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George Clooney to Direct Phone-Hacking Film, Jessica Chastain and Kristen Wiig Orbit Ridley Scott’s ‘Martian’ & More

Posted by , on September 3, 2014 at 4:11 pm 

george clooney hack attack

George Clooney, showing an incredible amount of chutzpah, is willing to direct a film titled Hack Attack. THR have this news, telling us he’s working with producing partner Grant Heslov to adapt Nick Davies’ Hack Attack: The Inside Story of How the Truth Caught Up With Rupert Murdoch; Columbia Pictures are planning to distribute.

It’s early days on this one, though the scandal at its center was public enough for us to understand where things should lead: News Corporation, News International, and the more-than-shady practices of Rupert Murdoch‘s company, their hacking into the phones of figures both public and ordinary sending the British media into a crisis. As Clooney himself says, “The fact that it’s true is the best part.”

Hack Attack is expected to begin production next year.

Jessica-Chastain the martianAs far as sci-films directed by British men that feature Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain, Interstellar may be finding some company in Ridley Scott‘s The Martian. The latter is in early talks to join the former, while Kristen Wiig has, too, been rumored to take part in this endeavor — though that’s as far as details go. We nevertheless know that, in an adaptation of Andy Weir‘s ebook, Damon will play Mark Watney, an astronaut who finds himself stranded on a Mars colony. While seeking some way to reach home as his NASA compatriots begin their own rescue mission, the battle to survive against hunger, environment, and madness rages on. (It’s closer to Zemeckis than Cuarón, in case this narrative sounds familiar.) [Deadline]

The Martian will arrive on November 25, 2015.

melanie-2832-4256-wallpaperNow, for an Inglourious Basterds reunion: Tout Le Ciné report that Mélanie Laurent is starring with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in By the Sea, the lattermost’s next directorial endeavor. The film, also scripted by her, seems to take something of an art-mirrors-life approach, concerning “a Hollywood couple [who face] a marital crisis, which will be the prey of the paparazzi on a small Mediterranean island.”

Regardless of whatever role she plays, it’s nice to see Laurent land another promising endeavor — certainly more promising than Now You See Me 2, if nothing else. How funny that she and Pitt will likely have more (i.e. any) screentime than Quentin Tarantino ever offered.

Next, Variety report that Alden Ehrenreich (Blue Jasmine, Twixt) will take part in Hail, Caesar!, the next film from Joel and Ethan Coen. George Clooney is set to portray Eddie Mannix, a “fixer” who, circa ’50s-era Hollywood, helps keep the stars’ images squeaky clean. Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson, Ralph Fiennes, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, and Josh Brolin are also tapped; details on Ehrenreich‘s involvement are not currently available.

Update: Frances McDormand will also take part, according to an interview with Daily Beast, but no details on her role yet.

Universal and Working Title are backing Hail, Caesar!, which we might expect for a late 2015 release.

1alexandre_aja_a_pFinally, Alexandre Aja will help lead Miramax’s return to film production with The 9th Life of Louis Drax. Max Minghella makes his screenwriting debut with this project, which had once been set up as a directorial effort for his late father; adapting Liz Jensen‘s book, he’s helped bring to screens the story of Louis Drax, a nine-year-old boy whose near-fatal fall compels a doctor, Allan Pascal (Fifty Shades of Grey‘s Jamie Dornan), to suss out a mystery. Here he’s “testing the boundaries of fantasy and reality.” [THR]

Along with the hilarious declaration that there “is no better storyteller in the industry” than this first-time screenwriter, company chairman Thomas J. Barrack Jr. calls it “a classic Miramax production.” What does that mean? God, I don’t know.

Which of these films are you most anticipating?


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