Originally created 07/10/98

Savannah film project adds veterans, newcomers to cast



SAVANNAH -- Big-screen veterans Blythe Danner and Joe Don Baker have been cast to star in Forces of Nature, the DreamWorks movie currently filming in Savannah.

David Strickland and Steve Zahn have also been added to the cast, DreamWorks announced this week.

Forces of Nature is the story of Ben Holmes (Ben Affleck), a New Yorker who has two days to get to Savannah for his wedding to Bridget Cahill (Maura Tierney). When his plane skids into a bay, he saves the life of an eccentric young woman (Sandra Bullock) who becomes his traveling companion.

As they travel south together, they encounter a hurricane, a fire and other obstacles.

Ms. Danner and Mr. Baker will portray the bride's parents. Mr. Zahn will play Ben's best friend, and Mr. Strickland will be Bridget's former beau.

Ms. Danner is best known to audiences for her role in Barbra Streisand's 1991 film Prince of Tides, which was set in South Carolina. Her other films include The X-Files, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge and The Great Santini, which also was filmed in the South Carolina.

Ms. Danner is the mother of Mr. Affleck's girlfriend, actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

Among Mr. Baker's most famous roles is Arkansas sheriff Buford Pusser in Walking Tall (1973). His other credits include Tomorrow Never Dies, Goldeneye, Mars Attacks, Congo and the 1991 remake of Cape Fear.

Mr. Strickland is a cast member of the NBC sitcom Suddenly Susan and has a recurring role on Mad About You.

Mr. Zahn is featured in the current George Clooney release Out of Sight and in the upcoming Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie You've Got Mail.

Forces of Nature is being directed by Bronwen Hughes. It is scheduled for release next year.