CMT Films Goes 'Crazy' For Theatrical


Principal photography will begin next month in Santa Fe, N.M. on the feature Crazy Heart from CMT Films.

The music-based drama, based on the debut novel by Thomas Cobb, will star four-time Academy Award-nominee Jeff Bridges, two-time Golden Globe nominee Maggie Gyllenhall and Academy Award winner Robert Duvall, is scheduled to debut in theaters in mid-2009. Distribution plans are expected to be announced shortly.

The film, is being produced by CMT Films, whose earlier entries were Broken Bridges, starring Toby Keith and the Emmy-nominated sports documentary Dale, Informant Media and Duvall and Robert Carliner’s Butchers Run Films.

A CMT Films official said that while it is likely the picture will wind its way back to CMT’s air, there were no guarantees that such a distribution deal would be arranged.  

Crazy Heart is the story about a down-on-his-luck, alcoholic country music singer (Bridges) who, through his relationship and experiences with a female reporter (Gyllenhaal), is able to get his life and career back on track. Bridges’ character plays mentor to a hotshot contemporary country star at the peak of his career, while struggling in the younger star’s shadow. 

Grammy-winning and Academy Award-nominated composer and producer T Bone Burnett will produce original music for the film and soundtrack with songwriter Stephen Bruton. 

“We knew from the moment we read the script that this was a film we absolutely wanted to make, and Duvall’s enthusiasm for the project became our passion as well,” said Jeff Yapp, executive vice president, program enterprises, MTVN, in a statement. “CMT Films is honored to work with such a talented, award-winning group.” 

Added CMT executive vice president and general manager Brian Phillips: “Crazy Heart is the story we've been waiting to tell. This project has charmed not only the screen's most gifted talent, but also fired the musical imagination of T Bone Burnett. An unprecedented collaboration has begun.”