Friday, September 30, 2011

Sean Astin voices frog in "Ribbit"

As I exclusively reported earlier, Sean will be the voice of the frog Ribbit in the upcoming animated film from KRU Productions, "Ribbit." The movie, also featuring the voices of Tim Curry and Russell Peters, is due in 2014.

From the movie's IMDB page:
A fantastic journey sometimes begins with one tiny little hop. Ribbit is a frog with an identity crisis. Unlike frogs, he hates hopping and has a strong aversion to water. Feeling a misfit, he is full of questions about his life... and so together with his best friend, a flying squirrel, he embarks on a soul-searching journey in search of the truth and his rightful place in this world. Set amongst the breathtaking backdrop of the Amazon rainforest, they surge ahead in their quest for the answer to life's mysteries... encountering a zany variety of colourful characters, both friend and foe, along the way. Confusion reigns when Ribbit is accidently hypnotised. Is Ribbit a human prince trapped in a frog's body by an evil curse... or is he merely a confused colourful denizen of the jungle?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Second week of "Amazing Love" filming

Today is the last day of on-location filming for "Amazing Love" in the Arrowhead Lake region. They've been doing both day and night-shoots, and have found some interesting ways to relax between the two. One evening, cast and crew watched "The Goonies" together, and later, Sean Astin (who as Mikey was Goonie #2) swore them in as official members of the Goondocks!

Scriptwriter Greg Mitchell provided a little more information on the story:
This is not just an adaptation of the Hosea story. In fact, it's crouched within a modern day context. In the film, we follow Stuart [Sean's character], a youth group leader who takes his teens on a camping trip. There they deal with strife within the group and Stuart begins to share the story of Hosea's love—a lesson that will impact all the kids. 
The Hosea portions of the movie will be shot in Israel with a whole new cast/characters. Sean's telling the story of Hosea, so it's almost like two movies in one. During the Hosea portions, it cuts back to Sean quite a bit, but he won't actually be in those "flashback" sequences.
This is a far cry from Greg's usual genre, which runs more towards the spooky! Check out his blog:

Here are some more on-set photos, taken by cast and crew.

Erin Bethea, Sean Astin

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New clips from "And They're Off" Updated 9/29

Here's a new clip from "And They're Off" with Sean Astin, Mark Moses and Gigi Rice. The movie will be in theaters October 28.

Here's another new clip (added 9/29):

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Release date for "Stay Cool" DVD

"Stay Cool," with Winona Ryder, Mark Polish, Sean Astin, Hilary Duff, Josh Holloway, Jon Cryer and Chevy Chase, will be released on DVD on December 20.

It should be available at all the usual online and brick-and-mortar locations.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Behind the scenes at "Amazing Love"

Here are some photos from behind the scenes at the filming of "Amazing Love" in Lake Arrowhead, CA.

Sean Astin and Erin Bethea

Savannah Jayde, Sammi Hanratty
Creagen Dow, Terence Hardy, Sean Astin, Erin Bethea

Additional "And They're Off" photos

"And They're Off," starring Sean Astin and Cheri Oteri, will be released in theaters October 28.

Dee (Cheri Oteri) and Dusty (Sean Astin

Caveat and Dusty

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Amazing Love: The Story of Hosea (updated)

A new film starts shooting tomorrow [Sunday] called AMAZING LOVE: THE STORY OF HOSEA. I worked on the script with my brother Rich and Greg Mitchell (good friend who wrote Time Changer novel). Kevin Downes is directing. The movie shoots in California and Israel. Sean Astin (from "Rudy" fame) is the lead and Patty Duke makes a special appearance. Pretty cool.

Source: Facebook page of Dave Christiano

Amazing Love also stars Erin Bethea and Creagen Dow.

Additional info from Rich Christiano, Dave's brother:
Thanks to well wishes for AMAZING LOVE film. The only place we need extras are for the Israel portion of the shoot. Sean Astin, from "Rudy" and "Lord of the Rings" movies, is our lead and should be terrific. His mother, Patty Duke, is going to make a cameo! Looking to cast one more name to be in the Israel portion that starts in Oct. Film should be ready in March and planning a nationwide church release. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sean's passion project: Number the Stars

At the Story 2011 conference in Chicago this week, Sean Astin talked about his "passion project," a film adaptation of the children's novel "Number the Stars," with a script written by Sean and his wife, Christine. The book is based on the true story of a young girl and her family who help Jewish friends escape from the Nazis in Denmark in 1943.

The hand in this movie poster belongs to Sean's middle daughter, Elizabeth.

Last spring, Sean and his family met with Lois Lowry, author of the Newbery Award winning novel, at the Getty Center in Los Angeles over tea. In her blog, Lowry wrote: It was interesting to be in public with Sean, whose face is well known because of the Lord of the Rings movies, and to see the number of fans who come up to him and say, "Are you..." "Could you possibly be..?" "Can you sign my child's sweatshirt?" "Can I have my photo taken with you?" and to see that he remains cheerful and gracious. Fame could be a nuisance, I think.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Reports of Sean Astin at Story 2011

Photo by Leigh Hudson
Here are some live reports of Sean's session today at Story 2011, facilitated by JR Kerr of Park Community Church. From the many tweets and retweets quoting Sean, it seems as if he was well received by the audience. :-)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ending Slavery in our Lifetime

Ending Slavery in our Lifetime

Wednesday, September 14, 20115:45 PM - 7:15 PM
Location: PJ Clarkes Restaurant & Bar, 1204 N State Pkwy, Chicago, IL US 60610
Traffick Free and IJM Institute are hosting an exclusive intimate gathering to talk about ending slavery in our lifetime. Our host, JR Kerr will be interviewing our guest speakers who include Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings, Rudy, The Goonies), Bethany Hoang (Director of IJM Institute), and Laura Ng (Executive Director of Traffick Free).
Join us at PJ Clarkes Resturant & Bar, The Culver Room (3rd Floor). A cash bar and light appetizers will be provided. Program will begin at 6:30 PM.

"Amazing Love": yet another film project!

Busy, busy, busy!

Sean is set to star in his 4th movie project (not counting voice work!) in the last two months, an indie film titled "Amazing Love." Erin Bethea plays his wife.

Amazing Love, directed by Kevin Downes, starts filming next week in Lake Arrowhead, CA.

I hope to have more information on this project in the days and weeks ahead.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Goonies never say die! A prequel?

The rumors that there will be a sequel to the classic kids' adventure movie of the 80s, The Goonies, have been around for several years. There's even been talk of a broadway musical, with a treatment written by Tim Long, who has created musical episodes for The Simpsons, including "Elementary School Musical," which guest starred cast members from Glee.

Well now there's a rumor of a prequel in the works. The story would be based on the adventures of a young Chester Copperpot. (If you've seen The Goonies, you know what ultimately happens to him, a fate that could cast a pall over a new endeavor!) Sean Astin is rumored to narrate the movie, if it ever happens.

But Goonies never say die, so it may come to pass! Let's hope so, for little Mikey's sake!

Love's Christmas Journey airs Nov 5 on Hallmark Channel


Hallmark Channel Original Movie Event World Premiere
Saturday, November 5 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C)

Starring: Sean Astin, JoBeth Williams, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Shaughnessy, Natalie Hall, Dylan Bruce, Greg Vaughan

While still mourning the loss of her husband and daughter, recently widowed Ellie King (Hall) visits her brother Aaron Davis, (Vaughan) a sheriff in the small town of Haddonton, and his two children during the Christmas holiday. Ellie does her best to enjoy the holidays, even making new friends with Beatrice (Williams), a local shop keeper and Deputy Strode (Bruce). Settling in nicely with her brother's family, Ellie agrees to watch her niece and nephew when Aaron travels out of town to purchase adjacent land for farming. But when a corrupt attorney in town leaves a young man to blame for Mayor Wayne's (Astin) barn catching fire and burning, Ellie ignores distrusting townspeople and steps in to help to prove his innocence. To her dismay, the season's festivities are threatened when Aaron goes missing. When all seems lost, Ellie not only gets the perfect holiday miracle - her brother delivered home safely on Christmas morning - but also the chance at a new life when she finds herself falling in love again.


In Chicago area? Have dinner with Sean Sept 14!

Are you in the Chicago area? Join Bethany Hoang and others from the International Justice Mission, Traffick Free and Create Possible at PJ Clarkes, Gold Coast at 5:45 pm.

Traffick Free and The IJM Institute are hosting an exclusive intimate gathering with Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings, Rudy, The Goonies) to talk about ending slavery in our lifetime.

Contact @jimmydlee23 via twitter for info or see the Facebook page for the event.

Sean is in Chicago for the Story 2011 conference September 15-16.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sean to speak at Story 2011 conference

Sean Astin is a last minute addition to the roster of presenters at Story 2011, a two-day conference being held in in Chicago on September 15-16.

Story is designed for the creative class in ministry, with presentations from practitioners from a variety of creative fields to inspire and equip the producer generation. These include artists, filmmakers, musicians, authors and designers, among others.

For more information, visit their website or Facebook page.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Theater locations for "Stay Cool" opening

The locations for the limited release of "Stay Cool," with Sean Astin, Josh Holloway, Winona Ryder, Hilary Duff, Mark Polish, Chevy Chase and Jon Cryer, have been announced. It will be shown in theaters in Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta and Minneapolis.

See the Stay Cool Facebook page for theater locations.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

High res image from Stay Cool

Sean Astin as Big Girl and Josh Holloway as Wino (Jon Cryer in background)
Click for supersize

"Stay Cool" will be released in theaters on September 16. It is available now on video on demand on many cable and satellite providers.


Sean Astin upstaged by yellow bear!

"Sean Astin proves to Disney Junior fans that Agent Oso isn't the only one who's special"

A lovely picture-filled article/interview by Jim Hill in which we learn how Sean copes with being upstaged by a large yellow bear, and how he both teaches and learns from his daughters. And something to look forward to: Oso sings with Handy Manny (Wilmer Valderrama) in an upcoming crossover episode!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sean Astin and Elijah Wood help with Make a Film Foundation project

In 2009, both Sean Astin and Elijah Wood worked on a Make a Film Foundation project. Make a Film Foundation teams film industry professionals with children who have been diagnosed with critical or life-threatening medical conditions in order to help them create short film legacies.

Clayton Beabout, who was 11 when first chosen to be a participant in the MAFF project, suffers from VATER syndrome, an association of skeletal abnormalities. Now 14, Clay has undergone 40 surgeries, and is expected to need about 10 more. He has also written and starred in his first film, "Deep Blue Breath," which premiered in Los Angeles in April. The movie is a sweet and touching story about where Clay's thoughts go while he is in surgery, and costars Sean as his father. Elijah was a mentor for Clay during the filmmaking process, and is featured in the DVD.

Deep Blue Breath is currently being shown at film festivals and special fund raising screenings around the country. It has won several awards, including a best young actor award for Clay.

You can purchase a copy of the DVD by going to the MAFF website and donating a minimum of $20. Be sure to specify you want the Deep Blue Breath DVD and provide a mailing address.

Here are a couple of screen caps from the movie and the making of documentary included on the DVD and some behind the scenes pics:

Monday, September 5, 2011

More images from "And They're Off"

"And They're Off" will be released in theaters on October 28.

Woohoo! My reaction exactly!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Summer appearances

On June 26, Sean introduced a free screening of "Rudy" at the LA Film Festival in support of Farmer's Field, a new football stadium they want to build in downtown LA to attract an NFL team.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sean Astin at Disney D23 Expo

Sean attended the Disney D23 Expo in Anaheim on August 21, where he signed autographs for fans of all ages and gave several interviews. Sean voices Oso in Disney's hit program for preschoolers, Special Agent Oso.

Signing autographs for fans

Sean was accompanied by his eldest daughter, Alexandra. Ali, 14, is interested in following in the family business!

Ali and Sean Astin

Here are some interviews:

Friday, September 2, 2011

Top 10 lists

Sean's movies frequently make it into assorted top ten lists. Here are just a few examples, and a new surprising top 10, with video examples!

The Goonies:
Top 10 kids movies that adults will love
Top 10 movies of the 80s
Top 10 movies to see before you die

Top 10 movies that make men cry
Top 10 football movies
Top 10 motivational movies
Top 10 sports movies #1! also in New Orleans

Memphis Belle:
Top 5 dogfight movies

The Lord of the Rings:
Just #1, no references needed; no arguments, please! ;-)

But here's one I didn't expect to see:
Top 10 coolest runners in movies with Sean Astin as #2 for Toy Soldiers!
This dude can flat out run. I’m amazed at the speed that some actors, usually the shorter ones, can generate in their short strides. Astin sells himself as an action hero here, something that may have seemed ridiculous at the time (and may still to some). He’s got my vote, I wish we’d have gotten more action roles out of him.
Here's the scene the blogger uses to prove his point:

I think Sean also does some pretty nice running in Rudy!

By the way, he ran in the LA Marathon in 2010!