We have a few quick casting stories for you today. First up, THR reports that Marion Cotillard has replaced Natalie Portman to a new adaptation of William Shakespeare‘s Macbeth from director Justin Kurzel (Snowtown). Cotillard will play Lady Macbeth opposite Michael Fassbender. As we previously reported, the screenplay by Todd Louiso and Jacob Koskoff will take place in the 11th century, and will “be a visceral approach to the story including significant battle scenes.” No insult to Portman, who I’m sure would have made an interesting Lady Macbeth, but I have an easier time seeing Cotillard in the role. She just seems to have an easier time giving off a more sinister vibe, which is key for the role (or at least how it’s usually depicted).
Hit the jump for casting news on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – The Green Destiny and Kenneth Branagh‘s adaptation of Cinderella.
Back in May, we reported that The Weinstein Company was targeting a May start date for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II – The Green Destiny. At the time, the film was angling to recruit Ronny Yu (Freddy vs. Jason) to direct from a script by John Fusco (Hidalgo). Fusco assumed fight choreographer Yuen Wo Ping would handle the martial arts scenes as he did in the first film. However, The Wrap is reporting that Wo Ping will be in the director’s chair. Wo Ping has helmed over 20 Chinese-language films, but is best known for his fight choreography on movies such as The Matrix, Kill Bill, Kung Fu Hustle, and more. The Wrap adds that Donnie Yen (Ip Man) has signed on to play Silent Wolf opposite Michelle Yeoh, who reprising her role as Yu Shu Lien. There are currently no details on the plot, but “Harvey Weinstein, Yen and Wo Ping will discuss the project at a Saturday press conference in Cannes”, so perhaps we’ll learn more then. Production is set to begin in March 2014.
Hit the jump for the trailer to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The film grossed $128 million domestically, $213.5 worldwide, and won director Ang Lee the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Nothing’s going to come close to the news of J.J. Abrams directing Star Wars: Episode VII today, but a sequel of a different sort is also moving closer to production. Deadline reports that The Weinstein Company is planning on a May production start date on the sequel to Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning 2000 film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The follow-up is based on author Wang Du Lu’s Silver Vase, Iron Knight, which is the fourth book in the Crane-Iron Pentalogy. The pic has a script by John Fusco (Hidalgo, Young Guns) and Ronny Yu (Freddy vs. Jason, Bride of Chucky) is in talks to direct.
The story again centers on the character of Yu Shu Lien, played by Michelle Yeoh in the first film. Casting will begin once the director is officially signed, but some actors are expected to reprise their roles and Fusco imagines choreographer Wo Ping Yuen to come back.