To create a poignant and funny portrait of creative young New Yorkers trying to make their mark in Manhattan, writer/director Daryl Wein and co-writer Zoe Lister-Jones looked to their own lives and those of their peers for inspiration. The filmmakers were drawn to the idea of a contemporary romantic comedy with a spirited and authentic woman at its heart that would take the classic boy-meets-girl scenario and turn it on its ear. As Lola Versus begins, Lola’s fiance Luke breaks off their engagement just weeks before the wedding. Over the next 12 months, she slowly, sometimes awkwardly and often comically, adjusts to her new life as a single woman in the city.
We sat down at a roundtable interview with director Daryl Wein to talk about what it was like to write and direct a female-driven movie that tells a story in a fresh and intelligent way. He told us how he set about creating the unique voice and look of the film, how he and DP Jakob Ihre found fresh ways to show off New York City, why he cast Greta Gerwig in the lead role, and why he felt it was important to shoot the film in 35mm. He also discussed his and writing partner Zoe Lister-Jones’ next project tentatively titled Motherfucker.
Joel Kinnaman, the Swedish actor best known for his breakout role in AMC’s hit series The Killing, plays a pivotal role in Lola Versus as Lola’s (Greta Gerwig) erstwhile fiancé, Luke, a handsome and sensitive visual artist who is preparing for a prestigious solo show of his paintings based on images from celebrity sex tapes. When he breaks off their engagement just weeks before the wedding, Lola spirals out of control as she struggles to adjust to her new life as a suddenly single woman in the city. Kinnaman plays Luke as a thoughtful guy who realizes he can’t marry Lola right now and he manages to keep the character sympathetic even after he dumps her.
Recently we spoke by phone to Kinnaman in London about his contemporary romantic comedy, Lola Versus, which opens in theaters on June 8th. He told us what drew him to the project, what it was about the character that spoke to him when he read the script, how he views the differences in gender politics between the U.S. and Scandinavia, what the directing process was like with Daryl Wein, and why he enjoyed shooting on location in New York. He also discussed his upcoming role in the RoboCop reboot which starts filming in September. He talked to us about working with director José Padilha, being a fan of the original film directed by Paul Verhoeven, how Padilha plans to make the remake different from Verhoeven’s version while still throwing in nods to the original film, why he believes retelling a story can break new ground, and his excitement at having the opportunity to work opposite Gary Oldman whom he considers a master at his craft. Hit the jump for what he had to say.
Lola Versus is a comedic tale of love and loss among restless and ambitious young New Yorkers. An original new comedy from the creative team of Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones, the film is a perceptive and sometimes uncomfortably close look at the absurdities of modern romance. Lister-Jones, who co-wrote the film’s script with Wein, plays Lola’s loyal best friend, Alice, whom Lola turns to for advice as her well-ordered world dissolves into a blur of romantic humiliations, professional blunders and alcohol-fueled antics.
At the press day for Lola Versus, we sat down at a roundtable interview with Lister-Jones to talk about her collaboration with Wein that was inspired in part by their experiences as a real-life couple in an open relationship. She told us why she found the role fun to play, how being able to both act and write has empowered her creatively, how her mother encouraged her to follow her heart and study acting despite the financial insecurities, how she’d like to direct in the future, and why she thinks emotional attachment and commitment are different between men and women. She also explained why she admires actress Meryl Streep and revealed her next creative project with Wein titled Motherfucker.
Greta Gerwig brings an unconventional beauty, bravura and vulnerability to the role of Lola, the unconventional heroine in Lola Versus. The film follows Lola through a year full of humor and heartbreak as she reevaluates a lifetime’s worth of aspirations and plans and adjusts to her new life as a single woman in the city. Gerwig makes the role hers and holds the audience’s sympathy through even the most difficult moments as she becomes an inescapable version of the character that has so many flaws.
At the press day for Lola Versus, we sat down at a roundtable interview with Gerwig to talk about what attracted her to the challenging role. She told us why she likes movies about women behaving badly, how at some point you’ve got to stop looking for Prince Charming and deal with fixing yourself first, and why Noam Chomsky crossed with Bill Murray is her ideal kind of guy. She also discussed what it was like shooting on location in New York City, how she learned to approach acting like a fencing match, what it was like working with Woody Allen on To Rome With Love in Italy, and how she hopes to direct something she’s written next year. Hit the jump for the interview.
The trailer for Lola Versus has gone online. The movie stars Greta Gerwig as a young woman who gets dumped just before her wedding, and who must then struggle with her newly single life. Based on this trailer, your enjoyment of Lola Versus will vary based on how much you’ve enjoyed Gerwig work in the past. The jokes don’t seem particularly strong (there’s a My Best Friend’s Wedding reference), but I tend to like Gerwig even though she’s never blown me away in a movie. Hopefully, Lola Versus will be the film that does it.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer along with the new poster. The film also stars Zoe Lister-Jones, Joel Kinnaman, Hamish Linklater, Debra Winger, and Bill Pullman. Lola Versus June 8th.
Though each of the following movies has less Robert Pattinson than Bel Ami, they also received new release dates today:
- Focus Features will release Anna Karenina starring Keira Knightley in the U.S. on November 9, a couple months after the September UK release.
- Fox Searchlight has scheduled the Greta Gerwig romantic comedy Lola Versus for June 8
- Summit has pushed The Cold Light of Day—a spy thriller led by Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis, and Sigourney Weaver—from April 6 to September 7.
Hit the jump for more on each project.
Production has begun on Fox Searchlight’s low-budget romantic comedy Lola Versus, and a few new castmembers have been announced. Bill Pullman, Debra Winger and Joel Kinnaman have joined a cast headed up by Greta Gerwig. Hamish Linklater (The New Adventures of Old Christine) has also come aboard the film that tells the story of a 29-year-old woman (Gerwig) who gets dumped be her fiancée (Kinnaman) three weeks before the wedding. She proceeds to embark on a series of desperate encounters as she finds herself questioning her place in the world on the cusp of turning 30.
Kinnamann is best known as one of the stars of AMC’s successful drama series The Killing, which was just recently picked up for a second season. He steps into Lola Versus replacing Orlando Bloom in the role of Gerwig’s fiancée. Daryl Wein (Breaking Upwards) is directing from a script he co-wrote with Zoe Jones. Filming is currently underway in New York City. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
We have a few casting tidbits to bring you tonight. First up, Deadline reports that Anna Faris has been offered the female lead in director Larry Charles’ (Borat) comedy The Dictator. Already starring Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Kingsley, the film tells the story of a dictator who risks his life to keep democracy out of his finely oppressed country. Cohen will take on dual roles in the film as both the dictator and a goat herder whereas Faris’ character would be the owner of an organic food store who begins to turn around Cohen’s dictatorial outlook. You may remember that Faris faced competition in the form of Kristen Wiig and Gillian Jacobs for the role. The Dictator is scheduled to be released by Paramount on May 11th, 2012.
Next up, Variety confirms that both Greta Gerwig (Arthur) and Orlando Bloom are settling in for roles in the romantic comedy Lola Versus. Per the report, Gerwig has already accepted the starring role of a girl who is dumped only weeks before her wedding by her college sweetheart. Bloom is still in final negotiations to join the film for an unspecified role (perhaps Gerwig’s aforementioned college sweetheart?). Daryl Wein (Breaking Upwards) is set to direct the script he co-wrote with Zoe Lister-Jones. Production on the film is scheduled to begin in New York next month.