It had seemed that Whit Stillman’s next film, Love and Friendship, would instead go the route of the novel — appropriate enough, given its central inspiration and indicated sense of tone — but those who’d prefer he just make another comedy can begin their elation once more. As a report in The Herald notes, the writer-director has signed a pair of leading ladies to come to Ireland sometime this upcoming summer, securing Sienna Miller and his Last Days of Disco star, Chloë Sevigny, for the Jane Austen-based story.

As taking various inspirations from an unpublished-in-her-lifetime novella, Love and Friendship concerns the romantic pursuits of Lady Susan (Miller), a recently widowed socialite whose method of securing a new husband prove controversial amongst those in her immediate social company. Stillman had said the material not only “reads a bit like an Oscar Wilde play,” but “has the best female part of all the films I’ve made.” Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to get excited.

Meanwhile, THR inform us Christoph Waltz and The Weinstein Company will make bedfellows once more — though not, sadly, on Quentin Tarantino‘s next project. It is instead with Tulip Fever that star and distributor will be in one another’s company, with both angling toward a long-developing project based on Deborah Moggach‘s novel of romance, paintings, and 17th-century Netherlands. Justin Chadwick (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) will direct Dane DeHaan and Alicia Vikander in lead roles, the picture showing a “love affair between a man and a woman at a time when Dutch painters were creating paintings that would go on to become dubbed masterpieces,” its title referring to a period in which “single bulbs would sell for as much as 10 times the average annual salary at the time.”

Ruby Films are producing the title.

ScreenDaily have an item concerning Stellan Skarsgård, who’s looking to get into a le Carré mood with StudioCanal and Film4’s Our Kind of Traitor. This deal would put him in the company of Ewan McGregor and director Susanna White (Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, HBO’s Parade’s End and Generation Kill), both of whom have been involved with the title since October, when our last report came in — thus making this development even more pleasant as a bit of updating.

It seems likely that Skarsgård would take a role once eyed for Mads Mikkelsen, having been cast in a tale concerning “a couple who gets mixed up with a Russian oligarch and major money launderer,” only to find themselves “caught up in his plans to defect [and] soon positioned between the Russian Mafia and the British Secret Service.”

With a script from Hossein Amini (The Two Faces of January, Drive), Our Kind of Traitor will be supported by Potboiler Productions and The Ink Factory; a summer shoot is anticipated.

Two comedy tidbits come from TheWrap and Deadline; the former report that Jack Black and James Marsden will lead The D-Train, while the latter note that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and writer-director Jonathan Levine have plans to make a 50/50 reunion with an untitled Christmas comedy. For the first, Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel (Yes Man) will make their directorial debut with a story, compared to Get Him to the Greek, concerning a “high school reunion committee chairman (Black) who must do whatever it takes to get the most popular guy from high school (Marsden) to show up to their 20-year reunion, including flying to Los Angeles, where the one-time BMOC is now a failed actor working in commercials.” In addition to producing, Mike White will take a co-starring role as the protagonist’s sole high-school friend; scribe Nat Faxon (The Way, Way Back; The Descendants) may also make an appearance.

Levine‘s film is a three-man show concerning “childhood friends who get together again in NYC to renew their old tradition of going out on Christmas Eve.” When that third part is cast, Sony will roll cameras this summer.

Are you particularly anticipating any of the projects noted here? Which casting bit is most promising?

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