Saturday, 2 July 2011

Taking all that pain away (Film News - 02/07/11)

Not exactly a classical week for film news, given half of the stories I'm running with are retreads with slight updates of projects I mentioned just two weeks ago (both of which turn out to be biopics of musicians), nevertheless if the other two movies we mention in the main news get made rest assured they will be culturally significant enough to have them queuing round the block. I've also had a catch up on IMDb, looking for the latest developments on a number of projects we've mentioned here before and quite a few have entered the early production stages, which is all good news for film fans. So without further ado:

The Giver

Jeff Bridges has been repeatedly behind attempts to film Lois Lowry's Newberry Award winning 1993 novel for at least 15 years. Originally envisioning his father in the role of a sage within a Utopian future who alone has the knowledge of the true pain and pleasures of life Bridges now feels he is old enough to take the role himself so he and producer Nikki Silver has obtained the screen rights and are trying to put together cobble together funding. I doubt that will be a struggle, whilst I don't know the book it is a young adult sci-fi novel (see the cover below) - the protagonist is a 12 year old boy being trained to take over from "The Giver" - and the first of a trilogy which in these uncertain times with Harry Potter and the Twilight franchises about to end and The Hunger Games still untested could well be what's needed to keep some of the studios cash flow going.

On the other hand the book contains some very adult themes such as the suppression of emotions and the physical and psychological effects of puberty and even state-sponsored euthanasia. As well as some tricky visual constructs such as only the Giver being able to see colour.

In spite of these problematic sections I expect the funding will eventually be found, and the significant task of casting the 12 year-old Jonas will begin.

Read on for American heroes and two very diverse singers, as well as the latest casting stories and an update on which of the stories we run here actually happen.

American Can

Whilst a number of movies have skirted around the effects of Hurricane Katrina so far Hollywood has yet to confront the issue head-on (ignoring of course Spike Lee's excellent documentary When the Levees Broke) so it's refreshing to hear that Will Smith's production company is still pushing on this project so much the script is currently with Denzel Washington with the hope of Denzel taking the role - originally considered for the busy Smith - of ex-marine John Keller who helped take of the residents of the titular New Orleans apartment complex, ensuring the seven feet of flooding wasn't followed by a wave of looters.

Untitled Dave Van Ronk biopic

It seems the Coen brothers next movie will be based on the life of coffeehouse folk singer and political activist Dave van Ronk, whose legacy both as an artist and as a spotter of talent (he paved the way for Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell among others) is certainly significant. This ties up with the rumours of the single instrument music based movie and will be a sidestep and unique addition to their canon. Take a listen to van Ronk here:

Untitled Anita Lindblom biopic

Meanwhile Catherine Hardwicke has revealed her European jaunt will look at the turbulent relationship between Swedish singer Anita Lindblom and boxer Bosse Hogberg with Noomi Rapace on board as Anita. Unfortunately I cannot find anything other than Lindblom's music on the net so I know nothing else about the topic - so it could be intriguing. Take a listen to Lindblom here:

Casting News

We've got three major stars picking up some intriguing projects this week. Firstly Leonardo DiCaprio may be the washed up actor taking Beyonce under his wing in Clint Eastwood's Star is Born remake and Brad Pitt might be going into the South American jungles for The Mission, for the ladies Nicole Kidman is leading the field, somehow getting entangled with crime drama The Paperboy. We also heard this week David Strathairn will be joining Steven Spielberg's Lincoln as William Seward (hopefully getting more time than the unfortunate extra who took the role in The Conspirator).

Production News

I've been catching up with the latest production shifts, and there's an exciting range of films that we've already mentioned here on RunsLikeAGay which have entered the pre-production stage so we can hopefully look forward to seeing them at some point in the future.

First up I'd just like to welcome back James Foley's nativity reinvention Mary Mother of Christ, a project he's been trying to get underway for some time and which left IMDb earlier this year, only now o return. Also Paani - the sci-fi based on the premise of extreme water shortages - and The Wolverine both of which seemed to become mired in production woes.

We've also seen movement on Al Pacino's black (sex) comedy The Humbling, portmanteau picture Jayne Mansfield's Car, children's western The Lone Ranger and the Denzel Washington as a drunk commercial pilot movie Flight. Charles Dickens adaptation The Great Expectations is moving forward with BBC films, although I understand it may become a TV mini-series. The biopic of British explorer George Mallory is moving ahead as is Jason Statham vehicle Parker, Recession themed European movie Le Capital and - almost finally - lacrosse movie Crooked Arrows.

Balladem Om Marie

I'm actually going to end with this completely new project of which I had heard nothing until spotting it on IMDb. The Danish movie, set to be directed by Bille August (Pelle the Conqueror) looks at the relationship with renowned painter P.S. Krøyer and his long-suffering wife Marie who sticks by him through bouts of manic depression and psychotic rage. It sounds like the sort of high-class suffering that could get awards attention so look out for this in the 2013 foreign language Oscar race.

A self portrait of Krøyer with Marie.


Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Why do I feel that this would be a much better fit for, oh - say, Robert Duvall?

Runs Like A Gay said...

Good call. There's something about Duvall that screams knowledge beyond everyone else.