Thursday, June 23, 2011

What is That Director Up To? Part III

Continued from the last post...

Martin Scorsese - After "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," his big Christmas kids' film, Scorsese has been talking up a passion project, "The Silence." It has nothing to do with the Ingmar Bergman film of the same name, but rather the Japanese novel by Shusaku Endo about a Portuguese Jesuit sent to Japan in the 1600s. It's expected that Benicio Del Toro and Daniel Day Lewis will star, and we probably won't see it in theaters until 2013 at the earliest. Scorsese is also attached to gangster film "The Irishman" with Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino.

Steven Soderbergh - Soderbergh insists he'll be retiring, right after he finishes a Liberace biopic with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, and a film version of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." with George Clooney. Uh, no comment.

Steven Spielberg - "War Horse" the play just won a heap of Tonys, and some are already expecting "War Horse" the film to clean up at the Oscars. I predict impending fisticuffs with Terrence Malick and Woody Allen. He also has the "Tintin" mocap film coming out around the same time, and then his next project will probably be that long-awaited Abraham Lincoln biopic with Daniel Day Lewis. Honestly, though, the only upcoming film of Spielberg's I'm really looking forward to is something called "Robopocalypse," that's not even scheduled to shoot until next year.

Jan Švankmajer - The great Czech god of stop-motion animation expects his seventh feature, "Insects," to be completed around 2015.

Isao Takahata - How about a little anime news? About four years ago, we started hearing rumors that Studio Ghibli anime director Isao Takahata was working on a new film, his first since the 1999 feature "My Neighbors the Yamadas." There hasn't been much news since except a title - "The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter." Like Satoshi Kon's final feature, "The Dream Machine," "Bamboo Cutter" probably won't be done anytime soon, but I'll be keeping an eye on both of them.

Quentin Tarantino - Have you heard about "Django Unchained" yet? I'm still trying to figure out what kind of 'sploitation the story of an escaped slave taking over-the-top revenge on his former master falls under exactly, but I'm sure Tarantino knows what he's doing. Well, I hope Tarantino knows what he's doing, or else we'll never hear the end of it. There's been a lot of news about actors being considered for the main roles, but the only lock seems to be Christoph Waltz as a German bounty hunter. Yeah, that's enough to get me into the theater.

Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis - I'm hard-pressed to described the plot of the novel/anthology "Cloud Atlas," that these three are currently trying to adapt, but I'll just say it's big and ambitious and has time-skipping historical and science-fiction elements, and it's been in the works for years. Production is finally supposed to get rolling this year, and a cast has been announced, led by Tom Hanks. I don't know what this one will come out looking like, but I am intrigued by this combination of talent and I wish them the best of luck.

And very quickly, Peter Jackson's still working on "The Hobbit," David Fincher's finishing up "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," Tim Burton is filming "Dark Shadows," Chris Nolan's moving along with "The Dark Knight Rises," Darren Aronofsky is doing a pilot for HBO and trying to get that Noah's Ark film financed, Joe Wright is casting for "Anna Karenina," Sam Mendes said yes to the next "Bond" movie, and I still can't believe Jon Favreau is making "Magic Kingdom," or that Brad Bird is somehow directing the next "Mission: Impossible."

Oh, and Werner Herzog is heading back to the jungle with "The Piano Tuner," Wong Kar-Wai will showcase more love and regret in "The Grandmasters," Bong Joon-Ho is adapting the French comic "Le Transperceneige," Michael Haneke wants us to all cringe again for "Love," Pedro Almodovar just showed "The Skin I Live In" at Cannes, Richard Linklatter sent "Bernie" to the LA Film Festival, Roman Polanski's "Carnage" is due by December, and so is Alexander Payne's "The Descendants," and Lars von Trier still hasn't finished his damned USA trilogy yet, but I expect he will eventually.

Finally, I could find no report on the future cinematic plans of David Lynch, Mike Leigh, Jean Pierre Jeunet, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Todd Haynes, Hayao Miyazaki, Julie Taymor, Michel Gondry, Peter Weir, John Woo, Spike Lee, Olivier Assayas, Jonathan Demme, Terry Zwigoff, Henry Selick, or Edgar Wright. And I'm taking Kevin Smith at his word that he's done.

Too many more left off unintentionally, but we gotta stop sometime. Good night!

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