As the Toronto International Film Festival chugs along, there’s a huge volume of news that comes along with it, mostly casting and project announcements. Today is no different, with word coming down regarding new projects and a handful of resurrected ones as well. Read on for news on projects from Emma Watson, Jennifer Lopez, Christopher Nolan and Michael Winterbottom. Exciting stuff, indeed.
A film adaptation of Emma Forrest’s memoir “Your Voice In My Head” has been in the works since 2011 with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” director David Yates at the helm and Emma Watson starring. Since then, Yates dropped the project, followed by Watson earlier this year with Emily Blunt cast in her stead. And now, Collider is reporting, the lead role has switched back with Blunt now being replaced by Watson. “Tanner Hall” director Francesca Gregorini is in the director’s chair this time around with a shooting date already set for November 4th. The film has yet to find its male lead however, as Stanley Tucci appears to have dropped out of the running.
In the omnivorous devouring of comic book-related material for costly big screen adaptations, there are a number of glaring omissions. Why do some books just get looked over entirely while hundreds of millions of dollars get funneled into negligible crap like “R.I.P.D.” and “Kick-Ass 2?” One of those overlooked gems was Greg Rucka‘s British spy book “Queen & Country,” which he published with a variety of illustrators for Oni Press. Well, it looks like that oversight has been corrected, as Fox is developing a franchise around the series and even locked down a leading lady to portray secret agent Tara Chance: Kitty Pryde herself, Ellen Page. Page will lead the project, from a script by John Rogers, which is intended to be the first in a series. Page can be seen next year in the comic book-derived “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” and the last time a female-led Rucka adaptation hit the big screen it was the abysmal Kate Beckinsale vehicle “Whiteout.” Here’s hoping “Queen & Country” fares better…
Originally penned after the success of his debut film “Following,” Christopher Nolan’s adaptation of the Ruth Rendell novel “The Keys to the Street” is finally set to start shooting. Variety reports Gemma Arterton—first linked to the project in 2010—and Tim Roth will co-lead the crime thriller. Czech director Julius Sevcik will direct the film from a script that’s credited to Nolan and Michael Stokes, whose most significant writing credits include several children’s TV shows. Shooting starts early 2014.
Currently stumping for “The Fifth Estate” and “Rush” at TIFF, Daniel Brühl revealed to Collider that he’ll being starring in “The Face of an Angel,” for the ever-prolific Michael Winterbottom. Based on Barbie Latza Nadeau’s “Angel Face: Sex, Murder and the Inside Story of Amanda Knox,” the film is penned by Paul Viragh and will feature Brühl in what’s thought to be “a journalist or a writer.” When the project was first announced, it was said to draw on both Dante and the Amanda Knox trial but it’s not clear if that’s still the plan.
Having already appeared in three films this year, character actor Allison Janney isn’t showing signs of slowing down. Variety is reporting Janney will co-lead the adaptation of Joan Didion’s “A Book of Common Prayer” opposite the already-cast Christina Hendricks as a woman married into a powerful political family. Actor-turned-filmmaker Campbell Scott will direct the film which begins shooting next summer in June.
David Lowery is a very busy man and he’s about to get busier. According to Deadline, Lowery will write and direct an adaptation of the National Book Award Finalist “The Yellow Birds.” The Kevin Powers novel is “informed by [the author’s] experience as an Army machine gunner in Iraq.” The problem for the “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” filmmaker is finding out where to fit the project into his already full slate. And which will come first?
Fresh off their Best Screenplay win over the weekend in Venice for “Philomena”—our man in Venice is a fan—Screendaily is reporting that Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope are already at work on their next screenplay. All that’s known about the new project is that “it’s a drama with a comic quality, set in the UK” and it’s being developed with BBC Films. Could the screenwriting team entice their “Philomena” director Stephen Frears for a reunion?
From The Wrap is word that Christopher Plummer will be joining the art heist film “The Forger” alongside John Travolta and Tye Sheridan. The Philip Martin-helmed film follows Travolta as an incarcerated former art prodigy and petty thief who must steal a valuable painting to get out of jail early and reunite with his gravely ill son (Sheridan). Plummer will play Travolta’s father who helps him perform his one last heist. Shooting starts next month in Boston.
Screenwriter Dan Gilroy is making his directorial debut with the Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo-starring “Nightcrawler” and Variety is reporting that he’s signed up Bill Paxton. The thriller follows Gyllenhaal as a man “who discovers the nocturnal world of freelance crime journalism in Los Angeles.” The film begins shooting in Los Angeles next month.
If “Adore” isn’t enough to satiate your need to see older women cavorting with much younger men, then “Alex Cross” director Rob Cohen has got what you need. The Wrap reports that Cohen is in talks to helm “The Boy Next Door” which has nabbed Jennifer Lopez to star as “a single mom who has a lustful affair with a teenage neighbor who befriends her son.” And, of course, when she breaks off the relationship, drama ensues. Production is eyeing a fall date to avoid conflicts with Lopez’s day job as a judge on “American Idol.”