After garnering widespread praise (and an Oscar nomination for screenwriting) for his 2000 directorial debut You Can Count on Me Kenneth Lonergan was in-demand. In September 2005 the writer/director began production on a follow-up feature: Margaret which touted Anna Paquin Matt Damon Mark Ruffalo Matthew Broderick Allison Janney as well as legendary filmmakers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) as producers. The movie wrapped production in a few months time. The buzz was already growing.
Now six years later the movie is finally hitting theaters. So…what took so long?
The journey to this point hasn't been an easy one and it shows. If a film's shot footage is a block of granite and the editing process is the careful carving that turns it into a statuesque work of art Margaret feels like it was attacked by a blind man with a jackhammer. The film is a cinematic disaster a mishmash of shallow characters overwrought politics and sporadic tones. The story follows Lisa Coen (Paquin) a New York teenager who finds herself drowning in chaos after distracting a bus driver (Ruffalo) causing him to hit and kill a pedestrian (Janney). Initially Lisa tells the police it was all an accident but as time passes regret takes hold and the girl embarks on a mission to take down the man she now regards as a culprit. That's just the tip of the iceberg–along the way Lisa deals with everyday teen stuff: falling for her geometry teacher (Damon) combating her anxiety-ridden actress mother losing her virginity dabbling in drugs debating 9/11 and the Iraq War cultivating a relationship with her father in LA and more. There are about eight seasons of television stuffed into Margaret but even a two and a half hour run time can't make it all click.
For more on Margaret check out Indie Seen: Margaret the Long Lost Anna Paquin/Matt Damon Movie
Warner Bros. is coming to remake Caesar, not to praise him. Though they'll probably get around to that, too. The studio has acquired a pitch for the historical epic from Jonathan Liebesman and newcomer Chris Boal. Warner Bros’ film may end up dueling a similar Caesar project Emperor: Young Caesar, set to be directed by Burr Steers (Charlie St. Cloud) and written by William Broyles (Cast Away).
Boal’s script will focus on the life of a younger Caesar, following his ascent to power and ending with his coronation. The infamous Cleopatra romance and threat of assassination would presumably make a hook for the sequel.
Liebesman is fresh off of filming the (barely) classically themed Clash Of The Titans 2, which stars Sam Worthington and Liam Neeson. He also directed Battle Los Angeles, an alien invasion flick that came out earlier this year to mixed reviews. Chris Boal recently wrote the similarly-themed play 23 Knives, about the autopsy of Caesar after his assassination. Boal is also the brother of Mark Boal, who won an Oscar for his Hurt Locker script last year.
Will the film come out, be watched, and conquer? Will the box office returns render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s? Will I continue making lousy jokes like this until the film comes out? No one knows the answer, yet. Except for that last question. The answer is yes.
Source: Deadline, Collider