Toronto stars in new Egoyan erotic thriller

Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:26am EDT
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By Martin A. Grove

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The cities where films take place are like characters, themselves, and often play a key role in making stories work.

So thinking location, location, location, Atom Egoyan pushed to change the setting for his new drama "Chloe" from overly familiar San Francisco to much less identifiable Toronto.

Egoyan signed on to direct "Chloe" three years ago when Ivan Reitman approached him about remaking the 2003 French film "Nathalie" that he'd seen and acquired rights to at the Toronto Film Festival.

In "Chloe" Julianne Moore is Catherine, a married doctor who seems to have it all but still has nagging doubts about her husband's (Liam Neeson) fidelity. To resolve her fears she hires a call girl (Amanda Seyfried) to approach him and report the details.

When Reitman hired screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson ("Secretary") to re-imagine "Nathalie" he was considering directing it himself. In late spring '07 he and Tom Pollock, his partner in the Montecito Picture Co., decided "Chloe" was better suited to Egoyan, whose 1994 drama about obsession, "Exotica," Reitman particularly liked. Reitman became a producer and Pollock an executive producer of "Chloe."

Egoyan, born in Cairo but raised in Canada, knew he'd rather shoot in Toronto and that he'd have a hard time getting approval from Reitman, who was born in Czechoslovakia but grew up in Canada.

"Ivan came out and we spent some time going around Toronto, which I think was really quite an emotional experience for him because he spent so much time there before leaving," Egoyan said. "He saw the city was completely transformed."

As a director, Egoyan explained, "I'm always excited to explore new terrain and so many of my favorite films have been set in San Francisco. It's just impossible to reinvent it."   Continued...