By Ben Brock | The Playlist September 12, 2013 at 11:18AM
With TIFF in full swing, letters are being frantically crossed and dotted on all manner of contracts, agreements and bar-room napkins. Here are a few that we managed to smuggle across the Canadian border, hidden inside a stuffed moose...
Via Screen Daily comes an exciting tidbit: Joel Edgerton, the Australian actor who first caught all our attention in “Animal Kingdom” and has subsequently appeared in “The Great Gatsby” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” among others, is turning his hand to directing with “Weirdo,” about a man confronted with an old school friend he'd rather forget. It'll be produced by another Aussie Hollywood transplant, Rebecca Yeldham, who was also producer on “On The Road” and “The Kite Runner.”
In other directing news, The Wrap brings us two nuggets. Hany Abu-Assad, the acclaimed director of “Omar” and “Paradise Now,” is hitting up Hollywood with a remake of “Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance.” Park Chan-Wook's original Korean version is part of a loose trilogy about vengeance, along with “Oldboy," which has a Hollywood remake already in the can, directed by Spike Lee. “Oldboy” has been by far the more popular of the originals in the West, but it'll be interesting to see how the remakes pan out. And let's not forget, "Sympathy For Lady Vengeance" is also going the remake route as well with Charlize Theron in the lead role.
Meanwhile, some word on “Rust,” which we reported on last year as the next project for Joe Cornish, of the utterly amazing “Attack the Block.” It was true at the time, we swear! However, it isn't anymore: Cornish has exited the film, for reasons unknown, and the talk is he'll be replaced by Carlos Saldanha, director of “Rio” and various “Ice Age” installments. Seems like a ... safer?... choice.
“Enough about ugly people behind camera, we want to know about beautiful people in front of them!”, I hear you cry. To which I say: Djimon Hounsou, Amber Heard, Olivia Thirlby and Jessica Brown Findlay. Done. I'll even tell you what they've signed up for. Hounsou, Variety has announced, is coming to the relentlessly successful “Fast and Furious” franchise, now prepping its seventh outing: he'll add his muscles and gleaming head to those of Jason Statham and Vin Diesel.
As for the ladies? Well, Amber Heard will be appearing in “London Fields,” an adaptation of the Martin Amis novel in which Heard's character, a sort of mystical femme fatale of the future, arranges her own murder for mysterious (and apparently sexy) reasons. Jessica Brown Findlay, late of "Downton Abbey" (and the most interesting thing about that boring, boring show), has signed on for the latest version of “Frankenstein,” along with Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy. Variety notes that “plot details are unknown at this time,” but we've heard an exclusive insider rumor that it might be about a scientist who creates an artificial man. That's unconfirmed, though. Last but not least, Olivia Thirlby has signed on to an untitled but clearly fairly advanced project alongside comedy superstar Kevin Hart, to be directed by Jeremy Garelick. It's a comedy about weddings and groomsmen. Funny, but there seems to have been a lot of those over the past couple of years....