THE WICKER MAN
NEIL LaBUTE (Writer, Director) is an award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter and an accomplished playwright. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University, the University of Kansas, and New York University. While enrolled in the Graduate Dramatic Writing Program at NYU, he was the recipient of a literary fellowship to study at the Royal Court Theatre in London, and also attended the Sundance Institute's Playwrights Lab.
His first feature, "In the Company of Men," won the Filmmakers Trophy at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, as well as the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best First Feature. For his script, LaBute was honored with the Best First Screenplay Award at the 1998 Independent Spirit Awards. LaBute's second feature, "Your Friends & Neighbors," debuted in 1998 and also found success with critics and audiences. The film stars Amy Brenneman, Aaron Eckhart, Catherine Keener, Nastassja Kinski, Jason Patric and Ben Stiller. His third feature, "Nurse Betty," world-premiered at the 2000 Cannes International Film Festival, where it received the Best Screenplay Award. For her performance in the title role, Renee Zellweger earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
LaBute's fourth film, a screen adaptation of A.S. Byatt's Booker Prize-winning novel Possession, was released in August 2003. LaBute co-wrote and directed the feature, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Aaron Eckhart, Jeremy Northam and Jennifer Ehle. After shooting "Possession" in England, LaBute returned to the U.K. to direct the world premiere of his play "The Shape of Things," starring Gretchen Mol, Paul Rudd, Rachel Weisz and Frederick Welle, presented in the spring and summer of 2001 by the Almeida Theater Co. He then staged the play (with the original cast) in the fall of 2001 in New York City at the Promenade Theater. His fifth feature was the screen adaptation of "The Shape of Things," which was released in the spring of 2003 and starred the original cast from the play.
LaBute is partnered with producer Gail Mutrux in the film production company Pretty Pictures and has his own company, Contemptible Entertainment.
LaBute's play, "Some Girl(s)," premiered in London's West End in the Spring of 2005. Directed by David Grindley, the production marked David Schwimmer's West End debut. A New York production of this play premiered in May of 2006, starring Eric McCormack and directed by Jo Bonney for MCC Theater. In March of 2005, his play "This Is How It Goes," featuring Ben Stiller, Jeffrey Wright and Amanda Peet, premiered at New York's Public Theater and was directed by George C. Wolfe. In May of that same year, the play debuted at The Donmar Warehouse in London, directed by Moises Kauffman.
In fall of 2004, the MCC Theatre presented LaBute's play "Fat Pig," directed by Jo Bonney and featuring Keri Russell, Jeremy Piven, and Andrew McCarthy. In spring of that year, MCC performed five of his one-act plays, collectively titled "Autobahn."
LaBute's play "The Mercy Seat" was staged in the fall of 2003 at the Almeida Theater Company in London, directed by Michael Attenborough. LaBute directed "The Mercy Seat" for the Manhattan Class Company, starring Sigourney Weaver and Liev Schreiber, in late Fall/Winter 2002. He also participated in the "Brave New World" series, from September 9 through 11 in 2002, a three-day theater marathon organized to mark the first anniversary of the World Trade Center catastrophe. His play "The Distance From Here," was directed by David Leveaux for the Almeida Theater Co. in London in Summer 2002. The play was staged in New York by Michael Greif for the Manhattan Class Company in Spring 2004.
In November of 2005, LaBute directed Ed Harris in his new play, "Wrecks," in Ireland. LaBute and Harris will reunite this September to present "Wrecks" at New York's Public Theater. LaBute
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