ContentFilm has struck a deal for the distribution rights to Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank, the follow-up to her brilliant Red Road debut, for the French market ahead of its in-competition bow at the Cannes Film Festival.
Paolo Sorrentino is to head the 2009 Un Certain Regard jury at Cannes, the out-of-competition prize at the Festival. His Il Divo won the prize in 2008. Incidentally, Isabel Huppert is heading the main jury alongside James Gray, Asia Argento, Robin Wright Penn and Hindi film star Sharmilla Tagore.
NBC has unveiled its pick-ups for the new season, including six new projects along with (surely) a surprise re-up for Heroes and an encouraging one for Office spin-off Parks & Recreation.
A Rand Corp report, published by the MPA, has found “substantial evidence” that D-Company, the organised crime syndicate-turned-terrorist group, has received funding from film piracy.
Much rumour rising about Marvel adaptation Thor with Alexander Skarsgard being touted for the lead role. He brilliantly played Brad Colbert in David Simon and Ed Burns’ Generation Kill and is currently in Tru Blood. Separately to that, the film joined Captain America and The Avengers in being pushed back in the release schedules with 2011 now housing Thor, Captain America and Spiderman 4 within three months. In further Marvel news, Mickey Rourke has signed up for Iron Man 2 along with Scarlett Johansson, the latter replacing Emily Blunt as the Black Widow. As if not to be outdone, this week also saw rumours sparked of a possible reboot for the Fantastic Four series.
Juan Antonio Bayona, the director of the excellent The Orphanage, has reportedly been signed up to direct the third Twilight movie. This comes hot on the heels of previous rumours that Drew Barrymore was a candidate to helm the movie. I don’t care a huge amount, but if we are going to have to live with these movies for the coming two-and-a-half years, it would be nice to have some real talent behind the camera. Other reports though suggest that it will be directed by the other Weitz.
Sam Raimi’s return to the horror genre with Drag Me to Hell has a trailer; Axel Foley could die in Beverley Hills Cop 4; Nick Nolte and Tom Hardy will star in a mixed martial arts movie. Oh yeah!; Bryce Dallas Howard has expressed an interest in bringing the Luna Brothers’ The Sword to the screen; Heathers has been jumped into gear in musical form; Robin Hood has found his merry men.
Entertainment Weekly has posted a list of the top twenty-five greatest active directors. The list is as debatable as the day is long so argue away at some of the inclusions (Jon Favreau?).
Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln biopic, a long-time passion project, is struggling to find financing amid the current recession environment. Even the biggest names are starting to be hit by the problems facing the wider industry. When even the marquee names are finding it difficult, it is worrying. But perhaps this will foster a necessity to make movies cheaper and maybe we will see some really vital, interesting filmmaking be born from the downturn.
High School Musical alum Vanessa Hudgens has been strongly linked to the part of Nara Kilday in an adaptation of Josh Howard’s Dead@17 comic series, being written by Mike Dougherty. The story follows Nara, a girl who is killed and reborn to fight demons. Howard made the announcement during an interview on the Comics on Comics podcast (highly recommended). Could prove an interesting career move for Hudgens as she seems to be looking to eschew Zac Efron’s move into teen movies by taking what Cinematical calls the ‘Megan Fox route’.
Robert Rodriguez has signed up to write and direct Nerverackers, a futuristic thriller following an elite unit in 2085 dispatched to deal with a crime wave in a purportedly perfect society. Demolition Man, anyone?
Ridley Scott has swerved directions a bit on his Robin Hood revisionist take, essentially deleting the ‘revisionist’ portion of the description to adopt a more traditional style of telling the story. Instead, according to an interview given to MTV, Scott will have the story follow the ‘evolution of a character called Robin Hood, who will come out of a point in the Crusades which is the end‘. It does mean that the previously mentioned choice of having Russell Crowe play both Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham has been either abandoned or was never really a set option. Scott said to MTV: ‘[Crowe as both Robin and the Sheriff of Nottingham] was an idea so far back, way back when at the time I had this proposed to me, and I read it and thought, ‘I don’t really know what it does for it, but it’s alright’.’ Make of that what you will, but it seems that this will end up just another very well made if somewhat uninteresting picture from Scott, maybe barring Monopoly.
Corona Coming Attractions has posted a casting call for Thor, the Marvel adaptation upcoming from the directorial hand of Kenneth Branagh. Check out the posting and consider whether you could pull off such a role: ‘Physically powerful, very handsome, occasionally egotistical, petulant, and wild. A natural warrior with a quick charming wit who must be genuinely and severely humbled before becoming the compassionate, mature hero of our film.’
Geoff Gilmore, the long-standing director of the Sundance Film Festival, is to leave his post to become the chief creative officer of Tribeca Enterprises. He is also joining the board of the company and will take responsibility for ‘global content strategy and lead creative development initiatives and expansion of the brand’, according to a statement published by indieWIRE. Karina Longworth on Spout points out the move in in line with wider announced strategy for Tribeca which is aiming to bring itself closer in line with Sundance as prestige indie festival.
Ang Lee is in talks to direct an adaptation of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, the Booker Prize-winning novel about a young man who survives an accident at sea and ends up sharing a boat with a hyena, zebra, orangutan and a Bengal tiger. The project had been considered by a pre-Happening Shyamalan (who was reportedly replaced by Alfonso Cuaron) and most recently was under the eye of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the director of Delicatessan and Amelie.
Also in the news, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is keeping up the comic love to star in The Losers; Pride and Prejudice is set to meet the zombie world in an offbeat adaptation produced by Elton John; the Donnie Darko sequel is going straight to DVD; Linda Hamilton is in talks to take a role in Terminator Salvation; Mickey Rourke will not star in Iron Man 2; Breckin Meyer is penning Superguys, to be helmed by Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan, described as ‘‘Ocean’s 11′ with idiots set at Comic-Con.’.