Monday, 27 December 2010

Pink Elephants on Parade (Film News - 25/12/10)

So, that title could be in relation to the Christmas period and the inevitable slide into alcoholic stupour that often accompanies it. I know I may have had one or two too many over the last few days, and I very much hope all of you did also. Alternatively it could be related to this weeks top story. By the way news is pretty thin on the ground at the moment, oddly enough Hollywood gets a few days off the party too, so there isn't much to write about. There are some schedule changes mind, and I done a look at production news so the week isn't completely wasted.

Our Wild Life

The only new project I've heard about in the last 7 days is this conservation related piece that may be enticing Philip Noyce away from the Salt sequel. It's a biopic about Dame Daphne Sheldrick who campaigned her entire life for the protection and conservation of African elephants, including perfecting the formula and husbandry for raising milk dependent baby elephants and rhinos, indeed it's difficult to understate her impact on these endagered species.

Here is Daphne, more can be found on her work at

The film itself has had a somewhat rocky road to here (and it's surprising I didn't know about it), first Nick Cassavetes was attached to direct, but following his script revision he was promptly fired by New Line who then approached Walter Salles. Since then Salles (who had interested Julia Roberts in the role) has bailed leaving Noyce to potentially pick up the pieces. No news yet on casting but apparently Kate Winslet is ineterested. More on this as soon as I know.

Read on for wandering cowboys, unsung pop stars and another wild creature.

The Dark Tower

The enigmatic lead of Stephen King's most complex piece, Deschain, is currently being cast for the upcoming Ron Howard/Akiva Goldsmith film and TV adaptation. It's a part that will require an extreme amount of charisma through very little wordplay or even action, as the man is more of a cypher than an actual fully realised being. Potential names being bandied about include Viggo Mortensen (the fan favourite but probably too old for the role), Jon Hamm (more likely), Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman. Whoever they choose I wish the actor who takes on the task all the luck in the world with this potential poisoned chalice.

Release Schedules

A few changes for the next couple of months:

It's a Kind of Funny Story - I'd already let the cat out of the bag for the shift of this nuthouse set comedy - a teen Cuckoo's Nest, if you will - when the trailer was slipped in a couple of Tuesday's ago. Check yourself in for a bounce against the walls on 07 January 2011.

True Grit - It's had an exception first weekend in the States and looks set to become the highest grossing Western since Unforgiven yet it's dropped back a month to get away from other calibre competition over here. Persue your father's killer on 11 February 2011.

Melancholia - I needed a summer picture, there's very little on the blockbuster front really doing it for me next year, thank heaven for Lars von Trier and his little end of the world movie without a happy ending. Don't expect "them" to save you on 01 July 2011.

One Day - Lone Shefig's follow up to An Education, based on the novel by David Nicholls, is another ill advised romance this time with two university students who sort of fall in love over a period of twenty years. Find your soul mate on 30 September 2011.

Moneyball - The troubled baseball picture (check back over it's last minute collapse and rehabilitation) is set to bring the game back to the forefront of cinematic sports, shame it's about the manager using a PC. Use a computer to pick the best seats on 04 November 2011.

It's not all good news, though. Gus van Sant's Restless has been postponed but without a new release date (or at least without one this side of the Atlantic) and Joel Schumacher's Twelve has gone directly to DVD, which could actually turn out to be a blessed relief to cinemagoers.

Production News

Remember I do this so you don't have to is the motto for this section of the News, once a month (although it's usually rarer than that) I trawl through imdb looking at the stories that piqued my interest to see if they've gone into production and if so update here. Occasionally I come across something else you might like this way, but first the updates:

Clint Eastwood's FBI supremo biopic is back on with Leonardo DiCaprio set to star as the eponymous J. Edgar, talking of resurrected projects the release of MGM from bankrupt status means Bond 23 is back on the cards. Kathryn Bigelow's Triple Frontier about the drugs trade is underway although I expect the 2011 date may be rather optimistic. Tim Burton is prepping for a Dark Shadows shoot in the new year, Steven Soderbergh is showing confidence that Michael Douglas will beat the cancer as the Liberace movie is a close as it's ever been, Andrew Dominik's Cogan's Trade has bumped up his schedule - expect to see his Marilyn Monroe movie to vanish altogether. Revenge dramas The Jesuit, Savages, Creed of Violence and Forgiveness of Blood all look to be coming over the next couple of years, all of which you can look up more details using the post labels below, except for Forgiveness which is Joshua Marston's Albanian picture. Finally expect a Trap for Cinderella, the young adult picture from Iain Softley, in 2012.

Two new film titles also managed to grab my attention:


Not a continuation of the earlier conservation in the serengeti theme we touched upon with Our Wild Life this is inspired by The World Cup and concerns a South African football team taht come out of nowhere to become big league players. Bizarrely Ryan Kwanten of "True Blood" fame is rumoured to take the lead.

Blondie: The Florence Ballard Story

If ever I discussed afilm that was likely to end up as a TV movie it was this, even the title screams Tuesday afternoon. It will focus on Florence Ballard (no s**t) and her brief career with soul sensations The Supremes before her ill-timed exit from the group. Can anyone tell me if Florence (below) is the inspiration for Effie White?


TomS said...

WOW! An overwherlming wealth of information.

Keep it up Ben...You have one of the most informative sites I have ever seen.

Can't wait for "Our Wild Life..."

Runs Like A Gay said...

Thank you, Tom. I try.

Although to be honest I just blindly repeat what I read somewhere else.

I could be wron but whilst I like the idea of "Our Wild Life" I'm not sure the story will be that cinematic. Her biography, as related on wikipedia, seems light on conflict and that could make for dull viewing.

TomS said...

Well (hee hee) I could watch an animal do nothing for two hours and be completely entertained.

It will be fun to see what happens with this one.

Runs Like A Gay said...

Now you mention it two hours of baby elephants and rhinos sounds great. hee hee.