Daily | In the Works | Martel, Ferrara, Assayas


First edition copies are going for around $600

On May 13, the day this year’s Cannes Film Festival opened, I posted one of these “In the Works” roundups, noting that, as filmmakers and their producers take advantage of the cranked up media coverage, announcements of forthcoming projects flood the wires. Let’s catch up now, then, with some of the more promising stories broken during the just-wrapped festival.

“Backed by Pedro and Agustin Almodóvar and written and directed by Lucrecia Martel…, Zama, one of Latin America’s most awaited and ambitious films, has gone into production,” reports Variety‘s John Hopewell. Take a look at what Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar and Roberto Bolaño have had to say about the 1956 novel by Antonio di Benedetto that Martel’s adapted.

The Hollywood Reporter‘s John Hecht passes along word that Carlos Reygadas will begin work on “‘a cowboy story’ tentatively titled Donde Nace la Vida (Where Life Is Born).” For the time being, that’s all we know.

Abel Ferrara has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund Siberia starring Willem Dafoe. “It’s set in the ‘reality’ of a mythical universe in a small café where Willem and another person are holed up,” Ferrara tells Screen‘s Jeremy Kay. “Ferrara said that the story dwells in the subconscious and is informed by Carl Jung’s The Red Book and Dafoe’s own dreams, by way of a Jack London sensibility. ‘When I say it’s about dreams, I’m talking about nightmares.'” Ariston Anderson has more at Filmmaker.

Todd Haynes may direct an adaptation of Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick, author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Screen‘s Jeremy Kay reports that Christine Vachon will produce “and the filmmakers are mulling over cast options…. The book centers on two intertwining stories: one set in 1977 and told entirely in words as a boy pines for the father he never knew, while the other takes place half a century earlier and is told entirely in pictures about a girl who dreams of a mysterious actress.”

Season 3 of Twin Peaks is back on track. Not only will David Lynch be directing all eighteen episodes—Showtime has doubled the order—but the 25th anniversary revival will also see the return of composer Angelo Badalamenti and, as Twitch‘s Todd Brown reports, “Twede’s Cafe in North Bend, WA—the original Double R Diner—is currently undergoing restoration / renovation to once again serve as the purveyor of the show’s damn fine coffee.”

Also at Twitch, J Hurtado: “Bengali filmmaker Q (Gandu, Tasher Desh) is preparing to play Satyajit Ray in a movie about the making of Ray’s seminal work in Indian cinema, Pather Panchali.”

Andrew Haigh (Weekend, 45 Years) “is to write and direct an adaptation of Willy Vlautin’s acclaimed novel Lean on Pete,” reports Screen‘s Wendy Mitchell.

“Kristen Stewart is set to star in Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper, a Paris-set English-language ghost story taking place in the fashion underworld,” reports Variety‘s Elsa Keslassy. The Clouds of Sils Maria team is coming back together, too: “Producer Charles Gillibert for CG Cinema, MK2 for international sales and Les Films du Losange…. Shooting will start in the last quarter of 2015.”

More from Keslassy:

More Nicolas Cage. Paul Schrader will direct him in Dog Eat Dog, “a gritty crime thriller based on the celebrated book by Eddie Bunker,” reports Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr. “Set deep in the underbelly of Los Angeles, pic is a gritty contemporary crime thriller about a trio of ex-cons hired for a kidnapping. When the abduction goes awry and gets completely out of control, the cons find themselves on the run, vowing to stay out of prison at all costs.”

Also, Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett are set to star in Truth, “the James Vanderbilt-directed film about the ‘Rathergate’ scandal that ended the careers of veteran CBS newsman Dan Rather and 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes.”

And The Comedian, “an Art Linson-scripted drama that Robert De Niro has been sweet on for years, has come together with Mike Newell at the helm.” De Niro would play “an accomplished insult comic, on the order of a Don Rickles (with whom De Niro starred in Casino).”

Pablo Larraín will direct Natalie Portman in Jackie, set during the first four days following the assassination of JFK, reports Variety‘s John Hopewell. Darren Aronofsky will produce. Hopewell also talks with Paul Verhoeven about Elle, starring Isabelle Huppert and set for release in February 2016, and reports that “Amat Escalante, whose Heli won Cannes’ 2013 best director award, is scaling up and branching out for The Untamed (La region salvaje), a social/sci fi movie about Mexico’s machismo, homophobia and the repression of women.”

Trailer for Sion Sono‘s Tag

Wim Wenders‘s The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez will be “based on the play from Peter Handke in which a man and a woman share their musings on love and freedom one summer night,” reports THR‘s Rhonda Richford. “The couple’s conversation meanders through memories, unspoken desires and passion through poetic dialogue.”

Cinematographer Roger Deakins has worked with Denis Villeneuve on Prisoners and Sicario, and now he’s on board again for that Blade Runner sequel. Kevin Jagernauth has more at the Playlist.

Jude Law will topline Italian director Paolo Sorrentino’s TV series, with the working title The Young Pope, about an imaginary pontiff who is the first Italian-American pope in history,” reports Variety‘s Nick Vivarelli. Also: Wolfe Releasing has taken US to Mika Kaurismäki’s The Girl King, “an English-language biopic of 17th century Swedish Queen Kristina” starring Malin Buska.

“Chris O’Dowd is in negotiations to co-star with Julianne Moore in Nicole Holofcener’s Can You Ever Forgive Me,” reports Variety‘s Justin Kroll. The story, written by Holofcener, is based on the 2008 memoir by Lee Israel, “a respected biographer who fell on hard times and turned to counterfeiting the letters of deceased writers and celebrities in order to pay her rent. When the forgeries started to raise suspicion, she turned to stealing the actual letters from library archives and sold them through an ex-con fence she met in a bar, while the FBI was closing in on the scam.”

Also: Stephen Gaghan will direct Michelle Williams, Matthew McConaughey and Edgar Ramirez in Gold, which is “inspired by true events, but isn’t the actual story of the 1993 Bre-X Minerals mining scandal, in which vast amounts of gold were reportedly discovered in the Indonesian jungle.”

Mike Mills will direct Greta Gerwig, Annette Bening and Elle Fanning in 20th Century Women, a story set in Santa Barbara in the summer of 1979, reports the Playlist‘s Edward Davis. Dorothea (Bening), raising her punk teenager, Jamie, is joined by “a young sophisticated photographer” (Gerwig) and “a 16-year old smart and secretively provocative friend of Jamie’s” (Fanning). Says Mills, who wrote the screenplay: “These three characters are all women that I knew growing up.”

New US trailer for Mia Hansen-Løve’s Eden

Peter Greenaway is preparing to shoot a film about a trip across Russia made in the mid-19th century by Alexandre Dumas, the famed French author best known for his novel The Three Musketeers.” Nick Holdsworth (THR) reports that Volga would be based on notes Dumas published in Adventures in Czarist Russia, or From Paris to Astrakhan.

Fanny Ardant will direct Emmanuelle Seigner and Gérard Depardieu in Stalin’s Couch, reports Geoffrey Macnab for Screen. The story “follows the young artist Danilov as he travels to Stalin’s secret residence to present the his plans for a monument to the dictator.”

The Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth reports that Floria Sigismondi (The Runaways) will direct an adaptation of Alejandro Jodorowsky and François Boucq’s comic series Bouncer and an adaptation of Joe McGinniss Jr.’s 2008 novel The Delivery Man.

“Will Ferrell has been set to star in comedy Tom’s Dad for Oscar-nominated director Lasse Hallström,” reports Deadline‘s Nancy Tartaglione. “The story is set in 1960s Nevada, where Arthur (Ferrell) is a struggling nightclub performer hoping to make it big with his stage act that involves circus animals. When his ex-wife departs on a three-week trip, he’s forced to reconnect with his estranged 12-year old son, Tom, leaving the pair to rekindle their father-son relationship.”

Also: Giuseppe Tornatore will direct a documentary about the life and work of legendary composer Ennio Morricone.

Jack Black is reuniting with Nacho Libre director Jared Hess for Micronations, reports Variety‘s Leo Barraclough. The comedy takes us to “the bizarre and ridiculous world of ‘do-it-yourself countries,’ inhabited by a motley crew of eccentrics and visionaries who have declared their own backyards sovereign nations.”

Also, Michael Mayer will direct Saoirse Ronan and Annette Bening in a new adaptation of Chekhov‘s The Seagull written by Stephen Karam, the playwright who wrote Pulitzer Prize finalist Sons of the Prophet.

“The Weinstein Company has picked up US distribution rights to Hands of Stone, the drama starring Edgar Ramirez as iconic boxer Roberto Duran and Robert De Niro as his trainer, Ray Arcel,” reports Maane Khatchatourian for Variety.

Anthony Hopkins and Al Pacino star in Shintaro Shimosawa’s directorial debut, Beyond Deceit, reports Variety‘s Dave McNary. It “tells the story of an ambitious young lawyer who takes on a case against a ruthless executive of a pharmaceutical company—and finds himself drawn into a murder case in which he is the prime suspect.”

Also: “Shatterglass Films and Chaz Ebert are developing an Emmett Till movie based on the book Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America.”

Trailer for the new 2K restoration of Benoît Jacquot‘s Keep It Quiet (1999) with Fabrice Luchini, Isabelle Huppert and Vincent Lindon

Taika Waititi, the New Zealand director who scored an international hit with vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, has recruited Sam Neill and young Paper Planes star Julian Dennison for his next film, Hunt for the Wilderpeople,” reports Screen‘s Michael Rosser. “Dennison plays a defiant young city kid who finds himself on the run with his cantankerous foster uncle (Neill) in the wild New Zealand bush. A national manhunt ensues and the two are forced to put aside their differences and work together to survive.”

Screen also reports that “Doctor Who and Broadchurch star David Tennant and Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss are to star in a biopic of renowned Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing.” Metanoia “will chart the story of Laing and his unique community at Kingsley Hall, East London, during the 1960’s.” This “marks the fourth feature for Gizmo Films writer and director, Robert Mullan, who is also the author of three books about Laing.”

“Jeremy Irons, Virginia Madsen, AnnaSophia Robb and Rory Culkin have signed on to star in the action-comedy film Monumental.” THR‘s Tatiana Siegel reports that Brett Simon will direct.

Sian Heder will direct Ellen Page and Allison Janney in Tallulah, “about a free spirit whom everybody thinks has kidnapped a baby after she rescues the child from her reckless mother,” reports Screen‘s Jeremy Kay.

James Oakley will direct Uma Thurman in The Brits Are Coming, “a broad comedy about an eccentric, no-good British couple who flee to Los Angeles and plot a jewel theft.” Pamela McClintock has more in the Hollywood Reporter.

Kieran-Darcy Smith’s western, By Way of Helena, stars Woody Harrelson and Liam Hemsworth. Variety‘s Ramin Setoodeh reports that Lionsgate is in final negotiations to pick it up.

Shinji Aoyama will direct True Horror Story “about the supernatural phenomena that sweep up a Japanese couple who set up home in Malaysia,” reports THR‘s Clifford Coonan.

“Peter Ho-sun Chan will produce and direct a biopic of Chinese tennis player Li Na, based on her best-selling autobiogra

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