Renny Harlin used to command big budgets and helm would-be blockbusters like “Die Hard 2” but somewhere along the way the workman-like director ended up doing low-rent WWE Films and this year’s other “Hercules” movie. Now Deadline reports Harlin’s teaming up with another star who’s lost his luster, Jackie Chan. Harlin will helm the “buddy action comedy” vehicle, “Skiptrace,” which teams up Chan with Seann William Scott and Chinese star Fan Bingbing. The film finds Chan partnering “up with a mouthy American gambler (Scott) to save his niece and take down the city’s most notorious criminal.” Shooting is scheduled to begin this August.
The HBO miniseries “Olive Kitteridge” still hasn’t aired yet – it made our 20 Most Anticipated Shows list – but clearly the experience is something “The Kids Are All Right” director Lisa Chodolenko enjoyed becauase, per Deadline, she’s about to do it again. NBC has tapped Cholodenko to “helm and executive produce the first two episodes” of the eight-part miniseries “The Slap.” The show, based on a 2011 Australian series, is billed “as a complex family drama that explodes from one small incident where a man slaps another couple’s misbehaving child. This seemingly minor domestic dispute pulls the family apart, begins to expose long-held secrets, and ignites a lawsuit that challenges the core American values of all who are pulled into it.” Sounds like pretty thematically heavy stuff for a network, here’s hoping Chodolenko’s given enough leeway to make it work. Now if only someone will give her the money to make a proper follow-up to her 2010 Oscar-nominated film.
According to Screen Daily, Cannes veteran Jia Zhangke is already set to make his follow-up “A Touch of Sin,” which screened in competition literally a year ago and won best screenplay. The film, which has the working title “Mountain River Old Friend,” will begin shooting this fall and will star Zhangke’s wife and frequent collaborator Zhao Tao as half of “a young couple in 1990s China, who split up and then meet much later when the woman is divorced and her son is living in Australia. It then takes up the story of the sun in Australia in the future.” Could the film be finished in time for next year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival?
Screen Daily keeps the news coming, revealing that Brillante Mendoza (“Kinatay,” “Captive“) will helm “The Embroiderer.” There isn’t much in the way of details, though earlier this year it was revealed that it will be about “the power of undying love.” The filmmaker is also developing a documentary, “The Gay Messiah,” about religious beliefs.
Lastly, Screen Daily also reports that Catherine Breillat will make her English language debut with “Bridge Of Floating Dreams.” Brian Jones has penned the script that takes place “against the backdrop of 1960s Japan” following “the relationship between Sean, a young Australian backpacker on his first foreign adventure, and Miyoshi, a nightclub hostess. In the backdrop, Sean is also befriended by an Austrian forger and a street-wise Japanese wannabe Yakuza hit man.” This is an intriguing change of direction for the filmmaker and we’re curious to see how it will develop.