DAILY | Coming Soon from Godard, Herzog, Leigh

There’s so much “in the works”-type news to catch up with all of a sudden, it needs a roundup all its own today.

“3D is our pretext for exploring,” cinematographer Fabrice Aragno tells MUBI’s Adam Cook in a conversation about Aragno’s work with Jean-Luc Godard on Film socialisme (“It’s not that he gave us the freedom, it’s that he never took any freedom away from us to begin with”) and on the forthcoming Adieu au langage, “Not the final, or the last film, but the new film (when it will be done). After Film socialisme, he said goodbye and wanted to just spend time with Anne-Marie [Miéville] and their dog, but I think he cannot live without making films. Our relationship exists because of film, we interact because of film, it’s a way to live, to express, to think, to see. Same with 3D. It’s a way to see and think about the world, about society and humanity of today, it’s not because of 3D itself, it’s because it’s a place of thinking, it’s an empty space. There is as little depth in 3D as in any painting. 3D is the reverse way of the perspective of the Italian renaissance. Maybe it’s the world of today, without perspective. 3D is a place we go through to see.”

Vernon God Little

As we noted last week, Werner Herzog’s in Berlin; there’ll be a symposium on his work at the Einstein Forum on Friday, and it’s being accompanied right now with a series of screenings at the Arsenal. And it was here yesterday that, as Leo Barraclough reports in Variety, Herzog announced that he’s set to direct an adaptation of Vernon God Little. When the novel appeared in 2003, Joyce Carol Oates, writing in the New Yorker, called it “a frenetic yet unexpectedly moving first novel by the pseudonymous D.B.C. Pierre, this year’s dark-horse Booker Prize winner. Narrated in the highly idiomatic voice of Vernon Gregory Little, a 15-year-old Texas boy whose rotten luck it is to find himself a ‘skate-goat’ in the aftermath of a Columbine-type massacre of sixteen high-school students committed by his best friend, Vernon God Little is raucous and brooding, coarse and lyric, corrosive and sentimental in about equal measure…. Vernon is a Holden Caulfield on amphetamines, with ‘lawless brown hair, the eyelashes of a camel, big ole puppy-dog features like God made me through a fucken magnifying glass. You know right away my movie’s the one where I puke on my legs.'”

Writing that same year for the London Review of Books, James Wood granted that Vernon is “an engaging book, lively and sometimes scintillating…. It is also a limited work, cartoonish, narrow, raucous, too often mistaking noise for vividness. On the back, Andrew O’Hagan rightly characterizes its effect as ‘like the Osbournes invited the Simpsons round for a root beer, and Don DeLillo dropped by to help them write a new song for Eminem,’ without telling us why that particular party would be enjoyable or even tolerable.”

At any rate, the screenplay’s already written by Andrew Birkin (Name of the Rose, The Cement Garden, Perfume) and, as Barraclough notes, “Vernon was the last project developed by Bernd Eichinger as a producer before his death, and is now being produced by his wife Katja Eichinger, alongside X-Filme’s Stefan Arndt (Cloud Atlas).” The Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth: “We wonder if this means the helmer’s brewing Gertrude Bell biopic Queen of the Desert that has Naomi Watts and Robert Pattinson attached and is slated for a late fall shoot (last we heard) is still in the cards. We certainly hope so, but if not, this is a decent replacement.” Related: “Werner Herzog @ 70” (September 5).

Back in December 2010, Jagernauth reported that Mike Leigh was trying to get funding together for a film about none other than “the painter of light,” J.M.W. Turner. Leigh had just told the Los Angeles TimesSteven Zeitchik, “It would have to be an expensive project, so we’re working to make it happen.” Seems that it has. Today, the Playlist‘s Oliver Lyttelton‘s noted that, when Tim Martin met Timothy Spall to interview him for the Telegraph the other day, Spall had just come out of the National Gallery, where he’d been doing research, preparing to take the lead in Leigh’s film.

It’s a silly but nonetheless notable coincidence that a new clip from Skyfall‘s out; it’s the scene in which the new Q (Ben Whishaw) meets James Bond (Daniel Craig) for the first time. At the National Gallery. In front of a Turner:

Q and 007 meet in front of a Turner

Andy Serkis, surely best known for his motion-capture performances as Gollum in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and, more recently, as Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, is planning to direct a partially motion-captured adaptation of Orwell’s Animal Farm. The project’s in the very early stages, as he explains to the Hollywood Reporter‘s Carolyn Giardina.

Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, who wrote and starred in Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers, are each preparing directorial debuts, reports the Playlist‘s Oliver Lyttelton. Lowe’s Lily is “about a woman who lives in a fantasy world,” while Oram’s will be based “a series of low-budget shorts that Oram’s directed in recent years, revolving around the conceit that a studio trying to rival Hollywood has been set up in the cathedral town of Lincoln in the East Midlands.”

@CinemaGuild: “We’re excited to announce our acquisition of DVD/VOD rights to Dan Sallitt‘s wonderful Brooklyn-set drama The Unspeakable Act!”

Deadline‘s Mike Fleming: “I’m told that Disney is stepping up to make Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, the adaptation of the Judith Viorst children’s book that has Steve Carell attached to star and The Kids Are All Right writer-director Lisa Cholodenko helming a script she wrote with Rob Lieber…. The project became a free agent when 20th Century Fox put it in turnaround last month.”

Also at Deadline, Dominic Patten reports that Kara Hayward, who played Suzy Bishop in Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, “will play a girl who exposes a secret society in her New Jersey suburb, leading to a witch-hunt in the town” in Caryn Waechter’s directorial debut, The Sisterhood of Night, based on a short story by Steven Milhauser.

Spike Lee’s remake of Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy, featuring Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen, will be released on on October 11, 2013, reports the Playlist‘s Jagernauth.

For news and tips throughout the day every day, follow @KeyframeDaily on Twitter and/or the RSS feed. Get Keyframe Daily in your inbox by signing in at

Did you like this article?
Give it a vote for a Golden Bowtie


Keyframe is always looking for contributors.

"Writer? Video Essayist? Movie Fan Extraordinaire?

Fandor is streaming on Amazon Prime

Love to discover new films? Browse our exceptional library of hand-picked cinema on the Fandor Amazon Prime Channel.