In the Works: Eastwood, Perry, and More

On Film / The Daily — Feb 1, 2018

The Tracking Board’s Jeff Sneider hears from “multiple sources” that Clint Eastwood—seen above in Gran Torino (2008)—is “circling” The Mule, a project based on Sam Dolnick’s 2014 article for the New York Times Magazine about Leo Sharp, a ninety-year-old courier for the Sinaloa cartel, “the world’s most notorious and powerful drug-trafficking ring, led by Joaquín Guzmán, known as El Chapo.” Again, that was 2014, the year Guzmán was arrested for the second time. He’d escape prison in 2015, be recaptured in 2016, and then extradited to the U.S. in 2017. But the movie’s about Sharp, and Eastwood would produce, direct, and star.

Following their work together on Listen Up Philip (2014) and Queen of Earth (2015), “Elisabeth Moss and writer-director Alex Ross Perry are re-teaming for Her Smell,” reports Deadline’s Patrick Hipes. “Moss will star as Becky Something, a maniacally destructive punk rock star who pushes her relationships with bandmates, family and followers to the limit as she wages a years-long war against sobriety while attempting to re-engage the creativity that had once led her band to massive crossover success.”

Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) will direct Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers in You Are My Friend, reports Variety’s Justin Kroll. The news follows the premiere in Sundance of Morgan Neville’s Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, now headed to SXSW. In the Hollywood Reporter, Daniel Fienberg called it “a documentary you want to hug.”

The Death and Life of John F. Donovan hasn’t premiered yet, but Xavier Dolan has already set up Matt & Max, “a French-language drama that will focus on friends in their late 20s.” Boyd van Hoeij has more in the Hollywood Reporter.

Francis Lee (God’s Own Country) is at work on “a period piece, set in the UK in the 1820s,” reports Screen’s Tom Grater, and so far, we don’t know much more. Lee says he’s “about one month away from delivering a first draft of the script.”

Virgil Williams, who wrote Mudbound with Dee Rees, will write a screenplay based on Dana Canedy’s A Journal for Jordan and Denzel Washington “is expected to direct” the film, reports Variety’s Dave McNary. In 2008, Danielle Trussoni reviewed the book for the New York Times:

First Sgt. Charles M. King was killed in action near Baghdad on Oct. 14, 2006, after an improvised explosive device detonated under his armored vehicle. He left behind his partner of eight years, Dana Canedy, a sen­ior editor at the New York Times, and their six-month-old son, Jordan. He also left behind a 200-page journal containing thoughts, remembrances and pieces of advice meant to guide his son through life in the event that King “did not make it home” from Iraq. Canedy has used this journal as the basis of a memoir, layering her own recollections alongside King’s. The result, A Journal for Jordan, is a hauntingly beautiful account of a family fractured by war.

Michael K. Williams, still known to most as Omar on The Wire, is joining Trevor Jackson and Jason Mitchell in Director X’s remake of Superfly written by Alex Tse (Watchmen). Amanda N’Duka has more at Deadline.

Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004), is clearly excited to reprise his role in the sequel. “I won’t tell you how [Gibson’s] going to go about it,” Caviezel tells USA Today’s Bryan Alexander. “But I’ll tell you this much: The film he’s going to do is going to be the biggest film in history. It’s that good.”

Series

“HBO has given a six-episode series order to Random Acts of Flyness, a late-night series from filmmaker Terence Nance,” reports Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva, noting that “the series is described as a subversive look at the zeitgeist.” Nance is best known for his 2012 feature An Oversimplification of Her Beauty.

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is moving forward with The Gilded Age, now that NBC has issued a ten-episode order, reports Joe Otterson for Variety. The series, set to debut next year, is set in New York in the 1880s.

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