Jim Jarmusch Producing Erotic Dramedy 'Panarea' Starring Mark Webber & Chloe Sevigny

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by Kevin Jagernauth
January 23, 2012 5:51 PM
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While we'll have to wait patiently for the pieces to come together on Jim Jarmusch's awesome vampire flick that at one time had Michael Fassbender, Mia Wasikowska and Tilda Swinton set to star, it looks like the director isn't sitting idle. Jarmusch has become closely aligned with Mark Webber, producing his directorial debut "Explicit Ills" and casting him in "Broken Flowers." We caught up with Webber at the Sundance Film Festival where he's unspooling his latest effort behind the camera "The End Of Love" (check out our review here) and when we asked about what he might direct next, he instead revealed he's once again going to be working with Jarmusch on an intriguing new project.

"As an actor and producer though, my next project I'm doing is this film called 'Panarea' that Jim Jarmusch is producing, that my friend Adam Mansbach wrote…and then my friend Adam Lough is directing, who I did 'Bomb The System' and 'Weapons' with," Webber told us. "And it's a movie that me and Chloe Sevigny are starring in, playing this married couple that kind of goes on vacation in Italy, and gets tangled up with this Italian couple. And it's all about machismo, and generals and it's an amazing script. So I'm going to go work on that as an actor late script, and all through that I'll be figuring out what I want to do next." 

Sevigny also featured in Jarmusch's "Broken Flowers" with Webber, so it looks like the gang is back here. And if Mansbach's name sounds familiar to you, he made headlines and topped best-seller lists last year with his book "Go The Fuck To Sleep" (which is also in the works for a film and was famously read by Werner Herzog at the New York Public Library). Meanwhile, Lough has a diverse CV, and in addition to helming the aforementioned films featuring Webber, he also co-directed the Benicio Del Toro narrated Lee "Scratch" Perry documentary "The Upsetter" and the L'il Wayne doc "The Carter." The film is being produced by Mangusta Productions. Here's the official synopsis:

PANAREA is a sexually charged relationship comedy/drama. New Jersey couple Paul and Linnea travel to the remote Italian island of Panarea to escape their troubles. Their relationship issues come to a head when Linnea meddles in an argument she overhears on the beach between an Italian man, Salvatore, and his Swedish girlfriend, Josefin. Soon after, the two couple’s lives become intertwined and with Paul and Linnea’s relationship on the brink of collapse they face some big decisions. What starts out as an unexpected exotic vacation, turns into a life altering and defining moment for them as they dive into a world of sexual exploration.

Sounds like an intriguing prospect and certainly, ambitions are high. "Here is an opportunity to make a movie in the style of an old fashioned European art film that speaks directly to our times - Bertolucci for the Internet generation. Here is a script that doesn’t tell me or the actors exactly how to make it – but simply lays out the blueprint, affords everyone the opportunity to interpret the words, images, and emotions in their own way," Lough said in a director's statement. " 'Panarea' is at once subtle and completely blunt, uproariously funny and surprisingly profound. And sexy as hell. It does all this in such an understated manner that when you’re done reading you almost don’t even notice how much it has affected you."

With "Panarea" gearing up to roll in the spring, it's not the only project on Webber's plate in the coming months. Just as Sundance kicked off, Variety reported he signed on to star in "The Arranged Marriage Of Moonbeam." Penned by Mollie Engelhart and Tim Ryan, and produced by Webber, the story will follow Janie Grace, the daughter of hippie parents who has grown up to be a lawyer. But after a series of bad relationships, her parents decide to set her up in an arranged marriage.

Lots on the horizon from Webber, who is clearly not short on opportunities and is building up a slate that will ensure will be seeing lots more from him very soon. --Interview by John Lichman

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