Stephen Dorff Will Star As An Israeli Fighter Pilot In Zaytoun

By Jesse Carp 2012-01-25 13:23:24discussion comments
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Stephen Dorff started out with some pretty interesting films. From a small role in Mary Harron's I Shot Andy Warhol to pairing up with Jack Nicholson in the Bob Rafelson film Blood and Wine, he seemed like a star in the making. Then he took the high-profile role of villain Deacon Frost across Wesley Snipes in Marvel's Blade and what should have been his breakout role actually led to a number of utterly forgettable projects. However, thanks to a few big name directors giving the man some quality parts, he's back in the game and was able to snag the lead in Zaytoun.

Variety reports that the handsome (yeah I said it) actor has agreed to play an Israeli fighter pilot in the upcoming United Kingdom/Israel co-production from director Eran Riklis. Riklis has made several films in his native country with Lemon Tree probably being his most well known, as it was nominated for several categories at the Israeli Film Academy Awards. Zaytoun is set in Beirut in 1982 and follows an Israeli fighter pilot named David (Dorff) who, after being shot down, forms an unlikely friendship with a 10 year old Palestinian refugee. Sounds like an interesting premise and one rife with political connotations. It's also worth noting that the script was penned by Palestinian writer Nader Rizq which, in working with the Israeli director, could produce a very different and unique vision of the events.

Dorff's road to this promising lead role included a small part in Michael Mann's Public Enemies as well as supporting turn with Henry 'Superman' Cavill in Tarsem Singh's Immortals, but if there was one person to thank for his resurgence it would have to be Sofia Coppola. The actor was sensational in the overlooked Somewhere, a quiet meditation on how easily we can get stuck in a seemingly endless loop, lost in our own lives. His performance is subtle and heartbreaking, I was surprised and saddened at the lack of recognition. Perhaps it wasn't showy enough? Well, that may change with this politically charged, small film which will again put the bulk on his shoulders. Zaytoun will begin filming in March.
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