First up, that's Robert Pattinson in the image up there, the first, released just today, from Claire Denis’s High Life.
Secondly, Ioncinema’s countdown of the most anticipated American independent films of 2019—again, twenty-nineteen—continues with notes on Shane Carruth’s The Modern Ocean, Kirsten Dunst’s The Bell Jar, Dee Rees’s An Uncivil War, Josh and Benny Safdie’s Uncut Gems, and Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell.
Now then. Ira Sachs will direct Isabelle Huppert, Marisa Tomei, Greg Kinnear, Jérémie Renier, and André Wilms in A Family Vacation, reports Deadline’s Nancy Tartaglione. “The family drama, written by Sachs and his longtime co-writer Mauricio Zacharias (Love Is Strange, Little Men), is about three generations grappling with a life-changing experience during one day of a vacation in Sintra, Portugal, a historic town known for its dense gardens and fairy-tale villas and palaces.”
Ildikó Enyedi, whose On Body and Soul won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale last year and is one of five nominees for the foreign language Oscar, will direct Léa Seydoux and Anders Baasmo Christiansen in her first film in English. Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa: “An adaptation of the novel of the same name written in 1942 by Hungarian author Milán Füst, The Story of My Wife introduces us to Jacob Störr, a hard-working Dutch sea captain. One day, he makes a bet in a café to marry the first woman who enters the place—and who should stroll in but Lizzy. Later, Störr's investigation to find out whether his wife is cheating on him or not brings him to the limits of life and death.”
Kengo Kora, Sosuke Ikematsu, Chizuru Ikewaki, Yuki Yamada, Yoko Moriguchi, and Akira Emoto are lined up for roles in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters, reports Mark Schilling for Variety. “The story is about a family of small-time criminals who take in a child they find on the street. Lily Franky, star of Kore-eda’s Like Father, Like Son, was previously announced in the role of the husband. Sakura Ando plays the wife.”
Dev Patel will star in Armando Iannucci’s “new retelling” of Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield, reports Variety’s Justin Kroll. “The project will offer a modern take on Dickens’s title character as he navigates a chaotic world to find his elusive place within it.”
“James Norton, star of War and Peace and McMafia, and Vanessa Kirby, who portrayed Princess Margaret in the first two seasons of The Crown, will play intrepid journalists in Agnieszka Holland’s politically charged new film Gareth Jones,” reports Stewart Clarke for Variety. Jones (Norton) is “an ambitious Welsh journalist who travels to Moscow to attempt to interview dictator Joseph Stalin.” There, he “meets New York Times reporter Ada Brooks, played by Kirby.” Later, “he meets a young George Orwell and shares his findings, in turn influencing the author’s classic novel Animal Farm.”
Wim Wenders’s documentary Pope Francis – A Man of His Word now has a release date: May 18. Deadline’s Nancy Tartaglione notes that it’s “a rare co-production with the Vatican, featuring exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and the pope addressing his audience directly, answering questions on life, death, social justice, immigration, ecology, wealth inequality, materialism and the role of the family.”
Tom Harper (Peaky Blinders) will direct Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones in The Aeronauts, reports Screen’s Jeremy Kay. The stars of The Theory of Everything will reunite to play “a headstrong scientist and a wealthy widow who plan an expedition to fly higher in an air balloon than anyone has gone before.”
From Screen’s Tom Grater comes word that Diane Kruger has joined Julianne Moore in Bart Freundlich’s remake of Susanne Bier’s After the Wedding (2006).
“Tessa Thompson has signed on to portray Doris Payne, a woman who gained notoriety for her luxury jewelry heists from stores around the world,” reports Variety’s Dave McNary. “Thompson, whose credits include Thor: Ragnarok, Creed, and Westworld, will also produce the currently untitled film.”
Paul King, “the director of the whimsical and acclaimed Paddington movies,” is “in final negotiations to direct Willy Wonka, a reimagining of Roald Dahl's classic children's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which is being developed by Warner Bros.” Borys Kit has the story in the Hollywood Reporter.
Martin Sheen, Haley Joel Osment, Pablo Schreiber, and Katie Aselton have joined Edward James Olmos, David Strathairn, Alfred Molina, and Kate Bosworth in Olmos’s The Devil Has a Name, reports Carole Horst for Variety. “The film centers on an oil baron who gets into a destructive standoff with a farmer after the water on his farm was poisoned by her company.”
Stephen Chbosky (Wonder) will direct Seuss, based on the life of Theodor Geisel, reports Deadline’s Anita Busch. The story tracks Geisel “in the 1920s as he struggles to find his voice as a writer before meeting his muse and future wife in Helen Palmer, who propels him into becoming Dr. Seuss. Thirty years later, a sudden illness cripples Helen and Geisel’s career falters, until she ultimately inspires him to fulfill his destiny and create the iconic children’s book The Cat in the Hat.”
Paul Inglis “will serve as supervising art director for Star Wars: Episode IX.” Aaron Couch for the Hollywood Reporter: “Inglis has plenty of experience with world building, with credits including the first season of HBO's Game of Thrones, Ridley Scott's Prometheus and last year's Blade Runner 2049. This will be his first Star Wars film.”
“After years of chatter and rumor, the Soska sisters—filmmakers Jen and Sylvia Soska, known as the ‘Twisted Twins’ in horror circles—are finally on deck to make their long-gestating remake of David Cronenberg’s 1977 body horror classic Rabid,” reports IndieWire’s Kate Erbland. “The remake was first announced back in 2016, but the film is now finally a go, bolstered by Shout! Studios, which has picked up all U.S. rights to the film.”
“TBS has given a pilot order to a comedy from multi-hyphenate Lena Waithe [The Chi] about three female friends,” reports Cynthia Littleton for Variety. “Twenties revolves around ‘a queer black girl’ named Hattie and her two straight best friends.”
“Robert Rodriguez has mounted an original first-person POV virtual reality action series called The Limit in which Michelle Rodriguez will star,” reports Deadline’s Anita Busch. “The Limit will premiere on STX’s previously announced pay-per-experience VR channel Surreal which launches an app on VR headsets in mid-2018.” Michelle Rodriguez will play “a genetically enhanced weapon of mass destruction hellbent on destroying the covert agency that created her.”
And finally for now, the late George A. Romero “has one final story of the undead to share, and author Daniel Kraus has signed on to finish the incomplete novel that the zombie master was working on before his passing,” reports EW’s Anthony Breznican. “The Living Dead is the title of the book, and it will be released by Tor in Fall 2019.”
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