February 9, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Ryan Gosling continues to gather up an impressive cast for his directorial debut, the fantasy thriller “How to Catch a Monster.” The latest to join is Saoirse Ronan, according to Deadline, with Christina Hendricks, Eva Mendes and “Doctor Who” star Matt Smith already on board.
Filming begins in May in Detroit and Hendricks, in the female lead role, will play a single mother who is drawn into a dark underworld as her teenage son discovers a road leading to an underwater city. Smith plays the male lead and Ben Mendelsohn is also on board, though there’s no details on who any of the other actors are playing. Presumably the aforementioned teenage son still needs to be cast.
One of the most prolific and accomplished young actresses working today, Ronan was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Joe Wright’s “Atonement” and recently premiered Neil Jordan’s “Byzantium” at the Toronto Film Festival. She’ll try on her YA adaptation mettle when she stars in “The Host”, based on the novel by “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer. She’s currently in Budapest filming the female lead role in Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” follow-up, “Grand Budapest Hotel.”
November 2, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
After a five year wait between Wes Anderson’s last two live action features, the underrated “The Darjeeling Limited” and this year’s superb “Moonrise Kingdom”, we couldn’t be happier that he seems to be moving much faster on lining up his next adventure. Even more good news today as Variety reports that prolific young Irish actress Saoirse Ronan has been cast in the female lead role in that project, “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
Anderson regulars Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman will unsurprisingly be part of the cast, along with newcomers Jude Law and Ralph Fiennes. The director has not revealed any plot details, but does confirm that the film is set in the early 20th Century in a Hungarian hotel, and is partly influenced by the films of classic directors Billy Wilder and Ernst Lubitsch. Filming begins early next year in Germany.
Ronan, who landed an Oscar nomination at the age of 13 for Joe Wright’s “Atonement”, recently wrapped up filming on young adult novel adaptation “How I Live Now” and will next be seen in the adaptation of “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer’s alien actioner “The Host” opposite Max Irons, as well as Neil Jordan’s vampire drama “Byzantium” opposite Gemma Arterton.
August 10, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Keira Knightley has emerged victorious and is in negotiations to star opposite Chris Pine in Kenneth Branagh’s reboot of the “Jack Ryan” franchise, according to THR. Knightley had been vying for the part of Caroline Muller along with “Lost” actress Evangeline Lilly and Sundance breakout star Felicty Jones, but she had been the frontrunner all along and now it’s just about official.
The character of Jack Ryan first appeared in Clancy’s novel “The Hunt for Red October” and he was portrayed in the film of the same name by Alec Baldwin. The ex-soldier, CIA operative and all-around American superhero has also been played by Harrison Ford (“Clear and Present Danger”, “Patriot Games”) and Ben Affleck (“Sum of All Fears”). Each incarnation features a slightly different version of the prolific action hero, and Pine’s is an ex-Marine who’s working as an analyst in Moscow. There, he “discovers a plot by his employer to finance a terrorist attack designed to collapse the U.S. economy, and must race against time to save America and his wife.” Branagh will also be playing the villain role in addition to directing Pine and Knightley.
Knightley shot to fame as the star of Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, though she has mostly stuck to high profile prestige projects since, and has earned many accolades, including an Oscar nomination, working with Joe Wright in “Atonement” and “Pride and Prejudice.” The duo are teaming up for a third time in the releasing-this-fall “Anna Karenina”, though it appears Knightley is ready to dip her toe back into studio fare.
August 9, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Saorise Ronan is gearing up to play one of the most infamous rulers in history, as Deadline reports she is attached to the titular role in Working Title Films’ “Mary Queen of Scots.” Producers are talking to directors and hope to begin production early next year.
Ronan will be playing a scandal-ridden monarchy that saw Mary Stuart crowned Queen of Scotland at 9 months old, briefly become Queen Consort of France through marraige, two subsequent marriages, murder plots, abdication of her own crown and imprisonment in England and a major rivalry with her cousin Elizabeth over who the rightful queen of England is. Spoiler Alert: She was executed for assassination plots against Elizabeth after an 18 year imprisonment.
Ronan, who’s currently filming teen novel adaptation “How I Live Now”, broke out at age 13 in Joe Wright’s “Atonement”, for which she was nominated for an Oscar, and has impressed critics and audiences alike ever since. Most recently seen in another Wright film, “Hanna”, her upcoming features include alien ationer “The Host” and Neil Jordan’s Toronto-bound vampire drama “Byzantium.”
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.”
March 14, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
After two Oscar nominations and a string of small independent films, is Keira Knightley looking to go mainstream? All signs point to yes as Twitch Film reports the British actress is in early talks to star in “Safe Haven”, the newest film adaptation of a novel by weepy romance novelist Nicholas Sparks.
If her deal closes, Knightley would play Katie, a mysterious young woman who shows up in a small coastal town in North Carolina harboring dark secrets about her past. Though she tries to avoid it, she falls for handsome widower Alex, with two young children in tow, and forms a friendship with her next door neighbor Jo. Her past catches up to her and we can only assume that at least one person will end up dead and everyone else depressed in the end. Sparks isn’t exactly breaking any ground, here. In more good news, the film will be directed by Lasse Hallstrom, who brought us the previous Sparks masterpiece, “Dear John”, and the so bad it might as well be a Sparks property “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.” Shooting is set to begin in May, so Knightley or whoever else will be cast soon.
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 “Atonement” and “Pride & Prejudice” director Joe Wright, “Anna Karenina”, in which she plays the title role. She was seen as Sabine in David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method” late last year.
February 10, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
After being linked to and turning down both other current Snow White movies (in the end “Mirror Mirror” went to Lily Collins and “Snow White and the Huntsman” to Kristen Stewart), Saoirse Ronan has chosen to play a sort of version of that fairy tale princess after all. Variety reports Ronan is in final negotiations for Disney’s self-described “warrior pic” “The Order of the Seven”, which originated as a version of the Snow White tale, going under the titles “Snow White and the Seven Samuri” and then “Snow and the Seven” before settling on its current fairy tale-less title.
Ronan will play Olivia, a young Brit living in Hong Kong in the 19th century who seeks protection from an international order of warriors (seven of them). When an evil empress threatens them, she helps the warriors defend their destiny and reclaim their noble roots. Sure, Disney is claiming the film no longer has anything to do with the fairy tale, and who can blame them, but… come on. It still sounds an awful lot like the revisionist Snow White tale that existed a year ago, minus an evil stepmother and magic mirror or two. The studio is also looking for an international audience by seeking to cast local Chinese, Japanese and Russian actors to play the parts of the warriors. Filming under the direction of Michael Gracey – making his feature directorial debut – will begin this fall.
Ronan, Oscar nominee for “Atonement” and one of the most talented and promising young actresses working today, just wrapped up vampire flick “Byzantium” opposite Gemma Arterton and is gearing up to shoot “The Host” for director Andrew Niccol, based on the novel by “Twilight” author Stephanie Meyer. She is also attached to sci-fi actioner “How I Live Now”, about a teenage girl trying to survive WWIII in the British countryside. Ronan was most recently seen as teenage assasin “Hanna” and next lends her voice to “The Secret World of Arriety.”
December 13, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Saoirse Ronan, at the tender age of seventeen, is becoming quite an expert at surviving life-threatening situations. She’ll add even more experience to her resume as Variety reports the accomplished young actress is now set to topline “How I Live Now”, a teen drama set amidst war-torn England, based on the 2004 novel by Meg Rosoff and directed by Kevin MacDonald.
Rosoff’s novel sees Ronan’s Daisy as a teenager in a slightly futuristic New York City who is sent to live with her aunt and cousins in the English countryside. In a perhaps controversial plot point, Daisy falls in love with her cousin Edmond. But hey, what’s a little potential incest in the face of total destruction? That fateful summer, England is invaded by an unnamed enemy, and the cousins are split up, with Daisy forced to flee with her younger cousin Piper. Variety’s report indicates the film will perhaps take some giant liberties with the source material, by setting it not in the future but in the past: during the onset of World War II.
Ronan is no stranger to playing young women struggling for survival, having starred in WWII-set “Atonement”, afterlife drama “The Lovely Bones”, sci-fi assassin thriller “Hanna” and, of course, Andrew Niccol’s upcoming alien invasion actioner “The Host”, based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer. She is currently filming vampire flick “Byzantium” opposite Gemma Arterton.
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.
May 3, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Big casting news is flooding in with Cannes around the corner, and today Deadline unveils a doozie: Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan has been set to star in “The Host”, the big screen adaptation of the novel by Stephenie Meyer, author of the (to put it lightly) massively popular “Twilight” series.
The adaptation has long been in development, with a script by Andrew Niccol, who was at one time attached to direct but opted out to direct “Now” with Amanda Seyfried and Justin Timberlake instead. Now that film is finished, Niccol could return to the director’s chair on “The Host” once again. The story centers around a post-apocalyptic world in which aliens called Souls have body-snatched and are occupying the majority of the human population. Ronan plays Melanie Stryder (who appears to have been aged down significantly from the character in her mid-20s in the book), whose body is taken over by a Soul named Wanderer. However, Melanie’s strong will to survive have the two consciousnesses fighting for domination and eventually becoming allies as they set out to find Jared, the man Melanie loves, and their small colony of human resistance.
Ronan is something of a hot commodity in Hollywood at the moment, thanks in no small part to her ass-kicking turn as a teenage assassin in March’s “Hanna”. She was sought by Gary Ross for “The Hunger Games” and Tarsem Singh for “Snow White” but appears to have passed over both for “The Host”. She will likely reteam with frequent collaborator Joe Wright (“Atonement” and “Hanna”) on “Anna Karenina”, filming this fall, and hasn’t ruled out another reunion with “The Lovely Bones” director Peter Jackson on “The Hobbit”, which is already filming but casting is still underway.
Meyer and the producers will be in Cannes to sell the film.