A couple of weeks ago, the staff at Little White Lies drew up an annotated list of a hundred movies they’re looking forward to seeing once movie theaters open back up again. Some of these films are still in production, others have premiered this year at Sundance or Berlin, and still others will soon be heading to Venice, Toronto, or New York. And then there’s a batch of highly anticipated films such as Sofia Coppola’s On the Rocks with Bill Murray, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria with Tilda Swinton, or Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch with Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton that by all accounts are ready to roll but whose future remains uncertain as long as there are no audiences to roll them out to.
- Gina Prince-Bythewood, whose The Old Guard has become one of the most popular Netflix original movies ever, is setting up The Woman King, a feature loosely based on actual events that took place in the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the eighteenth century. Viola Davis will play the leader of an all-female military unit battling French colonialists and other enemies of the Dahomey Ahosi tribe.
- Pedro Almodóvar plans to begin shooting Madres paralelas, the story of two mothers in Madrid who give birth on the same day, in February. Penélope Cruz isn’t a lock yet, but Almodóvar says she likes the screenplay. Madres paralelas will knock Almodóvar’s previously planned first feature in English, A Manual for Cleaning Women, based on a collection of short stories by Lucia Berlin, a little further down the calendar.
- Bradley Cooper, who has been preparing to direct a film for Netflix about the marriage of Leonard Bernstein and Felicia Montealegre, may be joining the cast of Paul Thomas Anderson’s as-yet-untitled story centered on a child actor attending high school in the San Fernando Valley.
- Cinematographer-turned-director Ellen Kuras will direct Kate Winslet in Lee, an adaptation of Antony Penrose’s 1988 book about his mother, The Lives of Lee Miller. A former model, Miller took up photojournalism and covered the Second World War for Vogue.
- Little is known about the story told in The Hand of God, the Netflix feature that Paolo Sorrentino will shoot in Naples, but he says that it “represents for the first time in my career an intimate and personal film, a novel of formation at once light-hearted and painful.”
- Netflix has won a bidding war for Leave the World Behind, an adaptation of the forthcoming novel by Rumaan Alam about a white family and a Black couple sharing a house in the wake of a global cataclysmic event. Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot) will direct Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington.
- Niki Caro, who directed Mulan, the live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1998 animated feature, two years ago only to see it skip a theatrical release in the States this year—it will premiere on Disney+ on September 4—has lined up Beautiful Ruins, an adaptation of Jess Walter’s 2012 best-selling novel set in Italy in the 1960s and Hollywood in the 2010s.
- Luca Guadagnino will direct Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s adaptation of Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (2017), which in turn was based on Scotty Bowers’s 2012 memoir, Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars.
- One more Hollywood tale. Edgar Wright is developing Stage 13, based on the short story by Simon Rich about a struggling director who befriends the ghost of a silent-era actress.