The Playlist

Joe Wright's 'Anna Karenina' Shot On A Single Location, Promises Experimental Approach To A Familiar Story

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 25, 2012 12:31 PM
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  • 8 Comments
After taking a major left-turn with last year's pop-art action fairy tale "Hanna," some were a little disappointed to see that Joe Wright was seemingly going back to his wheel house, returning to Working Title Films for another period literary adaptation starring Keira Knightley, in the tradition of first and second films, "Pride & Prejudice" and "Atonement." While his take on Leo Tolstoy's classic "Anna Karenina" has an incredibly prestigious team and cast -- a script from Tom Stoppard, and a roster including Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Matthew Macfayden, Ruth Wilson, Olivia Williams and Domnhall Gleeson -- it was hard to see it as anything other than lush, pretty costume drama Oscar bait.

Keira Knightley Talks "High Energy" Role In 'A Dangerous Method' & Joe Wright's "Theatrical" Take On 'Anna Karenina'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 11, 2012 12:01 PM
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  • 0 Comments
There is nothing about Keira Knightley's performance in David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method" that is quiet, demure or understated. But that's by design and with very good reason. She plays Sabina Spielrein in the film, a young woman suffering terribly from hysteria, an illness that makes itself known in a manner that is as obvious as it is uncomfortable (see above). She comes into the care of Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and it isn't long before their doctor/patient relationship becomes something more, and a concern to Jung's friend and colleague Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen). As the woman who not only comes between the two legendary doctors, but undergoes a tremendous emotional journey of self-revelation, Knightley pulls off a performance that finds nuance even in its most extreme moments. It required the actress to do some deep research and take a leap of faith in a character that is hard to embrace at first, but whose growth is a reward to watch on screen.

Emily Watson and Alicia Vikander Added To Joe Wright's 'Anna Karenina;' Saoirse Ronan & Others Out

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 8, 2011 8:47 AM
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  • 3 Comments
As Promised, Keira Knightley, Jude Law & Aaron Johnson To StarWell, Joe Wright and Focus Features have locked down the cast for their lavish adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel "Anna Karenina," and it seems like a full house of talent – in addition to the already confirmed Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Matthew Mcfadyen ("Pride & Prejudice") and Olivia Williams, the film has added Domhnall Gleeson ("Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"), Alicia Vikander ("The Seventh Son"), Emily Watson, and Ruth Wilson (BBC series "Luther").

Andrea Riseborough, Matthew Macfadyen & Olivia Williams Join Joe Wright's 'Anna Karenina'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 3, 2011 2:22 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Benedict Cumberbatch Out, Choosing To Do Brit WWI-era Mini-seriesIt's been a while since we've heard anything on Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina" -- mostly because the press rounds for "Hanna" have ended -- but today comes a fresh bit of casting news about the film. But before we get to that, let's just re-cap for a second shall we? Last fall, came first word that Keira Knightley would re-team with her "Atonement" and "Pride & Prejudice" director for the film. Then, this spring, Jude Law and Aaron Johnson came aboard with Joe Wright later saying that Kelly Macdonald and Benedict Cumberbatch had joined the film, and that he was waiting on Saoirse Ronan and James McAvoy to confirm.

Exclusive: Joe Wright "Waiting On" Saoirse Ronan & James McAvoy To Confirm For 'Anna Karenina'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 6, 2011 9:26 AM
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  • 16 Comments
'Hanna' Director Says Benedict Cumberbatch & Kelly Macdonald Have Joined The CastWhile director Joe Wright has his teenage-assassin flick "Hanna" ready to kick some ass in theaters this weekend, he's already got his eye on his next project, an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic "Anna Karenina." There has been plenty of movement in recent weeks on the project. He’s already got longtime collaborator Keira Knightley on board, and Aaron Johnson and Jude Law are also vying for roles. In addition, Saoirse Ronan was also rumored and we had been hearing about the possibility of James McAvoy as well. And it looks like they weren't just idle whispers.

Saoirse Ronan Talks Possibility Of Working With Joe Wright Again, Remains Cagey On 'Anna Karenina'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 4, 2011 2:57 AM
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  • 3 Comments
She might be a good half-decade off being able to drink legally, but Saoirse Ronan has already racked up an impressive array of performances in her career so far. What's more, she seems to know a good deal more about media management than actors three times her age -- while a veteran like, say, Michael Caine is constantly thwarting Christopher Nolan's plans for secrecy, Ronan knows how to run rings around the press when it comes to rumors. She's already come out with a firm refusal to confirm or deny just about anything about her rumored presence in "The Hobbit," and when we caught up with the actress at WonderCon over the weekend, where she was promoting her Joe Wright-helmed thriller "Hanna," she stayed pretty mum on the latest speculation -- that she's set to work with the director a third time on his upcoming adaptation of Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina"

'Hanna' Director Joe Wright Calls "Bullshit" On 'Sucker Punch's Faux Feminism

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 3, 2011 7:20 AM
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  • 26 Comments
One of the many things that we took particular umbrage with in reviewing Zack Snyder’s unerringly nasty, totally boring “Sucker Punch,” was its horrible gender politics. Keep in mind that this is a movie in which a bunch of young girls, to escape the psychic and physical pain of getting regularly raped by a swarthy orderly, zap themselves into a make-believe fantasy world in which they wear next-to-nothing, engage in adolescent male videogame theatrics and take orders from a gruff older man (played, with some aplomb, by Scott Glenn).

Saoirse Ronan Might Get Literary With Joe Wright's 'Anna Karenina'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 1, 2011 8:29 AM
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  • 5 Comments
If everything comes together as planned, Joe Wright will get his adaptation of "Anna Karenina" this fall and he's amassing one helluva cast. He's already got longtime collaborator Keira Knightley on board, and Aaron Johnson and Jude Law are also vying for roles. Wright tends to be fiercely loyal to the actors he works and he may adding a rising talent to his film.

Aaron Johnson Eyes 'Anna Karenina' & 'Savages'; Jude Law Also Tapped For Tolstoy Tale

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 17, 2011 12:53 PM
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  • 0 Comments
With "Hanna" getting set to hit theaters next month, Joe Wright is already plotting his next move, the much talked about adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" and he's looking to bring and up-and-comer and an established vet into the literary tale.

Joe Wright Says He Hopes To Shoot The Tom Stoppard Penned 'Anna Karenina' This Fall

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 1, 2011 7:31 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Makes A Pretty Strong Hint That Keira Knightley Will Take On The Lead RoleWith his ass-kicking "Hanna" getting ready to do its thing in theaters next month, director Joe Wright already has his eyes on this next project and it's looking more and more likely it will be an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina," a project that was first revealed to be in development last fall.

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