A first-time director is out and veteran Arthur Penn is in on MGM's film noir thriller, "Dead of Winter," shooting since mid-Feb in Toronto (Mary Steenburgen stars).
MGM took a chance on Marc Shmuger, 28, who also wrote the script. Shmuger earned an Oscar nomination while in college for a dramatic short, "No More New England Winters," and later directed movie ad campaigns and stage productions. Penn was aboard as exec producer, reportedly as a hedge against MGM's gamble.
Details were sketchy at press time. An MGM rep would only tell us, "At Mark Shmuger's suggestion, Arthur Penn has taken over."