A recent People magazine story about Tom Sizemore was headlined: "I've Come Out the Other Side."
Now, the other side -- of addiction and "Celebrity Rehab" -- is leading the actor to Pittsburgh where he will star in a new movie, "Mob Priest" alongside Robert Davi.
Mr. Sizemore, whose credits include "Heat," "Saving Private Ryan" and "Black Hawk Down," tells his story in a new book, "By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There."
Gavin Rapp and Ron Hankison, who shared directing duties on "Since I Don't Have You," are starting this new project, "Mob Priest" also featuring Ken Champion, Sean Derry, Kristin Spatafore, Buster Maxwell, Tim Yurkewicz and Zack Meekins.
They plan to start shooting the $3 million movie, set in Pittsburgh, in September in Pittsburgh locations such as the North Side, Lawrenceville and Downtown, but will have their leading men in town next week to scout locations and shoot publicity shots.
A site has been launched at themobpriest.com where you can find a description.
Mr. Sizemore will play a character called Mob Boss Johnny, who rules young gangs and extorts money from the community and local businesses leaving them poor and afraid. Mr. Davi's character is Father Trovato, a Vietnam veteran assigned at his request to troubled parishes and to a prison as a chaplain.
"The Mob Priest" builds to a confrontation over the fate of a struggling parish and, apparently, a few souls.
Mr. Rapp, who told the emotional story of his tumultuous childhood and famous vocalist mother Janet Vogel Rapp in "Since I Don't Have You," is writing the screenplay.
Mr. Rapp sent the script to the agents for Mr. Sizemore and Mr. Davi and they liked it and thought it was a novel twist on mob stories. As for Mr. Sizemore's history, Mr. Rapp said, "I, like anyone else, think people deserve second chances. Tom is one of those guys, his work speaks for itself."
Locking down the two lead actors should help the project secure distribution once the movie is completed. Local casting should start some time in June.
Rogers reports premature?
The online media is off and running with speculation about who could play Fred Rogers in a movie but stories about such a project were news to The Fred Rogers Co.
Executives at the Oakland-based company were surprised to see reports about an Alexis Jolly spec script called "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" sold to Justin Nappi and Kevin Turen's Treehouse Pictures.
Mike Fleming Jr. of deadline.com posted an item that quickly was picked up by other outlets. He wrote, in part: "Specific details on the storyline are being kept under wraps. Jolly has been a staff writer on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' and pitched the idea to his APA agents, who helped it find a home at Treehouse."
Mr. Nappi was quoted as saying, "Fred Rogers was such an inspirational man for so many people. His keen ability to find the good in anyone, or anything, will make for a truly inspiring cinematic experience."
Kevin Morrison, chief operating officer of The Fred Rogers Co., said late Thursday afternoon, "We were unaware of this film until somebody sent us a link to the announcement earlier today."
He would say nothing further but obviously deciding to make a movie about the children's icon, who died a decade ago and is revered in Pittsburgh and around the world, is not as simple as it sounds.
For starters, "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" is almost word for word a line from the copyrighted song "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" and the filmmakers would need to get permission to use music from Mr. Roger's songbook along with clearance for any other copyrighted or trademarked work.
So either the filmmakers would have to negotiate such use or face a thorny legal battle. It's too early to know where this one will go.
The Moonlit Matinee Film Festival returns to the Oaks Theater in Oakmont for an 11th year. Movies screen Friday and Saturdays at 10 p.m., with prize giveaways at each show.
Tickets are $8 for general admission and $6 for seniors or students with ID or patrons under 17. The schedule:
May 24 and 25: "The Goonies."
May 31 and June 1: "Gremlins."
June 7 and 8: "Rocky."
June 14 and 15: "Better Off Dead."
June 21 and 22: "Scream."
June 28 and 29: "Pulp Fiction."
July 5 and 6: "Jaws."
July 12 and 13: "The Blues Brothers."
July 19 and 20: "Back to the Future."
July 26 and 27: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."
Aug. 2 and 3: "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
Aug. 9 and 10: "The Warriors."
Aug. 16-17: "National Lampoon's Vacation."
For details about the theater, 310 Allegheny River Blvd., see theoakstheater.com.
Factory finals near
Drum roll please ... and the Steeltown Film Factory finalists, their occupations and films are: Heather Gray, a professional deaf-interpreter ("Life After Deaf"); Dennis Schebetta, a Carnegie Mellon University faculty member and playwright ("My Date With Adam"); and Glenn Syska, Point Park graduate and graphic artist ("The Sketch").
A winner will be chosen May 11 at the final event at Carnegie Mellon University's Purnell Center for the Arts, Chosky Theatre. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m., the event will start at 11 a.m.
CMU drama students will do a live table read of the three short scripts with $30,000 and the chance to turn that screenplay into a short film at stake. TV writer-producer Sally Lapiduss will be among the judges.
The event will be held in memory of Ellen Weiss Kander, Steeltown's co-founder and founding executive director. A tribute film to her will debut and the top prize once again is being called the Ellen Weiss Kander Award.
"It is fitting to pay tribute to Ellen with a film and an award in her honor at the Steeltown Film Factory. This competition is one of the many successful and innovative initiatives she started for the Steeltown Entertainment Project," Carl Kurlander, president and CEO of the Steeltown Entertainment Project, said in a statement about the event.
"Because of her, the Film Factory has been a driving force connecting top Hollywood film and television writers, actors, and executives with Pittsburgh's emerging talent and original voices in this region," he added.
The film will interview Maxine Lapiduss, Steeltown co-founder and an award-winning writer/producer, along with Steeltown advisers such as director Rob Marshall, actor David Conrad and Eric Gold, entertainment industry manager for Jim Carrey and many other A-list actors.
Go to www.SteeltownFilmFactory.org to buy tickets or read more about the finalists and their screenplays.
May the force be with you
Sombreros and light sabers are two accessories not usually linked unless you are the Community Reel Arts Center, at the former Parkway Theater at 644 Broadway Ave. in Stowe.
It plans a fundraiser with a combo theme of Cinco de Mayo and "Star Wars" on Saturday. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and the event is designed to raise money for the old Parkway Theater.
Admission for the 21-and-over event, $8, includes a taco bar with a cash bar, along with music, outdoor games (weather permitting), prizes and the chance to whack at a pinata with a light saber.
The Kentucky Derby will play on the big screen and you can watch the original, 1977 "Star Wars" for free at 7:15 p.m.
Tickets will be available at the door or call Aaron Stubna, president of Community Reel Arts Center at 412-766-1668 for reservations or details.
Dodge the Decepticons
"Transformers: The Ride -- 3D" will open on June 20, Universal Orlando announced Thursday.
It places visitors in the middle of a battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons. The ride was created under license from Hasbro Inc. and is based on its Transformers brand. To learn more, www.universalorlando.com.