Just as Meryl Streep’s name has been mentioned for an upcoming screen adaptation of Lois Lowry’s “The Giver”, more names are pouring in. According to The Wrap, Alexander Skarsgard (“True Blood”) and Cameron Monaghan (“Shameless”) are in advanced negotiations to join Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep. The Giver” is a fantasy tale set in a dystopian society that fears freedom. All memory of human history has been erased, emotion does not exist and citizens’ professions are chosen for them. Brenton Thwaites stars as Jonas, the community’s Receiver of Memories who spends his days being mentored by the Giver (Bridges), who teaches him to confront and understand the lies that inform society. As Jonas comes to grips with living an unsheltered existence, he begins to acquire a taste for freedom and honesty, becoming an outcast in the process. Skarsgard is in talks to play Jonas’ father, while Monaghan will play Jonas’ best friend Asher. Streep is nearing a deal to play the community’s Chief Elder, who maintains order in the seemingly utopian society. Noyce is directing the adaptation of Lowry’s celebrated 1993 children’s book. The movie has been a passion project for Bridges, who is producing with Nikki Silver of Tonik Productions. Dylan Sellers and Julie Rappaport will oversee the project for TWC. Production will start this fall in South Africa.
And another possible new project, according to Deadline. Meryl Streep is poised to join Jeff Bridges and a fast growing cast in The Giver, an adaptation of the Lois Lowry novel that Phil Noyce will direct. Streep is in talks to join a shoot that starts in eight weeks in South Africa, in a co-production between The Weinstein Company and Walden Media. While there has been a plethora of movies involving dystopian young adult novel storylines, The Giver was ahead of its time, winning the Newbery medal in 1994. It was also a book widely read in Harvey Weinstein’s household by his daughters. Streep will play the chief elder, the authoritarian charged with keeping order in a society that seems utopian. That control is endangered when a young man (Brenton Thwaites) is chosen to be the receiver of memories of life before the “sameness” movement which numbed the population and created conformism. Bridges plays the title character who delivers those memories that unlock a rebellion in the young man. The film is casting quickly, but landing Streep is certainly a coup. Bridges and Nikki Silver are producing and Dylan Sellers and Julie Rapaport are running point on the picture for The Weinstein Company. Many thanks to Glenn and Frank for the heads-up.
According to Deadline, Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro may be attached to a new film. FilmNation Entertainment announced today that Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro are attached to star in the adaptation of author Ann Leary’s bestselling novel The Good House. The darkly comic drama tells the story of Hildy Good (Streep), a New England realtor and alcoholic who strikes up a relationship with an old flame (De Niro) when her new friend Rebecca becomes the subject of the town gossip. Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Cunningham (The Hours) will pen the screenplay for the adaptation, but no director is attached just yet. Here’s the full press release:
New York, NY – August 6, 2013 – FilmNation Entertainment has acquired the rights from Jane Rosenthal to New York Times Bestseller The Good House by Ann Leary. Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham is set to adapt the project. Attached to star are Academy Award winners Meryl Streep, who previously collaborated with Cunningham on The Hours, and Robert De Niro, making this the fourth film Streep and De Niro will appear in together. Rosenthal will produce and Berry Welsh, VP of Production, will executive produce for Tribeca Productions. Aaron Ryder and Karen Lunder will produce for FilmNation. FilmNation partner Steve Samuels played a role in bringing the project to FilmNation through his relationship with Leary. The Good House is a wickedly funny look at denial, told through the eyes of Hildy Good (Streep), a New England realtor and not-so-recovering alcoholic whose perfectly compartmentalized life starts to come apart at the seams when she forms a new friendship with Rebecca McCallister. As Rebecca becomes the subject of town gossip, Hildy rekindles an old flame with Frank Getchell (De Niro), a tell it like it is Yankee, who tries to uncomplicate her complicated life in this darkly comic and strikingly authentic tale.
FilmNation’s EVP Production Karen Lunder said, “We knew right away with Jane’s and Michael’s demonstrated talent and Ann’s bestseller that we have the opportunity to create something truly entertaining. It is undeniable the authenticity and chemistry Meryl and Bob will offer us as they bring these characters to life.” “Ann Leary has an intoxicating voice and created a truly original character in Hildy Good. When I read the book, I was only sorry it ended – but so thrilled that we’ll be able to bring it to the screen with Meryl Streep as the irresistible Hildy,” said Producer Jane Rosenthal. “It’s the perfect project to work on with Michael Cunningham and we are excited to be doing this in partnership with FilmNation, as they were equally passionate about Ann’s characters.” Streep, De Niro and Cunningham are represented by CAA. Leary, whose booked was published by St. Martin’s Press, is represented by Sylvie Rabineau. CAA’s Laura Walker brought the project to FilmNation’s EVP Production Karen Lunder, who will also produce. The deal was brokered by Alison Cohen, FilmNation’s EVP Business & Legal Affairs.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Meryl Streep will lend her very famous voice to the audiobook version of Colm Toibin’s Booker Prize short-listed novel The Testament of Mary, EW has learned exclusively. The audiobook will be available from Simon & Schuster on CD and for download on Sept. 10. EW’s Jeff Giles wrote of the novel, “The Testament of Mary takes an icon buried under centuries’ worth of other people’s opinions and transforms her into an unapologetically real woman who, at the end of her life, is recalling the annihilating pain of watching her son die.” The novel has also been adapted into a Broadway play starring Fiona Shaw. It sounds like a meaty role for a 17-time Oscar nominee. “What Meryl Streep manages first is a sort of calm force; there is a naturalness in the voice, and in the phrasing. And then slowly something sorrowful emerges, it is like an undertone. It comes from the stops and the half-sighs and that can move into moments of insistent pain and out of that again into memory,” says Toibin in a press release. “She has a way of lingering on words and phrases which is always perfectly natural, but it gradually takes on a real power. I think anyone who hears it will be astonished by it.” Many thanks to Glenn and Frank for the heads-up.
More actors have been announced for “Into the Woods”. According to Deadline, stage and screen actress Tammy Blanchard is in negotiations to join Disney‘s Into the Woods, the fairytale movie musical directed by Rob Marshall. Blanchard earned Tony nominations for her turns in the stage revival Gypsy: A Musical Fable and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying and a Golden Globe nod for her performance as the teenage Judy Garland in ABC’s telefilm Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows, which also won her an Emmy. She’ll play the role of Florinda, one of Cinderella’s evil step sisters, opposite Lucy Punch and Christine Baranski as the iconic princess’s stepmother. Filming is scheduled for fall in London on the adaptation of James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s Tony-winning musical. According to the same source, Billy Magnussen has replaced Jake Gyllenhaal, who dropped out earlier, and MacKenzie Mauzy has landed the plum role of Princess Rapunzel. Thanks to everybody for the heads-up.
John Wells’ “August: Osage County”, the film adaptation of Tracy Lett’s Tony Award-winning play, will make its world premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF organizers announced this morning. Starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Margo Martingdale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Sam Shepard and Ewan McGregor, the drama hits theaters on Christmas Day 2013. The film will see Streep and Roberts playing family matriarch Violet and her eldest daughter, respectively. This year’s TIFF opens on September 5 and runs through September 15. Many thanks to Frank for the heads-up.
According to ComingSoon.net, Jake Gyllenhaal is dropping out of Rob Marshall’s film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Into the Woods” to focus on his upcoming indie flick “Nightcrawler”. Scheduling conflicts forced Gyllenhaal to choose between the two projects. The actor was slated to star as one of the princes. Meanwhile, Anna Kendrick is in talks to join “Into the Woods” as Cinderella, The Hollywood Reporter. Kendrick’s name has been announced earlier as well since she has taken part in a table reading for Rob Marshall last year, although some sources have misinterpreted this as an already done deal. Since production is scheduled to start in a couple of weeks, it sure won’t take too long to find out. Thanks to Glenn for the news.
Just as we were reporting on “Into the Wood”‘s Christmas Day 2014 release, the Weinstein Company has a Christmas present for moviegoers as well – at least this sounds better news than saying that “August: Osage County” has been shifted a good month into December. According to The Wrap, The Weinstein Company on Thursday shifted the release date of one of its main awards hopefuls, “August: Osage County,” to Christmas Day. It had been scheduled to debut on November 8. Christmas is getting crowded. Also set to debut on that day are Universal’s Keanu Reeves action drama “47 Ronin,” Paramount’s Chris Pine-Keira Knightley action thriller “Jack Ryan” and the Fox comedy “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.
Mark your calendars, in case you already have one dating that far into the future :-) According to The Huffington Post, “Into the Woods” will release US theaters Christmas – next year. They write, “Coming Christmas 2014: the case of the competing family fare. Disney has announced it will pit its buzzy remake of “Annie” against Sony’s equally buzzy adaptation of “Into the Woods.” Both have been the subject of endless casting updates over the past several weeks. The latest news has Sandra Bullock possibly taking on the role of Miss Hannigan in “Annie”; comedian Tracey Ullman, meanwhile, will potentially join Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp and the rest of the all-star lineup that “Into the Woods” boasts. The two films will have a heck of a feat ahead of them next year during the lead-up to their releases, which will also thrust lip-locking pals Bullock and Streep against each other at the box office”. Thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tracey Ullman is in negotiations to join the growing cast of Into the Woods, Disney’s adaptation of the Broadway musical being directed by Rob Marshall. Ullman will join an all-star roster that is likley to include Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Emily Blunt, all of whom are in various stages of negotiations to be part of the production. The play is a darkly comic mashup of classic fairy tales that revolves around a childless baker and his wife (Blunt), who attempt to lift a family curse by journeying into the woods to confront the witch that put the spell on them. Along the way, they encounter a group of characters including Rapunzel, Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. Ullman will play the mother to Jack the Giant Killer, who has yet to be cast. Streep is playing a witch and Depp is taking on a variation of the fairy tale wolf. Gyllenhaal and Pine play princes to Cinderella and Rapunzel. Many thanks to Frank and Glenn for the heads-up.