We’ve got a couple of casting stories to address today. First up, it was announced that Ewan McGregor will lead the cast of writer/director Rodrigo Garcia’s (Albert Nobbs) new drama Last Days in the Desert. McGregor will be joined by Ciaran Hinds (Harry Potter), Ayelet Zurer (Man of Steel), and the young Tye Sheridan (Mud) in the pic, which follows a holy man and a demon on a journey through the desert. McGregor will play both the holy man and the demon, and the story finds the former encountering a family struggling to survive in the harsh environment that forces the man to confront his own fate. Production is currently underway in the Southern California desert with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity, The Tree of Life) lensing the film.
Hit the jump for casting news concerning Harry Potter alum Emma Watson tackling the thriller genre and for the full press release for Last Days in the Desert.
Additionally, The Wrap reports that Emma Watson has signed on to star opposite Ethan Hawke in director Alejandro Amenábar’s (The Others) upcoming thriller Regression. Plot details are under wraps, but a previous report noted that the project “plays with our deepest primal fears to make us feel once again both profoundly human and extremely vulnerable.” Amenábar has tackled straight drama (The Sea Inside) and horror-thriller (The Others) before to great success, including a Best Foreign Language Oscar for the former, so hopes are high for this latest effort—especially with Watson onboard. The film falls under the newly formed banner TWC-Dimension, which will release Regression in 2015. TWC-Dimension was put together last year with the intention of combining the prestige quality of The Weinstein Company’s films with Dimension’s more commercial aspirations. Watson will next be seen onscreen in Darren Aronofsky’s Biblical epic Noah.
Here’s the press release for Last Days in the Desert:
Los Angeles, CA (February 5, 2014) – Mockingbird Pictures and Division Films announce today that Ewan McGregor and Tye Sheridan have signed on to star in their co-production of LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT, which is written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia (Albert Nobbs). Ciarán Hinds (There Will Be Blood) and Ayelet Zurer (Angels and Demons) round out the film’s cast as Sheridan’s Father and Mother.
LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT follows a holy man and a demon—both roles played by McGregor—on a journey through the desert. An encounter with a family struggling to survive in this harsh environment forces the holy man to confront his own fate.
The film is produced by Julie Lynn and Bonnie Curtis of Mockingbird Pictures along with Wicks Walker of Division Films, who financed the picture in collaboration with recently shingled Ironwood Entertainment, with Aspiration Media and New Balloon in association. The film has commenced principal photography in the Southern California desert.
Garcia and director of photography “Chivo” Lubezki are reunited for the picture after having worked together many years ago on Garcia’s Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her, which was awarded Un Certain Regard at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. Lubezki received his sixth Academy Award nomination recently for his work on Gravity.
WME Entertainment is handling domestic rights, with Hanway Films representing international.
Says HanWay’s Thorsten Schumacher, ‘Rodrigo Garcia is an incredible filmmaker who we’ve long admired and he’s assembled an amazing cast and crew to bring to life this epic and profound story. We’re thrilled to introduce Last Days In The Desert to our buyers at Berlin’.
Rodrigo Garcia’s Albert Nobbs, which starred Glenn Close and was likewise produced by Mockingbird Pictures, was nominated for three Academy Awards in 2012, including Close as Best Actress.
The film boasts a cast and crew that have collectively received 37 Oscar nominations: 4-time Academy Award nominee Jeannine Oppewall (Catch Me If You Can) as production designer; 3-time Academy Award nominee Judianna Makovsky (The Hunger Games) as costume designer; 2-time Academy Award nominee Christina Smith (Schindler’s List) as makeup department head and 2-time Academy Award winner Andy Nelson (Les Misérables) and 4-time Academy Award nominee Peter Devlin (Iron Man 3) are handling sound.
Ewan McGregor most recently wrapped production on Mortdecai opposite Johnny Depp. He currently stars in August: Osage County. This fall he will star in Gavin O’ Connor’s Jane Got a Gun Opposite Natalie Portman as well as make his Broadway debut in Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing.” He recently starred in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, which garnered him a Best Actor Golden Globe nomination, as well as Beginners and The Impossible. McGregor is represented by UTA, United Agents and Sloane, Offer, Weber, Dern.
Tye Sheridan received the Marcello Mastroianni Award at the 2013 Venice Film Festival and several film critics recognition, most recently receiving a nomination for Best Young Actor by the Broadcast Film Critics Association on behalf of his performance in the film Mud. He will next be seen starring alongside Nicolas Cage in the upcoming film Joe as well as Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places, both set to release this year. Additional upcoming films include The Forger with John Travolta and Grass Stains.