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November 08, 2002 02:33pm
"Wonderland" Val Kilmer as John Holmes
Source: Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.
by: Company Press Release

(MARINA DEL REY, CA & VANCOUVER, BC) -- Lions Gate Films, the motion picture arm of Lions Gate Entertainment has begun principal photography in Los Angeles on the true-crime picture Wonderland, slated for a late 2003 release.

The Company also announced that the all-star cast of Val Kilmer (Batman Forever, the Doors), Lisa Kudrow (Analyze This, Analyze that, "Friends"), Kate Bosworth (Blue Crush), Josh Lucas (Sweet Home Alabama, the Hulk, the Deep End), and Christina Applegate (the Sweetest Thing, "Married with Children") has now been joined by Dylan McDermott ("The Practice," in the Line of Fire), Eric Bogosian, Tim Blake Nelson (the Good Girl, director of Lions Gate's "O" and the Grey Zone) and Ted Levine (Silence of the Lambs, the Truth About Charlie, Heat).

Todd Samovitz, D. Loriston Scott, Captain Mauzner and James Cox scripted the true story of Holmes and his young lover's involvement in the scandalous Laurel Canyon murders which shook Hollywood in the early 1980's. The film is directed by Cox and produced by Holly Weirsma, with Ali Foreman co-producing. Peter Kleidman will serve as executive producer. Lions Gate executives overseeing the projects are Paseornek, Marc Butan and Peter Block.

"We are very excited about this provocative and intriguing look at murder, pornography, and underground Hollywood lore," said Michael Paseornek, Lions Gate Films President of Production. "The John Holmes saga is fascinating in itself. Coupled with one of Los Angeles' legendary crime stories and powered by one of the strongest ensemble casts Lions Gate has ever assembled, we believe that we have green-lit another film that perfectly fits our model - daring, contemporary, cutting edge, talent-driven and offering terrific box office potential from a very disciplined production approach."

"This kind of film has the Lions Gate stamp all over it," said Cox. "They understand as well as anyone how to produce and market projects that dare to push the envelope and, with the recent addition of Dylan McDermott, Tim Blake Nelson, Eric Bogosian and Ted Levine, I am thrilled to be working with a wealth of talent. Val and the rest of this superb cast will fulfill the promise of a terrific script."

On the afternoon of July 1, 1981, Los Angeles police responded to a distress call at 8763 Wonderland Avenue and soon discovered a grisly quadruple homicide, later compared to the gruesome slaughter at the Tate household at the hands of the Charles Manson family 10 years earlier. Ron Launius (Josh Lucas), Billy Deverell (Tim Blake Nelson), Barbara Richardson (Natasha Gregson Wagner) and Joy Miller (Janeane Garofalo) were brutally murdered, and Ron's wife Susan (Christina Applegate) was left in critical condition.

The police investigation that followed - led by detectives Sam Nico (Ted Levine), Louis Cruz (Frankie G.) and Mike Peters (M.C. Gainey) - would unearth a seedy world of drugs and violence, ultimately revealing a motley crew from LA's underbelly including ex-con David Lind (Dylan McDermott), nightclub impresario Eddie Nash (Eric Bogosian), the most unlikely of American heroes - porn legend John Holmes (Val Kilmer) - Holmes' estranged wife Sharon (Lisa Kudrow) and his teenage lover Dawn Schiller (Kate Bosworth).

Wonderland was one of the films powering Lions Gate International Films' record-breaking sales performance at this week's Mifed Market in Milan, Italy, selling all international rights to major distributors in many key territories worldwide, including France, Japan, Scandinavia, Benelux, Greece, Portugal, Turkey, Israel, Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic and the Middle East.

Wonderland joins a commercially potent and critically exciting slate that includes: James Foley's thriller Confidence, starring Dustin Hoffman, Ed Burns, Andy Garcia and Rachel Weisz; Max, the highly anticipated directorial debut of Academy Award nominated screenwriter Menno Meyjes, starring John Cusack, Noah Taylor, Molly Parker and Leelee Sobieski; the thriller Godsend, toplining an a-list cast of Robert DeNiro, Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romjin- Stamos; and Shattered Glass, the eagerly-anticipated Stephen Glass story starring Hayden Christensen.

Lions Gate creates, produces and distributes a broad range of filmed entertainment content worldwide through its four operating divisions - Motion Pictures, Television, Animation and Studio Facilities - as well as its state- of-the-art CinemaNow VOD business. The distinctive Lions Gate brand is recognized as a symbol of original, cutting edge, quality entertainment in markets around the globe.

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