Over here in Britain, the 73rd season of “Downton Abbey” has just ended and everybody but us is losing their collective shit about how Lady Edith was abducted by Nazis while playing golf with the footman, or something. We don’t know (and if we did, we wouldn’t tell you: that pleasure is reserved for PBS). But while you may have to wait a while for Lady Edith to say something cutting about a gramophone, or whatever, your screens shall not be free of ‘Downton’ faces, notably Dan Stevens (aka Matthew Crawley), fresh from “The Fifth Estate” and slated to appear as Lancelot in “Night at the Museum 3.” Now news comes that he has also signed on for Tom McCarthy‘s indie drama “The Cobbler,” previously reported on in these pages because it is going to star noted thespian Adam Sandler, and follows a dude in the titular job who steps into the lives of his clients. How you feel about this project is probably already decided by the star, but if you’re a diehard Abbot (or whatever ‘Downton’ fans call themselves) then have at it.
Meanwhile, in other news about actors your mum probably fancies (Stevens, not Sandler…), here’s an update on Richard Gere, who’s now attached to “Old Fires,” a project with a rather troubled production that hasn’t technically even started. “Old Fires” was the next project of Jonathan Demme, director of a fascinating range of films including “Rachel Getting Married,” “The Silence of the Lambs” and Talking Heads concert film “Stop Making Sense.” The man has worn many hats, but it appears he won’t be wearing the “Old Fires” one: he has exited the project, probably not long after it got put on hold in May.
Now news has come of Gere’s attachment, but it’s confusing news: Gere is now starring, playing a “world-renowned architect who emerges from a coma in need of both physical and mental rehabilitation. With the help of his snarky female physical therapist, he tries to repair his damaged relationship with his children and win back his wife’s love.” There’s no word whether any of the previously announced cast — Bryan Cranston, Jason Segel and Jennifer Ehle — will be retained, but Cranston in particular seems to have been the lead…but maybe now it’s Gere? The project also still lacks a new director, so there remains plenty to clear up here. Tell your mum not to get excited quite yet. [Variety/The Wrap]