Women Centric

"Anna Karenina," directed by Joe Wright, written by Tom Stoppard (from the novel by Leo Tolstoy)
The latest from Joe Wright ("Atonement," "Hanna") seems like a lock for Venice's 2012 competition given Wright's history with the event ("Atonement" premiered there), and its release date in the U.K. (September 7). Expect to see it pop up shortly after at TIFF to get the awards buzz underway, ahead of its November 9 stateside release. The film finds Wright re-teamed with his "Atonement" leading lady Keira Knightley for an expressionistic take on the Russian classic. Jude Law, Aaron Johnson and Kelly MacDonald co-star.

"Foxfire," written directed by Lauren Cantet (from the novel by Joyce Carol Oates)
French director Cantent won the Palme D'Or in 2008 for "Entre les murs," a semi-autobiographical film based on the experiences of Francois Begaudeau, author of the novel the film was based off. This year, Cantet brings to life another author's work--Joyce Carol Oates' "Foxfire," a story of five girls growing up in a troubled atmosphere who form their own gang. Shot in Ontario, Canada and previously adapted by Annette Haywood-Carter in 1996 featuring a young Angelina Jolie, Cantet casts newcomers in his latest endeavor. Producers say they are prepping the film for a release at the Toronto Film Festival this September.

"Passion," written and directed by Brian De Palma (from the film "Love Crime," written by Alain Corneau and Natalie Carter)
While Brian DePalma's latest (a remake of the recent French art house thriller, "Love Crime," that starred Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier) didn't go to cameras until earlier this year, footage of the potboiler screened for buyers at Cannes, meaning that it's likely it will be ready for festivals come late August. Look for the Rachel McAdams/Noomi Rapace starrer to premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where DePalma won Best Director for "Redacted" in 2007.

"Under the Skin," directed by Jonathan Glazer, written by Walter Campbell (from the novel by Michel Faber)
Glazer brings Scarlett Johansson to the limelight with his adaptation of Michel Faber's sci-fi novel. In post-production (filming took place in Scotland last year), the film centers around an alien who takes the form of an attractive woman who lures in men. Though this film sounds very similar to the 1995 sci-fi thriller "Species," it seems to be a lot scarier and emotion-driven, driving the protagonist (alien Johansson) to question her own actions. A release date is not yet known, but it was shot last year so it seems a likely candidate for fall festival season.

"What Maisie Knew," directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, written by Carroll Cartwright and Nancy Doyne (from the novel by Henry James)
"What Maisie Knew" is a modern adaptation of Henry James' novel of the same name. The film follows a young girl (Onata Aprile) who shuttles between her divorced parents' homes, observing their new relationships as they develop. Julianne Moore plays her rock star mother and Steve Coogan plays her art dealer father. McGehee and Siegel's last film was the little seen "Uncertainty," but the impressive cast (Alexander Skarsgård also stars) may increase the film's profile. "Uncertainty" premiered at TIFF in 2008, so "What Maisie Knew" may have a festival life as well. The film does not yet have a release date.

Women Written

The East," directed by Zal Batmanglij, written by Batmanglij and Brit Marling
Ever since breaking out of the gate with his stellar directorial debut "Sound of My Voice," all eyes have been on Zal Batmanglij's anticipated (and much bigger) follow-up "The East," which finds him re-teamed with "Sound of Voice" co-writer/star, Brit Marling, and distributor Fox Searchlight. When we caught up with him in late April, Batmanglij told Indiewire that he was in the midst of editing the film, so chances are it will be ready for the fall festival circuit. The film sounds a lot like "Sound of My Voice: Marling stars as a contract worker tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group, only to find herself falling for its leader. Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page, Julia Ormond and Patricia Clarkson all star.

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