UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY FOR CRONENBERGIt’s understandable for Denzel Washington to star in an adaptation of a Robert Ludlam spy novel, but David Cronenberg to helm? Hmmm. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the quirky Canadian auteur is in negotiations to direct The Matarese Circle, a political thriller derived from a Robert Ludlum conspiracy novel about two rival intelligence agents--one American, one Soviet--who find themselves working together to ferret out and vanquish members of a mysterious group of criminals called the Matarese that has infiltrated the highest levels of American government. Not necessarily the intimate History of Violence territory we are used to from Cronenberg, but I could see his stamp on this.
HATHAWAY IS QUEEN BEE
Already gaining some Oscar heat for her performance in Rachel Getting Married, Anne Hathaway will join Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, a movie I’m most definitely looking forward to, mostly to see how Depp will interpret the Mad Hatter. Hathaway will play the White Queen, a benevolent monarch who is deposed and banished by her sister, the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter)--but thankfully keeps her head. The White Queen then sends Alice (played by newcomer Mia Wasikowska) on an adventure to slay a creature known as the Bandersnatch (taken from the famous Lewis Carroll poem “Jabberwocky” I take it) for reasons still unknown.
KEEP READING: Sign of the times…[PAGEBREAK]
SIGN OF THE TIMESBoy, they are moving fast these days. There is a movie already in the works that speaks to our current depressing economic conditions called Fortuna and will star Lost’s Dominic Monaghan and Six Feet Under’s Freddy Rodriguez. According to the Reporter, the horror thriller is set in 2100 and envisions an Earth where a collapsed economy and climate crises have eliminated the middle class, leaving a few very wealthy and the teeming masses in severe poverty. To give hope and avoid revolt, the elite create Fortuna, a mysterious game where one in a thousand wins a big payday and joins the upper classes. But their hidden goal to "reduce poverty" by 30 percent over 50 years. Uh-huh, meaning they all DIE in the game, I get it. What fun!
KEEP READING: Taymor tackles Tempest…[PAGEBREAK]
TAYMOR TACKLES TEMPESTAcross the Universe's Julie Taymor--an underrated director, in my opinion--is gathering a troop of Oscar winners and up-and-comers for her big-screen adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest, according to the Reporter. Never shying away from the strange and experimental, Taymor is switching gears to turn the lead character Prospero into Prospera, so that The Queen herself, Helen Mirren, will reign over the magical island. As revised for the screen, it will center around Prospera, her daughter Miranda (Felicity Jones) and a shipwrecked crew full of Prospera's enemies. The island's other inhabitants include Djimon Hounsou as the deformed slave Caliban and Ben Whishaw as the airy spirit Ariel. On the ship are raunchy British comedian Russell Brand, playing Trinculo, a jester; Jeremy Irons, as Alonso, the King of Naples; and Alfred Molina as the drunken butler Stephano. Sign me up!
ANOTHER REALLY LONG MOVIE TITLE…Julia Ormond, David Strathairn and Catherine O'Hara have joined the cast of a feature film about Temple Grandin author of …wait for it… Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior. Right. Claire Danes stars as Grandin, one of the leading speakers on autism, whose firsthand experience with the disorder led to her becoming an advocate for new treatments as well as a top expert in the field of humane livestock handling. Wow, they have experts in the field of humane livestock handling? I did not know that.
KEEP READING: Woody Harrelson on the move…[PAGEBREAK]
WOODY ON THE MOVEWoody Harrelson is busy these days. First, he’s starring in Defendor, in which he plays a regular Joe who thinks he has a secret superhero identity. He co-stars with fresh face Kat Dennings, a girl sympathetic to Woody’s plight in the film. Second, Harrelson stars in the horror comedy Zombieland. He and Jesse Eisenberg (The Squid and the Whale) play a mismatched pair of survivors who live in a world overrun by zombies, looking for a little meaning and redemption in life. Here’s a better idea: How about if Woody plays a zombie who befriends Eisenberg? Much better movie that way.