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RT @DEADLINE: An elite group of film directors have appealed directly to Warner Bros Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich to try and save #…

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Jack Rico


2012/11/20 at 12:00am

Exclusive: John Ortiz to do Ozzie Guillen biopic

Exclusive: John Ortiz to do Ozzie Guillen biopic

Puerto Rican actor John Ortiz, who can currently be seen in David O. Russell’s Oscar buzz film ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and who is known for his roles in ‘Miami Vice’ and ‘Fast and Furious,’ exclusively told that he is in the early stages of developing an Ozzie Guillen biopic baseball movie in the form of ‘Moneyball’. Guillen, the former Chicago White Sox manager who managed the team between 2004 to 2011, is considered one of the most controversial managers in recent baseball history. 

When we asked Ortiz if he was interested in directing anytime soon, he revealed he was working on a baseball movie:

“Ozzie Guillen and I are going to meet when I’m in Chicago. I don’t want to make a straight up baseball movie, but something along the lines of “Moneyball”. It’d be a lot more than just 9 guys on the baseball diamond. I want to do something where we focus on the profession of him being a baseball manager, how complex of a man he is, the culture, immigration, Chicago, Miami, [Fidel] Castro, there is so much there. I’m fascinated with him, I think he’s such a charismatic dude and people seem to love him or hate him. So I think he’d be a great subject for a movie.”

John Oriz in 'Silver Linings Playbook'

Ortiz, who plays Ronnie, a stressed-out married man in ‘Silver Linings Playbook,’ is still unclear whether he will direct, produce or star in the film. It could be one of them or all of them, but he says he will have a better sense of his role in the movie as the project gets closer to pre-production. Ortiz would be perfect for the Guillen role since they have a similar look and Ortiz possesses the acting pedigree from the theater to give the character weight and credibility.  

For those who are unfamiliar with Ozzie Guillen, he is a well-known Venezuelan baseball player since his days as a top flight shortstop for the Chicago White Sox back in the 80’s and 90’s. But later in his career, he became a controversial and larger-than-life personality as the manager for the same team he played for, including the Miami Marlins earlier this year. Amongst his polemic on various issues, he called a Chicago Sun-Times columnist a homosexual slur, said Asian players are treated better than Latino players, and was quoted as loving Communist dictator Fidel Castro, which infuriated Cubans residing in Miami. Despite his quarrels with the press, Guillen is an accomplished baseball mind. In 2005, he became the first Latino manager in major league history to win a World Series.  

Ozzie Guillen

Ortiz made his film debut as Al Pacino’s young cousin ‘Guajiro’ in Carlito’s Way. He went on to appear in over 30 films including Pride and Glory, El Cantante, American Gangster, Before Night Falls, Amistad, Ransom, and Narc.

What other Latino baseball player do you guys think should have a movie based on their lives? Our money is on the Yankee’s Alex Rodriguez and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson should play him. Leave us your comments below.

Mack Chico


2008/10/28 at 12:00am

Early Sneak Peak at ‘Angels & Demons’!

Early Sneak Peak at 'Angels & Demons'!
Angels & Demons, the follow-up film to The Da Vinci Code, has many of the elements of the 2006 movie: star, director, a little controversy.What it doesn’t share with its predecessor, filmmakers would like you to know, is Tom Hanks’ hairstyle.

“It’s totally different” from Hanks’ slicked-back coif of the original, insists producer Brian Grazer. “It’s better. Everything is more contemporary. “

The adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel continues the sleuthing adventures of Robert Langdon (Hanks), a Harvard expert in religious symbols who discovers a conspiracy to destroy the Vatican.

Da Vinci collected $758 million worldwide, but even Grazer says the movie moved a little slowly. Angels, by contrast, sprints from crypts, catacombs and cathedrals.

In adapting the hugely successful Da Vinci novel, “I think we may have been too reverential toward it,” Grazer says. “We got all the facts of the book right, but the movie was a little long and stagey.”

In Angels, opening May 15, “Langdon doesn’t stop and give a speech,” Grazer says. “When he speaks, he’s in motion.”

Digging deeper: Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks, left), Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer), Chartrand (Thure Lindhart) and Carlo Ventrasca (Ewan McGregor) examine clues in Angels. Grazer describes their earlier film, The Da Vinci Code, as

Set in and around the Vatican, Brown’s Angels includes the murders of cardinals, who are mutilated with mysterious symbols. Church officials banned the crew from shooting in key locales, sometimes revoking permits that had been approved, Grazer says.

“Weirdly, even though there was so much controversy on The Da Vinci Code, we were able to shoot everywhere,” Grazer says. “We were in London, France, so it was harder to catch us.”

Because Angels is largely set at the Vatican, “we were pretty much in exile from the religious epicenter of the world,” he says.

Faith under fire: Ewan McGregor plays Carlo Ventresca, the faithful servant to the church during the papal conclave in Vatican City. Grazer says the movie examines the conflict between science and God, particularly when faith is tested by violence.

Da Vinci Code was rebuked by the church and others for its depiction of history. The fact that Angels didn’t spark as much debate makes its allure less assured.

Paul Dergarabedian of box office tracking firm Media By Numbers says Angels will need to impress critics if it hopes to find success.

Da Vinci Code didn’t get great reviews, but had controversy to help the box office,” he says. “Better reviews could make up that difference for Angels.”

That doesn’t mean Angels won’t generate any controversy. The film centers on an act of terrorism at the Vatican and examines the tension between science and faith.

“We’re living in a world that’s much more unstable,” Grazer says. “Therefore, our energy is focused on belief. This looks at what would happen when you have an act of terrorism designed to undermine that belief.”

Intelligently designed: Filmmakers had hoped to shoot Angels at the Vatican and inside Roman churches. But Brown's Angels, which includes the murder of two cardinals, was quickly shut down by the church.

Despite the contemporary topics, Grazer says the movie has no political undertones. “Both parties, through different means, don’t want terrorism to exist in the world,” he says.

As for any evolution-vs.-intelligent design parallels, “I’ll leave that to others.”

But he’s happy to talk about Hanks’ head — and body.

“I’m telling you, he’s got a scene where he’s swimming in Speedos, and he looks fantastic,” Grazer says. “He’s going to add 10 years to his career with that scene alone, just watch.”

Religious expert and scientist: Tom Hanks stars with Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer in Angels & Demons, due May 15.


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