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WHAT JUST HAPPENED an independent film, produced by 2929 Productions, Art Linson Productions and Tribeca Productions, was released in 17th October 2008. This film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2008.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED is based on the acclaimed, bestselling memoir - What Just Happened: Bitter Hollywood Tales from the Front Line by veteran Hollywood producer Art Linson, which talks about his experiences. He wrote the screenplay and produced the film with Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal.
Marcelo Zarvos is the composer. The film is set to a soundtrack that mixes the classic cinematic sounds of Ennio Morricone with the songs of Nick Drake, Citizen Cope, Dire Straits, Bebel Gilberto and Nina Simone, among others.
Set against the Hollywood backdrop of child support, ex-wives, therapy, and affairs of the heart, mind and bedroom, WHAT JUST HAPPENED? Re-teams director Barry Levinson with Robert De Niro in a wickedly funny drama about the inner bowels of the movie business... its tantrums, over-indulgences, cynicism, and general distrust and fear of the next crisis. Joining Robert De Niro is a stellar cast of Catherine Keener, Bruce Willis, Sean Penn, Robyn Wright Penn, Stanley Tucci, Kristin Stewart, Michael Wincott, John Turturro, Mark Ivanir, Jacques Maroun, Alex Norca, Tifany Scott, Jolie Brady.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED is a winningly sharp comedy about two nail-biting, back-stabbing, roller-coaster weeks in the world of a middle-aged Hollywood producer -- as he tries to juggle an actual life with an outrageous series of crises in his day job.
Academy Award winning director Barry Levinson reunites with Academy Award winning actor Robert De Niro and leading producer Art Linson, who wrote the screenplay based on his bestselling memoir. They all join with an all-star cast in this rollicking, shrewd tale of a man besieged by people who want him to be all sorts of things -- a money maker, an ego buster, a bad news breaker, an artistic champion, a loyal husband, an all-knowing father, not to mention sexy, youthful and tuned-in - everything except for the one thing he and all the preposterously behaved people he's surrounded by really are: bumbling human beings just trying to survive by any means necessary.
Ben (De Niro) is already in over his head trying to balance the tug-of-war of having two ex-wives and two different families with his latest business venture - the boldly ''visionary'' movie Fiercely starring Sean Penn (Sean Penn) - when everything that can go wrong goes completely screwy.
Fiercely looks like an audience-offending flop which draws the ire of iron-gloved studio chief Lou (Catherine Keener), who forces him into tangling with the film's rebellious and drug-addled director Jeremy (Michael Wincott). Meanwhile, he's confused and bewitched by his ex Kelly (Robin Wright Penn) who can't make up her mind about him; shocked by his daughter Zoe (Kristen Stewart), who seems to have grown up overnight; infuriated by his screenwriter friend Scott (Stanley Tucci) who's trying to make a deal with him while making moves on his former wife; horrified by a hirsute Bruce Willis (Bruce Willis) and flummoxed by Willis' nebbishy agent Dick (John Turturro), who's scared to death of his own clients.
Somehow amidst all the madness, treachery, deceit, runaway egos, rampant commercialism, personal politics and atrocious behavior of America's dream-making machinery, Ben has to find a way not just to make it to Cannes with a finished film, but to cope . . .
1) Robert De Niro as Ben, A film producer thrust into two weeks of hell, desperately trying to keep his career and family intact, while trying to survive the shark tank that is the movie business.
2) Catherine Keener as Lou, the iron-willed studio chief who is never wrong.
3) Sean Penn (playing himself) as the venerable star of a potentially doomed picture.
4) Kristen Stewart plays Zoe, Ben's daughter from marriage number one; she is not as innocent as she looks.
5) Stanley Tucci as Scott Solomon, a screenwriter who is at once working on a project with Ben while secretly sleeping with Ben's second ex-wife.
6) John Turturro as Dick Bell, a Hollywood agent with a terrible stress-induced stomach disorder who is scared of his own clients.
7) Bruce Willis as the self-obsessed overweight movie star who refuses to shave his beard for Ben's new film.
8) Michael Wincott as Jeremy, the manic director of Ben's latest film, who is driven to drugs and self-mutilation just to get through his final cut
9) Robin Wright Penn plays Kelly, Ben's ex-wife who still has a soft spot for him.
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