The feeding frenzy that is the backstage wheeling-and-dealing at a major film festival has come to Toronto, and bobbing up from the churning waters are a number of intriguing bodies… We hear from our friends at Hitfix that CBS Films has nabbed “The F Word,” not (sadly?) the feature-length Gordon Ramsay movie we’ve all been waiting for, but rather a “(500) Days of Summer”-esque rom-com, starring Zoe Kazan and Daniel Radcliffe, and word around the fest has been pretty positive by those who’ve seen it. It’s directed by Michael Dowse (“Fubar,” “Take Me Home Tonight“) and also features Rafe Spall and “Girls” star Adam Driver.
Speaking of feeding frenzies, the Hollywood Reporter tells us that “The Green Inferno,” from once and future horror icon Eli Roth, has been picked up by Open Road, who’ve made horror work for them before with films like “Silent House.” “The Green Inferno” has been hyped as a spiritual successor to the infamous “Cannibal Holocaust,” not least by Roth himself, though in introducing the flick at TIFF, he backtracked on that line a little (our review). Expect the unpleasant, and then some, as a sequel “Beyond The Green Inferno” is already brewing with Roth pal Nicolas Lopez (“Aftershock“) to direct. Plot details, of course, are under wraps.
Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a festival feeding frenzy without the Weinsteins, and at TIFF, they made two big-deal acquisitions. Or three. Depends on how you look at it, really. The first one’s easy: “The Railway Man” (our review), starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, is the story of a traumatized British WWWII vet’s return to some kind of normal life, via PTSD, and an obsession with trains that hints at his POW past. Much more adventurous is Ned Benson‘s “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him & Her” (our review), which has attracted attention not just for its leads (Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy) but for its ambitious form: it is in fact two films, telling the story of a relationship from both perspectives, one after the other. The film/s has/ve had the word “Malickian” thrown around and has/ve generated significant positive response, including from us right here, but it’ll be interesting to see what the Weinsteins now do with it/them: there has been unconfirmed talk in the past of releasing two films separately (but simultaneously), while at TIFF they were shown one after the other, essentially as a two-parter (though in alternating order, depending on the screening). Watch this space.
Last but far from least, comes some news about “Life of Crime,” a film that was already attracting significant attention, with its cast including John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) and Jennifer Aniston and its position as a prequel of sorts to Quentin Tarantino‘s “Jackie Brown.” Then we got word of the passing of legendary author Elmore Leonard, who wrote the book “The Switch,” on which the film is based. And now, Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions appear close to sealing a deal to distribute it together. Here’s hoping it lives up to Leonard’s memory.