June 4, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
British actress Keira Knightley is in talks to join Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Imitation Game”, the biopic of tortured mathematical genius Alan Turing, according to Variety. Benedict was cast back in February, taking over the lead role that had once been earmarked for Leonardo Dicaprio.
Norwegian director Morten Tyldum is helming the film about British mathematician Turing, who helped the Allies defeat the Germans by cracking the enemy’s “Enigma Code” during WWII, but a decade later was prosecuted by his own government for being a homosexual. Rather than take a prison sentence, he chose chemical castration, an act that would lead him into the pits of depression and ultimately suicide. There are no details about Knightley’s role, though Variety suggests it’s another prestige project for the Oscar-nominated actress.
Knightley has one of the most diverse portfolios among young actresses her age, having shot to fame thanks to “Pirates of the Caribbean” but quickly proving her acting chops in films like “Atonement”, “Pride and Prejudice” and last year’s “Anna Karenina”, all of which had Joe Wright in the director’s chair. She’s also worked with David Cronenberg on “A Dangerous Method” and recently wrapped up Kenneth Branagh’s action franchise launcher “Jack Ryan” opposite Chris Pine. She’s also wrapped filming on musical drama “Can a Song Save Your Life?” opposite Mark Ruffalo and recently replaced Anne Hathaway in Lynn Shelton’s indie comedy “Laggies.”
May 17, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Sorry “Avengers” fans, a Hulk/Blak Widow reunion will have to wait. Keira Knightley has replaced Scarlett Johansson in “Can a Song Save Your Life?”, according to Screen Daily, and will be joining Mark Ruffalo and Hailee Steinfeld in the music-centric relationship drama.
Knightley will play a young aspiring singer who moves to New York with big dreams but inevitably ends up down her luck after being dumped by her boyfriend. Ruffalo is a down-on-his-luck music producer who discovers her singing in a bar and the two begin to aid each other in turning their lives around. Steinfeld will play Ruffalo’s daughter. John Carney, who directed the Oscar-winning “Once”, will be behind the camera.
Knightley recently wrapped up playing the titular Russian literary icon “Anna Karenina”, her third collaboration with director Joe Wright, who directed her to Oscar nominations for both “Atonement” and “Pride and Prejudice” previously. She will next be seen stretching her comedic muscles a bit opposite Steve Carell in this summer’s apocalyptic comedy “Seeking a Friend at the End of the World.”
February 10, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Are you getting a little sick of Michael Fassbender? Yeah, us either. We say, bring on more Fassy and thank goodness Hollywood agrees, with the star’s stock continuing to rise and every filmmaker and studio wooing him for any role he may be slightly suited for. The latest is his “Prometheus” director Ridley Scott, who has just committed to directing acclaimed novelist Cormac McCarthy’s first script, “The Counselor.” Fassbender and Scott have just completed filming “Prometheus”, but Scott is already keen on working together again right away, as Deadline reports he’s now talking to his latest leading man about taking the title role in his new film, which already has a planned start date of May 1.
“The Counselor” has been described as “‘No Country For Old Men’ on steroids” and Scott is talking to various other high profile actors about taking on roles as well. Fassbender, if he accepts – and Deadline believes he will, would play a lawyer who decides to dip his toe into the drug business without getting in too deep. Of course, that doesn’t turn out so well for him.
One of the biggest no-brainer additions to our Breakout Stars of 2011 list, Fassbender captured audiences’ attentions in a huge way in 2011 with starring roles in “Jane Eyre”, “X-Men: First Class”, “A Dangerous Method” and “Shame.” He was also seen last month in Steven Soderbergh’s “Haywire” and “Prometheus” is out in June. Despite being sought for project after project, his only upcoming commitment thus far is to a third collaboration with “Hunger” / “Shame” director Steve McQueen on “12 Years a Slave”, which should leave him with an opening for “The Counselor.”
November 30, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
We’ve said it before, but it really has become the least shocking news in the world to hear of yet another movie seeking the rapidly rising star power and acting prowess of German import Michael Fassbender. Today Variety reports this time it’s Darren Aronofsky who’s after the much in demand actor, courting him for his biblical epic “Noah”, which recently lost its star in Christian Bale, who had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with his commitment to filming Terrence Malick’s next two films back to back.
Fassbender does not have an official offer yet, but has been meeting with the director about the project and is looking to fill a recently opened up free period in his upcoming schedule. He had been intending to do Rupert Wyatt’s “Londongrad”, but Wyatt has walked and that production has stalled. Aronofsky and Ari Handel wrote the “Noah” script, which presumably will follow the biblical fable about a man asked by god to build an ark and fill it with two of every animal in the face of an impending apocalyptic flood. The $130 million blockbuster is tentatively scheduled for a spring 2012 shoot.
For now, Fassbender is having a bit of a moment and basking in awards season glow, where he is awash in raves for his brilliant performances in Steve McQueen’s “Shame” and David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method”, to speak nothing of “Jane Eyre” and even “X-Men: First Class.” He recently wrapped up Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” and has committed to just one other upcoming project, a third reunion with “Hunger” / “Shame” director McQueen for “12 Years a Slave.”
November 7, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Sorry, Dakota Fanning, you’re not the only Effie Gray in town anymore. While Fanning and castmates Tom Sturridge, Emma Thompson and Greg Wise are already deep into filming on “Effie”, which Thompson also wrote, it appears the world simply needs more Effie. Thompson on Hollywood reports Keira Knightley is in negotiations to play the famed “artists’ muse” in a second biopic of Gray, to be directed by Brazilian director Andrucha Waddington.
Unlike other cases in which similarly themed projects take vastly different approaches, or in the case of biopics, focus on different periods in the life of its subject, “Untouched” will apparently tread very similar territory to “Effie”, as it too will revolve around Gray’s unconsummated marriage to older novelist John Ruskin and subsequent running away with his young protege, the painter John Everett Millais. While Knightley is a gifted actress, and especially apt at historical dramas, we can’t help but feel she is a bit older than the role calls for. Fanning is the exact age as Gray was when she married Ruskin, while Knightley is nearly ten years older. Casting is currently taking place for the other key characters in “Untoched.”
The ever busy, twice Oscar nominated Knightley recently wrapped up comedy “Seeking a Friend at the End of the World” opposite Steve Carell and is now in production on her third team-up with Joe Wright, “Anna Karenina”, in which she plays the title role (now there’s a historical drama that suits her!). She can currently be seen as Sabine in David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method” and reportedly has an offer for an unspecified role in “Akira” opposite Garrett Hedlund.
November 4, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Some of our favorite up and comers will be competing against one another for a pair of roles in Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman’s directorial debut and passion project, “Winter’s Tale”, from the novel by Mark Helprin, not the Shakespearean classic. The love story will require “chemistry reads” between various combinations of young actors and THR reports among them are Tom Hiddleston, Benjamin Walker, Elizabeth Olsen, Bella Heathcote, Gabriella Wilde and Sarah Gadon. The actors will be reading with one another over this weekend at Warner Bros, the studio behind the project.
Helprin’s 1983 novel takes place in a New York City that is markedly different from the island as we know it. It takes place in the 19th Century and follows a man named Peter Lake. A bad childhood forced him to join a gang and become a thief, only to end up estranged from the group and making a mortal enemy of its leader, Pearly Soames. On a house robbery, Peter meets and falls for the terminally ill Beverly Penn. She becomes the catalyst and the force of change in his life. Russell Crowe is said to be loosely attached to the role of Soames, and another major character is a mythical flying white horse, Athansor, who acts as Peter’s guardian.
Wilde can be see in the new “Three Musketeers” opposite Logan Lerman, while Olsen is gaining raves and Oscar talk for her role in Sundance hit “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” Walker will be seen next summer in the title role in “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” and Hiddlston recently wrapped up reprising his role as “Thor”‘s villainous Loki in “The Avengers.” Heathcote is an Aussie import soon to be seen opposite Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows” while Gadon is a David Cronenberg favorite, starring in both “A Dangerous Method” and “Cosmopolis.”
“Winter’s Tale” is aiming for an early 2012 shoot but still needs another major financial backer.
November 4, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Can it still rightfully be called “news” that Michael Fassbender is being sought after for some film or another? I just assume until shown otherwise that he’s being courted for every film in development. Nevertheless, here’s something on the more high profile end of the spectrum. Deadline reports “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” director Rupert Wyatt is in negotiations to direct for Warner Bros “Londongrad”, the true life story of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, who was poised in 2006 with polonium-210, and Fassbender is being courted for the role.
An outspoken whistleblower when he served in the Soviet KGB and its Russian successor, the Federal Security Service, Litvienenko and his family fled and were given asylum in London in 2000 after several attempts to arrest and persecute his many acts of defiance against his employers. Litvienenko suddenly fell ill and was hospitalized in November 2006 and would be dead within the month, but not before he went public with accusations that then-Russian President Vladimir Putin was the one behind his poisoning. The mystery of what really happened to him remains a mystery, and this seems like a great fit for Fassbender.
The Irish-German actor has been winning rave after rave for his performance in Steve McQueen’s “Shame” as a thirty-something sex addict whose carefully compartmentalized life begins to spiral out of control when his mess of a younger sister (Carey Mulligan) moves into his apartment. It’s only one of two festival-circuit films that have people talking, as he is also said to be fantastic in David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method”, in which he plays Carl Jung opposite Viggo Mortensen’s Sigmund Freud. A terrific end to a year that also saw a strong turn as Mr. Rochester in Cary Fukunaga’s new adaptation of “Jane Eyre” opposite Mia Wasikowska and as iconic comic book villain Magneto in this summer’s “X-Men: First Class.” He’s currently wrapping up Ridley Scott’s semi-”Alien”-prequel “Prometheus.” and has signed on to reunite with McQueen for a third time on “12 Years a Slave.”
November 3, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Canadian actress Sarah Gadon is keeping it in the Cronenberg family. After starring in two consecutive films for David Cronenberg, she has now signed on to son-of-David Brandon Cronenberg’s directorial debut, “Antiviral.” According to THR, she joins star Caleb Landry Jones, as well as Malcolm McDowell, Douglas Smith, Matt Watts and James Cade.
Jones will star as a salesman who works for a clinic that has mastered the art of replicating celebrity diseases and sells them for public consumption. Jones’ character becomes obsessed with one celebrity in particular and injects himself with her disease, only to have to race to find a cure before it kills him. We were confused by this unusual plot when reporting on Jones’ casting yesterday, but perhaps it’s a simple commentary on the sad state of our celebrity-obsessed culture. People spend tons of money to dress and live like their favorite celebs, guess it’s not that much of a stretch for uber-fans to want to experience their sicknesses as well. Ick. But we digress.
After toiling on Canadian TV shows for years, Cronenberg (Sr) gave Gadon her big break into feature films by casting her in both Michael Fassbender-Viggo Mortensen historical drama “A Dangerous Method” and as wife to Robert Pattinson in the upcoming “Cosmopolis.” She’s currently filming miniseries “World Without End”, sequel to the massively popular “The Pillars of the Earth.”