In the Works: Denis, Olsson, and More

At the Film Stage, Jordan Raup reports that Claire Denis will begin production on her science fiction feature High Life next month. Starring Robert Pattinson, Patricia Arquette, and Mia Goth, High Life will be Denis’s English-language debut. She’ll be working once again with cinematographer Agnès Godard and Stuart Staples of Tindersticks will compose the original music. Here’s the synopsis from Wild Bunch:

Deep space. Beyond our solar system. Monte and his infant daughter Willow live together aboard a spacecraft, in complete isolation. A solitary man, whose strict self-discipline is a protection against desire—his own and that of others—Monte fathered the girl against his will. His sperm was used to inseminate Boyse, the young woman who gave birth to her. They were members of a crew of prisoners: space convicts, death row inmates. Guinea pigs sent on a mission to the black hole closest to Earth. Now only Monte and Willow remain. And Monte is changed. Through his daughter, for the first time, he experiences the birth of an all-powerful love. Willow grows, becoming a young girl, then a young woman. Together, alone, father and daughter approach their destination—the black hole in which all time and space cease to exist.

Raup points us to a Pattinson fan site that’s translated a few of his remarks on the project: “It’s a very strange film.” Denis “showed me some image tests of space, completely crazy. I love Claire, I can’t believe I’m going to work with her, especially for a science fiction project. It’s going to be very beautiful.”

More Projects in the Works

First, there’s no getting around this item: “Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s reputation for writing irreverent, poppy films such as 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie helped the white-hot writing and directing duo land one of the most coveted gigs in Hollywood—a chance to call the shots on a Star Wars film.” Variety’s Brent Lang: “But their chance to put their stamp on a galaxy far, far away collapsed on Tuesday with the stunning announcement that the pair would be departing the still untitled Han Solo spin-off movie in the midst of production.” The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit hears that “the style and vision of Lord and Miller clashed with that of Lawrence Kasdan, the legendary screenwriter behind the classics Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark, who also wrote, with his son, Jon Kasdan, the script for the Han Solo stand-alone set (for now) to be released in 2018.”

“The Internet was buzzing earlier this month when Sprint premiered a mysterious teaser during the NBA Finals that featured recent Oscar winner Mahershala Ali boxing,” writes Zack Sharf at IndieWire. “The clip suggested some kind of new film, entitled 4:44 and rated NC-17, was on the way, co-starring Danny Glover and Lupita Nyong’o.” Now that we know that 4:44 is Jay Z’s new album, what’s this other thing? A visual album? A short film? We’ll find out on June 30.

“Göran Hugo Olsson (Black Power Mixtape) is set to direct That Summer, a documentary based on unique footage shot by Peter Beard, Andy Warhol and Jonas Mekas in the 1970s in Montauk, Long Island,” reports Variety’s Elsa Keslassy. This will be “a multi-layered, intimate portrait of Warhol’s lifestyle, based on material lensed by Warhol himself and contemporary artists and socialites such as Beard, Mekas, as well as Lee Radziwill and Edith Bouvier, among others, who visited him at his Montauk home.”

“UK documentary producer and director André Singer (The Act of Killing) has revealed he is working on an ambitious new project about iconic former Russian statesman Mikhail Gorbachev and his role in the dissolution of the Soviet Union,” reports Screen’s Melanie Goodfellow.

“Riding on the critical and commercial success of Wonder Woman, director Patty Jenkins is already working on a script for the sequel,” reports Erin Nyren for Variety.

Oona Chaplin (Game of Thrones), daughter of Geraldine and granddaughter of Charlie, will appear in all four of James Cameron’s Avatar sequels, reports Variety’s Dave McNary.

Justin Theroux and Gillian Anderson are joining Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon in the action comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me, reports Jeff Sneider at the Tracking Board. “Susanna Fogel will direct from a script she co-wrote with former SNL scribe David Iserson.”

Also, Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively are in talks to star in Paul Feig’s A Simple Favor, a murder mystery—and not a comedy.

Eli Roth will likely direct and Jack Black is in talks to star in The House with a Clock in Its Walls, “an adaptation of the 1973 John Bellairs book illustrated by Edward Gorey,” reports Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. This is “the tale of a recently orphaned 10-year-old boy who discovers a world of hidden passageways, magic and danger in his uncle’s old house.”


Dracula is getting the Sherlock treatment, with the writers and producers of the hit BBC detective series reuniting for a new take on the Bram Stoker vampire classic,” reports Stewart Clarke for Variety. “Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat will write the series, and Sue Vertue’s Hartswood Films will produce.”

“Amazon Studios will develop novelist Jay McInerney’s Brightness Falls book trilogy into a television series,” reports Debra Birnbaum for Variety. “Novelists Dana Vachon and Gemma Sieff will adapt the books for TV and executive produce. Burr Steers (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) is attached to direct, and will executive produce as well.”

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