By Ray Pride

Philip Seymour Hoffman Set to Star In John Slattery’s “God’s Pocket”

Film Marks Slattery’s Feature Directorial Debut And Co-Stars Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks and John Turturro

Park Pictures Features Will Produce In Partnership with Cooper’s Town Productions and Shoestring Pictures

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 15, 2013 — Park Pictures Features announced today Academy Award®-winning actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, is set to star in God’s Pocket, the upcoming film directorial debut from Emmy®-nominee John Slattery. Slattery adapted the screenplay with Alex Metcalf from the novel by National Book Award Winning author Pete Dexter.  Academy Award®-nominee Richard Jenkins, Emmy Award®-nominee Christina Hendricks and award winning actor John Turturro will co-star.  Jay Cohen of Gersh will handle all film sales.

Park Pictures Features will produce the film in partnership with Hoffman’s Cooper’s Town Productions and Slattery’s Shoestring Pictures, which makes its producing debut with this film. Acclaimed director/cinematographer Lance Acord has signed on to shoot the film, which will be produced by Sam Bisbee, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Slattery, Lance Acord and Galt Niederhoffer, for Park Pictures and Emily Ziff and Hoffman for Cooper’s Town. The film will be executive produced by Wendy Neu and White Hat Entertainment’s Danny Rifkin, Tom Valerio, Rick Rifkin and Bill Perry.  Sara Murphy of Cooper’s Town will co-produce, with Theodora Dunlap and Erika Hampson of Park Pictures Features.

Set in the gritty blue-collar neighborhood of God’s Pocket, Mickey’s crazy stepson Leon is killed in a construction ‘accident’ and Mickey quickly tries to bury the bad news with the body. But when a local columnist comes sniffing around for the truth, things go from bad to worse. Mickey finds himself stuck in a life and death struggle between a body he can’t bury, a wife he can’t please and a debt he can’t pay.

Producer Sam Bisbee commented, “We are thrilled to have Philip Seymour Hoffman and this incredible cast onboard to help us bring John Slattery’s beautiful film to life.”

Emily Ziff and Sara Murphy said in a joint statement, “God’s Pocket is our kind of film. We at Cooper’s Town have long been fans of John Slattery’s work and Phil is honored to be a part of telling this one-of-a-kind story.”

Philip Seymour Hoffman recently wrapped production on The Hunger GamesCatching Fire and Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man.  He was previously seen in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master and the independent film, A Late Quartet.  Hoffman is represented by attorney Robert Marshall at Greenberg, Glusker.

John Slattery is a multiple Emmy® Award nominee and has won two SAG Awards in five nominations as a member of the ensemble cast of Mad Men.  Including the upcoming sixth season, he has directed a total of five episodes of the hit series.  His film roles include The Adjustment Bureau, Iron Man 2, Charlie Wilson’s War and the independent feature, Bluebird, which will premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.  Slattery is represented by The Gersh Agency.

Richard Jenkins earned an Oscar® nomination for his role in The Visitor.  Recent film credits include Jack ReacherKilling Them Softly and The Cabin in the Woods.  He’ll next be seen in Roland Emmerich’s White House Down, opposite Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx.  Jenkins is represented by The Gersh Agency and Bill Treusch Management.

Christina Hendricks has earned three consecutive Emmy® nominations for her role on AMC’s Mad Men and she’s won two SAG Awards in five nominations as a member of the ensemble cast. She has appeared in such films as Life as We Know ItI Don’t Know How She Does It and Drive. She can currently be seen in the independent film, Ginger & Rosa and soon begins production on How to Catch a Monster, which is written and directed by Ryan Gosling. Hendricks is represented by ICM, Kritzer Levine Wilkins Griffin Nilon Management and attorney, Howard Fishman.

John Turturro is a multiple award winning actor, writer and director. Among his many memorable performances, are critically acclaimed roles in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Quiz Show  and Barton Fink. As a writer/director, Turturro’s films include Mac, and Illuminata as well as the upcoming Fading Gigolo. Turturro is represented by ICM Partners.

About Park Pictures Features

Formed in 2011, Park Pictures Features is a syndicate of Park Pictures, one of the most prestigious commercial production companies in the world with offices in New York, London and Los Angeles.  Park Pictures Features is lead by Galt Niederhoffer, Sam Bisbee, Jackie Kelman Bisbee and Lance Acord.  Park’s first feature, “Robot & Frank,” starring Frank Langella, premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was released by Sony Pictures Worldwide and Samuel Goldwyn Films in the fall of 2012. Park is presently co producing “Infinitely Polar Bear,” starring Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana, directed by Maya Forbes. Park will produce the adaptation of Sam Lipsyte’s New York Times Notable Book of the Year, “The Ask,” to be directed by Lance Acord and the venerable late David Foster Wallace’s short story, “Little Expressionless Animals,” directed by Galt Niederhoffer. Future Park properties include, “The Taxonomy of Barnacles,” and a new project from British director, Ringan Ledwidge. Theodora Dunlap is Head of Production for Park Features.

About Cooper’s Town Productions

Cooper’s Town Productions was founded in 2003 by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Emily Ziff. The company’s first production was 2005’s CAPOTE, which was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, and won Hoffman the Best Actor Oscar. Most recently, they produced Hoffman’s directorial debut JACK GOES BOATING that was released by Overture Films in 2010.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon