One of the big brouhahas coming out of Cannes is, happily, that female directors have a much bigger place in the festival, including four rolling out their films in competition for the Palme d’Or. Since Kathryn Bigelow won her Best Director Oscar in 2009, a huge deal has rightfully been made of the meager number of female directors finding success in Hollywood. One counter-example seems to be Lone Scherfig, a Danish director who had an indie hit with “An Education” in 2009, the film that made Carey Mulligan a star. She went on to direct “One Day,” an adaptation of the best-selling novel with Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, set to release this year; Focus Features is behind the film, making this Scherfig’s big Hollywood debut. Now, Screen Daily reports that Scherfig will take on a historical epic set in the court of Danish King Christian IV titled “Music and Silence.”
Screenwriter Martin Sherman will adapt the material from Rose Tremain‘s novel, about a king fighting to save his marriage and his kingdom, while a couple of servants fall in love only to be separated when the king’s wife is forced to leave court. Dan Lupovitz and Alexandra Stone will produce with BBC Films providing co-financing and helping to put the film through development.
“This is a unique project,” Christine Langan of BBC Films said. “Rose’s book is symphonic in its range of emotions — sexy, funny and passionate. It’s a treat to be working again with the exquisitely talented Lone Scherfig and Martin Sherman.” Though the trailer for “One Day” looked pretty wretched, there’s a huge chance that the film will be the rom-com hit of the summer, making a lot of money for Focus and catapulting Scherfig to a level occupied by only a handful of female directors — those trusted with studio fare like Nancy Meyers or Nora Ephron.
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And though we’re excited about this project, we’re wondering what happened to her gangster film reported over a year ago. Scherfig had expressed her interest in doing something more violent than the romantic dramas which dominate her work so far, but it looks like she’s back to similar territory with “Music and Silence,” even if it’s a period piece.