Daily | In the Works | Kaufman, Fincher, Hosoda



It’s been a couple of weeks since the last “in the works” roundup; let’s catch up. As Kate Erbland reports at the Dissolve, the team behind Charlie Kaufman’s first animated feature, Anomalisa, has announced that principle photography is now complete.

It’s hardly news that Ross Lipman is restoring Film (1965), directed by Alan Schneider, written by Samuel Beckett and starring Buster Keaton, and working on an experimental documentary about its making, Notfilm. But Daniel Eagan has a fine backgrounder with a bit of information about how the project is coming along for Film Comment.

David Fincher’s experience executive producing House of Cards for Netflix—and directing two episodes—seems to have whetted his appetite for more long-form narrative work. Deadline‘s Nellie Andreeva reports on three projects he’s working on for HBO.

  • As announced back in September, he’ll direct the entire first season of Utopia, which, as EW‘s Jeff Labrecque notes, is “the story of five comic-book fans who become targets of the shadowy Network after they discover an unpublished manuscript for The Utopia Experiments, a sequel to a cult graphic novel that appears to predict all types of global catastrophes.” And it’s being written by Gillian Flynn, who, of course, wrote Gone Girl, the book and the screenplay.
  • Shakedown, written by James Ellroy, “is set in the tabloid world and the underbelly of Los Angeles in the 1950s and centers on a real-life private detective,” reports Andreeva. “It is inspired by the life of legendary 1950s Hollywood vice cop-turned-private eye Fred Otash.”
  • And #3: “Set in 1983 Los Angeles, Living on Video centers on Bobby, a wide-eyed guy who drops out of college and drives to Hollywood with dreams of directing a sci-fi epic. He lands a job as a PA for a company making music videos. In the vein of HBO’s Entourage, the series revolves around the players of the then-exploding music video industry—directors, record executives and crew members, many of them dabbling in drugs—through the eyes of the newcomer.”

George Clooney “has teamed up with Foxcatcher director Bennett Miller and Rescue Me creator Peter Tolan for a one-hour comedic drama that will explore the movie business of the early 1990s,” reports Josef Adalian for Vulture.

The Dissolve‘s Nathan Rabin reports that Ava DuVernay (Selma) “is jumping into the whole-season fray with the announcement that she will be directing all eight to 10 episodes of the first season of an unnamed cable television show that, according to the Guardian, will explore the rich and still underexplored subject of ‘the black experience in America.'”

The Politician, Andrew Young’s tell-all about his stint with former Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards, is the kind of sleazy, sordid tome that requires you take a shower after reading,” writes Rabin. Aaron Sorkin “first snapped up the rights to the book in 2010 with the intention of making it his directorial debut, and Deadline now reports that he’s extended his ownership of the rights until 2016. Even with his The Newsroom off the air, Sorkin has a full slate that includes Molly’s Game, an adaptation of Molly Bloom’s memoir, and Moneyball author Michael Lewis’s Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt.”

Speaking of Sorkin, his Steve Jobs biopic is still floundering along. The AV Club‘s Katie Rife reports that Kate Winslet is taking on the female lead abandoned by Natalie Portman.

“Ruby Barnhill, a 10-year-old girl from Cheshire, has been cast as Sophie in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the 1982 Roald Dahl book, The BFG,” reports the Telegraph‘s Kat Brown.

“Christina Hendricks has signed on to star opposite Luke Wilson in the Showtime comedy pilot Roadies from Cameron Crowe and J.J. Abrams.” Cynthia Littleton has more in Variety.

As noted the other day in the entry on Big Eyes, Tim Burton is moving ahead with Beetlejuice 2; there’ll be roles for Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder.

“Leading Japanese pay broadcaster Wowow is partnering with Sundance Productions to produce Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno Live,” reports Mark Schilling for Variety. “The film records Rossellini’s eco-themed stage show, which is based on her popular shorts about animal sexuality.” Also: “Shochiku has announced the cast for its reworking of the 1967 Kihachi Okamoto epic Japan’s Longest Day to be titled The Emperor in August.”

Eigapedia reports on “a new animated film written and directed by Mamoru Hosoda (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars) titled Bakemono no Ko (The Boy and the Beast). The project marks Hosoda’s first animated feature film since 2012’s Wolf Children” and “revolves around a connection between the human world in Shibuya and the bakemono (monster) world Jutengai. When a young boy becomes lost in Jutengai, he meets a bear-like bakemono named Kumatetsu and becomes his protégé under a new moniker, Kyuta.” It’ll be released in Japan on July 11, 2015, and here’s a teaser:

Penny Marshall (A League of Their Own) will direct “a film about the story of Effa Manley, the first woman to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.” Tatiana Siegel has more in the Hollywood Reporter.

Kathy Bates and Susan Sarandon have joined Jessica Chastain and Kit Harington in Xavier Dolan‘s The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. Chris O’Falt for the Hollywood Reporter: “The film tells the story of fictional actor John F. Donovan (Kit Harington)—famous for playing a Marvel-style superhero—whose life and career are turned upside-down when his private correspondence with an 11-year-old fan is exposed and made to look indecent by a villainous gossip columnist (Jessica Chastain). Bates is being slated for the role of Donovan’s high-powered manager, while Sarandon will play Harington’s mother.”

There may be a role for Michael Fassbender in Steve McQueen’s Paul Robeson biopic, reports Jordan Raup at the Film Stage.

“Edgar Ramirez is in final negotiations to join Jennifer Lawrence in David O. Russell’s biopic Joy,” reports Variety‘s Justin Kroll. Also, David Oyelowo “is set to co-star with Lupita Nyong’o in the indie drama Americanah. Based on the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie novel, the story follows a pair of young Nigerian immigrants who face a lifetime of struggle while their relationship endures.”

Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr: “J.K. Simmons, the journeyman actor who’s hot as a pistol after his turn in the Damien Chazelle-directed Whiplash, has been set to join Tom Hiddleston in Kong: Skull Island, the Legendary Pictures tent pole that Universal Pictures has set for March 10, 2017 release. Jordan Vogt-Roberts is directing a script by John Gatins and Max Borenstein that focuses on the wild island home of the iconic ape King Kong.”

Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons are joining the cast of Fargo. James Hibberd has more at EW.

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