Original Pictures is preparing to shoot a movie starring Rob Lowe in the coming weeks, and while the local production company is steadfastly secretive about the project, a Directors Guild of Canada website suggests the film will be Imperfect Justice, the story of the unsuccessful 2011 prosecution of Casey Anthony, accused of murdering her two-year-old daughter Caylee in Florida.
According to a recent Hollywood Reporter story, Lowe signed to play prosecutor Jeff Ashton in a Lifetime TV movie based on Ashton's book of the same name.
Locations that have been scouted included the Law Courts Building on York Avenue and the editorial offices of the Winnipeg Free Press.
Ashton's book detailed what went right and what went horribly wrong in the prosecution of Anthony, who was acquitted for the murder, but convicted of lying to the police about the whereabouts of her daughter. In December 2008, Caylee's remains were discovered in a trash bag in a wooded area near Anthony's home.
The Hollywood Reporter story said the Fox TV telepic would be executive produced by Jean Abounader and Michelle Manning, directed by Peter Werner (who helmed the locally lensed TV movies Vinegar Hill, Killer Instinct: From the Files of Agent Candice DeLong and We Were the Mulvaneys) and written by Alison Cross (Blood and Wine).
Lowe currently stars in the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation and previously worked in Winnipeg in the 2002 TV movie Framed, opposite Sam Neill.
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Winnipeg-born actor Kristopher Turner returns to his hometown tonight to introduce the horror comedy A Little Bit Zombie at the 7:15 p.m. screening at the Globe Cinemas in Portage Place, alongside director Casey Walker.
A Toronto resident for the past 10 years, Turner, 31, is on the verge of getting huge North American exposure as one of the stars of the Toronto-lensed medical drama Saving Hope, which will be broadcast on CTV and NBC beginning in June.
By contrast, A Little Bit Zombie seems aimed squarely at a cult audience with its story of a nice guy who turns into a brains-craving zombie after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
As the University of Winnipeg graduate describes it, the zombie comedy "makes fun of and pays homage to at the same time" gory films such as Evil Dead and the Norwegian Nazi-zombie shocker Dead Snow, films Walker made a point of handing to Turner before shooting began.
In fact, Turner has had some experience in the low-budget genre realm. His first feature film was The Brotherhood 3, an ultra-low-budget shocker made by professional shlockmeister David DeCoteau in February 2002. Shot on an amazing five-day schedule on location in Arthur A. Leach School in Fort Garry, the film introduced Turner to the world of quick and dirty moviemaking, an experience for which he is still grateful.
"It was a fantastic learning experience for any young actor," he says over the phone from Toronto.
"For one thing, you're doing 19, 20 pages of dialogue a day. I haven't done that since."
Even a TV drama schedule is less demanding, he says.
"On Saving Hope, we're doing seven, eight pages a day. So it's a much slower pace. It was a lot of fun to do that kind of shooting. You don't have time to think about it, you just have to be, and you've just got to perform."
While A Little Bit Zombie is considered low-budget, it had roughly 10 times the budget of The Brotherhood 3, and the experience was "the most fun I've ever had on a film set," Turner says.
"I was eating brains and having glycerine drool pouring out of my mouth and various other things splattered on my face," he says.
"It wasn't an easy shoot. It was blackfly season in June in the woods, an hour north of Sudbury. We were just being eaten alive."
But he says he and the director were content to be making the movie they wanted to make, without interference.
"Casey crowd-funded it six years before crowd-funding existed, so he owned this thing," Turner says, referring to how Walker set up a website to generate financing from roughly 800 donors.
"He got the people aboard that he wanted to have and he made the movie he wanted to make. So it was, for me, so liberating as an actor, to know there aren't notes coming from six different people.
"It was a collaborative process," he says.