Focus Features just surprised the hell out of us by announcing the leads for Sofia Coppola's fourth directorial outing, Somewhere: Uwe Boll leading man Stephen Dorff and everyone's second favorite Fanning, Elle. In what promises to be either a revelatory Wrestler-like comeback for Dorff or a terrible mistake for Coppola, Dorff will play a boozy, self-destructive bad boy actor whose march to oblivion is interrupted by the reappearance of his eleven-year-old daughter (Fanning).

Dorff earned beaucoup accolades early in his career but he’s gravitated towards a lot of dreck in the intervening years, from (Boll’s Alone In The Dark, Dueces Wild, Cold Creek Manor) and many of his recent features skipped the multiplexes completely en route to the Netflix queues of the bored and undiscriminating. Will Somewhere be Dorff’s ticket back to the big time? Time will tell but we are, as always, cautiously optimistic.

Incidentally, whenever I think of Dorff (which is only about every freaking second) I recall a Details article where Exene from X bemoans the young people of today, saying something to the effect of, “What do they even have to believe in? They’re like the fucking Stephen Dorff generation”. Hopefully Coppola’s next film will make everyone in the Stephen Dorff generation proud. Here’s more info on the upcoming film:

OSCAR-WINNING WRITER/DIRECTOR SOFIA COPPOLA

TO MAKE SOMEWHERE WITH FOCUS FEATURES;

STEPHEN DORFF TO STAR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW YORK, April 16, 2009 – Reuniting with the film company with which she made the Academy Award-winning hit Lost in Translation, writer/director Sofia Coppola will make her next movie, Somewhere, with Focus Features. Somewhere will star Stephen Dorff (soon to be seen in Public Enemies) and Elle Fanning (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). Focus CEO James Schamus made the announcement today.

Ms. Coppola is also reteamed with Pathé, which will have rights to the film in France, Benelux, and Switzerland; and Tohokushinsa, which will hold rights to the film in Japan and select Asian territories. Medusa Film will have rights to Somewhere in Italy, where a portion of the filming will be done, and is lending production assistance. Focus will hold rights to the film in all other territories.

In addition to directing Somewhere from her original screenplay, Ms. Coppola will produce the feature with Roman Coppola (The Darjeeling Limited) and G. Mac Brown (Australia) through American Zoetrope. Harris Savides (cinematographer on Focus’ Academy Award-winning Milk) will be director of photography on the movie. Lost in Translation executive producers Francis Ford Coppola and Fred Roos and Marie Antoinette executive producer Paul Rassam will encore in the same capacities on Somewhere, which will be overseen for Focus by president of production John Lyons.

Somewhere will begin production on location in Los Angeles this summer. Somewhere is the story of Johnny Marco (to be played by Mr. Dorff), a bad-boy actor stumbling through a life of excess at the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Hollywood. With an unexpected visit from his 11-year-old daughter (Ms. Fanning), Johnny is forced to look at the questions we all must confront.

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Ms. Coppola won the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award for Lost in Translation, which grossed over $100 million worldwide for Focus and was an Academy Award nominee for Best Picture. Ms. Coppola was also an Academy Award nominee for Best Director; she is one of only three women to ever have been nominated in the latter category. Her other films as writer/director include The Virgin Suicides, which she adapted from Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel, and Marie Antoinette, which won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design (Milena Canonero).

Mr. Schamus commented, “Lost in Translation remains among Focus’ most beloved movies, so we have long looked forward to making another picture with Sofia. Somewhere will have all the witty, moving, and empathetic qualities that characterize all her work.”

Ms. Coppola said, “I’m very happy to be back making a movie with Focus. I’ve wanted to film an intimate story set in contemporary Los Angeles, and I’m looking forward to working with Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning.”

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