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Taylor Hackford Tries to Find Love Ranch a Home

by
October 23, 2008

Joe Pesci in Love Ranch

It seems odd that director Taylor Hackford would be peddling his latest project to studios like a door-to-door salesmen. The guy was behind Ray, after all, which garnered Jamie Foxx an Oscar for Best Actor; he also helmed Proof of Life, Devil's Advocate and Dolores Claiborne. In short, he seems a pretty bankable guy. So will a studio swoop in and pick up distribution rights to his indie drama Love Ranch and make this article outdated before it's published? Maybe. Hackford actually took this same approach for Ray, completing the film himself before approaching studios. We'll see if it works this time around.

Love Ranch stars the lovely Helen Mirren (The Queen) in a not-so-stately role: she plays the wife to what I can only imagine is a smarmy, dirty-old-man Joe Pesci (seen above in a photo from the film), owners of the nation's first legalized brothel in Nevada, The Mustang Ranch. The film is loosely based on true events - Mirren and Pesci portraying proprietors Sally and Joe Conforte, respectively - in which a famed boxer was shot at the ranch after supposedly having an affair with Mirren's character. The story seems intriguing and the cast is certainly worthwhile. Since it's now wrapped, we'll see which studio picks it up.

Despite what seems like an interesting approach to distributing his under-$25 million film, Hackford is confident that it will eventually sell to a good studio. "Unless a helmer is making superhero films, he's better off leading the sales charge on films he's passionate about." Anyone already interested?

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  • Liz
    It depresses me that Joe Pesci rarely acts anymore, so it's nice to see him in an upcoming project where his screen time will probably total more than two minutes (unlike "The Good Shepherd").
  • Peloquin
    If Mirren and Pesci signed on to such an unfamilar project without a studio involved and for a budget of under 25 million it must have stood out to them somehow. This sounds like a better way to make a film nowadays by completing it before involving a studio so they don't try to intimidate the film makers into changing their vision during shooting. I have high hopes for this, if anything it'll be funny to see "The Queen" portray a skank.
  • Jenny D
    Don't forget, it also stars Gil Birmingham. I'm tuning in to see him!
  • Kevin
    They filmed this right across the highway from where I work in San Ysidro, NM. I met Taylor Hackford and several of the producers and location people. I am anxious to see the finished product. Helen Mirren is married to Taylor Hackford so I don't know that you can put much stock into her choosing to do this film as a barometer of her impression of the project. I am however looking forward to seeing Joe Pesci on the big screen again.

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