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Simon Baker Hits the Waves for Aussie Surfing Movie 'Breath'
Simon BakerCBS's gain has been a loss for the movies. Why oh why isn't Simon Baker a huge film star? For the Tiffany network's hit-maker ('The Guardian,' 'The Mentalist') maybe a trip back home will change all that.
Baker -- born in Tasmania -- has taken in 'Breath,' based on a novel by one of Australia's most celebrated writers, Tim Winton. It's the story of two reckless teens mentored by a surfing guru named Sando. Variety reports Baker intends to co-produce and star as the aforementioned wave-riding master.
Also under the beach umbrella is Eva, Sando's mysterious American wife. The role of Eva should be coveted by any number of actresses, since Baker clicks onscreen with most co-stars, from The Mentalist's alluring Robin Tunney to a bunch of pesky zombies ('George Romero's Land of the Dead'). Baker's Stateside big break was in Oscar winner 'L.A. Confidential' (alongside fellow Aussies Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe). Baker played doomed young actor Matt Reynolds. He was also seen in the hits "The Ring Two' and 'The Devil Wears Prada.' If Baker and producing partner Mark Johnson ('The Guardian') can get 'Breath' set, it may be the biggest wave of Baker's career. And Simon Baker in a
wetsuit? Hey, would 'The Surfing Mentalist' be too much to ask for?
Status :Pre--production Simon as Sando Story : In the first part of the book, the narrator, Bruce Pike, recounts his boyhood friendship with Ivan "Loonie" Loon. As young boys, Pikelet and Loonie dare each other to perform dangerous stunts in the local river. When they become teenagers, they take up surfing and meet a former professional surfer named Sando, who leads them to new levels of recklessness. The novel explores the boys' youthful urge to seek out the farthest limits of courage, endurance and sanity in an attempt to escape the ordinariness of their lives. The second half of Breath is concerned with the disintegration of Pikelet's friendship with Sando and Loonie and his developing relationship with Sando's American wife Eva.


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Simon Baker takes a 'Breath'

'Mentalist' star, Johnson will produce adaptation

By MICHAEL FLEMING


"The Mentalist" star Simon Baker and producer Mark Johnson have teamed to acquire feature rights to the Tim Winton novel "Breath." Baker and Johnson will produce together, and Baker plans to play one of the lead roles. They plan to enlist a director before setting up funding for the pic. Published in 2008, the novel is set in a small town in Western Australia where two 16-year-old boys take up surfing under the tutelage of an enigmatic surfer named Sando (Baker) and his mysterious wife. Spurred on by their mentor, the boys test the limits of courage and recklessness as they try to escape their mundane lives. Winton, one of Australia's top authors, won the Miles Franklin Award for the book, marking the fourth time he's won the honor. His 2001 novel "Dirt Music" is being turned into a film by Phillip Noyce, and "Cloudstreet" is being turned into a miniseries by Screentime. Johnson and Baker first teamed on CBS legal drama "The Guardian." Baker, who has been surfing the waters off Australia since childhood, was last seen on the bigscreen in "The Devil Wears Prada" and next stars in "The Killer Inside Me," the Michael Winterbottom-directed adaptation of the Jim Thompson novel. "Winton's book beautifully captures the excitement and brutality of growing up in a way I've only experienced but have never been able to articulate," Baker said. Johnson is no stranger to Australia, as he has been camped there while producing "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," the third installment in "The Chronicles of Narnia" series for Fox 2000 and Walden Media. He also wrapped the remake of "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" in Melbourne for Miramax, with Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes starring. Johnson produced the latter pic with Guillermo del Toro. "While 'Breath' is at its heart a coming-of-age story, I see it primarily as a celebration of teenage anarchy and a youthful rejection of anything that smacks of the ordinary," Johnson said.




Simon Baker and Mark Johnson Take Breath

Source:Variety
November 19, 2009



Simon Baker ("The Mentalist") and producer Mark Johnson have acquired the film rights to the Tim Winton novel "Breath," reports Variety.

Published in 2008, the novel is set in a small town in Western Australia where two 16-year-old boys take up surfing under the tutelage of an enigmatic surfer named Sando (Baker) and his mysterious wife. Spurred on by their mentor, the boys test the limits of courage and recklessness as they try to escape their mundane lives.

Baker and Johnson will produce together, and Baker plans to play one of the lead roles.




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