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Development Watch: Kidman & Wiesz Marry for Hallström’s Danish Girl, Cotillard for Knight Rises

Development Watch: Kidman & Wiesz Marry for Hallström's Danish Girl, Cotillard for Knight Rises

– UPDATE 5/17: Weisz and Hallström are out.

– EARLIER 2/14: Oscar-winners Nicole Kidman and Rachel Weisz are set to star in director Lasse Hallström’s The Danish Girl, which is slated to shoot in Germany and Copenhagen in July. The film is based on David Ebershoff’s 2001 novel, which chronicles the life of Lili Elbe, who was the first person to have sex reassignment surgery. Kidman will star as Elbe, and Weisz will play his wife. Hallström (What’s Eating GIlbert Grape, Chocolat, The Cider House Rules and most recently Dear John) confirms that “Kidman looks great as a man. This guy looked very good, he was not the lumberjack type.” Lucinda Coxon wrote the screenplay. The budget sits at $15 million.

Hallström, a Swede, also directed the UK’s Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, which is in post. It stars Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and Kristin Scott Thomas. A December release is slated for Sweden. He is also in pre-production on The Hypnotist, marking his return to Swedish film after a 24 year absence. The Hypnotist will shoot in Stockholm in January 2012. Hallstrom is attached to direct the following projects in development: Sony’s Sammy, a romantic comedy written by Delia Ephron; Spyglass drama Anthony Zimmer, written by Julian Fellowes and Jérôme Salle; The Weinstein Co.’s Rain in Spain, which has Penelope Cruz attached to star; and My American Lover with Johnny Depp and long time partner Vanessa Paradis attached to star as writer Nelson Algren and Simone de Beauvoir, respectively.

– Marion Cotillard is reportedly in talks to join the cast of The Dark Knight Rises. This would be the second Inception star to be brought over to this latest Batman installment by director Christopher Nolan (Tom Hardy is playing a villain). Nothing is confirmed, in part because Cotillard is pregnant. Scheduling conflicts are currently being discussed. Should timing work out, her role would be Thalia Al Ghul, daughter of Liam Neesan’s villain character in Batman Begins.

The Boom Boom Room, the first narrative feature from Australian actress and filmmaker Lian Lunson (she made the Leonard Cohen documentary I’m Your Man), is assembling an impressive cast: Christopher Walken, Shirley Maclaine, Ashley Greene and Adam Beach. Bono and Wim Wenders are executive producing. Lunson wrote the screenplay and will direct the film fairy tale. ThePlaylist says Lunson’s inspirations for the film include Moulin Rouge, Wings Of Desire and Priscilla Queen of The Desert. Here’s her vision statement: “The audience will be taken into a dreamy landscape where the story and the emotional lives of the characters are the focus. It is a languid time, rich in beauty…the era as mysterious as the story itself.” Here is ThePlaylist’s exclusive synopsis of the film:

In the California desert, in a mystical and magical town, live the once-great Vaudeville stars, Dixie Meade and Jimmy Riggs.  They have long awaited the return of the baby girl they were forced to give up to find her way back to them. One day, Adeline Winter, a mysterious and beautiful girl, appears.  She is not the girl for whom they were waiting, but their lives and hers will be inexorably intertwined and changed forever. Gold dust, Dancing Girls, and Long-haired Indians will all collide with this family in search of redemption, salvation and each other. A fairytale world provides the landscape and THE BOOM BOOM ROOM with a heartbeat.  A story of miracles, love and the belief in all that is good gives hope to all who journey into this magical world of wonderment.

Arclight Films is offering the film to EFM buyers.

[Photos: Kidman – Getty Images, Weisz – Wire Images]

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