The idea of bringing a singing show contestant's life to screen may conjure up horrible memories of From Justin to Kelly, but based the talent lined up for One Chance, the story of Britain's Got Talent breakout Paul Potts, reality TV may be a deeper well of drama than one might think. Speaking to Hollywood.com in an interview for his new movie Hope Springs (which hits theaters August 8), director David Frankel revealed his approach to turning the story of a mobile-phone-store-manager-turned-opera-singer to life, along with new casting that solidify the project as one to watch.
"I don't know if all the deals are set, but I can tell you that it's Julie Walters, Colm Meany, Mackenzie Crook and a lovely young actress who actually worked [with Meryl Streep]," says Frankel. "Well, they didn't work together because she actually played the young Maggie Thatcher in the Iron Lady. Alexandra Roach. I have a text [from Meryl]: 'Hire her!'"
The quartet join James Corden, set to take on the role of Potts. The actor most recently won the Tony for Best Leading Actor in a Play for his role in One Man, Two Guvnors.
"He can sing. I don't know if he can sing opera," says Frankel. "I don't know exactly how we're going to do the singing yet, we're still working on it. It's just a great Billy Elliot/Fully Monty-ish little British movie that will really surprise people by in its universal appeal."
Potts wowed Britain's Got Talent audiences in 2007 with a performance Puccini's famed aria "Nessun dorma." News of the tear-jerker rendition quickly went viral — to date, a video of his stirring number has been viewed 97.7 million times. Spinning that bite-sized drama into something longer and interesting may be Frankel's biggest task for Once Chance. "That challenge is the Apollo 13 challenge. It's the 'how' of it. Enjoying the journey with him. Really, what we're familiar in the YouTube clip is the last three minutes of the movie. It's everything up to that point."
Frankel is heading to Europe this week to begin pre-production on the film, with a potential for a 2013 release.
Watch the original clip from Britain's Got Talent below and check back this week for our full interview with director David Frankel.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: WENN.com]
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Author Stephanie Meyer unleashed a phenomenon with her Twilight novels a teen vampire romance that has spurned a teen cult following. The good news is the movie is surprisingly just as potent -- a spellbinding terribly romantic hypnotic and entertaining film. At its heart are the elements that make any teen drama work; in this case it’s forbidden love. It starts with 16 year-old Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) who relocates from her sunny Phoenix to the cold gray foreboding atmosphere of Forks Washington to live with her father. At her new high school she meets the incredibly attractive but mysterious Cullen clan including the allusive Edward (Robert Pattinson) who immediately intrigues her. What she doesn’t know yet is that Edward and his “family” are a group of vegetarian vampires who drink only animal blood and must live in the terminally cloudy region of Northwest. Edward tries to drive a determined Bella away by revealing his true identity but soon realizes she is the girl of his dreams. But as the two begin their complicated romance things get dicey when another group of um meat-lovin’ vampires target Bella. Teen Beat should clear their covers for a new group of stars sure to become huge with the female teen set -- and probably their mothers as well. Exuding a brooding reserve and air of mystery the follicley-endowed Robert Pattinson is reminiscent of James Dean and completely believable as a conflicted bloodsucker who becomes dangerously attracted to a mere mortal. His Edward’s unpredictable nature becomes irresistible for the attractive Kristen Stewart’s Bella as she grows closer to him despite his attempts to keep her at arm’s length. Not since Baby yearned for Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing has there been such an effective pairing for the acne-challenged set. Pattinson and Stewart simmer with teen angst and desire and could be the next big thing -- especially if there are more Twilight sequels to follow. The Cullen clan led by foster parents Peter Facinelli and Elizabeth Reaser is perfectly cast with a good looking bunch of vampiric thesps including newcomers Ashley Green Kellan Lutz Jackson Rathbone and Nikki Reed. Red-headed Rachelle LeFevre as bad vamp Victoria is ideal along with Cam Gigandet and Edi Gathegi as the guys in her group of nomadic vampires. Director Catherine Hardwicke has certainly shown she understands the ever-changing moods of youth with her previous efforts (Thirteen Lords of Dogtown). But those flicks were just warm-ups for what she taps into with Twilight. She creates a wonderful creepy kind of muted dark and cloudy society with imposing camera angles and aching teen lust from her bright red-lipped hormonally charged leads. And thankfully she leaves the fangs on the cutting room floor. These vampires are actually relatable and Hardwick takes what could have been an awful juvenile programmer and lifts it into a different league creating not only a movie that should cross over beyond it’s target demo but one that makes us genuinely excited for the inevitable sequels.
Based on the sensational 1968 trial of the Chicago 7 (a group of anti-war protestors charged with conspiracy and inciting a riot) Chicago 10 is part documentary part motion-capture animation. The Chicago 7 was actually eight people and Chicago 10 is named after the group's two attorneys who also went courageously to jail. The men on trial included Abbie Hoffman the outspoken icon of Chicago-based activism and Jerry Rubin a 20th century celebrity in his own right. Chicago 10's cartoon portion tries to recreate the drama of the real-life trial. The jury listens skeptically and a crotchety old judge (voiced by the late Roy Scheider) gives the defendants’ opposition. It’s a commentary of the farcical nature of the trial--and the surreal standards behind it. Connecting the dots is a music video-like series of documentary images spotlighted by horrific scenes such as the Chicago police and National Guardsmen striking back scores of protestors. Rage Against the Machine and Beastie Boys songs underlie violent tableaus. For Americans born 1980 and after this era of left-leaning cultural dissent can be a foreign world. The 1960s’ silencing of voices questioning the government in the era of civil rights and the Vietnam War has been echoed with the Iraqi War. But protests like Chicago 10 are a rarity today. On display are the voices of a handful of top Hollywood stars--including Mark Ruffalo Jeffrey Wright Nick Nolte Liev Schrieber and Hank Azaria--as the voices of the courtroom players. As with many star-studded animation productions the result is not greater than the sum of its parts. Although Scheider in his last performance provides the most distinctive voice as Judge Julius Hoffman Ruffalo Wright et.al are lost in the mix. Partially because of a limp-ish script the actors have to inject excitement into a static courtroom environment--but compared to 12 Angry Men or Primal Fear it just doesn’t engage. Director Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays in the Picture) comes with a fresh visionary perspective. He brings a vibrant attitude to this anti-war flick but it's one poorly executed or at least unevenly so. At the heart of the film's animation there are technical problems. The character's eyes are dead and their movements clunky despite the lively body motions. Compared to a higher budget movie like Beowulf the animation is many years behind. It's a big reason to discount the slowness by which Chicago 10 chief concept operates. The animation doesn't provide enough dramatic potency to involve the audience and becomes more like a gimmick. Messy psychedelic assemblage of documentary footage--though culled reportedly from thousands of images and minutes of tape--doesn't add insight beyond common knowledge. Unfortunately it just isn’t much different from what we've already seen.