Since Cannes opened a little over a week ago, we’ve seen a Force Majeure-sized avalanche of announcements regarding future projects. Let’s have a quick overview.
“Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Wes Anderson and David Fincher are among the interviewees lined up to appear in feature documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut,” to be directed by Kent Jones, one of the very best film critics writing today and, of course, the director of the New York Film Festival. Leo Barraclough reports for Variety that the film will be “based on the recordings that led to François Truffaut’s 1966 book [Hitchcock], which has been dubbed the ‘Bible of Cinema’ by many filmmakers.” Further interviewees will include Brian De Palma, James Gray, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Olivier Assayas, Arnaud Desplechin—and Richard Linklater.
Which brings us to our next couple of items. Linklater will direct Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis “in an adaptation of Daniel Asa Rose’s touching comic memoir Larry’s Kidney,” reports TheWrap‘s Jeff Sneider. Ferrell will play Rose, “who traveled to China with his black-sheep cousin Larry (Galifianakis) and his mail-order bride to save Larry’s life by skirting the law and securing him a kidney transplant.”
But wait, there’s more: “Gravitas Ventures has acquired all North American and numerous international rights for 21 Years: Richard Linklater, a celebration of the director’s career,” reports Casey Cipriani for Indiewire. “The feature-length documentary was made by Paste Magazine’s movies editor Michael Dunaway and co-director Tara Wood. It examines 21 years in Linklater’s career and includes intimate interviews with many of his longtime collaborators including actors such as Ethan Hawke, Matthew McConaughey, Billy Bob Thornton, Keanu Reeves, Julie Delpy, Jack Black and Jason Reitman. The directors drew on the concept that the first 21 years in a director’s career defines their work and artistic vision.”
ONCE I WAS: The Hal Ashby Story
Meantime, at RogerEbert.com, Matt Zoller Seitz talks with Linklater about “the Bernie situation” and Boyhood.
Back to Ferrell and Galifianakis for a moment. Michel Hazanavicius, whose The Search hasn’t exactly been rapturously received in Cannes, is slated to direct Will, a comedy to be produced by Ferrell and Adam McKay. Variety‘s Elsa Keslassy reports that “Paul Rudd is in talks to star as Will. Galifianakis will play Will’s rebellious guardian angel.”
Jia Zhangke “will voyage into the future as he sets Mountains May Depart as his next film,” his “first to be shot outside China,” reports Patrick Frater for Variety. “The three-part story starts in the 1990s and involves a young couple from Shanxi Province where the young woman—to be played by Jia regular Zhao Tao—breaks his heart by marrying a rich mine owner. In the present day, the man returns to Shanxi to says his farewells and discovers his old flame divorced and estranged from her son. The final segment moves to 2025 Australia, where the son is living a meaningless existence working in a casino. The only Chinese character he is able read is ‘mother.’”
“Catherine Breillat has signed to direct her first English-language film, Bridge of Floating Dreams set against the backdrop of Japan some twenty years after Hiroshima,” reports Screen‘s Melanie Goodfellow. The story “revolves around the relationship between Sean, a young Australian backpacker on his first foreign adventure, and Miyoshi, a nightclub hostess…. Sean is also befriended by an Austrian forger and a street-wise Japanese wannabe Yakuza hit man.”
“Steven Soderbergh may have retired from film directing, but his alter egos Peter Andrews and Mary Ann Bernard are still working steadily in the industry,” reports Ignatiy Vishnevetsky at the AV Club. “As GQ’s new profile of Channing Tatum reveals, Soderbergh will be filling three key crew positions on the Gregory Jacobs-directed sequel to his 2012 hit Magic Mike, serving as the film’s director of photography, primary camera operator, and editor. He won’t be telling Channing Tatum what to do, though, because that would be considered directing, which is something Steven Soderbergh doesn’t do anymore.”
First trailer for Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz’s Land Ho!
Jim Jarmusch has found backing for his doc on Iggy Pop, reports Screen‘s Andreas Wiseman.
“There are at least three major projects vying for Steven Spielberg’s attention at the moment,” notes Matt Singer at the Dissolve. “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara by Lincoln screenwriter Tony Kushner; a live-action adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book The BFG; and an untitled Cold War thriller that would star Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan star Tom Hanks.” And it looks like he’ll go first for “the Cold War film, particularly with the wildly exciting news from the Hollywood Reporter that the Coen brothers have been brought in to work on the screenplay.”
Meantime, the Coens themselves “are putting together their next film,” reports Deadline‘s Anita Busch, “and it’s about a fixer in Hollywood circa 1950s who works for the studios to protect the stars of the day. Entitled Hail Caesar, the comical yarn centers on a man named Eddie Mannix who sounds a lot like the Fred Otash of his day—the famed 1950s private investigator who worked for Confidential magazine and was the muckraker of the time using wiretaps to spy on movie stars and gather dirt.”
“Barry Levinson will start production in Morocco at the end of the month” on the Bill Murray comedy Rock the Kasbah, reports Jeremy Kay for Screen Daily. “Leem Lubany of Cannes 2013 UCR selection Omar has joined Murray, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, Danny McBride, Scott Caan and Zooey Deschanel on the cast. Lubany will play Salima, a young Pashtun singer who is discovered by Murray’s washed-out rock manager and entered into Afghanistan’s version of American Idol.”
David Lowery will direct Benedict Cumberbatch, Tye Sheridan and Will Poulter in The Yellow Birds, a drama he’s written about “two young soldiers (Sheridan and Poulter) who are taken under the wing of an older sergeant (Cumberbatch) as they are deployed to Iraq.” Dave McNary reports for Variety. Also: “Daniel Radcliffe will star in the indie adaptation of Dave Eggers’s comic novel You Shall Know Our Velocity with Peter Sollett directing.” And in the sci-fi project Story of Your Life, Amy Adams “will play a linguist in the military who attempts to hold a dialogue with alien invaders.”
Trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar
Back to Cumberbatch for a moment. He’s joining Johnny Depp in Scott Cooper’s Whitey Bulger movie, Black Mass, and Sean O’Neal has details at the AV Club.
“Egyptian auteur Mohamed Diab, known internationally for bold sex harassment pic Cairo 678, is set to delve into his country’s political turbulence with drama-action thriller Clash.” Nick Vivarelli reports for Variety.
“Taisia Igumentseva, a 25-year-old director who won a student filmmaking award at Cannes in 2012, has been announced as the director of a new film documenting the struggles in Crimea as the region was recently annexed by Russia.” Ben Beaumont-Thomas reports for the Guardian.
Renny Harlin “has signed on to replace Sam Fell as the director of Jackie Chan’s new action comedy Skiptrace,” reports Anna Silman at Vulture.
“Godzilla director Gareth Edwards will direct the first Star Wars spin-off movie,” reports the Guardian‘s Ben Child. Says Edwards: “Ever since I saw Star Wars I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life—join the Rebel Alliance!”
“Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert are set to topline Valley of Love, a drama directed by Guillaume Nicloux,” reports Variety‘s Elsa Keslassy.
Niki Caro (Whale Rider) “is set to direct Callas, about the relationship between legendary opera singer Maria Callas and billionaire Aristotle Onassis,” reports Carole Horst for Variety.
“Actress Angela Basset is to make her directorial debut with a biopic about singer Whitney Houston,” reports the BBC.
Amber Heard and Ed Harris have joined James Franco, Christian Slater, Cynthia Nixon and Jim Parrack in Pamela Romanowsky’s The Adderall Diaries, “the gripping account of a young man navigating the unstable terrain of truth and identity,” reports Variety‘s Justin Kroll.
Kristen Wiig has signed on to star opposite Zach Galifianakis and Owen Wilson in Relativity’s untitled armored car project… which will be directed by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite).” Borys Kit has more in the Hollywood Reporter.
Trailer for Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight
“Jesus Christ has never been hotter,” writes Dan Selcke at the AV Club. “The Son of God is set to headline several upcoming movies, including a look at the 40 days following his resurrection, a film from Lionsgate that will place him in a more ‘humanistic’ context, and a version of the gospel directed by Paul Verhoeven. Add his significantly increased role in the coming remake of Ben-Hur, and all of the forthcoming television series that revolve around the famed Nazarene, and it’s clear that this is a good time to be in the Jesus business.” His point: Cyrus Nowrasteh will direct an adaptation of Anne Rice’s Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt.
Adrian Brody “has signed on to play the Charles V in Emperor, a Lee Tamahori film that explores the reign of the Roman Empire ruler,” reports the AP.
For yet more news of projects in the works, see roundups from Kevin Jagernauth, Cain Rodriguez and Mark Zhuravsky at the Playlist and from Film Comment editor Gavin Smith.
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