Arguably the most significant project to be announced since last week’s roundup of news and views would have to be yet another Untitled Woody Allen Project. Because it’s not a movie. Following the Golden Globes Amazon Studios scored this weekend for Transparent, news came this morning that Allen will write and direct a half-hour series set to premiere next year. With his usual self-deprecation, Allen says in the widely quoted release: “I don’t know how I got into this. I have no ideas and I’m not sure where to begin. My guess is that Roy Price [VP of Amazon Studios] will regret this.”
Time‘s James Poniewozik elaborates on three takeaways:
- “The stigma of ‘slumming’ in TV is pretty much gone.”
- “Streaming TV continues to build cachet.”
- “There will be controversy.”
At Vulture, Bilge Ebiri has “7 Reasons Why Woody Allen Is Perfect for Amazon.”
“Peter Greenaway may be forced to make changes to the script for the second of two films about Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein if he wants to ensure cooperation from Russian officials. Greenaway is relying on help from Russia’s state film fund, Gosfilmofond, for archival material and location shooting in St. Petersburg for The Eisenstein Handshakes. But the film’s focus on Eisenstein’s reported homosexuality has upset the head of Gosfilmofond.” Nick Holdsworth has more in the Hollywood Reporter.
“Cold in July director Jim Mickle has closed a deal to direct the adaptation of the John N. Maclean novel The Esperanza Fire,” reports Variety‘s Justin Kroll. “Set against the backdrop of one of the most fire-prone areas in the world, Esperanza is the true story of a Spartan culture of firefighters battling the ‘perfect storm’ of wildfires in 2006 near Cabazon, Calif. The fire and resulting deaths led to the first-ever conviction of a wildland arsonist for first degree murder.”
With Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures and Vice teaming up to produce, Ana Lily Amirpour‘s followup to A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is now officially on, reports Leonard Pearce at the Film Stage. The Bad Batch has been described as “a post-apocalyptic cannibal love story set in a Texas wasteland.” Some time back Amirpour told Filmmaker: “A muscled cannibal breaks the rule ‘don’t play with your food.’ It’s Road Warrior meets Pretty in Pink with a dope soundtrack.”
“Reese Witherspoon is reuniting with Alexander Payne, the filmmaker who directed her to acclaim in 1999’s Election, for his social satire Downsizing.” Borys Kit has more in the Hollywood Reporter.
“Veteran cinematographer Frank Byers (Twin Peaks, Boxing Helena) is set to direct an indie remake of Jean-Luc Godard’s 1965 film noir Alphaville,” reports Jeff Sneider at TheWrap. Well, if Jim McBride can remake Breathless…
Elle Fanning will take the lead in Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon, “a horror film about vicious beauty,” reports the Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth.
Matthias Schoenaerts has joined Eddie Redmayne in Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl, “dramatizing the life of Danish painter Einar Wegener, who became one of the first men to undergo gender reassignment surgery.” Matt Patches has more at HitFix.
“A long-gestating big-screen version of the hit stage musical Wicked could see a release as early as 2016, with the acclaimed British director Stephen Daldry taking charge of the cameras,” reports the Guardian‘s Ben Child.
Bruce Willis is set to star in an adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s Bandits, reports Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr.