We’ve got a smattering of casting news to throw your way this morning. First up, Stellan Skarsgard and Hiroyuki Sanada (the upcoming action flick 47 Ronin) have joined the Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, and Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) in Jonathan Teplitzy‘s drama The Railway Man. Firth plays real-life World War II British officer Eric Lomax, who was captured and tortured by the Japanese. Decades later, he’s persuaded by his wife (Kidman) to find and confront one of his captors in order to repair the psychological damage. Irvine plays the younger Lomax who was in the war. According to Variety, “Skarsgard will play the best friend who accompanies the older Lomax (Firth) back to the scene of his torture. Sanada plays a Japanese officer from the prison camp whom Lomax tracks down.” This is turning out to be a terrific cast, and judging by the synopsis, this could be a big role for Sanada, whose previous credits include Speed Racer, Sunshine, and Lost.
Hit the jump for more casting news on the indie flicks Jobs, Kilimanjaro, and You Are Here.
Nicole Kidman has replaced Rachel Weisz to play Colin Firth‘s wife in Jonathan Teplitzy‘s The Railway Man. Per Variety, the movie is “based on Eric Lomax‘s autobiography about his horrific experiences as a Japanese prisoner in World War II, and his remarkable reconciliation with one of his captors 30 years later.” Patty Lomax was instrumental in helping her husband deal with his psychological damage and brought him together with one of the Japanese officers who was responsible for his torture. I assume the reconciliation wasn’t along the lines of a “My bad, man—All good, bro” exchange. Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) will play the younger Lomax.
Weisz had to drop out of the role due to additional shooting for the blockbuster films The Bourne Legacy and Oz: The Great and Powerful. Kidman is also attached to star in My Wild Life and The Family Fang, and she will be seen later this year in Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy.
The Railway Man was one of the first projects Colin Firth signed on to after he won the Best Actor Oscar for The King’s Speech. Earlier today we received the first synopsis for The Railway Man, based on the memoir of World War II POW Eric Lomax:
“What if all your life, all you had ever wanted was a chance at revenge? If the moment came – would you take it? What if love gave you a different choice?”
The key part for this casting notice is the phrase “all your life.” Firth is a great actor, with the Oscar to prove it, but the role of Young Colin Firth is beyond even his range. That part will instead go to Jeremy Irvine, the young star poised for a breakout as the lead in Steven Spielberg’s Christmas offering War Horse. More after the jump.
Each year, a number of films are presented and sold at the American Film Market in Santa Monica. The 2011 AFM takes place this week, and in preparation for the AFM, Lionsgate has compiled production information and synopses for the properties that they plan to sell at the convention to both domestic and international buyers (for the territories that they have the rights). Lucky for us, that info is now public, and we’ve pulled together cast, director, and writer information as well as official synopses for some high profile 2012 Lionsgate films. We’ve got info on the Evil Dead remake, Spike Lee’s English-language adaptation of the now classic Park Chan-wook film Old Boy, Diablo Cody’s directorial debut, the comedy Murder of a Cat starring Jay Baruchel, Alison Pill, and Rob Lowe, and much more. Hit the jump for all the details.
What do you do after giving a rousing performance as the struggling King of England? You play a British POW, that’s what you do. The King’s Speech actor Colin Firth is now set to star in the adaptation of the non-fiction book The Railway Man. THR reports that Firth has boarded the drama which tells the true story of British army officer Eric Lomax, who was captured and tortured by the Japanese during World War II. Lomax was forced to work on the construction of the “death railway,” and later reconciled with one of his tormentors.
Jonathan Teplitzky (Burning Man) is directing the adaptation, while Frank Cottrell Boyce (Millions) and Andy Paterson are taking on scripting duties. Lionsgate International is currently shopping the project to buyers at the Toronto Film Festival. Firth will next be seen in the fantastic-looking spy thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and also stars in the Coen brothers-scripted pic Gambit alongside Cameron Diaz, which is set for release sometime next year. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of The Railway Man.