– Consolation prize for not winning The Hunger Games franchise? Playing a fairy tale princess! That’s what 14-year old Hailee Steinfeld gets in the form of a Sleeping Beauty retelling from scripter Lindsay Devlin. The concept is that the story will be told from her point of view as she enters the dream world and tries to escape. The package, prettily wrapped with Steinfeld’s True Grit Oscar nomination, is out to buyers.
– Francis Ford Coppola shares some details of his latest film (currently in the editing room), Twixt Now And Sunrise with Empire. He says the film, which stars Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern, Ben Chaplin, Joanne Whalley and Elle Fanning, is “part personal film, part Gothic romance, part Halloween show. If I can present it the way I want to, it is something that’s never been done before.” He wrote the script for the film in two days. He found the inspiration in a dream he had while in Instanbul that, says Empire, “was interrupted by a morning call to prayer, leaving him struggling to get back to sleep to find its end.” Coppola also says he is inspired by his daughter Sofia’s work (pictured together in a Louis Vuitton ad), and finds the only rule “is that it is beautiful and that people are affected and moved by it.”
– Director Roger Michell has landed Bill Murray to play FDR in his adaptation of the Brit radio play Hyde Part On the Hudson. The Focus Feautures/Film4 project, which shoots in July, is set over a weekend at an upstate New York Cottage in June 1939, and recounts the love affair between FDR and his distant cousin Margaret Stuckley and the visit of Britain’s King and Queen.
– Pixar’s beloved 2001 Monster’s, Inc. is getting a prequel, it was revealed at CinemaCon: it will be called Monsters University. News that Billy Crystal and John Goodman will be returning to voice characters Sully and Mike Wazowski (who start as enemies at the University of Fear) will likely land shortly. The film is expected in theaters in 2012.
[Photos: “Sleeping Princess” by Russian painter Viktor Vasnetsov]