Entries in Movie (7)


Anti-Islam Film Producer Wrote Script in Prison: Authorities

JACK GUEZ/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- The controversial Innocence of Muslims was written, produced and directed by a convicted drug manufacturer and scam artist, who has told authorities he actually wrote the script in federal prison and began production two months after his June 2011 release from custody.

Authorities say Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, of Cerritos, Calif., admitted his role in the film, after seeking help from law enforcement in dealing with death threats he has received since the release of the film. Excerpts from the film led to outrage and violence in the Arab world.

Authorities told ABC News that Nakoula told them he and his son, Abanob Basseley, 21, were responsible for producing the movie which, he reportedly said, cost between $50,000 and $60,000 and was shot in a little over 12 days.

Authorities say he claimed the money for the movie came from his wife's family in Egypt.

Using the false name Sam Basile, Nakoula had told reporters earlier this week that he was an "Israeli Jew," that the film had cost about $5,000,000, and that the money had come from wealthy Jewish friends.

Now he is "scared to death," authorities told ABC News, and fearful that harm could come to his wife and other family members. But most of the threats have been directed at him, authorities said.

According to California law enforcement officials the other members of the team that produced the movie are also fearful that harm could come to them. Authorities were seeking to talk to each of them.

Records obtained by ABC News show Nakoula was convicted of intent to manufacture methamphetamine in the 1990s, and also served time in federal prison on bank fraud charges, where he told authorities he wrote the script.

Sentenced to 21 months in prison and five years on probation, Nakoula was moved from the federal correctional complex in Lompoc, Calif. to a halfway house in 2010, according to the website The Smoking Gun. He was released from federal custody in June 2011 and production on the film began just two months later at a soundstage in Southern California.

Actors in the film say that they were told the film was called "Desert Warrior," and say that the script contained no references to Mohammed. Actress Cindy Lee Garcia told ABC News, "I never heard Mohammed, I never said Mohammed." Specific references to Mohammed and Islam were apparently added via overdubbing.

"I just want the world to know that I did not know," said Garcia.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Philly Teen Killed at Site of Colin Farrell Film Shoot

Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- A Philadelphia teenager was shot dead steps away from where scenes of Dead Man Down, a mob thriller starring Colin Farrell, was to be filmed Tuesday morning.

Philadelphia police say 18-year-old Robert Sneed stepped outside a corner grocery store around 4 p.m. Monday and was shot multiple times in the torso.  He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The shooting was the result of an argument, police said.

Cops tell the Philadelphia Daily News that a witness saw the shooter run into a nearby house with two other men.  That witness alerted police to the address, and cops took all three men into custody and found a handgun hidden in a closet inside the row house, Chief Inspector Scott Small told the paper.

The investigation is ongoing and so far no charges have been filed.

Nearby crew members who were setting up when the gunfire erupted described the scene as “crazy” and “surreal.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bin Laden Strike: Gov't Probes Possible Leaks of Classified Info for Movie

AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Department of Defense and CIA are looking into the possible release of classified information to filmmakers on the killing of Osama bin Laden, according to a top Republican lawmaker.

Last August, Rep. Pete King, the chairman of the House committee on Homeland Security, called for an investigation into reports that the Obama administration granted Sony Pictures high-level access for a film on the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.

In a letter from DoD’s Inspector General’s office dated Dec. 23 and released by the committee Thursday, King is told “after an initial review of information, the Office of the Deputy Inspector General for Intelligence and Special Program Assessments has announced a project…to investigate the concerns raised” by his August 9 inquiry.

The CIA’s Office of Public Affairs also wrote King Nov. 8 that the CIA is “developing a written policy to create a single point of reference that will govern future interactions with the entertainment industry.”

“I am pleased that the Inspectors General at DoD and the CIA agree with me that potential leaks to filmmakers are something worth investigating and taking action to address,” King, R-New York, wrote in a statement Thursday. “The leaks that followed the successful bin Laden mission led to the arrests of Pakistanis and put in danger the mission’s heroes and their families.  Privately, individuals in the intelligence and special operations communities expressed support for my request for a probe.  I look forward to an update on the investigation and actions taken thus far.”

King wrote Aug. 9 that he was concerned, “regarding ongoing leaks of classified information regarding sensitive military operations” and he warned that close cooperation on the Hollywood action-thriller could lead to further leaks that could undermine the success of future operations.

“Further participation by JSOC and the Agency in making a film about the raid is bound to increase such leaks, and undermine these organizations’ hard-won reputations as “quiet professionals” -- reputations important for their continued operational success,” King, R-New York, wrote in a letter addressed to Defense Department Inspector General Gordon Heddell and CIA Inspector General David Buckley. “The success of these organizations is vital to our continued homeland security.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told ABC News’ Jake Tapper last summer that King’s allegations were “ridiculous” and “simply false” and he suggested the Homeland Security committee had more pressing concerns to investigate.

“We do not discuss classified information,” Carney said.  "I would hope that as we face the continued threat from terrorism, the House Committee on Homeland Security would have more important topics to discuss than a movie.”

The film is to be directed by director Kathryn Bigelow, who won an Oscar for directing The Hurt Locker – which won seven total Oscars in 2010, including best picture. Mark Boal, who worked with Bigelow on the blockbuster, has also signed on to produce the as-yet-untitled Bin Laden movie, which is in pre-production and will star Rooney Mara, Tom Hardy and Idris Elba.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Casey Anthony Case to Become Movie

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- The book by one of the attorneys who prosecuted Casey Anthony is now in the works to be adapted into a TV movie.

The movie will be based on the new book Imperfect Justice, Prosecuting Casey Anthony by retired Florida prosecutor Jeff Ashton, according to Fox Television Studios spokeswoman Leslie Oren, who said that the studio has optioned the book.

Oren said that the film is being developed for the Lifetime cable network, but is in its early stages.  Lifetime has yet to give the green light to the project.

Ashton spent three years preparing for the prosecution of 25-year-old Anthony, who was accused of killing her two-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008.  The prosecution asked for the death penalty in the case, but Anthony was eventually acquitted of the murder charge.

In the book, Ashton gives insider information into the investigation, the criminal trial and eventual not guilty verdict that captured the attention of the nation.  The prosecutor feels that Anthony got away with murder, according to People magazine, and in the book takes jabs at Anthony’s defense attorneys and jurors.

“I have seen my share of liars, but never one quite like this,” Ashton writes in the book, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


FAA Says Air Traffic Controller Caught Watching Movie

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- On the same weekend that the Federal Aviation Administration announced sweeping schedule changes in an effort to reduce incidents of air traffic controllers sleeping on the job, the agency says a controller at an Ohio control center was caught watching a movie on a portable DVD player.

The controller and a manager have been suspended as a result.

The FAA says in the early morning hours of April 17, an air traffic controller at the Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center was watching a movie on a portable DVD player while working at a radar position.  The government agency says the controller’s microphone was on during that time and the sound of the movie was transmitted over a radio frequency used in that airspace.  The FAA learned of the incident from a military aircraft.

An unnamed government source says the controller was watching the 2007 Samuel L. Jackson film, Cleaner.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt announced a number of changes in scheduling last weekend, including a new rule that controllers have no fewer than nine hours off between shifts.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Georgia Mom of Five Missing After Leaving to Rent a Movie (file photo)(BARTOW COUNTY, Ga.) -- Wazineh Suleiman left her five kids at their Bartow County, Georgia home last week to rent a movie and never returned.

On Tuesday, Police found Wazineh Suleiman's abandoned SUV in an empty parking lot 12 miles from the Walmart where, her husband Abed Suleiman said, she went to rent a movie Friday night.  He had gone to Kentucky on Friday on a hunting trip with a friend but returned to Georgia when he realized he'd confused the dates for when hunting season begins, he said.

"I pulled into the driveway and my buddy said, 'Hey, your wife's truck is not there.'  I look over and my jaw just dropped," Suleiman said.  "I was in shock.  That doesn't make sense.  She just doesn't leave without telling me."

He said he found his kids watching television.  The eldest child, he said, told him that Wazineh Suleiman, 30, had left to rent a movie at Walmart.

Bartow County law enforcement officials are treating the case as that of a missing endangered person.

"We're still treating it as a missing endangered persons case ... she might have left on her own," County Sheriff Clark Millsap said.  "We hope that's what happened but until we can substantiate that, then we have to look at it as it may have escalated on up to something beside a missing endangered person."

Millsap said that in his personal law enforcement opinion, he doesn't believe that Suleiman left on her own.

Police are pulling surveillance video to see whether Suleiman ever entered the Walmart or whether her car was ever parked in its lot.

Abed Suleiman told police that he and his wife had exchanged heated text messages the day of her disappearance.  In one text message, Wazineh Suleiman threatened to throw her phone out the window, Abed Suleiman told police.

"That was his statement about one text message that he had received," Millsap said.  "We're looking into that to see if we can corroborate that and substantiate it and just to see what the exact content of all the text messages were that night."

Abed Suleiman is not a suspect in his wife's disappearance, police said.

"We don't have any evidence to show that at this time," Millsap said.  "He's not a suspect.  He's not a person of interest....If we come across something like that, of course, we will pursue it."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


John F. Kennedy Assassination Still Intrigues, 47 Years Later

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images (NEW YORK) -- Forty-seven years have passed since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but the man who served less than a full term in office still casts a long shadow over the American politics and culture even as his relatives have slowly retreated from it.

A new movie, as well as a documentary featuring Secret Service agents on duty in Dallas when JFK was shot, ensure that the Kennedy assassination will not fade from our minds any time soon.

In January, when JFK's nephew Patrick leaves Congress, it will be the first time since 1944 that no member of the Kennedy clan is on Capitol Hill.

The retiring Rep. Kennedy was not even born when his uncle was killed, but the events of that day in Dallas still capture the interest of Americans.

The documentary about the Secret Service is set to air Monday night on Discovery.

Two agents appear in it. They have kept silent about the events of Nov. 22, 1963, up to now. But a new book by agent Gerald Blaine, The Kennedy Detail, has brought a new perspective to the story.

A new feature film is in the works to examine the Kennedy assassination. This one, adding to the canon of films that explore conspiracy theories, most notably by Oliver Stone and Clint Eastwood, will feature Leonardo DiCaprio and is based on a book by Lamar Waldron that used information from the National Archives to suggest that a mob boss ordered Kennedy's assassination.

That book was also the basis for a Discovery Channel documentary that aired one year ago, the 46th anniversary of the assassination. Last year's documentary was called Did the Mob Kill JFK?

The agents in this year's movie reject such theories as a "cottage industry" of conspiracy.

But the doubts persist. Why are Americans still so interested in a killing that occurred nearly half a century ago and has been studied more than any other?

"There are so many angles on President Kennedy's death, including the public killing of the murderer," said David Rehr, a former President of the National Association of Broadcasters who now teaches at George Washington University.

"A picture-perfect Presidency with so much hope is ended by a bullet -- the story line gets more complicated as time passes and others suggest various motives," said Rehr.

The Secret Service has grown exponentially since then, from 400 agents to ten times that with a budget of about $1.4 billion annually.

And while Kennedy, on that fateful day, was able to insist that he ride in an open convertible to wave and be seen by the people, presidential security is now as tight as the Secret Service can make it.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio