In the Works: Dunye, Russo-Young, and More

The Daily — Mar 8, 2018

The first item to be mentioned is Martin Scorsese’s post on Instagram the other day: “That’s a wrap!” Principal photography on The Irishman, starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Anna Paquin, Bobby Cannavale, Harvey Keitel, and Ray Romano, is now complete. Based on Charles Brandt’s 2003 book, “I Heard You Paint Houses”: Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa, the film, whose budget has swelled to anywhere between 125 and 140 million dollars, will be released by Netflix possibly as early as next year.

On a related note, Deadline’s Anita Busch reports that one of The Irishman’s costars, Stephen Graham, has joined Tom Hanks in the World War II drama, Greyhound.

The second above-the-fold-size story today comes from Sean O’Neal at the A.V. Club: “Disney announced this morning that Jon Favreau will write and executive produce a new live-action Star Wars series for the happiest conglomerate in the world’s soon-to-launch streaming service—just one of the several Star Wars TV series that were recently hinted at by Disney CEO Bob Iger only a few weeks ago.”

Cheryl Dunye (The Watermelon Woman, Queen Sugar) will write and direct an adaptation of Jason Mott’s novel The Wonder of All Things, “a supernatural story that follows thirteen-year old Ava, who discovers her healing powers after saving the life of her friend Wash following a plane disaster at an air show.” Anthony D’Alessandro has more at Deadline: “Dunye is also developing a feature version of her short film Black Is Blue.

From the Hollywood Reporter’s Mia Galuppo comes word that the next project for Ry Russo-Young (Before I Fall) will be The Sun Is Also a Star. “Based on the New York Times best-seller from Nicola Yoon, the film centers on Natasha [Yara Shahidi], a girl in New York City whose pragmatism is challenged when she falls in love right before her family is set to be deported back to Jamaica.”

Corneliu Porumboiu has begun shooting Gomera, reports Stefan Dobroiu. “Porumboiu wrote the screenplay, which follows policeman Cristi (Vlad Ivanov), who arrives on La Gomera, one of the Canary Islands, to learn El Silbo, a whistling form of communication. Cristi’s mission is to find information that could potentially lead to the release of a controversial businessman currently imprisoned in a Romanian jail.”

Also at Cineuropa, Fabien Lemercier reports that François Ozon is shooting Alexandre starring Melvil Poupaud, Denis Ménochet, and Swann Arlaud. It’s a portrait of three men, around forty now, who “were childhood friends, nicknamed Alexandre the Catholic, François the adventurer and Gilles the hypersensitive. They will bump into each other, compare life experiences, and call into question their married, family and professional lives.”

And Aurore Engelen reports that Bertrand Blier’s shooting Convoi exceptionnel starring Gérard Depardieu and Christian Clavier—“one of them is in possession of a script, the script of their lives and deaths.”

“A24 has made its first-ever spec script acquisition, picking up a horror screenplay from Kristen Roupenian, the author of the viral New Yorker fiction story ‘Cat Person.’” The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit: “Bodies, Bodies, Bodies is the name of the screenplay, but the logline is being kept six feet under for now. Sources say that, like ‘Cat Person,’ the script shows heightened sensitivity to character development and social dynamics in a subversive way.”

“Claude Lelouch (A Man and a Woman) will shoot a film entirely with his cellphone this summer titled La vertu de l’imponderable, a project born after he was robbed of a bag containing his latest screenplay and fifty years of notes,” reports Variety’s Nick Vivarelli. “The title, which translates roughly as ‘The Virtue of the Imponderable,’ will ‘show that all the bad things that come your way are actually formidable,’ the eighty-year-old Lelouch said.

“Michael Bay looks to have found not one, but his next two films to work on, as sources tell Variety he has lined up 6 Underground and Robopocalypse as his next two projects,” reports Justin Kroll.

Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst is directing John Travolta in Moose, about “a rabid movie fan obsessed with his favorite celebrity action hero, portrayed by Devon Sawa,” reports Variety’s Dave McNary. “As Moose’s obsession grows stronger, his fixation turns from stalking to ambition of destroying the star’s life—a story inspired by a real-life fan who stalked Durst many years ago.”

Also, Tiffany Haddish “will portray a wild woman who gets released from prison and reunites with her sister” in Tyler Perry’s The List. The sister, played by Tika Sumpter, “is in an online relationship with a man that may be ‘catfishing’ her.”

“Netflix has marked World Women’s Day with the pickup of Close, a female-led, adrenaline-charged action-thriller starring Noomi Rapace,” report Stewart Clarke and Elsa Keslassy for Variety. The film’s inspired by the life of bodyguard Jacquie Davis, who “built a formidable career in the male-dominated world of professional bodyguards. . . . Sam (Rapace) takes a job protecting Zoe (Nelisse), a rich young heiress. Neither party is keen on the arrangement, but when a violent kidnap attempt goes wrong, the pair are forced to work together and go on the run. Together they need to unravel who was behind the kidnap and hunt them down.”

Documentarian Uli Gaulke’s Century of Women “will follow a day in the life of four women from four different parts of the world—a Japanese photographer, a Panamanian actress in exile in Austria, a Jewish runner from New York and an Indian environmental activist—who have one thing in common: they are all centenarians.” Bénédicte Prot has more at Cineuropa.


“Kenneth Lonergan has closed a first-look deal with Amazon Studios, the company behind his Oscar-winning Manchester by the Sea,” reports Variety’s Brent Lang. “The pact runs for two years and will cover directing and writing work for film and television.”

“Yann Demange, the director of ’71 and the upcoming Matthew McConaughey movie White Boy Rick, is teaming up with Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams for HBO’s Lovecraft Country.” According to the Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit, “Demange will direct the first episode of the supernatural racial drama and exec produce it as well.”

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