Monday, November 10, 2014

Coming Attractions: Bring the Payne; New Jobs/Birdman Flies/Foxcatcher Interview/The Homesman: TLJ and the Times

Welcome one and all to the three dimensional production we'll call Monday...


Periodically, as you know, I like to highlight some news that comes from the film world about films that may have some possibility of ending up as a part of a Telluride Film Festival of the future (or that I just happen to be captivated by).  There was some news toward the end of last week and over the weekend that fit into that category, so, as you might expect, here it is:


Alexander Payne

Director/writer Alexander Payne has become an incredibly consistent part of the Telluride Film Fest landscape over the past five years.  He's guest directed, presented "The Descendants" and "Nebraska" and curated films as well so when news broke this week that he's set to put together his next project my ears perked up.

Announced at the end of last week was "Downsizing" expected to star Matt Damon (more about him in a sentence or two).   The film is described as a social satire that features Damon as a man who is shrunk...("Honey, I Shrunk Matt Damon").

I fully expect that Payne (who co-wrote with frequent collaborator Jim Taylor) and Damon's project will shoot in 2015.  My guess would be a shot at Cannes in May 2016 followed by a Telluride #43 presentation.  I'd also expect Damon to show up in the San Juans as Damon pal George Clooney did for "The Descendants" in 2011 and other pal and fellow member of "The Unified Clooney Theory", Ben Affleck with "Argo" in 2012.

Below are links to the announcement story from Variety, The Playlist, The Wrap, Rope of Silicon and Deadline:


Danny Boyle

Meanwhile, another Telluride favorite, Danny Boyle, is still trying to land the lead for his Steve Jobs biopic as Christan Bale, who appeared to be set to play the title role has left the project.  The hot story over the weekend was that Michael Fassbender might be Boyle's answer.

Other casting rumors focus on Jessica Chastain and Seth Rogen (as Steve Wozniak).

Boyle presented "Slumdog Millionaire" at Telluride in 2008 and "127 Hours" in 2010.  Fassbender was in Telluride for Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" in 2013 and was the star of McQueen's other two T-ride presentations: "Hunger" also in 2008 and "Shame" in 2011.

The script is by Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin.

All of that sounds promising for a Telluride slot.  The fly in the ointment is that the film is currently set for domestic distribution from Columbia which has no history to speak of with TFF...

Still, a guy can hope and maybe this is finally the film that gets Jessica Chastain to T-ride.  Please!

Here's some of the hubbub about the Fassbender possibility from Variety and The Playlist:


Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in "Birdman"

Alejandro G. Inarittu's "Birdman" continues to soar and expand to more theaters.  As it does so, Fox Searchlight continues to feed the P.R. machine and sometimes in very, very clever ways.

The first article below from Entertainment Weekly focuses on the play within the film that serves as the vehicle for Riggan Thompson's (Michael Keaton) possible redemption.

The second article takes a look at the trickier involved in the mind-blowing editing and cinematography involved to create the illusion that film looks like a series of incredibly long takes.

The third, and one of my favorite things of the week, from The Playlist, is the story about Fox Searchlight releasing a faux teaser for "Birdman Returns".  Presumably the second film of the "Birdman" trilogy that starred Riggan Thompson.  I've loaded the teaser from YouTube.  Watch it and then read the story.


Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher" is just a couple of weeks away from release and this week Radio Times Marty Ross Coane talked to him and Dave Schultz's widow Nancy.  That interview is here:


"The Homesman" trailer via YouTube

Tommy Lee Jones talks to The New York Times about "The Homesman" starring Hilary Swank and Jones who also directed and co-wrote:

More on Thursday...

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