“Terence Davies has signed up Sex and the City‘s Cynthia Nixon to play Amherst poet Emily Dickinson in a biopic,” reports the Observer‘s Jason Solomons. “Davies has written the script to A Quiet Passion, which, I’m told, bursts with wit and one-liners, like a Noël Coward play…. Davies is preparing for one of the busiest spells of his long, not always busy, career. He begins shooting Scottish drama Sunset Song (with Peter Mullan and Agyness Deyn) this summer and may then go straight into the Dickinson film.”
“Double Palme D’Or winner Emir Kusturica is to direct and star alongside Monica Bellucci in Love and War, a new feature to shoot next month in southern Bosnia,” reports Geoffrey Macnab for Screen Daily. “The $5 million feature marks Kusturica’s return to fiction after seven years. The director plays the lead, a man at war who becomes a monk at the end of his life. Kusturica also scripted the project.”
“Thomas Vinterberg, whose The Hunt was in the Cannes competition last year, will make his studio-produced English-language helming debut with the adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel, Far from the Madding Crowd,” reports Nancy Tartaglione at Deadline. And Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts have signed on.
“Long-gestating JFK assassination conspiracy film Legacy of Secrecy is reportedly finally coming to fruition, with director David O. Russell at the helm,” reports Beth Hanna at Thompson on Hollywood. “First announced in 2010 by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way banner, the film centers on FBI informant Jack Laningham and Mafia kingpin Carlos Marcello (to be played by Robert De Niro) who confided to Laningham that he ordered the hit on Kennedy.”
Andrew Dominik will direct an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’s Blonde, “a fictional memoir from the viewpoint of the legendary Marilyn Monroe,” reports Alison Nastasi at Flavorwire. “The author has said that the book is one of her works she thinks she’ll be remembered for most.” Also: Michael Mann is out and Spike Lee is in for a project “based on the 1993 scandal with Bre-X Mineral Corporation. The company reported that they discovered a gold deposit in the Indonesian jungles, their stock soared, and then it turned out to be untrue.”
“Laurent Cantet, who won the Palme d’Or in 2008 for The Class, will direct Vuelta a Itaca, a drama set in Cuba,” reports Variety‘s Elsa Keslassy. Co-written with Cuban novelist Leonardo Padura, the tale is set almost entirely “n a rooftop terrace in Havana facing the sea on one side, a sea of rooftops on the other, with kids playing, mothers talking, men killing a pig, youngsters having a party.”
As Jim Mickle’s We Are What We Are screens in Directors’ Fortnight, Screen‘s Melanie Goodfellow reports that “Finnish filmmaker AJ Annila, best known for genre pictures Sauna and Jade Warrior, has signed to direct the prequel What We Were. It will be his first English-language film. Mexican director Jorge Michel Grau, who made the original film Somo Lo Que Hay, has agreed to do the sequel. He is currently developing a treatment for a 2014 shoot.”
Srdjan Dragojevic will shoot an adaptation of Julian Barnes’s The Porcupine with Karl Markovics (The Counterfeiters) and Rade Serbedzija (Eyes Wide Shut), reports Annika Pham for Cineuropa.
Yuen Woo Ping, already announced as the director of the forthcoming sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, will also take on Zu Warriors: Dawn of Darkness for Tsui Hark. This third entry in the series will be shot 3D, reports Simon de Bruyn at Twitch.
A bit of news on previously announced projects: Indiewire reports that Sundance Selects has picked up US rights to Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s Two Days, One Night with Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, and Olivier Gourmet.