By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com November 18, 2011 at 9:22AM
There aren't many experimental video and performance artists who can also say they've directed a film starring international megastar Johnny Depp, but Sally Potter is one of them. Well, the only one. Making her feature debut with the 1983 Julie Christie film "The Gold Diggers," she came to international attention with her excellent 1992 adaptation of Virginia Woolf's "Orlando," starring Tilda Swinton, before going on to make "The Tango Lesson," "The Man Who Cried" (which starred Depp and Cate Blanchett), and the underrated, spoken-entirely-in-iambic-pentameter "Yes," with Joan Allen.
Potter's last film "Rage," shot entirely on a cellphone camera, had an impressive cast, including Jude Law, Judi Dench, David Oyelowo, Steve Buscemi, Dianne Wiest and many more, but was poorly received on the whole when it played at Berlin in 2009, and little's been heard from Potter since. Until now that is, as Deadline announces that she's returning to the director's chair, for a new period coming-of-age tale called "Bomb," and she's managed to lure one of the mostly highly acclaimed young actresses of the moment on board.
The site report that Elle Fanning, so impressive in the last twelve months in Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere" and J.J. Abrams' "Super 8," will play Ginger, one of the two leads -- a pair of sixteen-year-old girls in 1960s London "where the cold war meets the sexual revolution," while Baz Bamigboye reports that she'll be joined by newcomer Alice Englert, the daughter of "The Piano" and "Bright Star" director Jane Campion, who is soon to make her debut in Roland Joffe's "Singularity."
Also on board is Alessandro Nivola, who'll play the father of one of the girls, a charismatic writer who has an affair with her friend. The BFI and BBC Films are backing the project, which will start shooting in the U.K. in February. It certainly sounds like it's more accessible fare than the director's usual output, and, while we can't speak for Englert, we're big fans of Fanning and Nivola, so this is certainly something to keep an eye on in the next year or so.