It looks like we’ll be seeing Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt in another Disney movie together, TheWrap has learned. Streep is in early negotiations to join Blunt and Lin Manuel-Miranda in “Mary Poppins Returns.” The film would not only reunite the “Into the Woods” co-stars but is also putting them back with the movie musical’s director Rob Marshall and producer Marc Platt. Disney has slated the follow up to the 1964 classic for a Christmas Day 2018 release. As TheWrap previously reported, Blunt will star as Poppins and will be joined by “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who will play a new character – streetlamp lighter Jack. Set in Depression-era London, the sequel will follow adult Jane and Michael Banks, who, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, Poppins helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. “Mary Poppins” first entered pop culture through P.L. Travers’ 1934 book, which Disney adapted for the screen and released in August 1964. The film, starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, won five Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Andrews. Still yet to be made into movies, Travers wrote seven more books featuring the no-nonsense nanny, which were published between 1935 and 1988.
Here comes a great new interview from the September issue of the Wall Street Journal, accompanied by a stunning pictorial by Brigitte Lacombe: When Meryl Streep steps from her limousine onto the red carpet in London’s Leicester Square, everything about her comportment—as she strikes poses with castmates Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg, greets fans along the stanchions and hugs past co-stars like Stanley Tucci who’ve turned out for her—announces that she’s been here before. “It’s quite a scene, isn’t it?” she later says about the glittery film premiere. “It doesn’t get old. I mean, who gets to see a movie with 1,600 people?” With her hair in an elegant but simple updo, Streep confidently strides the red carpet in a black silk jumpsuit, heeled ankle boots and a long, beaded statement necklace. As she reaches the entrance to the theater, the emcee for the event introduces the star of Florence Foster Jenkins to a cheering crowd. He then asks her, “We know you can sing, because we heard you sing in Mamma Mia. So how difficult is it to sing badly?” She smiles. “Surprisingly easy.” The complete article can be read over at The Wall Street Journal.
Everytime my emails are flooded with expletives and “I’ll never watch any of your movies again”, I know that Meryl Streep has been possibly doing something political the day before :-) On Tuesday, Streep has attended the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night to draw attention to the historic moment of Hillary Clinton’s nomination for president, the first time a woman has earned the honor for a major political party. “What does it take to be the first female anything? It takes grit and it takes grace,” Streep said. In her praise of Clinton, Streep mentioned that the Democratic nominee “has taken some fire over 40 years, over her fight for families and children. Where does she get her grit and grace?” While celebrating other famous female firsts throughout American history, Streep also focused on the road ahead — and beyond.”You people have made history, and you are going to make history again in November, because Hillary Clinton will be our first woman president,” she told the crowd. “She will be the first, but she won’t be the last.” Her speech can be watched in the video archive, screencaptures and pictures from the convention and the rehearsals have been added to the photo gallery.
Florence Foster Jenkins didn’t make many recordings, but they had to be heard to be believed: “We heard them at drama school, when I was a student,” said Meryl Streep. “Yeah, it was pretty specifically great!” Streep plays Lady Florence, as she liked to be called, in the new film, “Florence Foster Jenkins,” about the amateur soprano often called the world’s worst opera singer. “Most of her notes,” as one critic put it, “were promissory.” Mason said, “So many of the great singers of her time are not remembered, but she is.” “Well, that’s a tragedy, actually!” Streep laughed. By the late 1930s, Florence’s performances were notorious. Mystifyingly, the society pages indulged her with glowing notices. “Madame Jenkins’ annual recitals,” the New York Daily Mirror wrote, “bring unbounded joy to the faded souls of Park Avenue and the musical elite.” Composer Cole Porter was a fan. And astonishingly, at the peak of her notoriety in 1944, Florence took the stage at Carnegie Hall and performed to a sold-out house. The full segment can be watched in the video archive with screencaptures being added to the photo gallery.
It’s not a good month for Meryl Streep’s former film directors. A week after the passing of Michael Cimino, Argentine-born Brazilian director Hector Babenco has died. He was 70. In 1985, he was nominated for a Best Director Oscar for “Kiss of the Spider Woman”. The film, starring Meryl’s former co-star, the late Raul Julia, was also nominated for best picture and William Hurt won the Best Actor Oscar. In 1988, Babenco directed “Ironweed” with Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep, who were nominated for best actor and actress Oscars. A great article on the making of “Ironweed” can be found in the magazines archive.
Meryl Streep is gray with cold. In Ironweed, her new movie, she plays a ragged derelict who dies in a cheap hotel room, and for more than half an hour before the scene she has been hugging a huge bag of ice cubes in an agonizing effort to experience how it feels to be a corpse. Now the camera begins to turn. Jack Nicholson, her derelict lover, sobs and screams and shakes her body. But through take after take-and between takes too-Meryl just lies there like an iced mackerel. Frightened, a member of the crew whispers to the director, Hector Babenco, “What’s going on? She’s not breathing!” Babenco gives a start. In Meryl’s body there is absolutely no sign of life! He hesitates, then lets the scene proceed. Yet even after the shot is made and the set struck, Meryl continues to lie there, gray and still. Only after 10 minutes have passed does she slowly, slowly emerge from the coma-like state into which she has deliberately sunk. Babenco is amazed. “Now that,” he mutters in amazement, “is acting! That is an actress!”
Yesterday, Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg have attended the New York press conference for “Florence Foster Jenkins”. The film, which has had a successful run in the United Kingdom back in May, will premiere in US theaters this August. Besides a couple of pictures, a full video from the press conference has been added as well. The video can be watched here. Also, a video transcript of the DGA Theater Q&A for “Florence Foster Jenkins” with Meryl Streep and William Ivey Long has been added as well. Edit: Pictures from the New York Screening and Q&A have been added, with many thanks to JustJared.
Michael Cimino, the Oscar-winning director of The Deer Hunter as well as the infamous Heaven’s Gate, has died, the New York Times confirmed. He was 77. News of Cimino’s death was first reported by Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux on Twitter. “Michael Cimino died peacefully surrounded by his family and the two women who loved him,” Fremaux wrote, in French, on the social media platform. “We loved him too.” Cimino directed seven feature films over the course of his career, though the New York-born filmmaker got his start on TV spots for United Airlines, Pepsi, and other companies. After moving to Los Angeles, he wrote the screenplay for Magnum Force, for which he caught the eye of Clint Eastwood. Cimino later went on to helm Deer Hunter in 1978, starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, John Cazale, and John Savage. The film, about friends who are tore apart by the Vietnam War, scored nine total Oscar nominations and won five: best picture, best director for Cimino, best supporting actor for Walken, best sound, and best film editing.
I’ve spent the week without an iternet connection, so most plans for “The Devil Wears Prada” related updates fell flat. But, as Miranda Priestly would have said, “Details of your incompetence do not interest me”. So, a nice btch of additional production stills and promotionals from the film have been added to the photo Gallery. Many thanks to Marci for helping me with this one.
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, her mother and daughters Sasha and Malia were joined by Meryl Streep in Morocco’s Marrakesh on Tuesday on a six-day tour to try to promote girls’ education. More than a third of Morocco’s population of 34 million is illiterate – one of the highest rates in North Africa, and the rate is higher for women at 41 percent, official data shows. The U.S. government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) was launched during her visit and includes US$100 million to be spent on 100,000 Moroccan students, half of whom will be teenage girls. The funds come from US$450 million given by the MCC last year to boost education and employability in Morocco. Michelle Obama stepped up her campaign for girls’ education after Islamist group Boko Haram seized 276 girls from their school in Nigeria in 2014 and she highlighted their plight through a Twitter hashtag, #BringBackOurGirls. She spent Sunday and Monday in Liberia, where she visited a U.S. Peace Corps site and a school with President and Nobel Peace laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, promoting Let Girls Learn, a U.S. government initiative begun with her husband in 2015.
This week, on June 30 to be exact, “The Devil Wears Prada” celebrates the 10th anniversary of its theatrical release. Yes, 10! Time goes by so fast. And of course time was different back then. I remember updating the film for Simply Streep and hating the idea of Meryl doing mainstream fashion fare. After all, she was just back in the spotlight with consecutive Golden Globe wins for “Adaptation” and “Angels in America” – it was “Arthouse Streep” in the early 2000s and I couldn’t understand why she would do such light material. Of course, this opinion has changed after seeing the film, and even more after it had such an impact on Streep’s career. “Prada” would become her first box-office hit in 20 years – a success she would repeat the following Summers with “Mamma Mia” and “Julie & Julia”. Even it’s still not among my favorite films, Streep’s success today as a leading is based on the success of “The Devil Wears Prada”. In celebration of the film, Simply Streep sports a new header with the main cast. The press coverage for the film has been chronicled in a new feature for the filmography section and many more additions will be added in the coming days. Lots of media outlets are paying tribute to the film with flashback videos and interviews, so be sure to check our Twitter for links. Finally, please share your thoughts in the comments: Did you watch “The Devil Wears Prada” in the theatre? What does the film mean to you?