Nicolas Winding Refn Producing Icelandic Gangster Thriller ‘Black’s Game,’ Summit Pick Up Dwayne Johnson Vehicle ‘Snitch,’ & More News From The Cannes Backlog
More news seems to break during Cannes than at any other time during the year, as you might have noticed. And, while we’ve done our darndest to cover everything, a few things have slipped through the cracks. But because we’re completists, and because our loved ones abandoned us a long time ago, we’re going to try and run everything down quickly below, and in our post from earlier this afternoon. So, with no further ado:
You might not know her work now, but Jessica Chastain has a ridiculous eight projects due for release before the end of the year, starting with Terrence Malick‘s “The Tree of Life.” She sat down with Total Film to talk about various projects, including her reteam with Malick on his untitled drama, saying “All my scenes are with Ben Affleck, but I only did two days on that project so I don’t know if I’ll end up in it!” She also dropped hints on the eagerly-antipated John Hillcoat gangster flick “The Wettest County in the World,” saying she plays a gangster’s moll, and that “People are going to be very excited about this film; [director] John Hillcoat is a master. It was the kind of set where the actors who weren’t working that day would show up just to watch scenes being made. Which doesn’t happen often!”
Meanwhile, CHUD heard that, if “Green Lantern” is successful enough to land a sequel, director Martin Campbell (“Casino Royale“) likely won’t return. The New Zealander was quoted in the new print issue of Total Film saying as much.
Nicolas Winding Refn looks to have had a major hit at Cannes with “Drive,” and the busy director is going to help out with another gangster film, albeit in a producing capacity: Screen Daily reported that he’ll produce Icelandic thriller “Black’s Game,” from director Oskar Thor Axelsson
Wrestler-turned-action-star Dwayne Johnson‘s coming off the back of the biggest hit of his career with “Fast Five,” so it’s no surprise that Summit want to smell what The Rock is cooking: according to Deadline, they’ve acquired the Johnson vehicle “Snitch,” based on a documentary, in which the actor will play the father of a troubled teen who agrees to go undercover to catch a drug dealer to spare his son jail.
Still in the action world, Variety say that horror helmer Joe Lynch, director of “Wrong Turn 2” and the upcoming comedy gorefest “The Knights of Badassdom,” has been hired to direct “Everly,” a kinetic thriller set in one apartment, about a young mother who has to defend her home from a seemingly-endless group of assassins sent to kill her by her ex-boyfriend, a psychopathic Mafia boss. The script made last year’s Black List, so hopefully it’s something a cut above.
Don’t expect any assassins in “Motherland,” the Russia-set mother/daughter drama that Screen Daily say that “Gosford Park” and “Downton Abbey” scribe Julian Fellowes is writing for Brazilian company RT Features. It’s based on a novel by writer Bernardo Carvalho, and it’s drawing comparisons to “The Hours” and “The Reader.” Are you sure you want to make those comparisons, guys?
The European trade also brought news of a pair of period projects. Australian veteran Fred Schepisi will direct “The Drowner,” based on a book by Robert Drewe about a British engineer building a pipeline in Western Australia in the 1890s. The script’s from “Master and Commander” writer John Collee, and the budget’s meant to be around $50 million, so this could turn out to be something of a heavyweight. Meanwhile, Scottish company Crab Apple have hired Rhianna Pratchett, daughter of famous fantasy novelist Terry, to write another adaptation, “Warrior Daughter,” the Janet Paisley book about a Celtic queen in training in pre-Roman Britain.
The excellent Taraji P. Henson and the vaguely familiar Michael Ealy have signed on to play the central couple in the romantic comedy “Think Like A Man,” according to Variety. The film, based on a comic self-help book by Steve Harvey, already has stand-up Kevin Hart on board, as the relationship expert who helps the pair out.
Harvey Weinstein told MTV that he thinks that more “Scream” sequels are likely, despite the domestic underperformance of the fourth entry. Well, duh.
Panos Comatos‘ out-there sci-fi flick “Beyond the Black Rainbow” picked up some amazing reviews at Cannes, and it looks like the rest of us will soon be able to see what the fuss is about: Magnet has picked it up for U.S. distribution, while Mongrel will release it in Canada, according to Screen Daily.
Part of the deal behind Sony getting the distribution rights to the next Bond film involved MGM agreeing to help finance a number of the studio’s projects, and the first has been announced: despite the film already having wrapped, Variety says that the once-troubled company, now owned by Spyglass, are stumping up part of the budget for David Fincher‘s “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo“
Variety also broke the news that Rob Edwards, writer of Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog,” has two new jobs: working again with the studio on “Animated American,” about a cartoon raised by a live-action family, and “Amulet,” a graphic novel adaptation for Will Smith‘s Overbrook Entertainment.
A hotly tipped novel, “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children,” by the excellently-named Ransom Riggs, caused something of a bidding war earlier in the week, months before publication, but it was Fox and Chernin Entertainment that won out in the end, as Variety reported.
Sony has shifted their surprisingly-not-totally-terrible looking Luc Besson-produced Zoe Saldana-starring actioner “Columbiana” forward one week: it’ll now land on August 26th, opposite the found-footage space horror “Apollo 18.”
Screen Daily reported that ATO have acquired the rights to the Vincent Cassel drama “The Monk,” about the titular religious type who falls in love with a pupil. The film’s from Dominik Moll, the director of excellent thriller “A Friend Like Harry.”
Heat Vision brought news that newcomer Ed Whitworth has taken over from “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” writer Simon Kinberg on the adaptation of fantasy novel “The Lost Years of Merlin.” Guess what that’s one about? Warners is clearly trying to fill its imminent “Harry Potter” gap.
Meanwhile, Russell Gerwitz, who wrote the ace “Inside Man” for Spike Lee, and not much else since, will pen the thriller “Black Mass” for “Black Swan” producer Brian Oliver. The plot revolves around an alliance between the FBI and the Boston Mob, at least according to Screen Daily.
The site also reported that “Hannah Montana: The Movie” and “Funny Bones” director Peter Chelsom will helm an adaptation of Francois Lelord‘s novel “Hector And The Search For Happiness.” The project is compared to “Funny Bones,” and follows a young psychiatrist who travels the world in search of joy.
Finally, the Edinburgh Film Festival announced their latest line-up via Screen Daily. It’ll open with Brendan Gleeson-starrer “The Guard,” close with Philip Seymour Hoffman-starrer “Jack Goes Boating,” and also include “The Bang Bang Club,” “Troll Hunter” and “Perfect Sense.” Probably the most high-profile film is the premiere of David Hare‘s “Page Eight,” a TV movie spy thriller with Rachel Weisz, Bill Nighy and Ralph Fiennes. So, not really a banner year, then.