In the Works: Assayas, Eggers, and More

Ioncinema has completed its countdown of the fifty most anticipated foreign films of 2019—that’s twenty-nineteen—and Nicholas Bell has written up a paragraph for each of the top ten:

1. Untitled Jonathan Glazer Project
2. Abel Ferrara’s Siberia
3. Kleber Mendonca Filho and Juliano Dornelles’s Bacurau
4. Ulrike Ottinger’s The Beautiful Woman Sleeping
5. Nicolas Roeg’s The 7th Magpie
6. Cristi Puiu’s Hora Staccato
7. Andrea Pallaoro’s Monica
8. Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria
9. Olivier Assayas’s Wasp Network
10. Pablo Aguero’s Witches’ Sabbath

Speaking of Assayas (above), Variety’s Elsa Keslassy broke the news today that Janus Films will begin rolling out a new 4K restoration of his 1994 film Cold Water in U.S. theaters in April, “following its premiere on March 9 premiere co-hosted by the Austin Film Society.”

Ritesh Batra (The Lunchbox) will direct Elisabeth Moss in A Letter from Rosemary Kennedy, reports John Hopewell for Variety. “The little-known but haunting story of the eldest sister of President John F. Kennedy, who spent a lifetime hidden from public view because of the political ambitions of her father, Joseph Kennedy, is based on a Black List spec script by first-timer Nick Yarborough.”

Willem Dafoe is “in talks” to star in The Lighthouse,Robert Eggers’s followup to his 2015 feature debut, The Witch, reports Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. Dafoe would play Old, “an aging lighthouse keeper” in Maine in the early twentieth century.

Fleming also reports that Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name,Lady Bird) will star in The King, written by Joel Edgerton and David Michôd and directed by Michôd. “Chalamet will play the young Henry V. After his brother is killed in battle before his coronation, a young king is coronated in the late 1300s. The reluctant ruler wears the crown at a time when England was near a war with France, and the empire is teetering. He rises to the occasion, admirably.”

Todd Phillips is making an untitled Joker origin movie, and Joaquin Phoenix is “the top choice to star and sources now tell Variety that, after thinking it over, Phoenix has agreed to the role,” reports Justin Kroll.Miles Surrey at the Ringer: “From so many angles, this is a weird one.” And he lists his reasons.

Back to Kroll, who reports that Vickey Krieps (Phantom Thread) is joining Clare Foy in The Girl in the Spider’s Web,and that Armie Hammer will star in “an untitled Annapurna Pictures thriller” to be written and directed by Babak Avari (Under the Shadow).

Sloan Science & Film’s Sonia Shechet Epstein talks with writer Jonathan Kiefer and director Oliver Krimpas about Around the Sun, whose shoot has just wrapped “at a château in Normandy, less than an hour from a similar château where French writer Bernard de Fontenelle wrote Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds in 1686. Fontenelle’s story features a man and a woman walking in the same château in which he was writing and discussing the theory that the Sun, not the Earth, is at the center of the universe.” The film stars Cara Theobold (Downton Abbey) and Gethin Anthony (Game of Thrones) and may be ready this spring.

“Mira Sorvino, Val Kilmer, Michael Chiklis (The Shield), and Clifton Collins Jr (Star Trek) have signed on to topline the indie film Riptide,” reports Deadline’s Amanda N’Duka. The story, to be written and directed by Shaun Hart, “follows two sons of a biker drug trafficker who hold opposing views of their father’s lifestyle. When the father’s operation is raided by the ATF, the youngest looks to keep the business alive, while the oldest understands the threat that the surrounding competition and the cartel possess.”


Yesterday, the Playlist’s Kevin Jagernauth gathered early—and quite enthusiastic—reactions to Alex Garland’s science fiction feature, Annihilation.Today, he points us to Erik Davis’s interview with Garland for Fandango in which the director talks a bit about his forthcoming eight-part series for FX: “This is slightly more in common with projects I’ve worked on like Ex Machina or Never Let Me Go, which are taking something about our world now—not our world in the future, but our world as it is right now—and then drawing sort of inferences and conclusions from it.”

Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s What We Do in the Shadows pilot “has added four more to its cast,” reports Variety’s Joe Otterson. “Doug Jones, Beanie Feldstein, Jake McDorman, and Mark Proksch have all joined the FX half-hour comedy pilot.”

Jennifer Garner will star in Camping, a new HBO comedy from Girls writers and executive producers Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner, reports EW’s James Hibberd, who’s got the official description: “Walt’s forty-fifth birthday was supposed to be a delightful weekend back to nature, at least according to his obsessively organized and aggressively controlling wife Kathryn (Garner). But when the camping trip gathers Kathryn’s meek sister, holier than thou ex-best friend and a free-spirited Tagalong in one place, it becomes a weekend of tested marriages and woman on woman crime that won’t soon be forgotten. Plus, bears.”

Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva reports that Facebook “has given a ten-episode straight-to-series order to a half-hour female-driven dramedy, starring and executive produced by Elizabeth Olsen.” The as-yet-untitled project will be “among the first high-end series ordered by Facebook as the social media juggernaut is making a push in premium original content.” James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now) is “set to executive produce and direct multiple episodes” and “Olsen is believed to be playing a young widow dealing with grief while reconnecting with relationships from her past.”

Also, Phillip Noyce (The Quiet American) will direct a pilot based on Dennis Lehane’s 1998 novel Gone, Baby, Gone—which, yes, Ben Affleck adapted and directed in 2007.

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