January 30, 2013 | Posted by Rebecca Lewis
Zac Efron is one Disney star making inroads as he attempts to move away from his “High School Musical” image. The rising star is set to headline Akiva Goldsman’s “The Falling“, a mystery supernatural project, the logline of which is reportedly being kept firmly under wraps.
THR are calling the film “an edgy thriller centering around an otherworldly being” – no word on if Efron will play the otherwordly being – but Warner Bros apparently took the idea for the film directly to Goldsman and Efron, who will produce the pic under Ninjas Runnin’ Wild Productions, the company Efron set up under Warner Bros. The title is a working title and everyone involved is now looking to find a screenwriter and move the proect on the next level.
Efron, who broke out in Disney’s “High School Musical” has been attempting to become a more credible leading man after several average box office hits including “17 Again”. He took the controversial film “The Paperboy” to Cannes Film Festival last year, and late in 2012 joined the cast of “Parkland“, Peter Landesman‘s feature directorial debut which chronicles the lead-up to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination and its aftermath. Currently filming “Are We Officially Dating?” with Sundance breakouts Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller, Efron is also hoping to really shed his Disney image with his first villian role, as he looks set to play opposite Harrison Ford in “You Belong With Me“.
March 21, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Now that the project is officially a go at Warner Bros, Akiva Goldsman is moving fast on his passion project, a big budget adaptation of Mark Helprin’s 1983 fantasy novel “Winter’s Tale”, and today Deadline reports he has cast his leading lady. “Downton Abbey” star Jessica Brown Findlay beat out the likes of Bella Heathcote and Lily Collins to land the role of Beverly Penn, while the lead role of young thief Peter Lake currently has two front-runners, Aaron Johnson and Garrett Hedlund. Last we heard, Tom Hiddleston and Benjamin Walker were testing for the role, but it appears Goldsman has skewed a bit younger.
UPDATED: Variety reports it is Hiddleston and Luke Evans who have the “inside track” on the Peter Lake role, while Hedlund and Johnson aren’t mentioned at all.
The film 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 Peter, who became a thief out of necessity following a bad childhood, 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. Another major character is a mythical flying white horse, Athansor, who acts as Peter’s guardian. Russell Crowe has committed to playing the role of Soames, along with Will Smith, who will cameo as a judge. Oscar winning screenwriter Goldsman will make his directorial debut on the project, which has a start date of October 15th in New York.
Findlay is most known to American audiences for her series regular role as Lady Sybil on hit PBS/BBC production “Downtown Abbey”, which follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants early in the reign of King George V. She has also appeared on teen favorite “Misfits” and can be seen in a starring role in British indie drama “Albatross” opposite Felicity Jones.
February 28, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Many upcoming films that were casting young stars a few months ago have been put on hold, but apparently not Akiva Goldsman’s passion project. According to THR, “A Winter’s Tale”, a time-shifting sci-fi romantic epic will be testing actors in New York next week and actresses on March 12. Back in November, we heard that up for the male lead were Benjamin Walker and Tom Hiddleston, and for the female lead starlets lining up included Elizabeth Olsen, Bella Heathcote, Gabriella Wilde and Sarah Gadon. Now, THR’s new report indicates Heathcote, Hiddleston and Walker are still set to test, and Lily Collins and “Downton Abbey” star Jessica Brown-Findlay will test for the female lead as well. It’s unclear if the previously shortlisted ladies are still in the running.
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.