New Projects: Help fund ‘Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves’

HelenKellerNightwolves

Before Cards Against Humanity, we played Apples to Apples, and if you wanted to make that game any fun at all for someone over 10, you had to have an inside joke wild card. And of course the only good wild card that could win every time no matter what was Helen Keller. Her name has become more synonymous with a meme than with her actual life. And Pro Tip: Helen Keller and Anne Frank are two different people.

But Helen Keller remains so awesome, that this latest movie that you should absolutely give all your money to is so epic that the crazy wild WTF name Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves cannot even do it justice.

Currently Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves has 16 days left in a $1 million Indiegogo campaign to complete post-production on the film. Directed by Ross Patterson, who wrote the tongue-in-cheek Western novel At Night She Cries While He Rides His Steed, the film stars Lin Shaye (Insidious), Barry Bostwick (Rocky Horror Picture Show), and Jim O’Heir (Parks & Recreation) in the classic story of a girl who went blind due to wolf attacks (I think that’s how the Helen Keller story actually goes).

To reiterate, Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves is totally a thing. It’s an action comedy, and the real neat perk of donating is that if Patterson reaches his goal, he’s announced that he will make the film part of the public domain, free for you to use and distribute in any way you choose. Watch the trailer and (NSFW) campaign video below:

Abel Ferrara is also taking his next film to the crowd-funding sphere, after frustrations over how Welcome to New York was distributed and handled. For his next film Siberia, he’s asking for $500,000 on Kickstarter to shoot and produce the project. Ferrara is reteaming with Willem Dafoe for the fifth time on a script he also wrote with Chris Zois (Welcome to New York). The story is loosely based on philosopher Carl Jung’s Red Book, but will “explore the language of dreams, myth and the natural world.” On the Kickstarter page, you can find the first several pages of Ferrara’s script, along with a video narrated by Dafoe introducing the film, and here’s the synopsis listed, but good luck trying to figure out what Siberia is actually about:

We begin in an outpost far north of Jack London country where CLINT holds out with his partner MITCHELL, (Willem Dafoe in both roles) serving coffee, sympathy and an odd video game to passing strangers. All seems at one in this strange cafe. Appearance is deceptive as CLINT begins to cross the line between what is real and what is not. He is thrust on a journey across his psyche into distant lands, of epic natural beauty and the darkness of his own past and future. Soul searching by dog sled.

A sequel may be in the works to Jack Reacher, the Tom Cruise action/thriller based on the Lee Child novel, and Ed Zwick, who previously worked with Cruise on The Last Samurai, may be in line to direct. Deadline reported that Zwick along with Marshall Herskovitz will rewrite an existing script, and that Cruise is already poised to star again.

Since Roger Ebert’s passing in 2013, his widow Chaz Ebert has quickly gone into filmmaking herself, first with the documentary Life Itself, then with another upcoming documentary about Ebertfest, and now with a new fictional project about the life of Emmett Till. 60 years ago this year, the 14-year-old black boy Till was brutally tortured and murdered in a hate crime by several white men after he supposedly whistled at a white woman. His death captured the nation’s attention when Till’s mother allowed an open casket, saying “There was just no way I could describe what was in that box. No way. And I just wanted the world to see.”

According to Deadline, Ebert and Shatterglass Films are adapting from the Pulitzer Prize nominated 2004 book Death Of Innocence: The Story Of The Hate Crime That Changed America by Till’s mother and journalist Christopher Benson. This would mark the first time Till’s story has been told in a feature film as opposed to a documentary.

Till was even a Chicago teenager, so the film has a close significance to the Chicagoan and African American Ebert. “The full Emmett Till story needs to be told now and told well as a narrative for our times, given all that is happening on American streets today,” Ebert said via Deadline.

Jonathan Krisel and Graham Wagner have amassed a small cult following on television with their hit show Portlandia, but they now plan to make their feature film debut with an adaptation of the novel Mermaids in Paradise. The satirical novel from 2014 by Lydia Millet tells the story of a newlywed couple who discover a reef full of mermaids and team up to stop the reef from being demolished and turned into a theme park. Variety reports that The Hangover‘s Ed Helms is also producing, with Krisel directing and Wagner penning the adaptation.

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