By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com April 24, 2011 at 9:35AM
Update: Sorry, Coppola fans, looks like we've been had by a hoaxer. When we ran the story yesterday, the account looked genuine enough, but subsequent tweets were more suspicious, in particular 8 pages of script 'leaked' onto the account, 8 pages of some of the worst writing we've ever seen (Sample: "It was he, I pondered most of"). With the legitimacy looking increasingly fishy, we have now confirmed with Kirsten Dunst's reps that this project is indeed a hoax. We're not quite sure who has the goddamn time to write a script pretending to be Sofia Coppola, but there we go. Apologies.
With the film hitting DVD & Blu-Ray in the last week, the dust has firmly settled on Sofia Coppola's fourth directorial effort, "Somewhere." And we're sticking with our original view that, while the film wasn't a failure exactly, with Coppola seemingly achieving exactly what she set out to -- a shallow character study of an entirely vacuous shell of a human being -- the finished project was one of the more painful viewing experiences we had last year (It should be noted, however, that the film has its defenders on staff, with our man in Australia naming it among his favorite films of 2010).
But everyone's allowed a misfire once in a while, and as long time fans of the writer-director, we've got our fingers crossed that she'll bounce back on her next film. And indeed, like the big J.C, Easter Sunday has seen Coppola roll back the stone, step out into the light and announce a new project -- and one that's set to reunite her with her most frequent muse, no less.
The twitter account of American Zoetrope, the production company run by Sofia's father Francis Ford Coppola, which has backed all four of her pictures, announced a few hours ago that Coppola's got a new film in the works, entitled "Secret Door," and that Kirsten Dunst, who starred in both "The Virgin Suicides" and "Marie Antoinette" for the director, has signed on to appear in the film. The exact tweet reads: "Happy to announce that Kirsten Dunst has agreed to be in Sofia Coppola's new film 'Secret Door'. Script is still being finished. Stay tuned!"
There are no further details on the film at this stage -- "Secret Door" doesn't apply to any obvious existing property that she could be adapting (there's an Enid Blyton book, and an Arctic Monkeys song, but a link with either is unlikely), and the only unmade Coppola project that we're aware of was a "European vampire" tale derailed by the success of the "Twilight" series, so this would appear to be something entirely new.
It's probably safe to speculate that the film could be set up at Focus, who distributed the latest "Somewhere" as well as "Lost in Translation" - less like is Columbia Pictures, who were behind "Marie Antoinette". The title seems to suggest something genre-tinged, which at least promises something different from her 'celebrity' trilogy -- but again, this is, at least at this stage, educated guesswork. With Coppola still writing away, this isn't going to be moving forward immediately, even with the usual brevity of her scripts ("Somewhere" came in at a not-exactly-whopping 44 pages), but we'll report more details as and when they appear.