While Ramin Bahrani's leap to the slightly-bigger-time earlier this year with "At Any Price" didn't quite work, we still admired the hell out of the movie. Putting the plot aside, which is perhaps too overstuffed for its own good, with some genre elements that don't quite work, Bahrani's study of middle American values coming up against corporate ethics (among other things) was fascinating, as was his look at the divergent dreams between a father and his son. So, that's why we're very excited for his next effort "99 Homes," and after lining up Andrew Garfield to star, things have gotten even more interesting...
Michael Shannon has joined the project, that trio of the director and actors should prove fascinating, especially for the subject matter. Penned by Bahrani, the Florida set film will follow Dennis Nash, who is evicted from his home by the sleazy real estate broker Mike Carver. Desperate to get his home back, Dennis works for Mike, who encourages him to embezzle funds from the government. Basically, this will be Bahrani's look at the housing industry, which already promises to be somewhat acidic. We'll be watching out for this as production starts soon. [THR]
Meanwhile, "The Railway Man" pals Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman have found their next project together: "Paddington." Yep, children literature's favorite Peruvian expat is now going to be a live-action/CGI movie with Firth voicing the animated bear and Kidman playing the villain, an evil taxidermist. Sigh. Mega "Harry Potter" franchise producer David Heyman is working on this alongside equally mega Harvey Weinstein, for what will undoubtedly be the launch of a series of new movies you'll have to take your kid to. [Deadline]
Lastly, Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley, who've worked together on Isabel Coixet's "Elegy," will team again with the filmmaker on "Learning To Drive." Based on a true story, the story will follow "a Manhattanite (Clarkson) who takes driving lessons from a Sikh instructor (Kingsley) who is living in Queens under political asylum." Lessons will probably be learned or something. This one is already shooting. [Deadline]