Saturday, 10 April 2010

Film News (10/04/2010)

Bear with me here.

I say that because I know you're looking at the first film I'm mentioning and wondering why I'm leading with it. It's not that I've not gone all doolally over R.Pattz and K.Stew - the truth is the Twilight franchise is a massive juggernaut, last year's New Moon took nearly $300m in the States - more than A Christmas Carol and Angels & Demons (these just happen to be big releases that I watched at the cinema) combined. Aside from that we've had a good mix of casting news and some totally new projects to look out for.

Breaking Dawn

It's no surprise that the studios want to get Stephenie Meyer's last Twilight novel into production quickly - there's only so much of a shelf life for the phenomenon, as well as the actors involved. What is interesting is the lengths they'll go to try and ensure it's good quality product. Over the past few weeks there have been rumours of a number of high profile, good quality directors who have been approached to take the reins for the final film including Gus van Sant, Sofia Coppola and Stephen Daldry. However in the end they've plumped for Dreamgirls helmer Bill Condon.

It's an interesting choice as Condon isn't afraid to tackle sex straight on (just watch Gods and Monsters), something which the Twilight series is infamous for avoiding. I'm certainly beginning to sit up and take notice.


The Ron Howard/Vince Vaughn collaboration (the one with Vince spotting his best friends wife kissing another man) has found it's cheating heart in Winona Ryder. And of course it's great that she's back in major films. However most of the internet is focussing not on Winona great news but the misery of a certain other oscar-nominated actress who was desperate for the role but was turned down. I'm not going to name names but apparantly the poor reception of Motherhood has really soured this girls career.

Here's a picture of Winona and - oops, I don't know how that got here.

Dark Life

Sometimes I admit that I find myself drawn to kids films, like this young-adult underwater adventure story. Essentially it's about a boy growing up in seabed farm, who must fight to protect his way of life. I'm guessing that the seabed farms are within a protected bubble and that he's not a fish. Of course if he is a fish then I'm doubly in there.

The Heights

I guess if no-one else is adapting a film version of your novel then you have to do it yourself. Of course it helps if you're Oscar nominated screenwriter Peter Hedges (for About a Boy). He has decided his most recent novel about a normal suburban couple dragged into a complex and dark world by their mysterious new neighbour is too good to remain on the bookshelf so he's going to be putting it onto the big screen. I'm not sure if that couns as nepotism, although you an imagine his various agents and lawyers getting together to iron out the fee issues on this.

Mob Girl

Fighting prepubescent girls are all the rage now, what with Kick-Ass dominating the box offices (featuring the scene stealing Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl) and Hanna with Saoirse Ronan currently filming, so it was only a matter of time before a film with a title so brilliant as Mob Girl would be in production. Just say it out loud: MOB GIRL. Doesn't that just make you want to go?

Production News

Since the last time I outlined all the new films moving into production (according to imdb) a few months have passed, meaning that there's quite a few more for this month than I had anticipated. Of course the vast majority of these (or the following list) have been mentioned in the news columns of the past.

In no particular order these are:

Woody Allen's next picture with Marion Cotillard; Steven Soderbergh's flu virus drama Contagion; Paul Giamattis starring comedy Win Win; Freud love triangle The Talking Cure; Civil Rights epic Selma; WW2 in miniture movie A Little War of our Own; the biopics of notorious criminal Billy "Whitey" Bulger, Comic Richard Pryor and surfer Jay Moriaty (Black Mass, Is it something I said and Mavericks respectively); Internet Fraud comedy Help me Spread Goodness; and Lars von Trier end of the world picture Melancholia.

That's certainly an impressive list, full of films that most cinephiles will want to see. But the following new films moving into production have not been talked about at all:

State of the Union: Richard Gere reunites with his Pretty Woman director Garry Marshall for the remake of Frank Capra's 1948 classic about a presidential nominee whose wife teaches him that it's more important to be honest than to settle with the status quo.

Untitled Ernest Hemingway Biopic: Set to focus on the relationship between the American literary giant and war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, the inspiration for For Whom the Bell Tolls. James Gandolfini is cast for Hemingway.

The Big Year: A Birdwatching comedy with Jack Black, Owen Wilson and Steve Martin. Is already looking like the dullest movie of 2011!

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