Kristen Stewart and Elizabeth Banks are joining Jim Sturgess in Steven Shainberg’s The Big Shoe. Secretary director Shainberg is helming from a script he wrote with Mickey Birnbaum. Shainberg says the film will combine eroticism and humor in a similar way to dark comedy Secretary.
Jim Sturgess plays a gifted shoe designer forced to break free from a family who wants to turn his designs into mass-produced knock-offs. His overbearing mother Irene (Susan Sarandon) hires a psychotherapist Mary Kay (Elizabeth Banks) and a muse Delphi (Kristen Stewart) to lure Nate back to work.
The full plot on AngelWorld Entertainment's website:
A gifted shoe designer, Nate, is forced to break free from a family who want to cheapen his art for their own commercial gain. “The Big Shoe” is a touching an sexy love story and a classic boy-to-man coming-of-age tale, with the colourful backdrop of the fashion/shoe industry. When a muse is strategically ‘planted’ along Nate’s path by his mother, he begins to embrace the mad “logic” of the creative drive, allowing his own deep impulses and wishes to finally be expressed and experienced. He’s revealing to her and to the world his secret. And, while it may make no real practical “sense” to do his art (shoemaking), Nate must….
- HanWay Films handles international sales. CAA are handling domestic rights.
- Richard Middleton and Christina Lurie are the executive producers.
- Andrew Lazar's Mad Chance Productions will produce the film, which is scripted by Shainberg and Mickey Birnbaum.
- Lensing is set to begin June 17.
- The film's being shopped at the European Film Market in Berlin this week.
- The Big Shoe will be financed by a new $150 million equity film fund by AngelWorld Entertainment.
Georgina Goodman, the acclaimed shoe designer from England, will design the footwear showcased throughout the film.
Shainberg, a self-proclaimed lover of shoes, told Footwear News he met with several high-end footwear designers while preparing to make this film. In doing so, Shainberg noticed how like his main character they were in various respects. “I wasn’t that far off!” he claimed of the script he co-wrote with Mickey Birnbaum.
Goodman, who was chosen to design the shoes for the film, said she enjoyed seeing the world through the director’s eyes. “Steven is so creative in his thinking and vision. I've loved getting into the head of his fantastically complex character. It’s a dream job for any designer.”
According to the pair, even before AngelWorld Entertainment signed on to finance the production, they had already made several sample passes for the collection. “I have been completing designs over the last few months, so it’s very exciting that we have secured the funding,” said Goodman, who is working on a new footwear venture after closing down her eponymous line last year. The designer was also a frequent collaborator of the late Lee Alexander McQueen, including helping to design the now-famous Armadillo shoe.
Shainberg described the shoes as “insane and amazing and beautiful,” while adding that quality is of the utmost importance. “One of the tricky things about this film is we have to realize the shoes on the highest level. It is the most important thing,” he added.
As for whether the high cost of producing in Italy had come as a surprise to the director, Shainberg said it will all be worthwhile.
“[The price of production in Italy] is kind of insane. But if you’re making a gorgeous couture object of any kind with handcrafted beautiful components it’s going to be expensive. So I guess I wasn’t really surprised. The shoes are a crucial character in this film.”
As for the significance of portraying the footwear industry on the big screen, Shainberg said he feels it’s about time. “We’ve had movies about sculptors, painters, writers, filmmakers, all kinds of artists portrayed, but never a great shoe designer. From my point of view, the central character is an artist, and his relationship to money and commerce is something all artists face, but especially in fashion.”
Goodman recently designed a pair of wedding shoes commissioned by the Royal Mint to celebrate the Royal Wedding. Only 11 pairs of the shoes were produced, the first going to Kate Middleton.
They talk about it:
"The Big Shoe provides the opportunity to explore a playful romantic, sexy, intimate connection just as Secretary did. The script combines eroticism and humor in such a unique way -- where shoes are better than sex," Shainberg said.
"The project has all the elements we were looking for to satisfy our financing model. The script is strong, as is the cast and the creative team, and it's great to work with an experienced and reputable producer like Lazar. The Big Shoe ticks all the boxes, especially as our investment criteria are non-negotiable," said Angel.
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