Ellen Page infiltrates 'The East'

Thriller about a group of eco terrorists
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Dominik
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Sep 29, 2011 10:48 pm

Ellen Page infiltrates 'The East'
Joins Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgard in Fox Searchlight thriller
By Jeff Sneider, posted: Thursday, Sep. 29, 2011, 11:40am PT

Fox Searchlight is back in business with "Juno" star Ellen Page, who's in final talks to join Brit Marling and Alexander Skarsgard in Zal Batmanglij's thriller "The East."

Ridley and Tony Scott's Scott Free Prods. banner is producing the pic, which was written by Marling and Batmanglij.

Story concerns a private contracting firm tasked with protecting big corporations from radical environmentalists and anti-business extremists that assigns its best and brightest agent to infiltrate a mysterious anarchist organization known only as 'The East.'

Marling stars as the undercover agent, who finds herself falling for the leader of The East, who will be played by Skarsgard. Page will play Izzy, a member of The East who used to be Skarsgard's lover and is now jealous of the attention he pays Marling's character.

Felicity Jones was originally attached to play Izzy but press commitments for "Like Crazy" forced her to drop out of the project, which is being produced by Ben Howe, Michael Costigan, Jocelyn Hayes Simpson and Maresa Pullman.

While Marling and Skarsgard are fast-rising young actors, Page gives "The East" its first proven star. Oscar-nominated thesp spent the summer shooting Woody Allen's "Bop Decameron" with Jesse Eisenberg, Alec Baldwin and Greta Gerwig. She most recently starred in James Gunn's "Super" and Christopher Nolan's "Inception," which grossed $825 million worldwide.

Page is repped by WME and attorney Kevin Yorn.
Source: www.variety.com
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Sep 29, 2011 11:10 pm

Thanks for the update, the premise of the project sounds very interesting. I saw from another article that shooting will begin soon, so perhaps we will see at least two new films for Ellen coming out in 2012!
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Sep 30, 2011 1:12 pm

Oh cool. Great news. :)
Ellen as an environmental activist. Mhhh, sounds familiar.
Okay, she's not exactly radical or an anarchistic extremist in real life, but it fits her attitude in some way ;)
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Oct 01, 2011 1:43 am

Congrats to Ellen on the role. And yes it would be nice to have two Ellen films in 2012 :) Things are a little slow round here with no new Ellen films
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Oct 01, 2011 4:08 pm

Based on the connection to 'Another Earth' I can see the vague tone of where this might go and it sound intriguing. Can't wait to see the finished product.
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Oct 04, 2011 10:59 pm

This project sounds exciting... my type of movie.

young British actor Toby Kebbell joins cast. I have seen him in Rock N Rolla and was very impressed. Looks they are rounding out a great young cast for this one.

http://www.darkhorizons.com/news/21977/ ... r-the-east
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Oct 14, 2011 2:15 pm

Here is a brief excerpt from a review of an early draft of the script (March 15, 2010) taken from another website; I've removed some sections to avoid major spoilers:
Everything about The East is predictably weird and the members are all under mind control by a charming [decidedly less dangerous] Charles Manson-like leader named Benji.
[...]
She (Sarah / the agent) must navigate the peculiar dynamics of the group to monitor their upcoming marks, and then report back to the agency, who for some reason she’s still able to visit whenever she wants (I guess she can just come and go as she pleases?).
[...]
Whenever you write an infiltration movie, they are certain mainstays you want to explore. The biggest one is you want your character to be torn. The more that the main character sees the other side's point of view, the harder her choice becomes. That inner struggle leads to tension and that tension leads to drama, the lifeblood of any screenplay. This is what you see in Avatar for example. Jake Sulley is torn between what the humans stand for and what the Na’vi stand for. I didn't think The East explored this enough. Sarah never sides with what these guys are doing so there was never a dilemma.
[...]
Just the fact that our character could get caught at any moment created a good deal of drama. But because the cult weren’t killers - just advanced hoaxers - you always felt that if she did get caught, she'd simply be abandoned at the nearest town. Lack of true danger = lack of true drama.
[...]
The screenplay also suffered from MSS (Murky Story Syndrome). This is when the story isn't laid out clearly for the reader - a huge problem in most amateur screenplays I read. I had a hard time figuring out, for example, who the agency was doing this job for and why doing it for them was so important.
[...]
There were some things to like. As I said in the beginning, it didn't feel like anything I'd read before. I was never quite sure where the script was going.
[...]
Despite some original twists and turns, the story was too soft for me.
Just like SUPER, the movie will apparently be shot in Shreveport, Louisiana and not in Nashville, as it has been reported earlier.
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Oct 16, 2011 3:09 pm

Just for a heads up nobody should take that review of the script very seriously. It is a very early draft of it. The script is dated March 2010.. so I am sure a lot has changed and been touched up since. With that said I actually got access to the script and it is pretty interesting read so far. :)
[Update] Update
I just want to give a spoiler free reaction. I enjoyed the script it was a very interesting read. It had an original story with some unique twists and turns. It is an early draft and I am sure some stuff will still be touched up. I honestly think Ellen has the best role in the movie. Brit Marling may be the lead but Ellen has some of the best scenes and is a more complex and original character. She has one scene in particular that her character dominates and is VERY intense. Very much looking forward to this movie. :totalhappy: Also if they stay true to the script Ellen and the other actors might have to do nude scenes.
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Oct 18, 2011 4:03 pm

After reading the script, I would like to share my thoughts as well. At first it feels like a "Mouth to Mouth 2.0". There is group of people living on their own outside the community, having their own rituals and fighting for a common cause. But "The East" seems to be far more realistic and its characters seem to be more in-depth. Ellen's character Izzy has, without a doubt, an important role in the story, although she probably won't have as much screen time as Marling's Sarah or Skarsgard's Benji. She is the right hand of the leader, and the one in the group who tries to push the limits and does everything to reach the intended goals.