While his turn as the unstable Pope in “Animal Kingdom” turned heads, Ben Mendelsohn‘s first couple attempts to conquer Hollywood haven’t quite worked out. Last fall he featured in”Killer Elite” and the disastrous Nic Cage/Nicole Kidman vehicle “Trespass.” But, looking much more promising, he’s got “Cogan’s Trade” and “The Place Beyond The Pines” hitting theaters (or at least festivals) sometime this year, and he’s lining up another project with some serious predigree.
Along with model turned actress Sophie Lowe, Aussie TV actor Gary Sweet and newcomer Jessica Tovey, Mendolsohn has come aboard “The Grandmothers” with Naomi Watts and Robin Wright. An adaptation of the 2003 novella by Nobel Prize-winner Doris Lessing, and penned by “Atonement” and “Dangerous Liaisons” scribe Christopher Hampton, the story involves two childhood friends and neighbors who each fall in love with the other’s son. “Coco Before Chanel” director Anne Fontaine is behind the camera
Mendelsohn will be reteaming with James Frecheville from “Animal Kingdom” while Xavier Samuel is rounding out the cast. No exact word on what roles they’ll all be taking. Lensing kicked off today in Sydney and the film is aiming to hit theaters in Australia and New Zealand next year. [IF]