The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.1018  Saturday, 18 November 2006

From: 		JD Markel <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 16 Nov 2006 19:41:54 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 17.0973 Patrick Stewart's Merchant
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0973 Patrick Stewart's Merchant

Chicago native Ed Zwick reportedly next will direct fellow Oscar winner 
Jennifer Connelly and superstar Leonardo DiCaprio in the dramatic 
thriller "The Blood Diamond." The film centers on a conflict between a 
poor African farmer and an American diamond smuggler (DiCaprio) and the 
syndicate that controls the local diamond mining industry.

Zwick -- whose long list of credits includes producing "Shakespeare in 
Love," creating TV's "thirtysomething" and directing "The Last Samurai," 
"Glory" and "Courage Under Fire" -- is also co-writing the script with 
his longtime partner Marshall Herskovitz and Charles Leavitt.

Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan ("Gladiator," "Any Given 
Sunday," "The Aviator"), who also wrote Zwick's "The Last Samurai," is 
taking Shakespeare to Vegas! Logan, long part of Victory Gardens 
Theater's stable of playwrights, is penning an updated version of "The 
Merchant of Venice" with Patrick Stewart in line to play Shylock as a 
casino boss and Julia Stiles as Portia, now cast as the daughter of a 
high roller. Michael Almereyda is set to direct and well-known fashion 
designer Diane von Furstenberg will become a producer on the film, 
thanks to making a major investment in the project.

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