In the Works: Jenkins, Loznitsa, and More

Even as we anxiously awaitIf Beale Street Could Talk, based on the novel by James Baldwin and Barry Jenkins’s followup to Moonlight (image above: directing Alex R. Hibbert), he’s already attached to another project, as Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. reports. Jenkins will direct Chadwick Boseman, star of the upcoming Black Panther, in Expatriate, “an international thriller set around a 1970s plane hijacking.”

Fleming also reports that Leonardo DiCaprio is about to sign up for Quentin Tarantino’s forthcoming, as-yet-untitled film slated for release on August 9, 2019. “DiCaprio will play an aging actor in the story that is being kept under wraps but is a Pulp Fiction-esque movie set in the 1969 Los Angeles during the summer of the Manson murders.”

Sergei Loznitsa will begin shooting his fourth narrative feature, Donbass, on February 12, reports Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa. According to the official synopsis, “when we call war ‘peace,’ when propaganda is presented as the truth, and when we call hate ‘love,’ it is then that life begins to look like death. Donbass survives. Manuel practices hell.” Lemercier has more notes on the project from Loznitsa: “It is possible to understand and perceive exactly what human nature is during historic moments, as we bear witness to a society’s collapse.”

From Alex Ritman comes word that Ben Wheatley is quietly working on a new film “that comes with the working title of Colin You Anus. He later stated that it was just an eleven-day shoot. The Hollywood Reporter understands that whatever Colin You Anus is, it isn't Freakshift, his upcoming sci-fi thriller that has already cast Alicia Vikander, Armie Hammer and Sasha Lane.”

Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk, whose performance in Fox’s The Post has been well-received, is teaming with STXfilms and the producers behind Atomic Blonde and the John Wick films to develop, produce, and star in the action thriller Nobody,” reports Deadline’s Amanda N’Duka. “The story follows a man who comes to the defense of a woman being harassed by thugs, only to learn later that one of the men he put in the hospital is the brother of a drug kingpin, now out for vengeance.”

Clive Owen is “in talks to join Will Smith” in Ang Lee’s Gemini Man, which “follows an over-the-hill hitman who faces off against a younger clone of himself,” reports Variety’s Justin Kroll. “Lee is expected to meet with Tatiana Maslany, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Elizabeth Debicki for the female lead in the coming weeks.”

Frances McDormand will make her screenwriting debut with an adaptation of Michael Pollan’s 2006 book The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, reports Kate Bernot at the Takeout.

John Malkovich is joining Zac Efron and Lily Collins in Joe Berlinger’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, the story of serial killer Ted Bundy from the point of view of his girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer (Collins). Anthony D’Alessandro has more at Deadline.

Adrian Noble, former chief executive of the Royal Shakespeare Company, will direct Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Spall in Mrs Lowry & Son, “about the relationship between British painter L.S. Lowry and his mother, Elizabeth,” reports Screen’s Andreas Wiseman.

“HBO has signed Ronan Farrow to a three-year deal to develop and become the face of a new investigative series,” reports John Koblin for the New York Times. Farrow’s reporting on Harvey Weinstein for the New Yorker, along with Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s for the NYT, “helped spur a national discussion on sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace.”

Carrie Brownstein “is poised to adapt her best-selling memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, as a half-hour Hulu pilot called Search and Destroy.Lesley Goldberg has the story in the Hollywood Reporter.

Former American Gods showrunner Bryan Fuller is taking on a series based on The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. Maureen Lee Lenker has details at Entertainment Weekly.

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