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John Turturro Will Direct & Star In 'Fading Gigolo' With Sharon Stone; May Appear In Michael Bay's 'Pain & Gain'

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by Edward Davis
February 19, 2012 5:22 PM
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While he’s one of our most respected actors -- who somehow has never received an Oscar nomination, that’s another story -- the world of feature filmmaking hasn’t been exactly kind to actor John Turturro.

While his early directorial efforts, 1992's "Mac" and 1998's "Illuminata,” were well-received -- both were accepted to Cannes and the former earned itself the Caméra d'Or prize and two key Independent Spirit Award nominations -- neither did particularly well at the box-office (max gross was under $900,000 domestically).

His later pictures didn't score the same kinds of accolades. And despite the caliber of actors willing to work with him, Kate Winslet, Susan Sarandon, James Gandolfini, Christopher Walken and Steve Buscemi all starred in 2007’s “Romance and Cigarettes,” the film couldn’t muster more than $557K at the domestic box-office after waiting two years to be released (and was poorly reviewed to boot). 2010’s “Passione” barely cracked $255K and suffice to say most audience didn’t even realize it came out, let alone know that Turturro has four feature-length films under his belt.

Still, try, try again if one doesn’t succeed, especially when all these projects are labors of love not exactly meant to break the bank. Either way, Turturro is already mounting his next project and he has his admirers in foreign backers.

French mini-major studio MK2 is producing Turturro’s $10 million “Fading Gigolo,” a feature that the eclectic actor -- known for his work in Spike Lee, Coen Brothers, but also Michael Bay and Adam Sandler films -- has co-written and will direct and star. Principal photography begins in New York in April with a plot that centers on a down-on-his luck old pimp who persuades Turturro’s character to become a gigolo. Sharon Stone recently told press she’d be starring in the film as well.

Having already starred in three of Michael Bay’s 'Transformers' films -- to much-needed comedic affect, we might add -- it’s been rumored (via Latino Review) that Turturro will also appear in the “Armageddon” director’s next, non-robot-centric feature, “Pain & Gain,” about two about numbskulled body builders who get caught up in an extortion and kidnapping scheme that goes terribly wrong. Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg are set to star and Turturro joining the cast seems like a reasonable enough posit as long as it doesn’t interfere with “Fading Gigolo.”

MK2’s recent and upcoming projects include Walter Salles’ “On the Road,Abbas Kiarostami’s “Like Someone in Love,” Olivier Assayas’ “Something in the Air,”and Xavier Dolan’s “Laurence Anyways,” and that's certainly not bad company to be in. [ScreenDaily]

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