July 8, 2014

‘Loomis Fargo’ shooting in North Carolina this summer

After 18 years, the hapless Loomis Fargo gang will finally get its due onscreen in August of next year.

After 18 years, the hapless Loomis Fargo gang will finally get its due onscreen on screen in August of next year. The $17 million theft by an employee on Oct. 4, 1997, which resulted in 16 defendants being sentenced to prison, is the subject of a film being shot in Asheville and Wilmington this month and next.

The screenplay comes from Chris Bowman, Danny McBride and Jody Hill, who was living in Concord at the time. Director Jared Hess, best known for “Napoleon Dynamite,” will helm the picture for Relativity Media.

The cast includes Wilkesboro native Zach Galifianakis as David Scott Ghantt, who removed the $17 million from the vault of the armored-car company where he worked; Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis as conspirators who contrived a failed plot to kill Ghantt; and Kristen Wiig and Mary Elizabeth Ellis as women in their lives. “Loomis Fargo” is tentatively set to come out Aug. 15, 2015.

"David Ghantt is unfulfilled in his life, unhappy with his work -- and that work is driving the armored car bringing thousands of dollars to and from banks every day," begins a summary of the film on the site RottenTomatoes. "But when he's convinced by his work crush, Kelly Campbell and her accomplices to join in a far-fetched plan to rob a bank vault, David soon throws everything on the line for love, money, and a life of excitement."

The heist has previously been the subject of books and TV specials. At one point, actor Jim Carrey was rumored to be linked to a film production.

-- April Bethea contributed.

Richard Keith on a roll with new projects

Speaking of movies coming up, Charlotte native Richard Keith has been busy. He has written a screenplay called “Falling” that’s scheduled for release in 2015. It’s about a suicidal man who agrees to spend one night with a woman; if she can’t prove to him that life is worth living, she promises to kill him herself. Rob Reiner has been attached as director; Keith and Michael Menchel (“One Chance”) will produce.

Keith and partner Erin Cardillo just got back from Portland, where they finished shooting the new CW series “Hard to Swallow.” It’s about two friends whose lifelong friendship is put to the test when one starts dating the other’s recently single mother.

They were creators and executive producers of the series, which stars Josh Zuckerman, Rob Mayes, Krista Allen, Emma Fitzpatrick and Jonathan Silverman. Keith says it’s set to debut online on the CW Seed this fall – probably in September or October: “It’s a normal half-hour comedy but will premiere on the Web. The first three episodes will be split into six 12-minute episodes ... and they will use this mini-season as a pilot to decide whether or not to pick it up to the network.”

His short film “Grow Up Already” has just gone to Hulu ( hulu.com/grow-up-already).

Derrer is administrator at Dallas Opera

Longtime fans of Opera Carolina may recall seeing Ian Derrer’s name listed among the chorus while he was growing up in Union County in the 1980s. The Sun Valley High School grad (Class of ’92) now gets slightly larger print in opera programs: He’s been named artistic administrator at Dallas Opera.

The 39-year-old Derrer, a graduate of Southern Methodist University, took the newly created position after working at Lyric Opera of Chicago in multiple jobs: head of the rehearsal department, rehearsal administrator and director of production. He also has worked as a freelance assistant director and stage manager for Santa Fe Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Carolina, Opera Pacific and Washington Opera.

His new job will require him to collaborate with an artistic team – including music director Emmanuel Villaume, who conducted for years at Spoleto Festival USA – to plan and implement future seasons.

National residency at Actor’s Theatre

The National New Play Network launched its Producer-in-Residence program in 2011 to provide early-career producers with hands-on experience in small and midsize theaters across the country. It’s supporting five residencies for the 2014-’15 season, and Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte has gotten one.

Martin Wilkins will work there in the only residency awarded to a Southern theater company. He’ll receive a stipend of $14,000, and ATC will get a small stipend to cover overhead. The network also will supply travel funds for the five residents to engage with one another and NNPN members throughout the year.

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