
If you saw Academy Award winner Jodie Foster ("Silence of the Lambs") and Abigail Breslin ("Little Miss Sunshine") wandering around Honolulu this week, it was because Walden Media hosted a press junket here to promote its new film "Nim's Island." Breslin plays Nim, a girl who lives with her scientist father and "leads an amazing tropical existence that mirrors that of her favorite literary hero: Alex Rover, the world's greatest adventurer," according to the movie's Web site (www.nimsisland.com). When threats surround her island, Nim reaches out to her hero for help. Unfortunately, Alex Rover (Foster) is a fainthearted recluse and borderline loser. But it looks like she tries to assist anyway, leading to all sorts of entertaining challenges.
The PG-rated film also stars Gerard Butler. It opens April 4.
After months of preparation, the yet-untitled feature film about Princess Kaiulani began shooting this week in Honolulu. Matador Pictures in England and the Hawaii-based Island Film Group have gathered an impressive cast to follow director Marc Forby in the romance set against the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. Q'orianka Kilcher ("The New World") plays Princess Kaiulani. The movie also stars Barry Pepper ("Flags of Our Fathers," "Saving Private Ryan"), Will Patton ("A Mighty Heart," "Remember the Titans") and Shaun Evans ("Being Julia," "Cashback").
The big news is that the movie will include interior shots of Iolani Palace -- something never done before. Shooting also will take place in Norfolk, England. "Hawaii's demise as a nation is the great untold story of colonial America," Forby said in a statement. "The facts are mind-boggling. I'm honored to tell the story through such a touching, romantic epic." Tentative release date is spring 2009.