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In The Works: More Fairy Tales -- From Seydoux's Beauty & Cassel's Beast to Disney's 'Seven'

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood February 13, 2012 at 3:50PM

Hollywood can't get enough of fairly tales and mythic heroes. They're branded, for one thing. News of a few noteworthy projects dropped over a crowded awards weekend.
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Seydoux, Cassel
Seydoux in Oyster Magazine

Hollywood can't get enough of fairly tales and mythic heroes. They're branded, for one thing. News of a few noteworthy projects dropped over a crowded awards weekend.

- Two Snow White movies is already too many, so Disney changed plans for long-gestating "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (originally written by Michael Chabon) to "The Order of the Seven." Saoirse Ronan may revisit her "Hanna" ass-kicking skills as the lead. The story has evolved -- shedding Snow White altogether -- and now follows an expat, Olivia Sinclair, living in Hong Kong who seeks protection from a group of elder warriors-cum-outlaws. According to Variety: "After the reemergence of an ancient evil empress, Sinclair helps the warriors reclaim their destiny and noble roots." Here's more on the reworked plot, from scripters Jayson Rothwell and Michael DeBruyn.

Angelina Jolie
COURTESY OF GETTY Angelina Jolie

The seven are a 19th century-set disparate band of international warriors belonging to a centuries-old order who have lost their way. Their meeting with an Englishwoman being chased by an ancient evil is the catalyst for their redemption. While the project is set in China, the warriors will be from locales near (the U.S.) and far (Russia), and each warrior will have a unique fighting style.

- Disney also has Angelina Jolie's attention -- in Berlin she confirmed that her next film will be "Maleficent," the alternate-perspective retelling of "Sleeping Beauty."

- And yet another fairy tale, "Beauty and The Beast," is getting a retelling by French director Christophe Gans. Vincent Cassel and Lea Seydoux ("Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol") are said to be playing the title characters. Gans is eyeing an October shoot with France's Eskwad and Pathé producing. The director wants to “surprise the audience by creating a completely new visual universe never experienced before," he states. We hope he does, since the story has been told many times before and also has two new TV series in the works. Cassel and Seydoux sound like casting perfection.

Ridley Scott's "Prometheus"
Ridley Scott's "Prometheus"

- And in non fairy-tale news, Ridley Scott and his "Prometheus" star Michael Fassbender are rumored to be lined up for Cormac McCarthy's "The Counselor." McCarthy's script was initially fated to be a novel, but it evolved into his first screenplay and ended up with producers Nick Wechsler, and Steve and Paula Mae Schwartz ("The Road").  The story's contemporary Southwestern world is akin to that of McCarthy's "No Country for Old Men," with a lawyer attempting to profit off involvement with the drug business without letting it suck him in, ending up desperate and struggling to stay alive. Fingers crossed this becomes official.

This article is related to: IN THE WORKS, CASTING WATCH, News, News, Headliners, Directors, Michael Fassbender, Ridley Scott


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.