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Kirsten Dunst Takes Female Lead In Jeff Nichols Project; Charlotte Gainsbourg Boards Wim Wenders’ Next Film; Anton Yelchin Next on ‘Cymbeline’

Written by on August 12, 2013 

They would (hopefully) need to secure a female sooner or later, and this is a good way to get things off the ground: according to Deadline, Kirsten Dunst has been added to the cast of Jeff Nichols‘ sci-fi project, now called Midnight Specialdetailed back in January — that’s already set to feature Michael Shannon and Joel Edgerton. Although all news concerning this one has been of a secretive sort, it’s now revealed that the Mud helmer’s script revolves around “a father and his 8-year old go on the run when dad realizes the boy has some kind of special powers.” Something of an homage to The Fury, then? Taking cues from this writer’s favorite De Palma film is always a good first step.

Warner Bros. are supporting the project, with the expectation that Nichols will begin shooting around the start of next year.

Did you remember that Wim Wenders had a new feature coming along? Now’s a fine time to be reminded: production on Every Thing Will Be Fine is set to begin tomorrow, and with this announcement comes the follow-up on a cast that, last we heard, was only occupied by James Franco and Sarah Polley. The latter, it would appear, is no longer attached, but the position (or what we can assume is the position) has been substituted quite finely with Charlotte Gainsbourg, who, along with Marie-Josée Croze (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Tell No One), have been announced as co-stars on the 3D picture — which, it’s now also told, will use the talents of cinematographer Benoît Debie (Enter the Void, Irreversible, Spring Breakers). [IndieWIRE]

Wenders had made a big leap into the 3D format with 2011’s Pina, a title acclaimed for its immersive implementation — but that was a dance documentary, full of physical movement, leaps toward the camera, and other properties which match these techniques. What would sound to be a much more traditional drama does not, by most estimations, warrant its use, but the director offered up a quick explanation of sorts, saying, “We are entering new narrative territory with this project. I am convinced that the medium of 3D will be able to open up an entirely new dimension of emotional closeness to our story and its protagonists.” Well, I won’t say the curiosity is low.

Here’s how Bjørn Olaf Johannessen‘s screenplay was outlined, with Franco taking the central role:

“One day, driving aimlessly around the outskirts of town after a trivial domestic quarrel, Tomas accidentally hits and kills a child. The accident marks him for the next twelve years, as we follow the event’s implosion in Tomas’ everyday life. Will Tomas be able to move on? Will he ever be able to look in the mirror and see a man, not a murderer?”

Meanwhile, a press release has revealed more of the cast on Cymbeline, writer-director Michael Almereyda‘s contemporary reinterpretation of a Shakespeare text. Taking one of the project’s top roles is Dakota Johnson (Need for Speed, 21 Jump Street), playing the love-struck Imogen, whose romantic antics set much of the New York cops vs. New York bikers narrative into motion; coming along, too, is Anton Yelchin, his involvement requiring a performance as Cloten, son of the Queen (Milla Jovovich).

Ethan Hawke, Ed Harris, and Penn Badgley also star in Cymbeline, which Benaroya Pictures and Keep Your Head Productions are expecting to roll cameras on in one week.

In a story concerning one filmmaker we have high hopes for, ScreenDaily have reported that Senna helmer Asif Kapadia has been angling toward a new narrative and, at the moment, has one star in mind. For the literary adaptation Ali and Nino — scripted by Christopher Hampton (A Dangerous Method, Atonement) and based on a novel by Kurban Said (that name being an alias) — Alicia Vikander (The Fifth Estate, Anna Karenina) is approached and, if signed, will be seen as “Nino Kipiani, a beautiful, Christian, Georgian princess” who falls in love with “Ali Khan Shirvanshir, the male descendant of a royal Muslim family.”

The project is set in a WWI-era Azerbaijan, right as the Bolshevik Revolution — and, with that, the Soviet Union — are about to dawn. PeaPie have been tapped to produce Ali and Nino, with the objective being a 2014 production start — potentially after Kapadia has completed much of the central work on his recently announced Amy Winehouse documentary, though the state of that project hasn’t been provided.

Finally, it’s said that Matthew Michael Carnahan (original scribe on World War Z) is ready to set forward with his directorial debut, Violent Talent, having found supporting players to fit his main cast of Garrett Hedlund, Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street), Toby Kebbell and Riz Ahmed (The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Four Lions). As scripted, it revolves around a young man (Hedlund) who partners with two friends, “Angel and Quan (Kebbell and Ahmed) to build a criminal empire in a contemporary Chicago where he feels crime might be the most honest job around.”

Appropriate that its story of an ascendant mob boss was inspired by Goodfellas, as Ray Liotta — collaborator with Matthew‘s brother, Joe, on Smokin’ Aces and the upcoming Stretch — will be coming aboard the project with Linda Emond (Oldboy, Terrence Malick‘s untitled project). Expect Carnahan to roll cameras in early 2014.

Which casting do you find most surprising, encouraging, or discouraging?

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