Mark Romanek is an incredibly talented filmmaker from whom we have seen far too little. The director first gained notice for his work in the world of music videos, helming Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer”, Michael and Janet Jackson’s “Scream”, and most notably Johnny Cash’s hauntingly beautiful “Hurt.” Then in 2002, Romanek directed his second feature, the psychological thriller One Hour Photo starring Robin Williams. The film was met with both critical and commercial success, and is now getting its long-deserved HD treatment with a Blu-ray transfer that was supervised by Romanek himself.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Romanek on the phone in anticipation of the Blu-ray release for One Hour Photo (available now), and during the course of our conversation, the Never Let Me Go filmmaker talked about what it was like to revisit one of his films so extensively a decade after its release, the Blu-ray’s extras, developing a limited series at FX, what happened with Cinderella, his future projects, and more. Romanek also spoke about his departure from 2010’s The Wolfman and what his vision for that film entailed, and he talked about his desire to make a film on a larger canvas. Hit the jump to read the full interview.
For the past couple of months, casting has been underway to find an actress for the title character in Kenneth Branagh‘s live-action Cinderella. Emma Watson was circling the role, but decided to pass. Earlier this month, we reported that Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows), Lily James (Downton Abbey), and Margot Robbie (Pan Am) were in the running for the part. Today, Disney has announced that the role has gone to James. There’s currently no word on Branagh’s take on the material, and if he’ll try to go the big, colorful, and expensive route of Disney’s recent fairy tale re-imaginings such as Alice in Wonderland and Oz the Great and Powerful.
As for James, I’ll be interested to see what she’ll do with the role. Her part on Downton Abbey is fairly one-dimensional (she represents the roaring 20s in conflict with 19th century aristocracy). She’ll be starring along Cate Blanchett, who will play the evil stepmother. Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) is currently the frontrunner to play the Prince. Filming is expected to begin this fall for a 2014 release.
Disney is closing in on its titular female lead for Cinderella. The project suffered a bit of a hiccup when director Mark Romanek exited the film this past January over creative differences. Kenneth Branagh subsequently stepped in to take the helm, only to see Emma Watson come and go from the lead role in the span of a week. Cate Blanchett is still set to star as the wicked stepmother, and now Branagh has narrowed down the lead to three actresses. Hit the jump to find out who’s testing for the lead role and which Game of Thrones actor is being eyed to play the Prince.
Last month Emma Watson was linked to new live-action fairy tale remakes: Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. Playing both Belle and Cinderella is probably too much princess for any one actress, so Watson has understandably ruled out one project. Variety’s Marc Graser tweeted, “Emma Watson has decided NOT to star in Disney’s CINDERELLA.” Graser did not explain Watson’s reasoning, but did tweet in reply, “Details to come.” So stay tuned.
Disney may go back to the drawing board with the original shortlist: Saoirse Ronan (Hanna), Gabriella Wilde (The Three Musketeers) Alicia Vikander (A Royal Affair). Cate Blanchett is expected to play the evil stepmother. Kenneth Branagh (Thor) will direct. The studio hopes to get Cinderella in front of cameras in London this fall for a possible 2014 release.
It looks like Disney is eyeing Emma Watson (Harry Potter series) to don the iconic glass slipper in their live-action Cinderella picture. Saoirse Ronan, Gabrielle Wilde and Alicia Vikander were previously reportedly as being eyed for the role, though Watson is still in very early talks. Cate Blanchett is expected to play the evil stepmother and Kenneth Branagh will direct, having replaced Mark Romanek earlier this year. Disney hopes to begin shooting in London this fall for a possible 2014 release. Hit the jump for more.
Earlier this month, director Mark Romanek departed Disney’s live-action adaptation of Cinderella after “creative differences”. Today, Vulture reports that the studio is now in talks with Kenneth Branagh to replace Romanek. Branagh is a pretty major departure from Romanek, whose previous films Never Let Me Go and One Hour Photo have a distinct style and approach. Branagh’s non-Shakespeare work is fairly journeyman aside from his overuse of Dutch angles.
Cate Blanchett is reportedly still attached to play the evil stepmother, and the production is still looking for its eponymous princess with Saoirse Ronan, Gabrielle Wilde and Alicia Vikander reportedly on being eyed for the role. Disney hopes to begin shooting in London this fall for a possible 2014 release. Branagh’s next film, Jack Ryan, opens December 25th. Click here for new images from the movie.
Director Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) is starting to be known as much for his “dark” films as he is for exiting projects in development because of his “dark” takes. Add Cinderella to the latter, because Romanek and Disney have parted ways due to creative differences. Romanek was “too dark” for The Wolfman a few years ago and the pattern has repeated itself once again, with his take on Cinderella conflicting with the studio’s sensibilities. Deadline reports that Disney has already begun looking for a new director to helm a picture in which Cate Blanchett will play the evil step-mother. The search for a lead actress is currently still in process, with Saoirse Ronan, Gabrielle Wilde and Alicia Vikander reported as being of interest.
Just after Cate Blanchett was reported as being in negotiations to play the evil step-mother in Disney’s Untitled Cinderella Story, we now have a trio of international actresses being eyed for the lead role. The contenders for the coveted glass slipper are the Irish-born Saoirse Ronan (Hanna), Britain’s Gabriella Wilde (The Three Musketeers) and Swedish Alicia Vikander (A Royal Affair). Originally pitched by Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada), Disney picked up the project for a substantial sum in 2010. Chris Weitz (About a Boy) wrote the script and Simon Kinberg (X-Men) will produce. Hit the jump for more.
Now that Hollywood is done with Snow White, they’ll be moving on to Cinderella. Vying for the role of “evil stepmother” in the Disney picture will be Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). Blanchett is reportedly in negotiations for the new adaptation, which is currently known as the Untitled Cinderella Story. Blanchett would be the first casting addition in the picture directed by Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go). Produced by Simon Kinberg (X-Men), the Untitled Cinderella Story started as a pitch and initial script by Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) back in 2010, followed by a more recent draft by Chris Weitz (About a Boy). Hit the jump for more.
A couple of great Disney Blu-ray deals are featured as Amazon’s Gold Box Deal of the Day. Both the Toy Story and Cinderella trilogies are 51% off for today only. You can own Pixar’s Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and Toy Story 3 on 3D Blu-ray for $48.99, which is down from the list price of $100. Also, for the Disney Princess fans, the limited edition six-disc Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack of the Cinderella is on sale for $44.49, down from the list price of $89.99. That’s one hell of a deal, as the combo also includes a collectible jewelry box packaging.
Click here to purchase the Toy Story trilogy, and click here to buy the Cinderella trilogy.
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This week on Blu-ray, director Ridley Scott’s Prometheus comes to home video packed with special features that delve deeper into the film’s questions, Steven Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial finally comes to Blu-ray, and two Alfred Hitchcock classics get the HD treatment. We’ve also got a couple of major titles that were released last week. Briefly:
Hit the jump for all the details.
Disney made headway on a new live-action Cinderella last month with the hire of director Mark Romanek. But as we’ve seen with the dueling Snow White movies, the appeal of fairy tales—known properties in the public domain—is too great for just one studio. Universal is throwing their hat into the ring, and according to Variety, the studio is turning to Ann Peacock for help. Peacock is in final negotiations to rewrite an “untitled reimagining of the fairy tale” from an earlier draft by Michael Dougherty. Specific plot details are under wraps, but barring any drastic changes, the premise should look familiar when Universal is ready to go public with the synopsis: a young girl is whisked away from her terrible home situation by her fairy godmother to a magical ball where she meets the aptly named Prince Charming.
Peacock’s credits are diverse, from Kit Kittredge: An American Girl to The Killing Room to an Emmy for the TV movie A Lesson Before Dying. The best comparison here is screenplay credit on the family friendly fantasy The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. She’s a solid choice—a wise move since this will be Bruno Aveillan’s first time in the director’s chair.
Snow White isn’t the only Disney princess getting her big live-action update. In addition to the multiple Snow White projects currently in development, Disney is fashioning a live-action re-imagining of Cinderella. Deadline reports that the studio is courting Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go) to direct the film, which has a script by Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada). The Mouse House put the project into development last May, after Alice in Wonderland made a ridiculous amount of money.
The script is described as an update of the classic tale, as it finds the prince set up for a politically arranged marriage that is threatened when he meets Cinderella. I’m a big fan of Romanek. The director has been courted for a number of high-profile projects as of late (including The Wolverine), and if the deal goes through it’ll be exciting to see a director of his dramatic talents take on this fairy tale update.
After the billion-dollar worldwide success of Alice in Wonderland, Disney is digging through their animated vaults for inspiration, including a live-action edition of Cinderella. Currently, the rumor mill suggests that Amanda Seyfried possesses the foot upon which the glass slipper fits, and has signed on to star in the remake.
Disney reportedly paid seven figures for the pitch from Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada), though not much is known yet on what her take on the material is. More after the jump:
Disney has made a 7-figure pitch deal for a new live-action film based on the classic Cinderella tale. Deadline reports the film will be written by Aline Brosh McKenna, whose previous credits include The Devil Wears Prada and 27 Dresses. McKenna has also written the upcoming Patrick Wilson comedy, Morning Glory, and also wrote a draft of Cameron Crowe’s next film, We Bought a Zoo, which Crowe is currently rewriting.
Not much is known about this new take on Cinderella. It’s not even known how much of a “new take” it will be on the well known fairy tale or if will just retell the same story. All we know is that Disney is hoping to strike gold again after their recent success with their reimagining of Alice of Wonderland, which has now grossed $980,533,915 worldwide. Simon Kinberg will produce the new version of Cinderella.