Saturday, 20 August 2011

How far Would you go? (Film News - 20/08/11)

Welcome to this week's selection of news. I'm quite excited this week, not just because of the latest revenge drama that's been greenlit (I just love those tit for tat movies) but also because I'm experimenting with a new section of the movie news, a monthly gathering of all the stories that I missed but only caught up with late, usually because they weren't big enough to merit proper attention from the cinematic press. It's right at the end and I hope it will become as regular a feature as the release dates and production sections - assuming that I don't get fed up with the amount of work it involves that is...

The Revenant

Easily the most curious of the projects that caught my eye this week was this adaptation of Michael Punke's revenge western. It tells the story of an injured fur trapper, formerly rumoured to be played by Christian Bale, who is left for dead by two opportunistic colleagues. After his miraculous survival though he searches, travelling 3,000 miles across America, for the wrong-doers in a quest for revenge.

Now in spite of Westerns having an uneven time at the box office this seems to be a fairly easy one to put together which could keep the expenses down, and this will be an interesting addition to the theme of revenge movies currently in pre-production - see Creed of Violence and Django Unchained among others.

The book cover - as if you couldn't guess.

What makes it most exciting is the appointment of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu as the director of choice, famed for his international tales of extreme misery this will mark departure in style and substance (for this first time he'll be working for a studio) for the Mexican auteur. All this adds up to build a fascinating picture for a film I will be extremely excited to see.

Read on for TV outings, a director fixated with his past, a unsuspecting innocent on the run and a toss-up between a infamous trial and a hod of brickies. Plus we have some casting news and the maiden voyage of Missing Links.

Arrested Development

The TV to film adaptation is actually looking like it may happen with a meta plot synopsis drifting into the public domain earlier this week. Apparently Ron Howard (as himself) will be directing a movie based on the lives of the Bluth family, who fearing their reputation will be tarnished decide to make their own version. Sounds crazy but it may just work, and lets face it we all want to see more of Jason Bateman, Michael Cera et al.

Blade Runner Prequel

Ridley Scott obviously has the bug for returning to his previous projects, and with Prometheus having drifted completely from being a Alien prequel he's signed on to direct the Blade Runner prequel, as irrelvant as that may sound. Still looks like Harrison Ford is ruling himself out so it least it won't be providing a definitive answer to whether Deckard (left) is a replicant.

The Key Man

It's always nice to see original thriller topics, albeit derivative ones, Brian De Palma's next nod to Hicthcock will follow an everyman hero whose body "contains Government secrets" on the run from agents, and with the plot described as a throwback to 70's paranoia thrillers you know it's right up the street of Brian. Could be fascinating, could be horrendous.

Untitled Rosenberg Trial Picture/Christ in Concrete

John Sayles has been doing the publicity rounds for Amigo's US limited release, only 2 years since it's Toronto debut and I can only hope we get it over here at some point. As part of the conversation he's let it slip he's currently working on a film based on the famed Rosenberg spy trial in the 1950's, a trial which notably ended in the suburban couple getting executed for selling nuclear secrets to the Russians. Sounds like a fascinating topic that could really work with Sayles' ensemble aesthetic. He's also considering adapting Pietro Di Donato‘s most famous novel Christ in Concrete (below) about Italian immigrants working in the brick industry in 1920's New Jersey.

Casting News

What with her maternity leave and winning an Oscar Natalie Portman's been quite busy of late and has yet to sign on to any upcoming movies, until this week when she became the latest leading lady attached to Adaline the sophisticated sci-fi about a woman who stops ageing around the turn of the 20th century. Angela Lansbury is still on to play her daughter!

Missing Links

So what's Missing Links all about then? Well, it's about celebrating the continued rise of Justin Timberlake's acting career with the news he's signed on to action thriller Fully Automatic. Or how about learning How to Defeat Your Own Clone, the adaptation of the biotech revolution self help manual partly inspired by World War Z. There's the Christopher Nolan adaptation of Ruth Rendall's Keys to the Street which was released to fans via - no news if there will ever be a film of it though. Talking of big screen adaptations we're still expectant about John Wyndham's Chocky, the seminal 1968 young adult novel about a boy with an imaginary friend, who also happens to be alien in control of half the boys mind!!! There's also plenty of independent films that get noticed through Missing Links, like the story behind Australia's unofficial national anthem Waltzing Matilda in Banjo and Matilda recently awarded funding by the Aussie film board. And finally the hit stage production of A Steady Rain which united Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig as Chicago cops trying to avoid the blame for a case of child abuse they failed to spot, let's hope it marks a return to form for the two of them.

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