Doc News: Disney and Ben Stiller Remaking “Quantum Hoops”

Doc-makers, a word of creative and financial advice: rather than jumping ship and taking a paycheck to direct a generic Hollywood comedy, instead direct a decent nonfiction film with a feel-good narrative that could easily be adapted into a generic Hollywood comedy. But not too decent, because nobody is ever going to remake a film like “Hoop Dreams” — but maybe “Racing Dreams” (eventually) and now definitely “Quantum Hoops” (more advice: someone make a doc titled “Quantum Racing” right away — whether or not it’s about the sailing team of that name). According to Deadline, Disney is teaming up with Ben Stiller‘s Red Hour production company and doc-maker Rick Greenwald for a dramatic redo of Greenwald’s little known 2007 sports doc, and screenwriter Stan Chervin (“Moneyball”) has been hired to pen the adaptation.

The original “Quantum,” which features narration by David Duchovny, follows the Caltech Beavers at the end of the 2006 basketball season. Known as maybe the worst college team ever, the Beavers had at the time not won a conference game in 21 years, or any game in 11. Of course, they go to Caltech, so they’re total nerds, but perhaps they just needed the right coach… You get the picture, but you likely haven’t seen the film, and that’s probably to Disney and Red Hour’s preference. Theatrically the doc earned only $7,000 and it’s currently not even on Netflix. It is on DVD (and Amazon VOD), however, so Netflix’s status is part of the annoying issue I wrote about recently in my Movies.com column (everyone click the “save” button on the “Quantum Hoops” page now). I haven’t seen it yet either, but I’m still curious who they’ll get to star, as coach Roy Dow (seen in this video), as I can’t think of a single actor who resembles the guy. Maybe it’s the baldness that’s throwing me off.

Check out the trailer for the original “Quantum Hoops” after the jump.

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Doc News: “Southern Comfort” Adapted as a Stage Musical

Documentaries being adapted to the stage are in theory a tricky idea, but it worked for “Grey Gardens,” and this fall we’ll get to see if Kate Davis’ “Southern Comfort” is a good fit for musical theater, according to the New York Times‘ ArtsBeat. This isn’t just now being announced, but it’s the first I’ve heard of it, and I’m thankful for the reminder that I need to finally see this doc. Apparently my wife’s constant pleas to rent it haven’t worked enough. Maybe ahead of the premiere I should write a Documentary Classics column on the film over at Spout? Probably.

The 2001 Sundance-winning film follows Robert Eads, a transgender man with ovarian cancer, as he and his sweetheart, Lola Cola, head to Atlanta’s annual Southern Comfort Conference for transgendered individuals. The stage version will feature a folk-bluegrass score from Julianne Wick Davis and a book and lyrics by Dan Collins. You can check out the songs on Last.fm. ArtsBeat claims Annette O’Toole stars, but I think she was only involved with a reading that took place months ago (she read the Eads part). As far as I can tell the official cast is not yet available.

The show begins a limited run at CAP21 in NYC beginning October 5th and tickets are on sale. For now, check out a “trailer” (really just a clip) after the jump.

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Doc News: Gary Sinise, John Lennon, Hot Dogs

– Because there’s not enough “Forrest Gump” reminders at the box office this weekend (Tom Hanks has a new movie, while “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” features a “Gump”-ish opening sequence), you can also experience one on the web. A new documentary about Gary Sinise’s rock group, Lt. Dan Band, which is named after the actor’s “Gump” character and regularly performs at U.S. military base, will debut on the web July 4th. Titled “Lt. Dan Band: For the Common Good” and directed by Jonathan Flora (“On the Road in Iraq with Our Troops and Gary Sinise”), the award-winning film will cost about $4 to stream on its site. From that cost, $1 will go directly to the Gary Sinise Foundation, which supports a number of charities for U.S. troops. Check out a trailer for the doc, which apparently features interviews with Robert Duvall and Jon Voight, after the jump. [via Fox News]

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Doc News: Brad Pitt; “The King of Kong” Remake; Wim Wenders; Divine

Brad Pitt has allegedly been confirmed as narrator for Terrence Malick’s upcoming IMAX documentary “Voyage of Time,” which will apparently be like “Tree of Life” without all the pesky human drama stuff. (Hopefully Malick can also one day give us a version of “Tree of Life” that’s just the human drama stuff without the ineffectual space-time context. Or Sean Penn, who is hardly part of the human drama stuff because he’s so lacking in anything resembling a human being. Anyway, that’s a discussion for another place.) Up to now, Pitt’s involvement in documentary has surprisingly been fairly slim. He has an executive producer credit on “God Grew Tired of Us,” appears in Spike Lee’s “If God is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise,” and can currently be heard supplying part of the voice-over narration in Harry Shearer’s “The Big Uneasy.” I actually don’t see any certainty in the claims that Pitt will be attached to this film, since the L.A. Times’ 24 Frames blog only references an old outline that gave us the initial notion in the first place. But it’s probably going to happen anyway.

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Trailer: “Cinema Verite”

“Cinema verite, right? Whatever happens happens”

That’s the sound bite to leave with from this trailer for HBO’s Cinema Verite, which dramatizes the making of the pioneering reality series (then still thought of as a documentary series) An American Family. Directed by American Splendor‘s Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, the movie  stars Tim Robbins and Diane Lane as the Loud parents, Thomas Dekker as gay hero Lance, James Gandolfini as producer Craig Gilbert and Patrick Fugit and Shanna Collins as future Oscar winners Alan and Susan Raymond.

All this does is make me want to finally get to watch the original series, which isn’t officially commercially available.