King of California


Writer/director Mike Cahill's film is the story of a teenage girl who has essentially raised her mentally-ill father, and her attempts at supporting his most questionable plan yet: locating 18th century gold that he believes is buried beneath their Southern California suburb. Miranda (Evan Rachel Wood) has more than a few reasons to be cynical: her mother abandoned her, she's been forced to quit school and work at McDonald's to support herself, and Charlie, her father (Michael Douglas), has just returned home after two years in a mental institution. But as Miranda begins to see the possibilities in Charlie's deluded treasure hunt, she also begins to realize that what he's attempting is a last-ditch effort to make something of himself and for his daughter in a world that seems to be constantly disappointing them.

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Michael Douglas

Finally getting the green light was not an easy process, however. London continues, 'It took us two or three years of different financiers, and different casting possibilities. Then, after a lot of people rejected it, we finally hit this moment with Michael and Evan and financiers who really understood it and would give us enough money to do it right.'

One of the obstacles to getting the film funded was overcoming resistance to a first-time director. 'I think Alexander and I thought for some reason it would be so much easier because we loved it and we knew Mike, and we didn't feel like there was any question that he was a filmmaker,' says London. 'He'd gone to film school with Alexander. He directed a really extraordinary short film called Broken Horse, which he made in film school, which was stunning and unique. Now, Mike had gone off and had another career as a novelist.'

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