Once the Berlinale started, news updates around here stopped—not altogether, but just about. So, we’re catching up. Yesterday, it was books; today, we gather news of some of the more interesting projects announced in the past couple of weeks.
For the Awl, James Ramsay talks with Slava Tsukerman about Liquid Sky, “one of the most visually ambitious films ever made about fashion, heroin, New Wave clubs, UFO saucers, ordering Chinese food and having them put it on your tab, the Empire State Building, androgyny, neon and tin foil. The 1982 cult classic may be the perfect embodiment of camp.” And Tsukerman, “who’s now an affable man in his mid-70s,” is currently working on Liquid Sky 2.
“Russell Brand, Pamela Anderson and Mike Tyson are set to join the cast of Werner Herzog’s Vernon God Little,” reports Leo Barraclough in Variety. “Sasha Pieterse, Julia Sarah Stone and Austin Abrams, who will play Vernon, have also been lined up for the dark coming-of-age pic about teenage alienation.”
Also: Andrew Haigh (Greek Pete, Weekend and the HBO series Looking) will direct Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay in 45 Years, which “follows Kate Mercer in the five days leading up to her 45th wedding anniversary. The planning for the party is going well, but then a letter arrives for her husband. The body of his first love has been discovered, frozen and preserved in the icy glaciers of the Swiss Alps. By the time the party is upon them, five days later, there may not be a marriage left to celebrate.”
Jean-Claude Carrière, who’s worked with the likes of Luis Buñuel, Pierre Étaix and Nagisa Oshima, just to scratch the surface, is writing a screenplay based on the life of Aesop, the slave and story-teller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BCE. Elsa Keslassy reports for Variety on the project that will blend live action and animation.
Trailer for the new restoration of Welle’s Othello (1952)
“The gnashing of teeth that has followed the announcement that Greta Gerwig is signing with CBS, to star in the comedy series How I Met Your Dad, has been astonishing,” finds the New Yorker‘s Richard Brody. “Many artists working in independent film need day jobs, as do poets and novelists—in fact, the dependence on an outside source of income may be a defining trait of independent filmmaking. Some teach; others direct commercials; some do work unrelated to movies; and now there’s TV. Orson Welles financed his Othello with acting gigs; John Cassavetes paid for many of his films, including Faces and Opening Night, the same way.”
Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan, his followup to Elena and The Return (2003), could be ready in time for Cannes, reports Screen‘s Melanie Goodfellow: “Set against the backdrop of a port town on the Barents Sea in Northern Russia, the film revolves around a garage owner who decides to stand-up to local government corruption to save his home and business.”
Also: “Films Distribution has acquired worldwide rights to Nanni Moretti’s upcoming dramedy Mia Madre about a film director juggling her contrasting public and private lives. Marguerite Buy, John Turturro and Nanni Moretti lead the cast in the film, which is currently shooting in Rome.”
Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love) “has been tapped by Sony to direct A Reliable Wife, an adaptation of the novel by Robert Goolrick,” reports the Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth. Also: Sienna Miller and Chloe Sevigny will star in Whit Stillman‘s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Lady Susan; and Susanna White will direct Stellan Skarsgård and Ewan McGregor in Hossein Amini’s adaptation of John le Carré’s Our Kind of Traitor. And! James Franco “has optioned The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room as a directorial vehicle, with his buds Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.” For more on The Room, Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero’s memoir, see Christopher Taylor‘s entry for the London Review of Books.
Trailer for Pang Ho-cheung’s Aberdeen
“The long-delayed biopic chronicling the life and death of slain hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur is on again,” notes Mike Bracken at Movies.com. John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood) is replacing Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) as director.
“Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others) has joined Gemma Arterton, Max Irons and Tim Roth in the crime thriller The Keys to the Street, adapted from Ruth Rendell’s novel by Christopher Nolan and Michael Stokes.” Variety‘s Dave McNary reports.
McNary also talks with Rob Reiner about And So It Goes, in which Michael Douglas “portrays a self-centered real estate agent whose life is turned upside down when his estranged son suddenly drops off a granddaughter, played by Sterling Jerins, whom he never knew. [Diane] Keaton plays the neighbor of Douglas’ character. The cast is rounded out by Frankie Valli, Scott Shepherd and Frances Sternhagen.”
“Zhang Yimou, the Chinese director of action epics like Hero and House of Flying Daggers, is in talks to direct his first western production, an adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s 1982 novel The Parsifal Mosaic,” reports Ben Beaumont-Thomas for the Guardian. “The story is of a US intelligence officer who sees his lover, a double agent working for the KGB, killed by his own agency. He later sees her alive at a train station, and goes searching for her, becoming embroiled in a deep conspiracy. The film will be produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, the director of Rush and Frost/Nixon who was originally slated to direct the film back in 2009.” Howard, in the meantime, “has signed up to direct and produce Warner Bros’ forthcoming live action take on The Jungle Book. He replaces Babel director Alejandro González Iñárritu on the project.”
“Christoph Waltz is preparing for a trip to the U.K. to star in Tulip Fever, the long-gestating passion project from British producer Alison Owen.” In the Hollywood Reporter, Stuart Kemp notes that the love story, set in 17th century Amsterdam, is based on Deborah Moggach’s novel.
Also in THR, Tatiana Siegel: “Julianne Moore is attached to star opposite Ellen Page in the indie drama Freeheld, and Zach Galifianakis is poised to tackle a supporting role in the indie drama. Based on the 2007 Academy Award-winning documentary short of the same name, the film chronicles the true story of the late Laurel Hester (Moore), a New Jersey police detective whose world was shattered when she became terminally ill and government officials prevented her from assigning her pension benefits to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree (Page)…. Peter Sollett (Raising Victor Vargas, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist) will direct from a screenplay by Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia, The Painted Veil).”
The new trailer for Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin
Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr. reports that Tracy and Hepburn will track the on- and offscreen lovers from when Spencer and Katharine first met before making Woman of the Year (1942) together through to Tracy’s death just days after performing in his final scene in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967).
“John Carney, the Irish writer-director behind international hit Once and the upcoming Can a Song Save Your Life?, is teaming with U2’s Bono and The Edge to make Sing Street, a semi-biographical tale inspired by the filmmaker’s love of music.” Pamela McClintock has details in the Hollywood Reporter. Also: “John Travolta and Salma Hayek are set to star in A Three Dog Life, based on the best-selling memoir by Abigail Thomas about a car accident that leaves her husband with no memory.” McClintock notes that Nick Guthe will direct from his own adaptation.