It's almost a decade since Scarlett Johansson became a major star thanks to Sofia Coppola's "Lost In Translation," and the actress continues to confound expectations; her diverse pick of roles of late has included a Cameron Crowe rom-com, superhero epic "The Avengers," playing Janet Leigh in "Hitchcock" and, coming up, playing a cannibalistic alien in Jonathan Glazer's "Under The Skin." And now she's taking another curve; she' s going to direct.
It's been in the works for a while, but it was confirmed this morning that Johansson will direct an adaptation of Truman Capote's 'lost' first novel "Summer Crossing." The film, which will shoot in the first half of 2014, focuses on a 17-year-old girl who falls in love with a Jewish parking attendant in New York in 1945. Johansson commented "Several years ago I began working alongside the Capote estate and writer Tristine Skylar to adapt 'Summer Crossing,' an inspired early work of Truman's which has long captured my heart. Being able to bring this story to the screen as my full length directorial debut is a life dream and privilege." It sounds like we'll be seeing the film in 2015, but for now, you can check out Johansson's short film, "These Vagabond Shoes," which was cut from the anthology picture "New York, I Love You." Watch it below. [Screen Daily]
When Chloe Moretz and Asa Butterfield starred together in Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” a couple of years ago, the two teen actors were already in ascendance. Now with the two toplining their own films, “Carrie” and “Ender’s Game” respectively, it appears that they’re set to team up again for the “dark fairy tale” “The White Circus,” the feature-length debut of Clyde Henry (aka the writing-directing duo Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, proteges of Spike Jonze). The film follows “a young pilot who crashes his plane in a war-torn town where he befriends a talking circus bear, falls in love with a cabaret singer and challenge a maniacal despot.” Moretz and Butterfield will be joined by Andrea Riseborough (“Oblivion”) and Christian Friedel (“The White Ribbon”), and Terry Gilliam will be the executive producer. Filming starts next year. [Screendaily]
Speaking of Riseborough, she’s nabbed her own starring role in not-sci-fi-at-all “The Silent Storm” from, strangely enough, the “Skyfall” producers. Riseborough stars as “an enigmatic outsider living on a remote Scottish island who is caught between her commanding husband and a 17-year-old delinquent.” “Homeland” star Damian Lewis has signed on as the husband; the delinquent role still unfilled. Corinna Villari-McFarlane is directing from her own script, with shooting set to begin this summer in Scotland. [Screendaily]
With “Game Of Thrones” the latest TV series to gain traction with the culture at large, it was only inevitable that we would begin to see its actors make the leap to the big screen. We already saw Nikolaj Coster-Waldau earlier this year in the Tom Cruise sci-fi blockbuster “Oblivion” and now another Westeros native will join him in the sci-fi genre. Screendaily is reporting that Maisie Williams, Ned Stark’s daughter Arya, will star in the sci-film “We Are Monsters” alongside genre-favorite Doug Jones. Helmed by John Shackleton, the film centers on “a suburban school girl who joins a mutant gang of teenagers on a quest to discover their true identities.” Shooting is set to begin this fall in the UK.
With 2011’s “Contagion” proving to be a hit, it was only a matter of time until someone tried to jump on the plague-train. “House At The End Of The Street” director Mark Ponderai is helming the Black List-approved “Peste” with Abigail Breslin in the starring role. Instead of the globetrotting scope of Steven Soderbergh’s chilly thriller, the new film will instead focus on how a devastating plague “sweeps through a town and forces a girl’s family to make a devastating decision.” The Barbara Marshall-written film shoots this September. [Screendaily]
Last month Hailee Steinfeld joined the Brett Ratner-produced and Kyle Newman-directed teen assassin/high school comedy film “Barely Lethal.” Now, according to a press , she has a co-star in the form of Samuel L. Jackson who will play the mentor that trained Steinfeld to be a top international assassin. No word on when on production will start or when we’ll get to see the film.
And finally, after appearing in last year’s “Goon” Seann William Scott has signed on to star as “a down-on-his-luck guidance counselor” in the high school comedy “Guidance.” Leslie Bibb co-stars as his love interest and the film revolves around Scott altering school “transcripts to help a student that reminds him of himself.” Where does this leave that “Goon” sequel talked up last year? [Variety]