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Category: Inferno

Malin Akerman jumps into 'Inferno' after Lindsay Lohan is fired

November 21, 2010 |  3:01 pm

Getprev After giving up on Lindsay Lohan for "Inferno," the director of the Linda Lovelace biopic says he has found his new leading lady: Malin Akerman.

Matthew Wilder had been hoping to break the news Monday, but after reports surfaced over the weekend about the new casting choice, the filmmaker told us Sunday that the 32-year-old actress had landed the part.

Wilder said that the film's casting director, Shannon Makhanian, helped bring Akerman in during the last couple of weeks at "lightning speed."

While saying that he'd "rather not pick the scab" of Lohan's firing, Wilder said that finding someone to provide insurance for the troubled actress "was proving a really tough obstacle."

"I really, devoutly wanted that to work out so badly, I really did," he said. "I hung in for a long time -- longer than most people would, I think. My respect for Lindsay's talent is huge. But it ultimately was just not a doable thing."

Though only last month the director said he had been in frequent contact with the 24-year-old during her stay at the Betty Ford Center, he said he had "no idea" how she had reacted to the news that she had been let go from the movie.

When asked whether Akerman had to audition to play the late porn star, Wilder replied, "Oh Lord no." He added that he believed many moviegoers would be surprised by the "Couples Retreat" star and what he called her "strength and groundedness."

"There are so many people out there who get some success doing a certain thing, looking a certain way, playing a certain kind of character, and they just want to polish that and stay in that forever," he said. "She is doing the 180-degree opposite."

Production on "Inferno" is slated to begin in February in Los Angeles.

-- Amy Kaufman

Twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Malin Akerman arrives for the Museum of Contemporary Art's annual gala on Nov. 13. Credit: Paul Buck / EPA. 

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'Inferno' director: Lindsay Lohan didn't quit -- we fired her

November 20, 2010 |  6:53 pm

Getprev After months of waiting for Lindsay Lohan to emerge from jail and rehabilitation centers, director Matthew Wilder has finally axed Lindsay Lohan from his planned Linda Lovelace biopic, "Inferno."

Reached by telephone Saturday, Wilder confirmed that he and the producers of "Inferno" had come to the decision to recast the film about the late porn star. He  denied a TMZ report that Lohan had quit the project, but declined to elaborate further, saying he wanted to avoid  "mudslinging." 

He did say, however, that he would reveal more details Monday about what occurred between the filmmakers and the troubled actress, and who would replace her. 

It was not long ago that Wilder seemed deadset on sticking with Lohan. "Not moving on, not recasting, not under any circumstances," he said in July. In October, though, the filmmaker admitted he was frustrated by Lohan's schedule, while also saying that he hoped to shoot after the 24-year-old emerged from her court-mandated stay at the Betty Ford Center in January.

As for Lohan, while the Lovelace movie could have drawn criticism, without it, it seems the actress has no definite job prospects lined up. This summer, the filmmakers behind a Willie Nelson-produced adventure comedy called "The Dry Gulch Kid" had expressed interest in Lohan. They could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen who will fill the actress' shoes in "Inferno." Share your thoughts on her replacement in our poll. 

— Amy Kaufman

Twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Lohan at a court hearing in July. Credit: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times.

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Lindsay Lohan 'not really happy' to be in rehab, says 'Inferno' director

October 22, 2010 | 11:30 am

Getprev1 When Matthew Wilder, the director of the Linda Lovelace biopic “Inferno,” cast Lindsay Lohan in the film’s leading role earlier this year, he had no idea what he was getting into.

“Did I have an idea it would take all these turns? No. I thought we were in the closing chapter of all this stuff,” Wilder said Friday, referring to the 24-year-old’s infamous antics, which have recently included drug relapses and brief jail and rehab stints.

A Beverly Hills judge has now ordered the actress to remain at the Betty Ford Center until Jan. 3. She could have been sentenced again to jail for violating the terms of her probation in a 2007 drunk-driving case, but instead must now continue treatment at the Rancho Mirage-based rehab facility, which she voluntarily checked into in late September.

Wilder said he has been in constant contact with Lohan during her stay at Betty Ford.

“I know that she’s not really happy to be there. She says, ‘I’m not at a spa,’ ” the filmmaker said. “People say that place is pretty nice and it’s not a real rehab, that she needs a boot camp. But from the way she describes it, it doesn’t sound like incredible fun. I know that she says there’s a lot of free time there in between the stuff that they do.”

As for her state of mind, Wilder described Lohan as “very clear and cool, and not freaking out at all –- not flipping out. Like, very even.”

The two frequently discuss casting decisions for “Inferno,” he said, though no other actors have been officially decided upon yet. Production on the film has been moved from Louisiana to Los Angeles, and Wilder hopes to be able to shoot the film after Lohan is released from rehab in January. It should be completed, he hopes, by her next court date -- Feb. 25.

The director said Lohan has had plenty of time to rehearse for her role in “Inferno” over the last few months, and doesn’t worry about her mental clarity.

“The corollary to all of this is that when you have stuff like this going on, it makes you want to dive into work more, rather than wallowing in the bad,” he said. “People say to me, ‘Don’t you think it’s awful having someone do all this with all the turbulence in their life?’ And I think it’s better to really pull all of this stuff out of you, rather than doing some romantic comedy and having to be cute.”

-- Amy Kaufman

Twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Lindsay Lohan exits her probation violation hearing at Beverly Hills Courthouse on Friday. Credit: Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

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Will 'Inferno' smolder without Lindsay Lohan?

September 19, 2010 |  2:00 am

Getprev When a judge ruled earlier this summer that Lindsay Lohan would be forced to spend time in jail and rehab, the filmmaker behind her next movie sounded unfazed.

"Not moving on, not recasting, not under any circumstances," Matthew Wilder, the director of the Linda Lovelace biopic "Inferno," said in July.

Last month, Lohan finished up her time early -- she spent less than two weeks of her 90-day sentence behind bars and under a month in rehab, where she was initially sent for 90 days. But now word comes that she has failed at least one court-ordered drug test.

And it sounds like Wilder may be starting to change his tune about waiting for Lohan no matter what.

"Let's see what the judge says," the director wrote in an e-mail Saturday morning, alluding to an upcoming hearing during which it will be decided if Lohan must head back to jail. She has been subject to random drug tests twice weekly since her release from a UCLA rehab facility in August. If she missed a drug test, or a test had a positive result, she could face 30 additional days in jail, according to this L.A. Times report.

"Inferno" had been scheduled to begin shooting in November in Louisiana, and Wilder said he had spent the last week "getting department heads" and "pulling together the other casting." The producers of "Inferno" weren't taking news of another possible delay in production altogether well, he said: "People aren't ... like ... overly enthused!"

Still, he and the film's financial backers have yet to give up on the troubled starlet.

"Our financier is actually surprisingly sanguine under the circumstances," Wilder said.

Early Saturday, Lohan took to her Twitter account to admit she had indeed failed a drug test.

"This was certainly a setback for me but I am taking responsibility for my actions and I'm prepared to face the consequences," she wrote.

"Substance abuse is a disease," she said, one which she is taking "positive steps" to "overcome."

Despite that proclamation, Wilder said Lohan's focus was still on "Inferno." Asked if the actress was still committed to the project, he replied: "Why would failing a drug test make her uncommitted?" 

-- Amy Kaufman
Twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Lindsay Lohan's booking photo at Lynwood Correctional Facility in July. Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department / Getty Images.

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‘Inferno’ filmmaker: I’ll wait for Lindsay, no matter what

July 6, 2010 |  6:12 pm

Lilo Lindsay Lohan will soon be headed to jail, and then rehab. Will she be headed to a movie set after all of that?

With a Beverly Hills judge on Tuesday sentencing the former child star to 90 days in jail and a subsequent 90 days in a drug rehab facility, Lohan’s already slowed movie career has hit an even deeper pothole. But the filmmakers behind one of her few film projects – the independently financed porn-star biopic “Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story” – say they’ll wait for Lohan even if it means delaying production into 2011 and beyond.

"Not moving on, not re-casting, not under any circumstances," director Matthew Wilder said in an e-mail Tuesday afternoon.

Wilder added that the production is "fully financed, prepared to go" but was nonetheless "fully committed to Lindsay," which meant waiting for her to emerge from her court-mandated period behind bars and in treatment. (There's no definite time frame for that, given that the sentence could be truncated, but it's likely she won't be available to work until late fall at the very earliest.)

Wilder has long maintained his commitment to Lohan despite the fact that the actress is difficult to insure on a movie set. That's at least in part because his financing may be dependent on Lohan; during the Cannes Film Festival in May, he said the actress had meetings with foreign sales executives and others "who, after having met her, put up money" for the film.

Lohan was also slated to appear in "The Dry Gulch Kid," an adventure comedy that would co-star Willie Nelson and be produced by his company. Upon hearing of Lohan’s sentencing Tuesday afternoon, producer Kerry Wallum said, “We have a bunch of music videos we’re doing right now, so we can just be busy until she gets out,” adding, “We hadn’t really negotiated the full deal yet, but we’ll see how it works. She’s a good actress. We’ll wait.”

Of course, given the shaky nature of independent film financing, waiting may be partly a function of confidence in Lohan -- and partly a function of a producer trying to lock down financing.

After her trip to the big house, Lohan will inevitably find more than a few talk-show hosts waiting to grab a piece of the post-prison interview pie. She'll also find at least find two little-known filmmakers eager to put her in their low-budget shoots -- among the remaining few who believe the troubled star is actually capable of a comeback. 

-- Amy Kaufman and Steven Zeitchik

Twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Lindsay Lohan learns of her sentence in court Tuesday. Credit: Reuters/David McNew/Pool

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