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Thompson on Hollywood

AFM IN THE WORKS: Edgerton, Kidman, Dujardin, Del Toro, Cotillard, Watts, Wright, Wahlberg, Ibsen

Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, James Frecheville (Animal Kingdom) and Xavier Samuel are on board to star in Anne Fontaine's (Coco Before Chanel) The Grandmothers, adapted from the 2003 novella by Nobel Prize-winner Doris Lessing by-- it's getting better--Christopher Hampton (Atonement, Dangerous Liaisons). In the story, two childhood friends/neighbors (Watts, Wright) each fall in love with the other's son, to the disgust of their wives. Sounds bizarre (and a bit like Toronto title The Oranges). Amazon sheds more light on it:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 3, 2011 1:04 AM
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AFM News Briefs: Seyfried as Lovelace, Farrell & Rapace's Violent Spree, Lautner Gets Van Sant

- Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard are now in talks to star as porn star Linda Lovelace and her pornographer husband, Chuck Traynor, in Lovelace, an adaptation of Eric Danville’s book The Complete Linda Lovelace, from Howl directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. W. Merritt Johnson (TV's In Treatment, Temple Grandin) and Andy Bellin (Trust) wrote the adaptation. After Lovelace and Traynor’s notorious Deep Throat became a porn classic, she left her husband and accused him of forcing her into pornography and prostitution.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 2, 2011 5:47 AM
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IN THE WORKS: Lionsgate's AFM Slate; Irvine and Firth in Railway Man; Corey Stoll's Next Move

Lionsgate is busy, handling several new projects at the AFM. There's Murder of a Cat, from producer Sam Raimi and his director wife, Gillian Greene Raimi. The dark comedy is about a man who discovers his recently murdered cat had a double life with a mysterious young woman. There are echoes Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore, but with the suggestion of romance. Jay Baruchel, Dianne Wiest, Alison Pill, Rob Lowe and JK Simmons will star.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 1, 2011 8:20 AM
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Del Toro Exec Producing DreamWorks Feature Adaptation of Creepy Short Film: Alma

Guillermo del Toro, who executive produced Puss in Boots, will work again with DreamWorks Animation on Alma, another animated film based on a the popular short film (below) by Rodrigo Blaas. The former Pixar animator will also helm the feature, which is being written by Megan Holley (Sunshine Cleaning). Alma is adorable, but the vibe is wonderfully creepy--we hope (perhaps futilely) that DreamWorks keeps it that way--not to mention the gap in her teeth. A potential animated franchise with a female lead who isn't a princess? Yes, please, we need more of those!
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 31, 2011 6:35 AM
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IN THE WORKS: Kidman's Family Fang; Murray Joins Coppola, Sheen; Arndt Writing Phineas and Ferb

Nicole Kidman and her Blossom Films banner partner Per Saari are teaming up again with Rabbit Hole co-producers Olympus Films. They are optioning screen rights to The Family Fang, Kevin Wilson's bestselling first novel about a group of performance artists whose children (who as children were regularly involved in their parents' bizarre activities) return home as resentful and maladjusted adults and are asked to participate in their parents' final performance. Here's more on what else Kidman and Wilson have in the works.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 28, 2011 7:52 AM
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IN THE WORKS: Independence Day Sequels Want To Take Your Money, Even if They Don't Pay for Smith

Fox will make not one but two Independence Day sequels, fifteen years (and counting) after the original Will Smith pic raked in $800 million across the globe. It's not a new idea -- the studio had wanted to green light a sequel for some time, but both Smith and director Roland Emmerich demanded huge paychecks. So Fox focused on developing scripts and declared that the franchise could proceed with or without them.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 27, 2011 6:09 AM
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Jackson will Direct Next Tintin Along with The Hobbit; Secret of the Unicorn Opens Abroad October 26

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn opens abroad this week (the U.S. waits until December 21), so what better time to confirm that producer Peter Jackson will direct the second installment of the franchise? Most critics have been pretty high on the commercial-looking performance capture action movie, whether or not they have a history with Hergé‘s comics, so a second Tintin is a safe bet.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • October 25, 2011 7:40 AM
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English Teacher Starts in NY, Lily Collins joins Julianne Moore, Greg Kinnear, Nathan Lane

One of the recurring themes of this weekend's Film Independent Forum was the growing fluidity of television and indie film. For example, TV director Craig Zisk (The Big C, Nurse Jackie, Weeds) is making his film debut with indie comedy The English Teacher, which starts filming in New York this week. He has just added Snow White star Lily Collins to his cast, which includes Julianne Moore, Greg Kinnear and Nathan Lane. As indie film remains a labor of love for most participants, it makes sense to work for hire in quick-form television, and return intermittently to longer form indie production.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 24, 2011 12:57 PM
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IN THE WORKS: A-Listers Lining Up Projects: Damon, Krasinski, Mulligan, Zeta-Jones, Cooper

- Matt Damon will be known as director soon, with both Father Daughter Time: A Tale of Armed Robbery and Eskimo Kisses (at Warner Bros.) and a newly announced drama which he co-wrote with John Krasinski, who developed the idea with writer Dave Eggers (this project is also at Warner Bros.). Krasinski and Damon will also star in the film, and while plot details are few we know Damon will play a salesman whose life changes when he arrives in a small town.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 21, 2011 5:39 AM
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River Phoenix May Return to Screen Via Re-edited Version of George Sluizer's Unfinished Dark Blood

It's been eighteen years since his death, but that's not stopping River Phoenix's last film, Dark Blood, from being released next year. Director George Sluizer has re-edited footage from the film shoot, which was not completed (Phoenix died at age 23 of a drug-induced heard attack, 11 days before it was meant to wrap), and thinks a final cut can be achieved if Joaquin Phoenix provides voiceover for River's character, Boy, a young hermit who lives on a nuclear test site awaiting the end of the world. "The voices of both brothers are very much alike," Sluizer tells THR, but the director has yet to ask Phoenix if he is willing to do it. The film co-stars Jonathan Pryce and Judy Davis as a married couple who find Boy when their car breaks down. After beginning a relationship with the married woman, Boy questions his belief that the world is ending. It may be eighteen years old, but the story sounds very à propos.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 19, 2011 7:46 AM
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