By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 15, 2011 at 8:11AM
Nicole Kidman and producing partner Per Saari are developing a remake of the 1973 dramedy "Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing" under their Blossom Films shingle. The original film, directed by Alan J. Pakula, centers on two tourists who fall in love in Spain, despite their reservations about long-term possibilities. The project will be based on the Alvin Sargent's original screenplay for the 1973 film, and the female lead will be written for Kidman. Kidman and Saari are also supported by producing partners Laura Ziskin and Susan Landau. The film clearly means something personal to Kidman as her husband Keith Urban's 2006 album was entitled Love, Pain, and the Whole Crazy Thing, in a play on words of the film title; the album was dedicated to Kidman.
Kidman and her newly formed production company, Blossom Films, are coming off of a high with their first feature film production "Rabbit Hole," which has garnered major Oscar buzz for her, as well as her co-stars Dianne Wiest and the much-overlooked Aaron Eckhart. We were quite impressed with the film when we saw it last month.
And though Kidman hasn't had an awards-recognized role since she starred as Virginia Woolf in 2002's "The Hours," the success of her performance in "Rabbit Hole" marks a return to form for the divisive, yet talented actress.
Right now her Blossom Films has two films lined up for 2011, "Monte Carlo" and "The Danish Girl." The former looks to be a vehicle for young television stars like Katie Cassidy, Leighton Meester and Cory Monteith to break into film, while the latter will be directed by Lasse Hallström, starring Nicole Kidman. By far the more interesting project, "The Danish Girl" is about the first person to undergo sex reassignment surgery with Kidman playing the lead role transforming herself from man to woman. The supporting role of the wife, however, has been cast and re-cast over the past couple of years jumping from Charlize Theron to Gwyneth Paltrow and last rumored to be circled by Marion Cotillard. However, no decision has been announced, indicating that the film could be pushed to 2012, if it ever gets out of the pre-production stages at all. Hallström also needs a win, after using a somewhat prominent filmmaking career to dive into drivel like last year's "Dear John."
Kidman seems to be focusing on using her production company to help her obtain the roles that she wants to play, but she has also been accepting roles with less dramatic weight. She'll be seen this year in "Just Go With It," in a small role next to Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. She recently wrapped filming on Joel Schumacher's 2011-slated "Trespass," where she plays a kidnapped wife to Nicolas Cage. She'll also branch out to a new medium, when she films the HBO television movie "Hemingway & Gellhorn," in which she'll play Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway's lover and wife. Kidman will star next to Clive Owen, and while it was scheduled to shoot early in 2011, not much has been heard of the project lately after being announced last year.
Lastly, she plans to head back to Broadway after 13 years with the Scott Rudin-produced "Sweet Bird of Youth." The Tennessee Williams play focuses on Alexandra Del Lago, an aging, yet sexually vivacious movie star; the character is known to be one of Williams' great female monsters. The play will be directed by David Cromer, whose version of "Our Town" wowed critics last year. When Kidman starred in the Sam Mendes-directed "The Blue Room" in 1998, theaters were sold out just to catch a glimpse -- a little over 3 seconds -- of her naked. She landed the cover of Newsweek, and that was the beginning of her career. With the ever-busy James Franco circling the male lead in "Sweet Bird," the play looks to come together in the fall/winter of 2011.
With all of these projects following Kidman around, "Love And Pain And The Whole Damn Thing" still might be a way off as no screenwriter or director have been named just yet. However, it's clear though that with her newly rediscovered acting presence, combined with a very busy production shingle, she'll be able to develop projects more suited to her interests and sensibilities. -Catherine Scott