Saturday, 23 January 2010

Film News (23/01/2010)

Slightly less news this week when compared to the overstuffed article we had last week. Still there's a fair selection of stories. We'll start with the most intriguing and move on to the good guys after the jump.


Tim Burton's clearly enjoyed his reunion with Disney on Alice in Wonderland, so much so he's started work on a Sleeping Beauty re-imagining from the view of poisoned spinning wheel providing Maleficent. Oddly I can't remember having seen Sleeping Beauty as a boy, although obviously i know the story, so I don't have the original as a point of reference but the idea of a Grimm fairytale with the villian as the centre is quite delicious.

Obviously Helena Bonham Carter will up for the lead, but let's hope some non-Burton regulars get a chance.

Read on for dancing penguins, gun toting vicars, civil rights leaders and something suicidally depressing.

Gods of Carnage

In Roman Polanski news this week both sides of the abuse scandal have been digging in their heels. On the prosecution U.S. Courts have declined Polanski's request to be sentenced in absentia - probably indicating they want to lock him up. On the defence his wife has been letting on about Polanski's plans to film Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage. The play has had tremendous success in it's native Zurich as well as the West End and Broadway picking up a few Tonys on the way. It's a four hander about two well educated wealthy couples fighting about their children (among many other things) during one dinner party. Polanski has done well with small casts before (see Death and the Maiden) so this could be oe to watch, assuming he gets the chance to do it.

Happy Feet 2

The original Happy Feet was surprisingly adult for a cartoon, with some very realistic elements of how the animal kingdom is full of a violent struggle to survive and the effects of global warming on extreme environments. I doubt the sequel will be quite as viscereal but at least it's bagging an interesting cast. This week Brad Pitt and Matt Damon both signed on. I don't know if they'll be dancing penguins, but I'll let you know when I know.

Labor Day

During an interview with ESPN's Bill Simmons Jason Reitman has mentioned a number of porjects he's currently working on, including both a football and a hockey film, but coming next will be Labor Day, based on the novel by Joyce Maynard. It's a coming of age tale about a boy who struggles to connect with either his peer group or his family, especially his mother who is harbouring a deep secret. Juno proves Reitman has form with this age group, and the virtually agoraphobic mother could be a juicy role for any actresses of a certain age.

Machine Gun Preacher

Gerard Butler would like to remind us all that he can act. (Looking at his back-catalogue of drab rom-coms and mindless action you'd be forgiven for thinking he can't.) He will do this by starring in the biopic of Reverend Sam Childers (left), the drug-taking biker who found God then moved to Sudan to help protect orphans from Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army; which he has done by forming a civilian militia. Whilst I suspect there's a powerful and interesting story to tell in Childers' life I very much doubt that Butler and the baggage he carries with him is the best way to tell it.

Martin Luther King Biopic

Steven Spielberg's untitled Martin Luther King biopic (he's definitely producing but no confirmed director is attached) is moving on following the hiring of Ronald Harwood to script with unlimited access to the estate. South African Harwood has a fascinating and quality pedigree including The Pianist, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and The Browning Version so expect some high quality scribbling.

Ang Lee and James Schamus project

Lee and Schamus have collaborated on a number of projects over the years including The Ice Storm, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and last years Taking Woodstock, so it was good to hear in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter this week that Schamus is already working on thier next script together. Although he has curiously described it as "the good old, tragic, suicidally depressing Ang!" Which presumably means less of this:

and more of this:


Peter Eichstaedt said...

RE: Machine Gun Preacher, if you want a serious look at Joseph Kony and his so-called army, see the book, First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

I'm all for HBC with that Burton piece, because I am an unbridled fan, although it would be cool to see someone like Annette Bening. Sleeping Beauty is nice, even though the "heroine" has a minimum of lies.

About God of Carnage, I feel Mike Nichols for obvious reasons would have been a so much better director choice. Of course living in this horrid place I have no access to theatre [sigh] but I wouldn't mind if they reuse the cast just for Marcia Gay Harden. Still, a fresh cast wouldn't hurt. Let's say Julia Roberts, Aaron Eckhart, hmmmmmmm Russell Crow perhaps and Cate Blanchett... like that would happen. Still...

Runs Like A Gay said...

That's a great dream cast, almost certainly a dream. Mike Nichols is also an inspired choice to direct - although I prefer the sweatiness that Polanski can draw from his actors to the cold outsider of Nichols.

Or to put it another when watching a Nichols film I judge the characters, when watching Polanski I judge my reactions to the characters.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

I'm more au fair with Nichols work too, than Polanski and such am a fan of the former. Still, I like Polanski-hopefully if/when it gets made it's a success for him.