David Cronenberg Remaking His Own “Fly”?
Risky Business Blog‘s Steven Zeitchik is reporting that David Cronenberg is in talks to develop a remake of his own 1986 classic with Fox, the studio that released that film, writing and potentially directing the new pic. “The move marks an about-face for the Canadian director, who in the past has said he did not want to be involved on a remake of the film,” Zeitchik said. “Cronenberg did work on an opera version of “The Fly” that was staged first in Paris and then in Los Angeles.”
The 1986 film – itself a remake of Kurt Neumann’s 1958 film – starred Jeff Goldblum as an eccentric scientist who, after an experiment with teleportation goes awry, is transformed into a fly. There was a sequel three years later directed by Chris Walas, who did effects work on the 1986 version. Cronenberg was not involved.
This the latest in a mini-trend of directors remaking their own films: Michael Haneke emade his thriller “Funny Games” while Werner Herzog reimagined his doc “Little Dieter Needs to Fly” with the 2006 feature “Rescue Dawn.”
Academy Officially Sets Foreign, Short Deadlines
Though previously speculated, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has officially announced Thursday, October 1 as the deadline to submit entries in the Live Action Short Film, Animated Short Film and Foreign Language Film categories for consideration for the 82nd Academy Awards. Complete entries must arrive at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences by 5 p.m. PT that day. In the short film categories, filmmakers must submit an entry form, one film print or copy in an approved digital format, and all other required materials by the deadline. In the Foreign Language Film category, filmmakers must submit entry forms, one English-subtitled film print or copy in an approved digital format, and all other required materials by the deadline. Only one motion picture will be accepted from each country.
indieWIRE has an up-to-date list of foreign-language submissions here.
AFI Awards, National Society of Film Critics Set Dates
In other award news, both AFI and the National Society of Film Critics have set dates for their 2009 awards. The tenth edition of AFI’s annual awards, which rewards the “most outstanding achievements in film and television,” will be announced on Sunday, December 13, 2009. AFI will honor the winners at a luncheon on Friday, January 15, 2010 in Los Angeles. The National Society of Film Critics, meanwhile, will have their selection of annual awards taking place in New York City at Sardi’s on Sunday, January 3, 2010. Results will be in around 5:00 E.S.T.
San Sebastian Announces Films In Progress Awards
The 57th San Sebastian International Film Festival has announced their Films In Progress Awards. “La Vida Útil,” directed by Uruguay’s Federico Veiroj won the Films in Progress Industry Award, Daniel Hendler – also from Uruguay – won the TVE Award for “Norberto Apenas Tarde,” while the Casa de America Award went to Argentina’s Natalia Smirnoff for “Rompecabezas”
SFFS Announces Heart Screenwriting Grant Finalist
The San Francisco Film Society announced today the ten finalists for the Hearst Screenwriting Grant. This $15,000 grant, supported by a gift from William R. Hearst III, and the Djerassi Residency Award/San Francisco Film Society Screenwriting Fellowship are the major components of the SFFS screenwriting initiative and the newest elements of the Film Society’s expanding Filmmaker Services program. The recipient of the Hearst Screenwriting Grant will be announced in late October.
The finalists are: Sarah Bassine for “Untitled: Cinema of Transgression Project,” Christina Chan for “Ice-Skating with the KKK,” Chesley Chen for “Akello,” Krisy Gosney for “Manhandled,” Marjory Kaptanoglu for “Direct Descent,” Mateen Kemet for “13 Reasons why not to be a Black Filmmaker,” Jacob Kornbluth for “The Soul of the Game,” Britta Sjogren for “Claire’s Bones,” Mora Stephens for “Made in the USA,” and Caveh Zahedi for “The Jerusalem Syndrome.”
Reykjavik Honors Forman
The President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, cited Milos Forman as “a hero of international cinema for his work in both independent and studio sectors of the film industry” at the Reykjavik International Film Festival. Grimsson honored Forman with the fest’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Forman, whose friend Milan Kundera had often urged him to visit Iceland, was impressed with the number of feature films produced each year. “For a country of 300,000 people, 10 features every year is an enormous achievement for which I congratulate you,” he said at the fest.
CMJ To Close With “The Messenger”
The CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival has set Oren Moverman’s “The Messenger” to close the film portion of their fest. Both Moverman and actor Woody Harrelson will be in attendance at the screening taking place on Friday, October 23rd at Clearview Cinemas Chelsea in New York City. The film stars Ben Foster as Will Montgomery, a U.S. Army officer who has just returned home from a tour in Iraq and is assigned to the Army’s Casualty Notification service. Partnered with fellow officer Tony Stone (Harrelson) to bear the bad news to the loved ones of fallen soldiers, Will faces the challenge of completing his mission while seeking to find comfort and healing back on the home front. “We’re delighted to close out the CMJ Film Festival. Music plays a huge role in the emotional life of The Messenger, the interior lives of its character and the way they relate to each other,” said director Oren Moverman in a statement. CMJ runs October 20-24.
“Princess,” “Wolf” Head To Hawaii
Also announcing their closing night film today was 29th annual Hawaii International Film Festival. The US premiere of Tian Zhuangzhuang’s “The Warrior and the Wolf” will screen at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Cinemas on Saturday, October 24th at 7:00 p.m. Adapted from Japanese writer Yasushi Inoue’s novel, the fantasy film tells the story of an ancient Chinese general and his lover from a cursed clan with mysterious connections with wolves. The film also stars Japanese A-list actor Jo Odagiri and actress Maggie Q. “We are excited to unveil the U.S. premiere of the ‘The Warrior of the Wolf’ as our Closing Night Presentation,” said HIFF program director Anderson Le in a statement. “After a ten year absence, fifth generation filmmaker Tian Zhuangzhuang returns to the silver screen with a sensual masterpiece, where history and fantasy collide. It’s also a hometown screening, with superstar and Hawaii-born Maggie Q returning to present this film to our festival audiences.”
The festival also announced the world premiere of “Barbarian Princess,” starring Q’orianka Kilcher, to screen on Friday, October 16, at the Hawaii Theater in Honolulu. The film is based on the inspiring true story of Hawaii’s Princess Ka’iulani, the film also stars Barry Pepper and Shaun Evans. The HIFF world premiere takes place on Princess Ka’iulani’s birthday.