-Saoirse Ronan is attached to play the ill-fated title role in “Mary Queen of Scots.” Working Title is producing, with a script by Michael Hirst. Eighteen-year old Ronan may seem young to play a queen, but Mary was named Queen of Scotland when she was six days old. Ronan has completed work on the Stephenie Meyer wannabe-franchise “The Host,” releasing March 2013.
– Nic Pizzolatto (whose few credits include two episodes of AMC’s “The Killing” and the upcoming HBO series “True Detectives” with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson) is set to pen the script for MGM’s long-gestating remake (of a remake), “The Magnificent Seven.” The original 1960 version was itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 masterpiece “The Seven Samurai.” Tom Cruise is attached to star.
-After a five-year hiatus from filmmaking (2007’s “Into the Wild” was his last helming venture), Sean Penn is now set to direct Warner Bros.’ “Crazy for the Storm,” based on Norman Ollestad’s memoir. The rugged sensibilities expressed in Penn’s “Into the Wild” make him an attractive choice for this one — Ollestad’s story, adapted by Will Fetters, follows the remarkable and tragic story of his survival on a mountaintop following a plane crash. Plot details from Publishers Weekly below:
In a spare, brisk prose, Ollestad tells the tragic story of the pivotal event of his life, an airplane crash into the side of a mountain that cost three lives, including his father’s, in 1979. Only 11 years old at the time, he alone survived, using the athletic skills he learned in competitive downhill skiing, amid the twisted wreckage, the bodies and the bone-chilling cold of the blizzard atop the 8,600-foot mountain. Although the narrative core of the memoir remains the horrifying plane crackup into the San Gabriel Mountains, its warm, complex soul is conveyed by the loving relationship between the former FBI agent father and his son, affectionately called the Boy Wonder, during the golden childhood years spent in wild, freewheeling Malibu and Mexico in the late 1970s. Ollestad’s unyielding concentration on the themes of courage, love and endurance seep into every character portrait, every scene, making this book an inspiring, fascinating read.