IT’S A WRAP Catch 23, a production company backed by Denver-based philanthopist Robert Sturm, will be providing $10 million to Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst to direct Runt. A story of high school violence, Runt is being developed in the wake of another movie focused on the same subject, O, kept on the shelf for months because Miramax feared it too closely echoed real-life headlines. (Sold to Lions Gate, O will be released Aug. 24.) Catch 23’s Jeremy Barber calls Runt ”a hopeful movie…O has kids blown away at the end, but in Runt, the character walks away and breaks the cycle of violence.” Also on Catch 23’s development slate are the Reese Witherspoon-starring adaptation of The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing Fred Durst to direct; Eminem to star in biopic Dustin Hoffman is circling a part in the film — and Victor Nunez’s The Professor’s Wife, in which Diane Keaton has expressed interest.
A WELCOME BREAK Five years ago, Joe and Anthony Russo’s film Pieces was spotted at Slamdance by another director, who approached the brothers to offer advice. The Russos had no idea that their newfound mentor would go on to make Out of Sight, Erin Brockovich, and Traffic. Now Steven Soderbergh, along with George Clooney, is producing the Russos’ film Welcome to Collinwood, starring William H. Macy and Jennifer Esposito as working-class stiffs who rob a pawn shop. (Welcome is one of three Cleveland-based scripts the brothers intend to make.) ”Our heads are spinning,” says Joe. ”The first day George” — who will also make a cameo in the film — ”walked through the office was totally surreal. One day you’re living a normal life, and the next moment, you’re through the looking glass.” Not to mention, adds Anthony, ”We don’t have to carry the equipment anymore.”
THE MARSHALL MATHERS MOVIE Wonder Boys director Curtis Hanson looks likely to be taking on a whole different kind of boy, directing an Eminem biopic for Imagine.