•• Magnolia Pictures has acquired U.S. rights to “The Magic of Belle Isle” once titled “Summer at Dog Dave’s, starring Morgan Freeman, Virginia Madsen, Madeline Carroll, Kenan Thompson and Fred Willard. Greenwood Lake served as Belle Isle during the summer shoot, with residents serving as extras in the film. Rob Reiner directed the drama, which will receive a summer 2012 release in theaters and through Ultra VOD.
In an effort to tap into his original talent, Monte Wildhorn (Morgan Freeman), a wheelchair-bound authormoves to a rural town – a Belle Isle cabin, where he befriends a single mother (Virginia Madsen) and her three kids, who help reignite his passion for writing.
•• Here’s an exclusive message from Virginia Madsen wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Enjoy!!
•• The cast of the locally filmed TNT movie “Hornet’s Nest” arrived late last month, and the stars will be popping up around the Port City at various shoot locations and area haunts through Dec. 24. The following are some of the actors you’ll see on the screen next spring and possibly around town through the end of the week.
•• Virginia Madsen: Perhaps best known for her role as Maya in the 2004 movie “Sideways,” Virginia Madsen is no stranger to Wilmington. This is the third TV movie she has done in this area. The others were “Linda” in 1993 and “Ambushed” in 1997. She also appeared on the 2003 season finale of “Dawson’s Creek.”
Madsen plays Police Chief Judy Hammer in “Hornet’s Nest.” Clad in a knee-length black dress and sheer wrap and sporting bright-white sneakers between takes during a ballroom scene at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside last week, she gushed about the Port City.
“It’s just a beautiful place,” Madsen said with a sense of sincerity and warmth. “I’m very happy that they haven’t built it up too much. This town is such a wonderful combination of small-town feeling but with show business.”
In fact, she loves it here so much she asked to stay in the heart of downtown rather than being in a more remote location away from the city’s center. You’re likely to find Madsen sitting at the bar at Caffe Phoenix, an eatery she confessed she’d visited almost every day during her stay thus far. She recalls it fondly from her previous visits.
“I like the staff, and the food is wonderful,” Madsen said. “I’ve never had a bad meal there.”
She’s also a fan of Tower 7 in Wrightsville Beach. Madsen’s sentiment for the local film community matches her love for the area. She beamed when talking about the “Hornet’s Nest” crew.
“They just know how to do it here,” Madsen said. “The crews have an ease with one another and so they work faster. They really are professional, and they know what they’re doing.”
•• Tuesday night, Shawn and Larry King hosted the 4th Annual Children’s Action Network (CAN) Holiday Party. Charitable celebrities, designers, artists, and activists joined forces to raise awareness and find homes for more than 107,000 youth in the foster care system in need of adoptive families. The night centered around beautiful and ornate handcrafted wreaths made by Todd Williamson, Kelly Wearstler, Virginia Madsen, Teri Hatcher and Antwone Fisher, to name a few, which were auctioned with proceeds benefiting CAN.
The Children’s Action Network (CAN) and The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption are spreading more holiday cheer with “A Home For The Holidays” which premieres on CBS December 23 and 8PM ET/PT. No Doubt, Sheryl Crow, Mary J. Blige, MYA, Enrique Iglesias, and Train are just some of the special guest performances expected.
For more information on the Children’s Action Network (CAN) please reference the website. If you’d like to help, donations are excepted online. An alternative is giving someone on your personal Christmas list this year a charitable holiday gift. Proceeds from Rachel Miriam’s black pave diamond necklace ($350) benefit the Children’s Action Network as well.
•• TNT has greenlit an original movie adaptation of the chart-topping bestseller Hornet’s Nest, a novel by America’s #1 crime novelist, Patricia Cornwell, whose works have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. Virginia Madsen and Sherry Stringfield have been cast to star in Hornet’s Nest, which will premiere next spring as part of the TNT Mystery Movie Night, the network’s new showcase of movies adapted from contemporary crime novels.
“Hornet’s Nest” was a No. 1 New York Times best-seller. It is the first in Cornwell’s series of mysteries featuring reporter Andy Brazil, as well as Police Chief Judy Hammer and her top deputy, Virginia West.
“Set in Charlotte, N.C., the story opens with everyone desperate to solve the latest crisis: a serial killer is specializing in out-of-town businessmen. Hammer and West make the murder investigation their top priority. But West is less than pleased when Hammer pairs her up with Brazil, a cub reporter assigned to cover the police department”.