In the Works: Linklater, Leigh, and More

On Film / The Daily — Aug 1, 2017

From Pittsburgh, where he’s currently working on Where’d You Go, Bernadette? with Cate Blanchett and Kristen Wiig, Richard Linklater—seen above directing Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in Before Sunrise way back in 1995—called into the Television Critics Association on Sunday, reports Steve Greene for IndieWire. “I have a script I’m working on now that touches into Texas,” he told the assembled. “It’s a true story that’ll be somewhere down the line that touches on demagoguery, a kind of con man, let’s say. To me, that’s apt for our times.” He’s also been rolling around “a couple ideas” for a series, “one in particular, of a really long-form story that’s so many hours, that it will exist as a TV program . . . I’m thankful we’re in this great era where you can tell five-hour, eight-hour, forty-hour long-form storytelling.”

The centuries-old town of Guildford “is one of a series of historic English locations chosen to stand in for Manchester as the filmmaker Mike Leigh tells the story of the campaign for parliamentary reform leading to the Peterloo massacre of 1819,” reports Vanessa Thorpe for the Guardian. “Parts of Bedfordshire, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Kent and Essex will also serve as backdrops for the director’s most ambitious and expensive film yet. . . . Peterloo, which stars Maxine Peake, continues shooting until late August with a cast of more than 100 actors . . . The subject has long been dear to Leigh.”

Wellington, New Zealand-based visual effects studio Weta Digital has officially begun work on the four sequels to James Cameron’s Avatar, reports Peter Caranicas for Variety.

“It’s been ten years since The Simpsons Movie arrived in theaters and pink donuts arrived in 7-11,” writes Michael Nordine, reporting for IndieWire that director David Silverman has confirmed that a second one is in the works, “though it’s still in ‘the very earliest stages’ of development.”

“Jaume Collet-Serra has been set by Disney to direct Dwayne Johnson in Jungle Cruise,” reports Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. “This means that Collet-Serra will withdraw from Suicide Squad 2, the Warner Bros sequel for which he was top choice. After directing a bunch of hit movies that included last summer’s sleeper The Shallows, Collet-Serra has been poised to take that step to star filmmaker, and numerous studios chased his next slot. He decided that the opportunity to originate a new Indiana Jones-like action-adventure franchise in lockstep with one of the most globally bankable film stars—like Gore Verbinski did with Johnny Depp in The Pirates of the Caribbean—was a better opportunity than continuing a storyline originated by another director.”

Valeria Bruni Tedeschi will begin shooting Les estivants on August 18, reports Fabien Lemercier for Cineuropa. He notes that “the setting for the story is an enormous, glitzy property on the Côte d'Azur, a place that seems untouched by time and tucked away from the world. Anna arrives with her daughter for a short holiday of just a few days. In the midst of her family, their friends and members of staff, Anna is forced to come to terms with her recent break-up as well as pursue the writing of her next film. Behind all the laughter, the tantrums and the secrets, their power relationships, fears and desires are all starting to seep through. Each of them plugs their ears, blocking out the noise of the world, and must find a way to get by and figure out the mysteries of their own existence.” With Pierre Arditi, Valeria Golino, Noémie Lvovsky, Yolande Moreau, Laurent Stocker, Bruno Raffaelli, and the director’s mother, Marisa Borini.

“Netflix is partnering with the Oscar-nominated team behind Jesus Camp on One of Us, a look inside the world of Hasidic Judaism,” reports Variety’s Brent Lang. “Ewing and Grady spent three years making the picture, shooting in vérité style as they tracked the lives of three individuals. One of Us chronicles their decision to leave the insular ultra-Orthodox community. Their move into the secular world comes at a cost, straining their relationships with their family members and—in one case—threatening their personal safety.”

Bryce Dallas Howard’s first feature as a director will be an adaptation of Matthew Quick’s novel Sorta Like a Rock Star, reports Variety’s Justin Kroll, noting that “the story follows an optimistic high school student, Amber Appleton, who secretly lives in her mom’s school bus during her senior year after an altercation at home.”

Series

April Reign, creator of the #OscarsSoWhite Twitter campaign protesting the 2016 Academy Award nominations, has launched #NoConfederate in response to the July 19 announcement that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’s next project would be Confederate—a show set in a world where southern states have seceded, slavery is still a thing, and a third Civil War is brewing. During Sunday night’s episode of GoT, #NoConfederate was trending at #1 in the U.S. and #2 worldwide. HBO has responded with a statement, which Lesley Goldberg passes along in the Hollywood Reporter: “We have great respect for the dialogue and concern being expressed around Confederate. We have faith that [the writers] will approach the subject with care and sensitivity. The project is currently in its infancy so we hope that people will reserve judgment until there is something to see.”

Michael Schneider for IndieWire: “The Roots founders Questlove and Black Thought are partnering with filmmaker Alex Gibney to explore the untold stories behind hip-hop. AMC Visionaries: Rap Yearbook is one of two new documentary series announced Saturday as part of AMC’s new AMC Visionaries umbrella. Also on tap: AMC Visionaries: Eli Roth’s History of Horror, in which the Hostel producer dives into the history of the genre.” Two more in the series: Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics and James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction.

Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva has more AMC news, a list of eight projects including Rainn Wilson’s “one-hour scripted series that follows an alien entity which takes over the body of a poly-addicted, middle-aged man living in the San Fernando Valley.”

Back at IndieWire, Michael Nordine’s got the first few photos from Howards End, the limited series that Kenneth Lonergan has written for Starz, adapting the E. M. Forster novel.

Theater

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art president Kenneth Branagh will direct Tom Hiddleston in a production of Hamlet—and the BBC has details.

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