Sunday, 23 January 2011

Never marry an aspiring star (Film News - 22/01/11)

We're definitely back in the throes of real news now, with more stories hitting the headlines than can be comfortably described, although let's face I'm going to try. And that's not to mention the continuation of the awards season stories like the Golden Globes results and Ricky Gervais's career changing performance.

A Star is Born

It's a timeless story of changing fortunes in the world of entertainment that's been memorably played out on three occasions on the big screen (with countless others that use it as a starting point) and a tidy reminder that in la-la-land there can only be a limited number of stars, for every on that rises to the top another must make way for the to shine. It's no surprise to anyone that a new incarnation is on it's way, and Beyonce has been set to take the title role for several months, and whilst Russell Crowe was considered as the alcoholic has-been who marries and then is surpassed by his latest find the latest reports don't mention Crowe so I suppose he's out.

This week we also learnt that Clint Eastwood is set to direct the latest version. This seems like a bizarre choice, mainly because I would've thought they wanted a studio hack to take the reins. No offence to whoever does direct the piece, but A Star is Born, or at least both the 1954 and 1976 versions, were star vehicles designed to highlight the prespective talents of Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand. Eastwood, as a director, has shown little interest in allowing his leading actresses room to manouvre themselves into the spotlight, and how will this fit into his overarching themes of natural justice and redemption unless this version focuses more on the waning talent.

Judy is surprised as I am by Eastwood's news.

There's a touch of sceptism about this news for another reason: Eastwood is not a young man anymore. Does he need to be making films unless he really believes in them? What do you think?

Read on for title changes, Italian Singers, underused States and Darren Aronofsky's very big plans.

American Bullshit

Ben Affleck still has the pick of projects coming off his success with The Town, the latest rumour sees him picking up this Black List entry from Eric Warren Singer (for anyone who doesn't know the Black List is an annually publised list of promising unproduced scripts knocking around the studios). It's about a convoluted FBI sting in the late 1970's which aimed to root out corruption in the US political system. Sounds like it's the sort of multi-character crime thing that Affleck likes and it might be an opportunity to get some mates like Matt Damon involved. By the way I can't see this title lasting long.


After the quasi-horror of The Skin I Inhabit it looks like Pedro Almodovar is returning to more familiar terrain with his next picture, a biopic of Italian singer Mina who gave it all up to have a child with a married man. You just know Almodovar does his best work wih female leads so I can't wait to see what he does with a story already in the public eye.


I'll be honest I know little about most of the States except what I've seen in movies, so when a film comes along with the state in the title I know I'll have to watch it for general geography research purposes (see map below if you weren't aware of it's location). To be fair Alexander Payne's road movie is mostly set in Montana (go North two then West one) with the destination of an overly optimistic prize draw winner in the titular state. Payne's been planning this project for years, but only now he's taken a break from road movies (the forthcoming Descedents) does he feel he can give it the justice it deserves.

Untitled Comic Book Adaptation for Darren Aronofsky

Aronofsky's been rustling some feathers this last week with anti-method acting comments and admitting a dislike for Robert Altman's The Company but he's also let slip that the next film he's planning to make after The Wolverine has such a complex script he's turning it into a comic book in order to sell it to executives. Frankly that seems bizarre, but I guess that's the nature of the business right now. I'm not sure if this comic book is any of the seven different projects he was circling last year, or even a Batman movie as some sites have suggested, is unclear.

Casting News

Anne Hathaway has been confirmed as the Catwoman in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Rises which whilst fine casting does beg the question of whether she'll be able to eradicate any memories of Michelle Pfeiffer's puurfect (sorry) performance in the role. It's all change at Cosmopolis with Colin Farrell and Marion Cotillard stepping out of the limosine for Robert Pattinson and Keira Knightley. The supporting cast of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, the 9/11 influenced family drama, has swelled following the addition of Viola Davis and Jeffrey Wright. Dianne Wiest has joined The Odd Life of Timothy Green and Johnny Depp now looks to be the eponymous wizard in Oz: The Great and Powerful. Shudder.

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