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6/7/2012 by Etan Vlessing
TORONTO – Peter Fonda (3:10 to Yuma) has joined the cast of Copperhead, Ron Maxwell’s Civil War-era theatrical drama now shooting just outside of New Brunswick, Canada.
Fonda will perform the role of Avery, and joins a cast that includes Billy Campbell (The Killing), who earlier this week stepped in to replace Jason Patric in the lead role, and Angus MacFadyen.
Penned by Bill Kauffman and based on the Harold Frederic novel, Copperhead is shooting on location in Kings Landing, New Brunswick until the end of June.
5/25/2012 by Etan Vlessing
The Civil War chronicler says his latest film now shooting in New Brunswick has parallels to present-day Iraq and Afghanistan.
TORONTO – Copperhead, Ron Maxwell’s latest film now shooting in Atlantic Canada, is ostensibly about families on the homefront split by the bloodshed of the American Civil War.
But as much as the director of Gettysburg and Gods and Generals is keeping his focus on events in 1862 and telling a compelling story, Maxwell insists his latest Civil War costume drama will inevitably be seen by cinema-goers as an echo of America’s reaction to current events in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I keep it (Copperhead) with as much integrity as I can in 1862, but people will watch this film and leave the theatre and say, ‘Wow, it was like a 150 years ago, and it’s like now,’” the director said from King’s Landing, New Brunswick, where he’s shooting the Jason Patric and Angus MacFadyen-starrer set in 19th century upstate New York.
“We’re living through similar times. There’s these great causes articulated — we’re liberating and we’re freeing people, we’re changing the world, we’re defending liberty – and it’s the same rhetoric with the same consequences,” Maxwell insisted about the cost of war, then and now.
Unlike his earlier Civil War-era epics set on bloody battle fields, Copperhead has a central focus on families back on the home front, burying their dead and feuding amid widespread fear and political panic.
“People die, and it’s mostly young people, it’s mostly the people who have no say in the politics, who have voice in it and who bravely, and with great courage and patriotism, put themselves in harm’s way and pay the price,” Maxwell added.
Copperhead, based on the 19th-century novel of the same name by Harold Frederic, and adapted by Bill Kaufman, examines the price of dissent amid the hysteria of war, as a family is ripped apart by Civil War-era events.
The film, which takes its name from a derisive term used during the Civil War to insult Northerners who opposed the historical conflict, sees Patric play the patriarch Abner Beech, while MacFadyen performs the role of Jee Hagadorn.
At the same time, Maxwell sees political parallels between 1862 and today where few Americans and Canadians have been left untouched by a decade of brutal war and bloodshed in Iraq and Afghanistan,
“By this time, you have to be living like Rip van Winkle not to understand the devastation that both these wars have wrought on our population,” he said.
Copperhead, which has yet to secure U.S. distribution, will likely be between 95 and 115 minutes in length, Maxwell said.
Copperhead Movie CommencesPrinciple Production
May 16, 2012
Principal photography on Swordspoint Production’s Civil War era drama COPPERHEAD will commence in King’s Landing, NB, Canada, on May 16, 2012. Veteran director Ron Maxwell (GODS AND GENERALS, GETTSYBURG) will helm the film based on the epic novel by Harold Frederic. The film stars Billy Campbell (ROCKETEER, THE KILLING) as patriarch Abner Beech and Angus MacFadyen (BRAVEHEART, TITUS, WE BOUGHT A ZOO) as Jee Hagadorn.
Penned by Bill Kauffman, COPPERHEAD is unlike any Civil War story ever filmed. It is a story of the war at home—of a family ripped apart by war, of fathers set against sons and daughters, of a community driven to an appalling act of vengeance against a man who insists on exercising his right to free speech during wartime. A story of the violent passions and burning feuds that set ablaze the homefront during the Civil War, COPPERHEAD is also a timeless and deeply moving examination of the price of dissent, the place of the individual amidst the hysteria of wartime, and the awful cost of war—a cost measured not in dollars but in fractured families, broken loves, and men dead before their time.
With COPPERHEAD, director Ron Maxwell, who with GETTYSBURG and GODS AND GENERALS established himself as our foremost cinematic interpreter of the American Civil War, takes on the War from a stunning and unexpected and richly, unforgettably humanist angle.
Bill Kauffman is the author of nine books, including Ain’t My America (Henry Holt/Metropolitan), which Barnes & Noble named one of the best books of 2008; Look Homeward, America (ISI Books), and Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette: A Mostly Affectionate Account of a Small Town’s Fight to Survive (Henry Holt, 2003/Picador paperback, 2004), Kauffman is a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal.
Co-Producer John Houston brings years of award winning filmmaking to COPPERHEAD. Beginning with his first credit on the 1973 production of THE WHITE DAWN, Houston was the 1st Assistant Director on NEVER CRY WOLF and went on to direct six films of his own, helping promote and preserve the Inuit (Canadian Eskimo) oral tradition. COPPERHEAD was the challenge that lured him back into service production.