News & Such

Local Director James Ponsoldt Returns to Athens to Film “The Spectacular Now”


You might have heard us talk about James Ponsdsolt and his trip to Sundance this year or about him being one of our all star Sprockets' Judges - but shooting a movie in Athens?! - that may be the most exciting news yet! James has wanted to shoot a film in Athens for as long as we have known him and we couldn't be happier about him bringing The Spectacular Now here. We have been working hard to get Athens ready to be a film location and now we'll get some real live experience. Side note: Georgia's Film/TV Tax Incentive helped make it possible for this movie to shoot here!

Here's some press about the movie... good stuff!

Miles Teller to star opposite Shailene Woodley in"The Spectacular Now"

Miles Teller, who starred in the Footloose remake (he played the role that Chris Penn originated) and then starred in Rabbit Hole and Project X, will star alongside Shailene Woodley in the James Ponsoldt-directed The Spectacular Now. Pic is based on the Tim Tharp novel, and Teller plays a charming and popular high school senior who lives for the moment and as a project begins to date a social outcast and realizes he has the power to permanently impact someone’s life. Tom McNulty, Billy Rosenberg and Dan Cohen are producing, and production begins this summer in Athens, Ga.

I’ve heard that Teller is also being eyed by Sony Pictures for the primary role in The Kitchen Sink, a genre script that has a lot of heat on it at the studio. Not bad for a kid who came out of NYU and went right into Rabbit Hole opposite Nicole Kidman. Teller’s repped by CAA and Bold Management.

After making his feature film debut opposite Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”, Teller went on to do comedies, including supporting roles in “Footloose”, “Project X” and starring roles in the upcoming “21 and Over” and “Get a Job.” Deadline also reports Sony is interested in Teller for the starring role in “The Kitchen Sink”, a genre comedy that had once been rumored to be the directorial debut vehicle for Jonah Hill.

The Descendants' Shailene Woodley To Star In The Spectacular Now

You should prepare to hear a lot more about Shailene Woodley in the next few years. While she has been the star of The Secret Life of the American Teenager for years now, last year she was given the chance to show her skills in more adult-oriented fare, starring as George Clooney's daughter in Alexander Payne's The Descendants, and she truly knocked it out of the park (and was totally robbed of an Academy Award nomination). At only 20 years old, Woodley will have many years to only improve and that will start with The Spectacular Now, according to Variety.

The trade reports that the actress has been signed on to star in the adaptation of Tim Tharp's award-winning novel, which will be directed by James Ponsoldt. Written by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, the story follows a young girl (Woodley) who teaches an alcoholic high school senior that "living only for the moment may not be all it's cracked up to be." The movie is described as a dramedy.

While Ponsoldt has been directing features since 2006, starting with the drama Off the Black, his most recent film, Smashed, played to rave reviews at this year's Sundance Film Festival and is set to be distributed by Sony Pictures Classics. That film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul as an alcoholic married couple that is tested when the wife decides to turn her life around and get sober (it would seem that Ponsoldt has an affinity for characters that like the bottle). Lee Toland Krieger, whose film Celeste and Jesse Forever also played at this year's Sundance, was originally attached to direct, but had to depart due to scheduling issues.

The project is the first that Shailene Woodley has signed on for since the release of The Descendants. Hopefully it will keep her career trajectory to continue on its upward path.

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