Movie File: Mark Ruffalo, Amy Smart, Eric Bana, Quentin Tarantino & More

'Eternal Sunshine' actor shooting serial-killer flick with David Fincher.

With the moviegoing public accustomed to flicks about charismatic serial killers who eventually get their comeuppance, director David Fincher ("Fight Club") has come up with a truly horrifying idea: telling the story of a real-life killer who got away. "It'll scare the living daylights out of them. This guy was terrifying," star Mark Ruffalo recently said of "Zodiac," their upcoming collaboration based on a never-solved string of murders from the '60s and '70s. The film — which also stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. — is now shooting and is expected to be out later this year. Reports have already begun surfacing about Fincher's detailed re-creations of the gruesome killings, but unlike "Silence of the Lambs" or "Monster," audiences will go into the film with the knowledge that the killer still runs free — and could be sitting right there next to them. "I think it helps [the film's fear factor]," insisted Ruffalo, who portrays flamboyant San Francisco detective Dave Toschi. "It's the one thing that we don't see in a lot of serial killer movies. [His escape] is terrifying, and as you get into it, it becomes the whole story. That's what's interesting about the story. And how many people were involved, and how he slipped through so many different cracks, it's pretty remarkable." ...

"Brokeback Mountain" emerged as the main contender at the 12th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards when nominations were announced Thursday (January 5), receiving nods in the categories of male leading actor (Heath Ledger), male actor (Jake Gyllenhaal), supporting female actor (Michelle Williams) and best cast. Other films scoring multiple nominations included "Capote" and "Crash" with three, and "Cinderella Man," "Good Night, and Good Luck," "North Country" and "Walk the Line," which each earned two. Meanwhile, the Directors Guild of America announced its nominees Thursday as well, pitting George Clooney ("Good Night, and Good Luck"), Paul Haggis ("Crash"), Ang Lee ("Brokeback Mountain"), Bennett Miller ("Capote") and Steven Spielberg ("Munich") against each other for outstanding directorial achievement. In other awards news, "Brokeback Mountain," "Capote," "Crash" and "Good Night, and Good Luck" also scored nominations Wednesday for both the Writers Guild of America and the Producers Guild of America's annual awards. ...

A few years ago, movies like "What Dreams May Come" explored the darker sides of human spirituality and ... well ... tanked at the box office. After the success of such faith-based productions as "The Passion of the Christ," however, the makers of a new film are hoping that audiences will be more welcoming of such explorations. "It's based on a book called 'The Way of the Peaceful Warrior' by Dan Millman," Amy Smart ("Just Friends") said of "Peaceful Warrior," currently receiving the finishing touches for a 2006 release. "It's about this guy who is an aspiring gymnast, and Nick Nolte's character is the gas station attendant who works nights and he meets him and develops this mentor kind of relationship, student-teacher, and it's sort of a spiritual cult-following type of thing." In addition to Nolte, the film co-stars Agnes Bruckner ("Venom") and Scott Mechlowicz ("EuroTrip"). "I think it's going to be a movie like 'What the #$*! Do We Know?' or 'What Dreams May Come,' " Smart insisted. "It has a lot of spiritual messages in it." ...

After starring in "Munich," quite possibly the heaviest movie of 2006, Eric Bana will loosen up considerably this April with "Lucky You." Still, he warned, don't let Drew Barrymore's presence fool you into thinking it's another "Fever Pitch" or "50 First Dates." "Romantic comedy, definitely not," he said of the Curtis Hanson ("In Her Shoes") movie about poker players in Las Vegas. "I guess romantic drama, probably." Bana said shooting alongside real-life players gave him the chance to pick up the kind of skills that could land him a few bucks on the side. "All I know is that my poker game was a hell of a lot better at the end than when the shooting started," he grinned. "I can see why they like to stay on the circuit." ...

Michael Madsen wants to serve notice to Hollywood that he's sick of being typecast after the tough-guy roles that made him famous in flicks like "Reservoir Dogs" and "Donnie Brasco." Currently, the actor and father can be heard onscreen voicing Maugrim, the evil wolf and chief of the Witch's Secret Police in "The Chronicles of Narnia." "My sons have seen it, and they like hearing their dad's voice in the picture," he said with his trademark rasp. The reinvention, he hopes, will continue with his next animated effort. "I did a voice in a picture called 'Firedog,' " he beamed. "He's a cool cat. He's an inmate; he's a convict." Also starring Tom Arnold, Lauren Bacall and Tom Berenger, the kiddie flick tells the story of a canine belonging to a fire-fighting family. Madsen, not straying too far from his roots, voices the criminal-minded feline Big Joe. "He's a cat in a jail, somewhat like a 'Godfather'-type character." ...

Diehard sports fans familiar with the story of "The King and His Court" will be interested to know that softball legend Eddie Feigner is going to be the subject of a feature film based on his book "From an Orphan to a King." For six decades, Feigner and his four-man softball team have toured the world as the quasi-Harlem Globetrotters of softball, with the pitcher hurling more than 930 no-hitters. The film will focus on the 80-year-old Feigner's exploits, which include pitching blindfolded from second base, and being clocked at 104 mph in his prime. ...

As any Quentin Tarantino fan knows, revenge is sweet. With that in mind, the Oscar-winning writer/director hopes that it will be even sweeter the second time around. "I'll be coming out with 'Kill Bill,' the whole movie all together," he revealed recently. "Not just volume one and volume two next to each other, but cut together like one big epic, and with the intermission in the middle of it, like a '60s film. We'll be coming out in the theaters with that, and then it will be coming out on DVD." After the epic viewing experience, fans can look forward to tossing away their old "Bill" DVDs in disgust, but Tarantino promises that it will be worth it when his collector's edition replaces them on their shelves. "I've been holding off, because I worked on it for so long that it was like, 'OK, I just want a year where I'm not thinking about "Kill Bill" ... let me just have a year of no "Kill Bill," and then I'll do the big supplementary DVD package.' " ...

After the high-profile film "Rumor Has It," 25-year-old actor Steve Sandvoss is eager to get some indie cred, and his enthusiasm showed as he recently announced his next project. "It's called 'Price to Pay,' it's independent and it's directed by Michael McCready," he said. "I think it's going to turn out like 'Kids' — it takes place in 1989 and it's about a group of guys who are trying to get out of the drug scene. My character is like the rich, preppie, a--hole who gets out of it for like 30 seconds and then drops right back in. It's really brutal. I play the main character's best friend and worst influence. ... It could generate a lot of controversy because it takes a 1989 view of irresponsible sex and drugs and the Wall Street boom, endless money. My character's buying coke for everyone, getting everyone messed up, having three-ways with strippers." The film is expected to start shooting soon.

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