In the Works: Kore-eda, Diop, and More

Hirokazu Kore-eda has begun work on an as-yet-untitled film already slated for release in Japan in June, reports Patrick Frater for Variety. “The story, which the director has been developing for some ten years, involves a small girl who is taken in by a family of shoplifters. Lily Franky (Like Father Like Son) plays the father, Ando Sakura plays the mother. The film involves two child stars Sasaki Miyu and Jyo Kairi (the family’s existing son) making their film debuts.”

Mati Diop’s directorial debut, The Fire Next Time, is on our list of “Most Anticipated Films of 2018,” and now, at Cineuropa, Fabien Lemercier reports that she’s ready to start shooting in Senegal in March: “The film will feature local actors and will be shot in the Wolof language. Written by Mati Diop and Olivier Demangel, the story is set in a working-class suburb of Dakar that stretches along the Atlantic coast, dominated by a futuristic-looking tower that is about to be officially opened. The construction workers have not been paid for months, so they leave the country via the ocean, in search of a brighter future. Among them is Souleiman, the lover of Ada, who is betrothed to another. Several days later, a blaze ruins the young woman’s wedding and mysterious fevers start to take hold of the local inhabitants. Little does Ada know that Souleiman has returned . . .”

Pawel Pawlikowski (Ida), whose Cold War should be out this year, “is set to direct Limonov, an ambitious adaptation of French author Emmanuel Carrère’s novelized biography of radical Russian poet and political dissident Eduard Limonov,” reports Variety’s Nick Vivarelli. “Limonov was a Soviet underground idol under Leonid Brezhnev; a butler to a millionaire in Manhattan; a writer in Paris; and more recently the charismatic leader of Russia’s National Bolshevik Party. The biopic will be in the languages of the places where it’s set, which are Russia, New York, and Paris.”

To hear Variety’s Justin Kroll tell it, Ridley Scott is this close to taking on Disney’s The Merlin Saga, written by Philippa Boyens, who co-wrote Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. “Based on the T. A. Barron books, the series followed the origin story of a young Merlin who would go on to become the mentor of the classic literary character King Arthur.” Meantime, Scott’s told Digital Spy’s Megan Davies and Rosie Fletcher that he’s got an idea for another Blade Runner movie.

“Brooklynn Prince has followed her breakthrough performance in The Florida Project by joining the cast of Amblin Entertainment’s haunted house thriller The Turning,” which will be “a loose adaptation of the Henry James novella The Turn of the Screw.” Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. notes that “Thea Sharrock will direct a Mike White script.”


True Detective has finally found Mahershala Ali’s partner for season 3,” reports James Hibberd for Entertainment Weekly. “Stephen Dorff (Blade,World Trade Center) has been cast to play an Arkansas State Investigator in the next edition of the HBO anthology drama. . . . Original showrunner Nic Pizzolatto will be the sole writer of the series” and will direct “along with Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room), a newcomer to the franchise.”

“Helena Bonham Carter has been tapped to play the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, in Season 3 of Netflix’s The Crown,” reports Variety’s Justin Kroll. Olivia Colman will be taking over the role of Elizabeth II from Claire Foy.

Also, David Lowery (A Ghost Story) will direct Jack Reynor in the pilot for a new CBS All Access series, Strange Angel. The story “follows Jack Parsons, a brilliant and ambitious blue collar worker of 1930’s Los Angeles who started as a janitor at a chemical factory but had fantastical dreams that led him to birth the unknown discipline of American rocketry. Along the way, he fell into a mysterious world that included sex magick rituals at night and became a disciple to occultist Aleister Crowley.”

Reese Witherspoon will executive produce Are You Sleeping, a series in development for Apple starring Octavia Spencer. Lesley Goldberg for the Hollywood Reporter: “Based on Kathleen Barber’s true crime novel, Are You Sleeping offers a glimpse into America’s obsession with true crime podcasts.”

“Yes, the Looney Tunes 1990s spinoff Tiny Toon Adventures was a major inspiration for creator Donald Glover in season 2 of his FX series Atlanta which is getting the title of Atlanta Robbin,” reports Anthony D’Alessandro for Deadline. “‘Tiny Toons How I Spent My Summer Vacation was broken up into eight or nine episodes but when watched together, they played like a movie. You enjoy them more when they’re together,’ said Glover about his episodic structure for season 2.”

And from Deadline’s Denise Petski: “Syfy has given a series order to Nightflyers, a supernatural thriller based on the novella by George R. R. Martin (Game of Thrones) and the 1987 film. . . . Jeff Buhler (Jacob’s Ladder) wrote the adaptation of Nightflyers, which follows eight maverick scientists and a powerful telepath who embark on an expedition to the edge of our solar system aboard The Nightflyer—a ship with a small tight-knit crew and a reclusive captain—in the hope of making contact with alien life.”

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