Sep 25
2013

A theatrical release date for “The Giver” has been set by the Weinstein Company, according to this source: Way back in 2008, David Yates was set to direct an adaptation of Lois Lowry’s children’s novel and Newbery Medal winner, “The Giver” after helming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but he instead decided to tackle the two-part finale, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, setting the project back several years. Now the film is in the hands of The Weinstein Co. and director Philip Noyce, and the studio has just set an August 15, 2014 release for the feature. The Giver will star Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and soon-to-be-star Brenton Thwaites whose 2014 not only includes this film, but a lead role in Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction and Maleficent opposite Angelina Jolie. The story centers on Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), a young boy aged 12, from a seemingly utopian, futuristic world, is singled out to receive special training from The Giver (Bridges), who alone holds the memories of the true joys and pain of life. Streep plays the story’s chief elder, the authoritarian charged with keeping order in the society, order which is disrupted when Jonas is chosen to receive details of the past, before society conformed to a level of “sameness”. Thanks to Frank and Glenn for the heads-up.

Sep 19
2013

UMass Lowell announced Thursday that Meryl Streep will be the latest guest for the Chancellor’s Speaker Series. The Academy Award-winning actress will appear at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell on Wednesday, Feb. 5. The event will benefit student scholarships and will be co-sponsored by the UML English Department’s Theatre Arts Program and the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Streep follows in the footsteps of author Steven King, who drew a crowd of 3,000 to the Tsongas Center at the inaugural Speaker Series event last December. Ticket and program information have not been released yet. For more information, visit their official website.

Aug 28
2013

Meryl Streep will be heading to Cape Town in October to shoot her new movie, The Giver. Set in a distant future, the book tells of a society in which the entire range of human emotion has been eradicated by removing any trace of history. Only one individual in the society – called “the Giver” – is tasked with remembering the past in case it becomes necessary to make use of it. By this time, shooting for “Into the Woods” has probably wrapped and Meryl gets some time off to attend the Toronto Film Festival in September. Many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.

Aug 11
2013

According to BroadwayWorld, rehearsals for the highly anticipated big screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s beloved fairy tale-themed musical “Into the Woods” are now underway at Shepperton Studios (part of Pinewood Studios) in the UK under the direction of Rob Marshall and the astounding assortment of actors involved with the project have already taken to Twitter, Facebook and other social media to share insights, photos and updates on all of the onset action. The last two additions to the now complete cast have been Sophia Grace Brownlee as Little Red Riding Hood and Daniel Huttlestone as Jack. This week, the stars themselves have taken to social media to share first set pics and much more, with Huttlestone posting numerous messages to Facebook as well as uploading a photo of himself with co-star James Corden; Anna Kendrick Tweeting about Cinderella preparations; and, James Corden posting his dressing room door marker – complete with a look at the preliminary logo for the forthcoming feature film. On Monday, Huttlestone wrote, “Rehearsing at the moment. Going really cool !! Singing with James Corden, Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp !! So exciting!!” before posting a photo of himself with Corden, among other messages. The complete article with a couple of pictures can be read here. Thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.

Aug 07
2013

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.

Aug 07
2013

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.

Aug 06
2013

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.

Jul 25
2013

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.

Jul 23
2013

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.

Jul 21
2013

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.