- Margin Call, the indie pic from writer/director JC Chandor, has added Jeremy Irons to an already stellar cast including Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Stanley Tucci, Simon Baker and Zachary Quinto (who is also producing). The story follows Irons' financial firm for 24 hours during the threat of a Wall Street collapse. With this ensemble, the timely original, which started shooting three weeks ago, looks promising indeed. Other upcoming pictures have similar settings though: this fall brings Oliver Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, starring Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf and Carey Mulligan, John Wells' Sundance hit Company Men, starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper, and the documentary expose Inside Job, directed by Charles Ferguson.
- Meanwhile a couple of Hollywood A-list veterans are trying something different. Former documentarian Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, Touching the Void) and big-budget go-to-man Ridley Scott (Robin Hood) make an odd pairing on Life in a Day: “One World. 24 Hours. 6 Billion Perspectives." That's the modus operandi behind their open invitation for YouTubers to film themselves on July 24 and upload their footage for the filmmakers (make that their editors) to wade through in search of inspiring, relevant, or groundbreaking material to edit into a documentary. (A.J. Schnack points out that any claims that this one-day doc is a first-time event are bogus.)
Let there be undiscovered gems out there. But it seems that the process to find them may be too painful. Won't America serve up cute babies, animal tricks, angst-ridden teenagers, women with too much or too little self esteem, it-seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time at-home stunts, and wannabe James Deans? Here's the promo, in which Scott talks about the inspiration for his first film, made with the same intention: