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Antonio Campos to Direct ‘Omen’ Prequel; Armando Iannucci’s ‘The Death of Stalin’ Moves Forward

Written by on April 29, 2016 

antonio campos

With three Sundance premieres under his belt, it may have only been a matter of time before Antonio Campos (Christine, Simon Killer, Afterschool) moved onto studio fare. It was less a matter of time that he’d direct a prequel to one of the most popular horror films in movie history, yet THR has word that 20th Century Fox seeks him for The First Omen, a movie who want to know a bit more about the possessed child named Damien.

Details on the project are a bit sparse, save for the involvement of screenwriter Ben Jacoby and, on the producing side, David S. Goyer‘s Phantom Four. Make of the suggestive title what you will — if you have any desire to think about this in any terms, I mean. The prospect of Campos’ static, long-shot aesthetic entering the big-studio reboot / remake realm is intriguing, certainly, but to what end, really? Your guess is as good as mine.

VEEP+DC+Screening+aD2nbjiOIbJlHere’s something that’ll likely be quite different: the new film from Armando Iannucci has received financing from Gaumont. The Death of Stalin, based on Fabien Nury‘s graphic novel, is said to begin “in March 1953 during the Soviet dictator’s last days and depicts the chaos of the regime after his death”; given the extent to which he’s basked in political chaos (Veep, In the Loop, The Thick of It — basically everything successful that he’s made), this should be very fertile ground. Jokes about the Soviet Union are almost always funny. [Deadline]

Iannucci has scripted the picture with frequent collaborators David Schneider and Ian Martin, the latter having conducted rewrites.

guillaume canet marion cotillardScreen Daily tell us that partners Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard have shot Rock ‘n’ Roll, a meta-textual “mid-life crisis comedy” — this couple’s By the Sea, perhaps. I raise the comparison to Angelina Jolie-Pitt‘s underseen and mistreated drama because Canet will play a version of himself “who decides to overhaul his life when a beautiful young co-star on a film he is shooting tells him he is no longer ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ or high-up on her list of ‘bangable’ actors.” Per Pathé’s Muriel Sauzay, “It’s sort of based on their real life together but it’s not.”

The picture is in post-production, with a fine cast of Gilles Lellouche, Fanny Ardant, Philippe Lefebvre, and Yvan Attal.

And then Variety tells us David Gyasi (Interstellar, Cloud Atlas) has boarded Alex Garland‘s Ex Machina follow-up, Annihilation., boosting a very fine cast consisting of Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, and Tessa Thompson. The sci-fi picture — based on Jeff VanderMeer‘s novel, which you can read more about here — is currently in production.

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