In the Works: Besson, Winterbottom, and More

At the American Film Festival that wrapped a couple of weeks ago in Wroclaw, Poland, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn has had early looks at four works in progress:

  • Writer-director-cinematographer John Maringouin’s Ghost Box Cowboy, “an often absurdist commentary about capitalism gone berserk in 21st century China,” starring David Zellner
  • Daniel Laabs’s Jules of Light and Dark with Robert Longstreet as Freddy, “a lovelorn middle-aged gay Texan whose often wordless articulation of loneliness and regret for false turns gives this quiet character study a soulful resonance.”
  • Jessica Oreck’s One Man Dies a Million Times (image above), which “dramatizes the fight of agricultural scientists to preserve the gene bank of the Pavlovsk Experimental Station during the Siege of Leningrad (1941–44)”
  • Stephen Gurewitz’s Honkey Kong, starring renowned cinematographer Sean Price Williams, who “slouches and stumbles toward existential oblivion, in the company of an admiring Chinese restaurateur and a solicitous punk barmaid” in Hong Kong

Bleecker Street will release Steven Soderbergh’s Unsane on March 23, reports Deadline’s Anthony D'Alessandro. “We hear that the pic will go wide. This is the thriller that Soderbergh reportedly shot on his iPhone and which stars Claire Foy, Juno Temple, Amy Irving, Aimee Mullins, and SNL alum Jay Pharoah.”

As Joe Boden notes at Little White Lies, all signs point to a Deadwood movie after all. “For now nothing seems set in stone, with rumors circulating that the film will explore the burning of the town in 1879, which destroyed much of its infrastructure. But with all the key players on board, including Ian McShane as saloon keeper Al Swearengen, [HBO series creator David] Milch has a good chance of appeasing fans—if his script”—which has evidently already been written—“maintains the visceral allure of the original series.”

Luc Besson will direct Jean Dujardin in The French Detective, a pilot for a potential ABC series based on James Patterson’s Luc Moncrief mystery novels, reports Joe Otterson for Variety. This would be about “a Parisian detective who moves to New York and joins the NYPD in order to leave his previous life behind and start fresh.”

Michael Winterbottom will direct Dev Patel in The Wedding Guest, reports Patrick Frater for Variety. “The film is largely set in India. Winterbottom has met actors in Mumbai and is currently scouting locations, but has not yet revealed plot details.”

Veit Helmer has wrapped production on The Bra with Denis Lavant, Miki Manojlović, and Paz Vega, reports Birgit Heidsiek for Cineuropa. “Day in, day out, an ageing loner operates a cargo train that trundles through the landscape of the Caucasus Mountains. As in his first feature, Tuvalu, Helmer tells the story entirely without dialogue. The mood is conveyed by the music of French composer Cyril Morin (The Syrian Bride).”

Peter Hedges (Pieces of April) will direct his son, Lucas (Manchester by the Sea), Julia Roberts, and Kathryn Newton (Big Little Lies) in Ben Is Back, reports Deadline’s Anita Busch. It’s about “a charming, yet troubled Ben Burns (Hedges) who returns home to his unsuspecting family one fateful Christmas Eve.”

Also, a documentary on Alan J. Pakula (All the President’s Men) is coming from director Matthew Miele (Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s).

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