Tunica-Biloxi Tribe’s third movie set for summer release
Acacia Filmed Entertainment’s third movie, "Shock and Awe," is expected to hit the theaters in July.
The company, owned jointly by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe and Savvy Media Holdings, had a financial success with its first movie, the critically acclaimed "Wind River." Its second film released, "LBJ," was mostly panned by critics and cost about 10 times more than it has earned at the box office, according to online film industry sources.
"Shock and Awe" reunites "LBJ" director Rob Reiner, screenwriter Joey Hartstone and actor Woody Harrelson.
In addition to Acacia and Savvy, which is owned by Matthew George, Reiner’s Castle Rock Entertainment is also producing and financing the film.
After shopping around for a distributor for several months, the film about journalists skeptical of the motives for the 2003 invasion of Iraq was picked up by Vertical Entertainment and DirecTV.
"Deadline Hollywood" has reported that DirecTV will premiere the film to its customers in June and the film will be released to theaters in July.
The tribe’s Economic Development Corporation, which represents the local interest in Acacia’s projects, could not be reached for comment on the film and what it means to the tribe and Avoyelles Parish. It is not known if the tribe will be able to schedule a “red carpet” screening of the movie, as it did with "Wind River," with stars of the film attending the event.
The movie is about the Knight Ridder team of journalists who questioned the George W. Bush Administration’s efforts to link Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 attacks and claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that threatened other nations.
Those reporters are played by Harrelson, James Marsden, Tommy Lee Jones and Reiner, who took over the role of editor John Walcott when Alec Baldwin walked away from the project the day before shooting began. Some reports say Baldwin quit due to scheduling conflicts while others say it was over a wardrobe issue.
Other co-stars include Milla Jovovich, Jessica Biel, Luke Tennie and Richard Schiff.
"Shock and Awe" was enthusiastically received at international film festivals in Zurich and Dubai last year.
A search of reviews posted following those film festival appearances would be classified as “mixed.”
Several of the performances are praised, especially Harrelson, but there are also comments bemoaning missed opportunities to make the story more compelling and to further develop some of the characters, including Jones’ veteran war correspondent.
A large portion of the 90-minute movie was filmed in Louisiana.