Ask the Dust (film)

Ask the Dust is a 2006 American film based on the book Ask the Dust by John Fante. The film was written and directed by Robert Towne and remains, as of 2015update, his last feature film. Tom Cruise with Paula Wagner and CruiseWagner Productions served as one of the films producers. The film was released on a limited basis on March 17, 2006 and was entered into the 28th Moscow International Film Festival. It was filmed almost entirely in South Africa with the use of stages to portray Los Angeles.

Part of the film was shot at Pinelands High School, on fields modified to simulate a Los Angeles scenery.The rights to the novel once belonged to Mel Brooks, though he let them lapse. Towne met Fante in the 1970s. This meeting led to his interest in the project. Despite finishing the script in the early 1990s, he couldnt find financial backing from a studio. During this time, Farrells role was originally set to be played by Johnny Depp but he dropped out. Later Val Kilmer accepted the role and also dropped out. Another delay was Hayek initially rejecting the role to avoid being typecast as a Mexican immigrant. She accepted the role eight years later. ........

Source: Wikipedia