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Production & Development Watch: Hall’s Awakening, Greengrass’s King Biopic, Russell’s 2 Guns

Production & Development Watch: Hall's Awakening, Greengrass's King Biopic, Russell's 2 Guns

– Rebecca Hall is a total scene stealer. Think Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Please Give, and The Town. She’s a rising star; here’s a first look at her first leading role in The Awakening, from Brit director Nick Murphy and screenwriter Stephen Volk. Dominic West (The Wire) and Mike Leigh regular Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake) co-star. Set in 1921, a bereaved woman (Hall) deploys rational arguments to debunk supernatural myths. A countryside boarding school asks her to come to ease panic caused by a boy’s death (and rumors of a ghost). Her beliefs are challenged when she faces her own ghostly encounter. The Studio Canal and BBC films collaboration is in post-production with no release date.

– Forget Bourne. Brit writer-director Paul Greengrass is writing Memphis, a Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic that focuses on the events–both personal and professional–that lead to his assassination on April 4, 1968. There are plenty of assassination reports and conspiracy theories to work with. Greengrass’s studio relationship is with Universal; Scott Rudin is in discussions to produce the film with Greengrass at the studio’s specialty arm, Focus Features.

– Hot-as-flapjacks The Fighter director David O. Russell may rewrite and direct Steven Grant’s graphic novel 2 Guns with Vince Vaughn and (rumored) Owen Wilson at Universal. Blake Masters (writer for TV shows Law & Order: Los Angeles, Rubicon and Brotherhood) wrote the first screenplay. Tower Books lays out the 2 Guns pulpy plot:

“Trench has targeted a local bank to rob, and asked Steadman in on the job. Trench figures it’s a great way to score — considering it’s a cover for mob money. They’ll be thieves ripping off thieves. But what Steadman doesn’t know is that Trench is a DEA agent. And what Trench doesn’t know is that Steadman’s a Naval Intelligence officer. They’re both cops! And neither one knows that they’re not robbing the mob, they’ve been set up to steal $50 million from the CIA! A light-hearted crime romp in the vein of Ocean’s Thirteen and The Italian Job.”

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