Sad news today. Jonathan Demme, best known for directed “The Silence of the Lambs”, for which he won a Best Director Academy Award, has died at 73. Meryl Streep has spoken out on the passing of filmmaker Jonathan Demme, who directed the Oscar winner in 2015’s rocker comedy, “Ricki and the Flash.” In a statement provided to TheWrap, Streep praised Demme as: “A big hearted, big tent, compassionate man- in full embrace in his life of people in need- and of the potential of art, music, poetry and film to fill that need- a big loss to the caring world.” Demme died Wednesday in New York of esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease. He was originally treated for the disease in 2010, but suffered from a recurrence in 2015. His condition deteriorated in recent weeks leading to his passing. In “Ricki and the Flash,” Streep played an aging rocker coming to terms and dealing with the reconciliation of her music life and her family life. “Juno” Oscar winner Diablo Cody wrote the screenplay. Streep sung and played guitar live for the role. Her and Demme were friends prior to making “Ricki the Flash.” Demme’s other credits include “Philadelphia,” “Rachel Getting Married,” “Melvin and Howard,” “Swing Shift” and “Something Wild.”
Steven Spielberg’s upcoming “The Post” (which seems to be a working title) hasn’t even started filming, but has already snagged the most prominent release date for the 2018 awards season. Here’s news on the film courtesy Sascha Stone’s AwardsDaily: This election year is reminiscent of both the 1968-1972 political atmosphere, and it is also similar to WWII – where there was global upheaval like we’re seeing here and all over Europe. Nixon was a secretive president – on the level of Donald Trump, which was probably why it took Deep Throat (Mark Felt) to blow the whistle on his illegal activities. Felt was a republican. Both Edward Snowden and Julian Assange fancy themselves on the level of Daniel Ellsberg but indeed both are great pretenders out of notoriety, with little or no care for consequences. Ellsberg, however, helped reveal to the American people information they needed to know about the Vietnam war. Spielberg’s film stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks and is going to cause Breitbart Generation to flip out. Expect much backlash. Variety reported the story, saying the film is getting a December 22 release date. It will likely be screened well before then – I hope it goes to Telluride. Then it has a better shot at winning Best Picture. The heavyweights this year are already starting to stack up – with Dunkirk, of course, right at the top of the list. Steven Spielberg’s untitled Pentagon Papers drama announced itself as a major awards season contender in this year’s Oscars race.
Meryl Streep is among a host of celebrity narrators on Sheila Nevin’s “You Don’t Look Your Age: And Other Fairy Tales”. The famed documentary producer and President of HBO Documentary Films for over 30 years, Nevins has rightfully been credited with creating the documentary rebirth) finally steps out from behind the camera and takes her place front and center. In the spoken version of her book, you will hear about the real life challenges of being a woman in a man’s world, what it means to be a working mother, what it’s like to be an older woman in a youth-obsessed culture, the sometimes changing, often sweet truth about marriages, what being a feminist really means, and that you are in good company if your adult children don’t return your phone calls. Among the powerhouse voices are Cynthia Adler, Alan Alda, Bob Balaban, Christine Baranski, Kathy Bates, Ellen Burstyn, Glenn Close, Katie Couric, John Henry Cox, Blythe Danner, Lena Dunham, Edie Falco, Tovah Feldshuh, Diane von Furstenberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Gayle King, Diane Lane, Sandra Lee, Judith Light, Jenna Lyons, Audra McDonald, Janet Mock, Sheila Nevins, Rosie O’Donnell, Jean Richards, RuPaul, Liz Smith, Lesley Stahl, Gloria Steinem, Martha Stewart, Meryl Streep, Marlo Thomas, Lily Tomlin, and Gloria Vanderbilt. “You Don’t Look Your Age: And Other Fairy Tales” will be released on May 2 by Macmillan Audio and can be pre-ordered on Amazon. Many thanks to Frank for the heads-up.
According to Deadline, “The Post will be hitting theaters much sooner than we have thought. Steven Spielberg only said yes this past Monday to direct Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in the Fox/Amblin co-production and they’ve all been clearing their schedules to start production in late May. Deals are still being finalized, but that means the film will be ready for release to qualify for this coming Oscar season. As AwardsWatch continues in a second artice, Spielberg was prepping The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara for a 2017 release (and was heavily predicted by the Gold Rush Gang in those first predictions) and is in post- production on Ready Player One (set for March 2018). That opens up the schedules of Mark Rylance and Oscar Isaac, both set to star in Mortara (but also opens up their Oscar chances in other 2017 films). Hanks was ready to start the WWII thriller Greyhound but now that’s pushed back. This marks Hanks’s fifth collaboration with Spielberg. Streep is currently filming Mary Poppins Returns in London but will be long finished by the time The Post begins. Many thanks once again to Frank for the heads-up.
In January, Meryl Streep has lent her voice to the online platform “Now This” tribute video to 100 Years Of Women’s Health Care At Planned Parenthood – “the little-known history behind America’s most famous health care provider” and its trailblazer Margaret Sanger. Additional voices are provided by Jennifer Lawrence, Mindy Kaling, Amy Schumer, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez and Lena Dunham, who also co-directed the video with Natalie Berkus, Kirsten Lepore and Alex Ronan. Many thanks to Alvaro for the heads-up.
Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks will share the screen together for the first time in the upcoming drama “The Post”, about the Washington Post‘s role in unveiling the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Deadline, which first reported the news, indicates renowned filmmaker Steven Spielberg will helm the film, though representatives for the director did not immediately return EW’s request for comment. The publication also notes the planned production’s spec script, by Liz Hannah, revolves around editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks) and his publisher, Katharine Graham (Streep), as they railed against the federal government’s opposition to the Post‘s rights to publish the documents, which detailed the country’s questionable military actions and political maneuvers in Vietnam. Fox and Amblin Entertainment will reportedly co-finance production, with the former handling domestic distribution. The Post marks Spielberg’s fifth collaboration with Hanks, following Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, and Bridge of Spies. Streep previously voiced the Blue Fairy character in the director’s sci-fi flick A.I.: Artificial Intelligence in 2001. Further details regarding the film, including a release date and production timeline, have yet to be announced.
A new trailer released on Tuesday reveals that Meryl Streep narrated the three-part docuseries, which is adapted from Mark Harris’ book of the same name and features interviews with Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, Francis Ford Coppola, Paul Greengrass, and Lawrence Kasdan. Directed and produced by Laurent Bouzereau and written by Harris, Five Came Back offers a deep dive into Hollywood’s role in World War II by following five filmmakers who travelled to Europe to document the war effort: John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens. In the process of making the series, Bouzereau and his team collected over 100 hours of archival and newsreel footage; watched over 40 films from the five directors; and studied an additional 50 studio films and over 30 hours of outtakes and raw footage from their war films. “Five Came Back” debuts March 31 on Netflix. Many thanks to Frank for the heads-up.
Principal photography has commenced on Walt Disney Studio’s Mary Poppins Returns at the U.K.’s Shepperton Studios, Disney announced Friday. The much-anticipated sequel to Disney’s 1964 classic Mary Poppins stars Emily Blunt as the eponymous magical nanny created by author P.L. Travers, taking over the role from Oscar-winner Julie Andrews. The sequel co-stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Colin Firth and Meryl Streep. Young actors Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and Joel Dawson play the three new Banks children. The original film’s co-star, Dick Van Dyke, who is 91, is also set to appear. Rob Marshall directs the film from a screenplay by David Magee, and also serves as producer alongside John DeLuca and Marc Platt. Tony Award winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman have written new songs for the film, with Shaiman also composing the original score. Set in Depression-era London of the 1930s, “Mary Poppins Returns” sees Michael and Jane Banks (Whishaw and Mortimer) now grown up. After Michael suffers a personal loss, Mary Poppins re-enters the lives of the Banks family and, along with the optimistic street lamplighter Jack (Miranda), uses her unique magical skills to help the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. Many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.
This evening, Meryl Streep has attended the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards as a Best Actress nominee for “Florence Foster Jenkins”. The statue was won by “La La Land”‘s Emma Stone. Lots of pictures from the arrivals and from inside the ballroom, mingling with Amy Adams, Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, have been added to the photo gallery. If Meryl was one of the first celebrities to speak out about the current political climate at the Golde Globes three weeks ago, almost every recipient at the SAGs followed in her footsteps. Streep received a shoutout from winner and former co-star John Lithgow, who noted that the SAG Awards are about actors honoring actors, and he praised his fellow nominees in the category, adding that “a great actress somehow managed to speak my exact thoughts three weeks ago in another awards ceremony and that’s Meryl Streep.” Hundreds of additional pictures have been added with many many thanks to Claudia and Lindsey, alongside screencaptures and the Best Actress segment in the video archive. Enjoy the new additions.
Congratulations to Meryl Streep on receiving her 20th – twentieth! – Academy Award nomination. Earlier this morning, she has received a Best Actress nomination for “Florence Foster Jenkins”, alongside Isabelle Huppert for “Elle”, Ruth Negga for “Loving”, Natalie Portman for “Jackie” and Emma Stone for “La La Land”. “Florence Foster Jenkins has received another nomination for Best Costume Design (the expected nominations for Best Hair and Makeup and a Supporting nomination for Hugh Grant were overlooked). To revive Meryl’s past Oscar nominations, have a look at Simply Streep’s Academy Award special. The Academy Awards will be handed out during a live ceremony on February 26, 2017.