Some colleges have all the luck.
Princetonians were treated to glimpses of Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe, whose next film, “A Beautiful Mind,” is currently being shot on their campus.
But the next film about life at Yale promises to make “The StaXXX” look like “Citizen Kane.” The folks who made Yale traditions the basis of last year’s cult classic “The Skulls” are now hard at work on a sequel.
Photography on “The Skulls 2” begins in April, assistant production coordinator Darron Leiren-Young said. The film, directed by Joe Chappelle, stars Robin Dunne of TV’s “Little Men” and Ashley Lyn-Cafagna of “The Bold and the Beautiful.” The plot for the movie, produced by Original Film and Universal Pictures, will resemble that of the first “Skulls,” Leiren-Young said.
“The Skulls” starred Joshua Jackson as a poor student at an unnamed Ivy league college beginning with the letter “Y” who is initiated into a Skull and Bones- like secret society, only to discover the dark side of the world of wealth and privilege.
Executive producer Neil Moritz’s strategy in recent years has been to make modestly budgeted genre films aimed at a teenage audience, starring up-and -coming young actors such as Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillipe and Joshua Jackson. The efforts produced such films as “Cruel Intentions,” the teenybopper rendition of “Dangerous Liaisons.”
“A lot of times luck plays into these movies,” Moritz told the Yale Daily News last year. “When we did “Cruel Intentions,” we didn’t really know that these kids would be as hot as they were when the movie came out. It was a good guess, but we sure didn’t know.”
The strategy seems to have paid off royally. According to the Internet Movie Database, “The Skulls” recouped its entire budget within two weeks of its theatrical release.
Yale did not allow the filmmakers to shoot the first movie at Yale and expelled location scouts who were photographing locations to be replicated elsewhere, director Rob Cohen told the Yale Daily News last year. The University of Toronto eventually stood in for Yale.
“The Skulls 2” will be filmed in Toronto, just as the original film was.
Men’s lacrosse head coach Mike Waldvogel said that he had been contacted by the film’s costume designers, who are trying to create a realistic Yale uniform for the film’s main character, who plays lacrosse.
The first film was received enthusiastically, if not unironically, during its run at the nearby York Square Cinemas. During one show, the film broke and caught on fire, prompting spontaneous applause from audience members, said theater employee Christopher Schuck.
Benjamin Lindy ’03, who saw the original film twice, said that many of his friends had gone to see the original “drunk off their asses.”
“I’d much rather see the sequel in that setting,” Lindy said..
The villain of the original film, a murderous provost, met his death in the movie’s final scenes. Real-life Provost Alison Richard said that she hopes the sequel will strike a more egalitarian note, by including an equally lethal female administrator as the bad guy.