Between the deluge of Cannes reviews and the never ending avalanche of network TV Upfronts last week there’s probably a lot that whizzed by you. In the spirit of helping you sift through that Vesuvius of info, here are the stories you might have missed last week.
** It’s rumored that the choice to play the main female lead in “Mission Impossible 5” is Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain. Tom Cruise returns to his Ethan Hunt role for director Christopher McQuarrie.
** Very quietly, Fox Searchlight’s “Belle” has carved out a very nice expansion plan for itself and the film is finding an African American audience as well. This past weekend, the film expanded into theatres such as Baldwin Hills in Los Angeles and the Magic Johnson Theatre in Harlem.. Equally impressive were the results in houses like the Studio 30 in Houston and the AMC Hoffman Center in suburban Washington, DC, where the film finished #4 in each complex.
** “Searching For Sugarman” director Malik Bendjelloul died last week of an apparent suicide. The director was only 36 years old.
** It looks like Ridley Scott’s next film will be “The Martian” with Matt Damon. The film centers around an astronaut stranded on a Martian colony.
** Sony acquired the movie rights to Glenn Greenwald’s “No Place To Hide”. The film, which focuses on the leak of NSA documents by Edward Snowden, will be produced by James Bond’s Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. Wilson and Broccoli said “Glenn Greenwald’s “No Place To Hide” is a terrifying personal account of one of the most relevant political events of our time”.
** Weinstein is close to securing Lupita Nyong’o, Forest Whitaker and Rachel MacAdams for “Southpaw”, the story of a prizefighter’s attempt to step back into the ring. Antoine Fuqua will direct.
** Author Bill Bryson’s “A Walk In The Woods” will get the big screen treatment with the impressive casting of Robert Redford, Nick Nolte and Mary Steenburgen. The storyline centers around an aging travel writer who decides to meet up with an estranged high school friend and hike the Appalachian Trail. Ken Kwapis (“Big Miracle”) directs.
** Director Gus Van Sant’s “Sea of Trees” is turning out to be an acting embarrassment of riches as Oscar nominee Naomi Watts has signed on to co-star with Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe.
** Carmike agreed to purchase Digiplex Theatres from founder Bud Mayo last week. The acquisition will allow Carmike access to states such as Maryland, Connecticut, Arizona and New Hampshire, where they currently have no presence.
** Picturehouse will stream the 70th anniversary of D-Day into theatres on June 6th. The event will feature a live BBC commemoration of the planning of the invasion, featuring Patrick Stewart as Winston Churchill.