Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator” Starring Leonardo DiCaprio Starts Shooting In Montreal For Initial Entertainment Group

(September 5, 2003 - Montreal, Quebec) - Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator” began principal photography July 7 at Mel’s Cite du Cinema in Montreal for Initial Entertainment Group. A Forward Pass Inc./ Initial Entertainment Group production starring Leonardo DiCaprio, the film will be distributed in North America by Warner Bros. Pictures/Miramax Films and by Initial internationally. A Martin Scorsese film, “The Aviator” stars Leonardo DiCaprio. It is produced by Michael Mann, Sandy Climan, Graham King, and Charles Evans Jr. Mr. Scorsese directs. Exterior sequences will be filmed on locations in Los Angeles. Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, John C. Reilly, Alec Baldwin and Jude Law co-star. Featured are Matt Ross (“Down with Love,” “American Psycho”), Adam Scott (TV’s “Six Feet Under”), Danny Huston (“Birth”), Alan Alda (“What Women Want,” TV’s “M*A*S*H”), Ian Holm (“The Lord of the Rings,” “The Sweet Hereafter”), Kelli Garner (“Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”) and No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani. An original screenplay by John Logan, “The Aviator” tells the story of aviation pioneer Howard Hughes (DiCaprio), the eccentric billionaire industrialist and Hollywood film mogul, famous for romancing some of the world’s most beautiful women. The drama recounts the years of his life from the late 1920s though the 1940s, an epoch when Hughes was directing and producing Hollywood movies and test flying innovative aircraft he designed and created. A daredevil pilot, the most famous flyer since Charles Lindbergh, Hughes became a major force in commercial aviation. He was a mythic figure in the America of his day, imbued with an aura of excitement, glamour and mystery. “The Aviator” looks at Hughes’ emotional life, and his love affairs with two Hollywood legends, elegant, Yankee-bred screen star Katharine Hepburn in the 1930s, and the sensual and luminous screen beauty of the 1940s, Ava Gardner. It also chronicles Hughes’ struggle with his physical disabilities and phobias, and with his increasingly erratic, obsessive-compulsive behavior that leads him ultimately to isolate himself from his associates and withdraw from the world. Martin Scorsese is the director of over twenty-five films including “Mean Streets,” “Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull,” “The Color of Money,” “GoodFellas,” “The Age of Innocence,” “Kundun,” “Bringing Out the Dead” and “Gangs of New York,” which was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. In 1990, Mr. Scorsese and seven other prominent filmmakers created The Film Foundation which serves as an intermediary between the studios and film archives to encourage the restoration and preservation of films in their libraries. Mr. Scorsese is the recipient of the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award and was also honored with a tribute from the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Leonardo DiCaprio starred in two of 2002’s biggest hits, Mr. Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York” and Steven Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can.” He previously starred in James Cameron's “Titanic,” one of the most successful films in motion picture history and winner of twelve Academy Awards. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in “What's Eating Gilbert Grape?” Among his other films are “William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet,” “Marvin's Room” and “The Beach.” Cate Blanchett will soon be seen in Ron Howard’s “The Missing” and Joel Schumacher’s “Veroncia Guerin.” Golden Globe winner for “Elizabeth,” she has also appeared in “The Lord of the Rings,” “Bandits” and “Heaven.” Kate Beckinsale recently co-starred in “The Golden Bowl,” “Pearl Harbor” and “Serendipity.” Upcoming are “Van Helsing” and “Underworld.” John C. Reilly received a 2002 Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor in “Chicago,” appearing in three of that year’s Best Picture nominees, “Chicago,” “Gangs of New York” and “The Hours.” Other credits include “Magnolia” and “The Perfect Storm.” Alec Baldwin completed filming “The Cat in the Hat” and “Providence.” Among his recent films are “Pearl Harbor” and “State and Main.” Jude Law, Oscar-nominated for “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” appears in two upcoming films, “Cold Mountain” and “The World of Tomorrow.” John Logan received an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay for the Oscar winning film “Gladiator.” His other credits include “The Time Machine,” “The Last Samurai,” “Any Given Sunday” and “RKO 281.” Scorsese reunites on “The Aviator” with several longtime collaborators. Director of Photography is Robert Richardson who worked with the director on “Casino” and “Bringing Out the Dead.” Richardson has shot several Oliver Stone films, including “Platoon,” “JFK” and “Nixon,” and most recently photographed Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming “Kill Bill.” Production designer Dante Ferretti, a seven-time Academy Award nominee, previously designed five films for Scorsese, “The Age of Innocence,” “Casino,” “Kundun,” “Bringing Out the Dead” and “Gangs of New York.” His other credits include “Interview with the Vampire,” “Baron Munchausen,” Pier Paolo Pasolini's “Decameron” and Federico Fellini's “City of Women.” Costume designer Sandy Powell is an Academy Award winner for “Shakespeare In Love” and Academy Award nominee the same year for “Velvet Goldmine.” “Wings of the Dove,” for which she was also nominated for an Oscar, and “Far From Heaven” are among her many other credits. Set decorator Francesca Lo Schiavo has collaborated with Dante Ferretti for many years, most recently on Anthony Minghella’s “Cold Mountain,” as well as “Gangs of New York,” Franco Zeffirelli’s “Hamlet,” “Baron Munchausen” and Federico Fellini’s “And the Ship Sails On.” Editor Thelma Schoonmaker received an Academy Award and a British Film Academy Award (BAFTA) for her work on Mr. Scorsese's “Raging Bull.” She subsequently edited all his films, including his documentaries “A Personal Journey” with “Martin Scorsese Through American Movies” and “Il Mio Viaggio in Italia.”
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