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Baz Luhrmann Eyes WB’s Elvis Biopic; Atom Egoyan, Gavin Hood, and Danny Strong Circle Titles

Written by on April 30, 2014 

In the realm of biopics likely to show an ambition as big as its own subject, TheWrap tell us Warner Bros. have Baz Luhrmann in mind for their (until now) quietly developing Elvis Presley picture. First details are scant, save for, namely, the notice that Kelly Marcel (Fifty Shades of Grey) is writing the project, which eschews any pre-existing material — possibly a sign that the Australian, who’s been negotiating for several weeks, is keen to tell this story in his own, overly extravagant way.

At the moment, Luhrmann, off his biggest financial hit yet, is in contention for several titles, with his Great Gatsby follow-up possibly coming via a film adaptation of Kung Fu. It remains to be seen what follows, but be sure that the eventual project looks expensive and alienates plenty.

Meanwhile, THR have learned that Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau, Bruno Ganz, and Dean Norris are partnering with Atom Egoyan for a thriller, Remember, “in which the darkest chapter of modern history collides with a contemporary mission of revenge.” (Pardon the cultural stereotyping when I point out that the presence of elderly European leads — alongside Heinz Lieven and Gunter Lamprecht, three of whom are German — very strongly points to some sort of Holocaust connection.) Newcomer Benjamin August has penned the screenplay; eOne will provide Canadian support for the picture, with production commencing in July.

The same distributor have taken up duties on Eye in the Sky, which sees director Gavin Hood (Wolverine, Tsotsi) and producer-star Colin Firth tackle the issue of drone warfare. Placed behind the scenes of the controversial combat tactics, its Guy Hibbert-penned screenplay concerns “a military intelligence officer who is charged with remotely commanding a top secret drone operation to capture a group of terrorists from their safe-house in Nairobi, Kenya.” With seemingly little intention to beat around the bush, Firth, producing under his Raindog banner, said it will befit the company’s “hope of making challenging, thoughtful films.” [ScreenDaily]

An ensemble cast is in mind, and Eye, which might shoot this August, is currently seeking its other players.

Expanding his multi-hypenate brand into the world of directing, writer-actor-producer Danny Strong has been signed to make a debut through Salinger’s War, which depicts a specific, formative time in the life of the Catcher in the Rye author. Having spec-written an adaptation of Kenneth Slawenski‘s JD Salinger: A Life, the Butler and Hunger Games scribe is putting focus on Salinger‘s attempt to build a name amongst literary intelligentsia in the ’40s, only to have early progress on Holden Caulfield curtailed by the specter of a World War. Fortuitously enough for this burgeoning voice, however, “experiences at war forever change him, and help him to finally find his voice as a writer.” [THR]

Black Label Media are backing the title.

Do you find promise in any of the projects noted here?


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