October 15, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
We knew all along that Amma Asante’s true life historical drama “Belle” is about a young woman who was born to an African slave mother and British Naval officer father, and who was raised as an aristocratic lady in 18th century England, but with the first trailer released from the film today, it’s clear her life wasn’t as easy as just that.
A ton of info and exposition is packed into this first trailer for the TIFF 2013 premiere. British actress plays Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays the titular Dido Elizabeth Belle who, as a little girl, is placed into the care of her aunt and uncle by her father (Matthew Goode, briefly), who had to go off to war. Her new surrogate parents (Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson) aren’t keen on treating her as the equal of their daughter, Belle’s cousin (who grows up to be played by Sarah Gadon), but as the two girls play together and grow as close as sisters, their adherence to proper British society rules melts.
Still, it’s a lonely position for the young woman, at one point expressing her frustration on being of too low a station to sit with her family at dinner yet too high to sit with the servants, leaving her alone in a room by herself. Her love life is also complicated, with some potential suitors’ families deeming her not worthy of their sons, yet her true love (Sam Reid) is deemed not worthy of her. It’s got the makings of a great historical melodrama about social justice, and the cinematography is looking quite beautiful too.
“Bell” was snatched up by Fox Searchlight and will be released on May 2nd, 2014. See the first trailer below.
July 26, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
“Les Miserables”‘ Eponine Samantha Barks leads a trio of actors joining Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper and Sarah Gadon in the new adaptation of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, according to THR. Icelandic actor Thor Kristjansson and “Game of Thrones” child star Art Parkinson have also hopped aboard the Gary Shore-directed tale.
The long-gestating project formerly titled “Dracula: Year Zero” sees Evans as a young Prince Vlad who offers up his soul to a bloodthirsty sultan in exchange for the lives of his wife (Gadon) and child, and thus becomes the world’s first vampire. Barks is set to play a baba yaga, an Eastern European folklore figure who is a vicious witch disguised as a beautiful young woman. Parkinson plays Dracula’s son and Kristjansson will play a member of the Ottoman army. Filming is set to begin in August in Belfast and a release date of August 8, 2014 has already been set.
“Dracula” marks only the second film Barks has committed to since breaking out as Eponine in Tom Hooper’s Oscar-nominated adaptation of musical phenomenon “Les Miserables.” She contemplated starring in another musical, “Walking on Sunshine”, but ultimately passed, not wanting to be typecast, and joined a British period piece called “The Christmas Candle” instead.
July 23, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
We’ve already seen a couple of images from British period drama “Belle”, but with this morning’s announcement that the film will be premiering at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival also came several new images featuring Gugu Mbatha-Raw in the titular role.
Mbatha-Raw, one of BAFTA’S Brits to Watch last year year, plays Dido Elizabeth Belle, who was born to an African slave mother and British Naval officer father, and who was raised as an aristocratic lady in 18th century England. Canadian actress Sarah Gadon plays Belle’s cousin, and Sam Reid the handsome lawyer/love interest. The backdrop of the story involves a legal case concerning the end of slavery in England. As has been pointed out, the Amma Asante film marks one of very few historical stories featuring a black heroine who does not play a slave.
“Belle” screens as a Special Presentation at TIFF, and the new images can be viewed below.
June 21, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
And now, a new twist on the drama. Merely one day after word broke that Shailene Woodley’s scenes had been cut from “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ and the character of Mary Jane Watson would not appear until “The Amazing Spider-Man 3″ in 2016, Movie Web reports that not only will the role be recast, it may already be a done deal. Canadian actress Sarah Gadon is who their source indicates has taken over the role of Peter Parker’s most iconic love interest, and Gadon herself has added fuel to the fire by confirming to ET Canada that she has indeed joined the franchise – without specifying who she’ll be playing.
Meanwhile, reliable sources like The Wrap’s Jeff Sneider are still insisting Gadon is not Mary Jane, and Mary Jane indeed will not appear until part 3. It’s certainly possible Gadon has indeed joined the franchise in some other role, at the most awkward time possible, causing Movieweb’s sources to get their wires crossed or jump to conclusions. After all, Marc Webb (if he returns) and the studio have at least two years to find the right MJ for Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker. On the flip side, if they did rush to cast her as MJ, it might stand to reason that MJ not being in TASM2 is a lie and Gadon will reshoot all of Woodley’s scenes.
Time will tell on all of this shady business, but for now, it’s quite a big coup for Gadon to land a role (whichever role it may be) in such a major superhero franchise. The Canadian actress was essentially discovered and put on the map thanks to David Cronenberg, who has now cast her in three of his films, “A Dangerous Method”, “Cosmopolis” and the upcoming “Maps to the Stars.” She’s also worked with his son Brandon on his feature directorial debut “Antiviral”, and has not stopped ascending the Hollywood ladder since. She was cast as the female lead opposite Luke Evans in “Dracula” and has wrapped on indies “Belle” and “An Enemy” with Jake Gyllenhaal.
May 8, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
British actor Dominic Cooper is in talks to join Luke Evans and Sarah Gadon in origin tale “Dracula”, according to Variety.
Gary Shore is making his directorial debut on the long-gestating project formerly titled “Dracula: Year Zero”, which sees Evans as a young Prince Vlad who offers up his soul to a bloodthirsty sultan in exchange for the lives of his wife (Gadon) and child, and thus becomes the world’s first vampire. There’s no word on who Cooper will play, but with the isolated nature of a character such as Dracula, an adversary of some sort is probably the most logical conclusion. Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless wrote the latest draft of the script and filming will begin soon with a tentpole-friendly August 8th, 2014 release date already set.
This will not be Cooper’s first brush with vampires, as he played one in “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” opposite Benjamin Walker’s axe-wielding 16th President. He was last seen in revenge thriller “Dead Man Down” and the Oscar-nominated “My Week with Marilyn” as well as “Captain America: The First Avenger”, and has recently wrapped shooting on another 2014 potential blockbuster, video game adaptation “Need for Speed” opposite Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots.
May 8, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
David Cronenberg continues to build an impressive cast for his next feature, and today has added Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams and “The Killing” kid actor Evan Bird to “Map to the Stars.” The trio join previous cast members Julianne Moore, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson and Sarah Gadon for the LA-set drama.
Bruce Wagner wrote the script on the long-gestating project, which involves Hollywood characters like actors, agents and managers, with both Cronenberg and Pattinson using words like weird and absurd to describe the tone of the piece. Deadline also gives us our first hint of the characters that will populate this world, with Bird as a troubled child star, Williams as his mother and Wasikowska in apparently a very juicy role as his “disfigured, schizophrenic, fame-obsessed sister.” “Map” will be Canadian director Cronenberg’s first time shooting in the US, Los Angeles, specifically. Filming will begin in July.
After breaking out in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”, Aussie Wasikowska has stuck solely to small, interesting films like this one, earning raves for her portrayal of “Jane Eyre” and most recently in Park Chan-wook’s “Stoker.” She has wrapped filming on a few more intriguing projects, including Jim Jarmusch’s Cannes-bound “Only Lovers Left Alive” opposite Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston, Australian outback set survival tale “Tracks” and Dostoyevsky adaptation “The Double” with Jesse Eisenberg.
May 2, 2013 | Posted by Rebecca Lewis
As “Dracula” gears up for production after years in development, Universal is building a strong cast of rising stars to lead the origin tale. Luke Evans signed on earlier last month as the titular character, and now Sarah Gadon is in talks to star as the main female character.
Variety reports that the Gary Shore-directed film, from a revised script by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, will be “a mix of mythology and history”, following a young Prince Vlad, (who was the inspiration for Stoker’s Dracula) who offers his soul up to a bloodthirsty sultan when his wife and child are threatened, becoming the world’s first vampire.
Gadon is a favourite of the Cronenberg’s, starring in David Cronenberg’s “Cosmopolis” last year with Robert Pattinson, as well as taking the lead in Brandon Cronenberg‘s body-horror pic “Antiviral” – both of which premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. The Canadian actress has a busy year ahead of her as she will next be seen in psychological thriller “An Enemy“, is expected to premiere BAFTA winning director Amma Asante’s true life historical drama, “Belle”, and will reunite with Pattinson and the elder Cronenberg on “Map to the Stars“.
November 2, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
THR and Britain’s The Daily Mail have the first two production stills from BAFTA winning director Amma Asante’s true life historical drama, “Belle”, starring Gugu Mbtha-Raw in the titular role and Sarah Gadon, Sam Reid, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Penelope Wilton, Tom Felton, Matthew Goode, James Norton and Emily Watson in supporting roles.
Mbatha-Raw, one of BAFTA’S Brits to Watch of the year, plays Dido Elizabeth Belle, who was born to an African slave mother and British Naval officer father, and who was raised as an aristocratic lady in 18th century England. Gadon plays Belle’s cousin, and Reid the handsome lawyer/love interest. The backdrop of the story involves a legal case concerning the end of slavery in England. As The Daily Mail points out, “Belle” marks one of very few historical stories featuring a black heroine who does not play a slave, and the film will wrap up shooting on November 9th.
The first two photos from “Belle”, which does not yet have a release date but is expected to bow in the UK first, can be viewed below.
September 10, 2012 | Posted by Rebecca Lewis
Not all “The Hunger Games” fans may have been pleased with Sam Claflin joining the cast of the hotly anticipated sequel “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire“, but for one lucky actor it’s been a blessing.
Deadline reports that Sam Reid, a British actor who also studied at LAMDA where Claflin graduated in 2009, has taken the lead role in the historical drama, “Belle“, after Clafin was forced to exit due to scheduling conflicts.
The film, directed by Amma Asante, is based on the true story about a mixed-race young woman raised as an aristocratic lady in Great Britain at the end of the 18th Century, set against the backdrop of a legal case concerning the end of slavery in England. Fellow British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw will play the titular character, full name Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay, while Canadian Sarah Gadon, most recently seen on screen in David Cronenberg’s “Cosmopolis” will play her cousin. Reid will take the lead male character, John Daviner, a man of high social standing who Dido falls in love with.
The film also stars Miranda Richardson, Tom Wilkinson and Matthew Goode, and production begins at the end of the month.
Reid has recently finished filming on “The Railway Man” with Colin Firth and Jeremy Irvine, and stars alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in the upcoming “Serena“.