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Holly Hunter Set For 'Still I Rise, Looking To Do 'Romeo and Juliet'

by Catherine Scott
May 21, 2011 1:19 AM
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'Rise' Co-Star Maggie Gyllenhaal Also Takes On 'Voice From The Stone'



We've had a hard time keeping up with all the news as Cannes has been pretty exciting this week with Von Trier Mania and the rest of those now-overshadowed films. It's been a great festival, and numerous interesting projects just keep on coming out of the woodwork. In addition, there have been quite a few juicy tidbits about high-profile roles for some of Hollywood's leading actresses.

Deadline announced a couple of feature film projects for Holly Hunter, who has focused her energy on the TNT television show "Saving Grace" in the past few years. She's landed a role in "Still I Rise" with Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The film, directed Daniel Barnz, follows a teacher and a mother as they try to reform the quality of education in an inner-city Pittsburgh public school. The script was originally written by Brin Hill, but Barnz just did a rewrite in preparation for shooting; Barnz most recently directed the awful "Beastly," but we're hoping that was just a stepping stone to better things.

Hunter is also in talks to star alongside Hailee Steinfeld in "Romeo and Juliet," penned by Julian Fellowes and directed by Carlo Carlei. Carlei isn't well-known stateside, but Fellowes has written great fare like "Gosford Park" (we'll forget for now that he just wrote "The Tourist.") What Hunter's role would be here is still up in the air, but as of right now, the project looks to be pulling together a decent cast. Mark Johnson is producing "Still I Rise" through Gran Via Productions with 20th Century Fox distributing domestically. Fellowes will produce "Romeo and Juliet" alongside Gabriele Muccino, Ileen Maisel and Mark Ordesky.

Meanwhile, and speaking of one of these actresses, Variety reported that Hunter's soon-to-be costar Gyllenhaal has found a new role with "Voice From the Stone," a supernatural thriller directed by Eric Howell. The film is based on a novel by Silvio Raffo titled "Le Voce della pietra." Gyllenhaal will play a nurse trying to help a boy stuck in a haunted country house. On top of shooting "Still I Rise," she's also set to shoot the rom-com "Hysteria" with Hugh Dancy, directed by Tanya Wexler. K5 International has been selling the film at Cannes, where they've also sold "Toast" starring Helena Bonham Carter and "Vehicle 19" with Paul Walker.

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