After a string of films that seemed to challenge Michael Haneke in terms of unrelenting bleakness, it's then perhaps a slight shock to hear director Lukas Moodyson ("Lilya-4-Ever," "A Hole In My Heart") contemplating brighter pastures for his next film. However, earlier this year he claimed just that with a “feel good” adaptation of his wife Coco's graphic novel, "Never Goodnight," and now the project, along with two other similarly promising efforts, have found their next step toward production.
Moodyson has received $1.65 million from the Swedish Film Institute for his next film, “We Are the Best,” which centers on three teenage girls living in 1982 Stockholm who decide to form a punk band. Owing itself to a marketable premise and music-centric storyline, it's clear why the SFI designated their highest amount of funding to the film, for which Moodyson should have no problem sticking to his planned fall start date. After that, plans are to open the film next year in Sweden, with a festival circuit run just prior.
Elsewhere, while buzz around Derek Cianfrance's latest effort, “The Place Beyond the Pines,” has only increased, the producers behind the project are already swiftly moving on to their next endeavor. Electric City cohorts Jamie Patricof and Lynette Howell have optioned the rights to Alison Esbach's novel, “The Adults,” with Massy Tadjedin (“Last Night”) attached to write and direct. Revolving around a suburban teenager whose relationship with an older man slowly comes unraveled, the coming-of-age adaptation is bolstered by a great creative team, so expect this one to be fast-tracked to production soon.
Finally, an upcoming drama set during the 1912-1917 Armenian Genocide has found another team, with this one perfectly capable of tackling period and political subjects. Director Shekhar Kapur (“Elizabeth”) and writer Jose Rivera ("The Motorcycle Diaries") will lend their talents to “Three Apples Fell From Heaven,” a historical drama set to be filmed in Armenia itself. Based on Micheline Aharonian Marcom's acclaimed novel, the film is currently is pre-production as Kapur is scouting locations, but expect a cast announcement shortly. [Variety/Deadline/Asbarez]