Filmmaker and Academy Award nominee Noah Baumbach’s charming and quirky dramatic comedy, Frances Ha, is a modern comic fable that examines the human condition and explores New York, friendship, ambition, failure and redemption. Greta Gerwig, who co-wrote the screenplay with Baumbach and starred earlier in Baumbach’s Greenberg, plays the title role. Opening May 17th, the film was shot on location in New York City and features a terrific cast of up-and-coming actors that include Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen and Patrick Heusinger.
In an exclusive interview, Baumbach talked about how the finished film compared to his original vision, what fuels his creative collaboration with Gerwig, writing a story populated by intelligent, funny and relatable characters, what his casting choices brought to the film, why he is drawn to Gotham, the challenges of filming in NYC, why he decided to shoot in black and white, and how he used music to elevate and expand the movie. He also discussed his upcoming projects including reteaming with Gerwig on a new film set in New York City, an animated feature in development at DreamWorks, directing the Ben Stiller drama While We’re Young, and adapting The Emperor’s Children for Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. Hit the jump for the interview.
Here’s today’s casting update:
Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.
Jesse Eisenberg’s ascension to unlikely geeky movie star was a gradual one that required overtaking Michael Cera’s crown as the king of awkward 20somethings. Though he stood out as a teen in small films like 2002’s Rodger Dodger, the film that put Eisenberg on the map for most people was Noah Baumbach’s acidic divorce comedy The Squid And The Whale. Now famous and Oscar nominated, it looks like Jesse might be reuniting with Baumbach on the upcoming While We’re Young. Details on the film are pretty scarce at this early stage, but a few other interesting casting choices are already in place and the tone should be consistent with Baumbach’s previous films that place complicated personalities into difficult situations to watch them squirm and reveal who they truly are. As he proved by playing Mark Zuckerberg, Eisenberg certainly knows his way around making a character empathetic without ignoring his inherent arrogance and that’s exactly what Baumbach needs from his actors. Hit the jump for more details on the upcoming flick.
Noah Baumbach (Greenberg) had an excellent cast lined up for his next feature: Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, James Franco, Cate Blanchett. It is with great regret that I use the past tense. Scheduling issues kept Gerwig from committing, and Just Jared reports that Franco and Blanchett have dropped out. Filming on While We’re Young was set to begin in New York in June, but Franco will be busy shooting Oz, the Great and Powerful. Blanchett’s motivation is not specified, but it’s possible there is overlap with her time on set for the sure-to-be sprawling production on The Hobbit, which starts shooting later this month. More on While We’re Young after the break:
James Franco is closing his deal to star in Sam Raimi’s Oz, The Great and Powerful. That’s not really news since we reported last week that Mila Kunis joining the project had basically put Franco on board. The real news in Deadline‘s story is how the busy actor’s schedule for 2011 is set to play out. In addition to the press he’ll most likely be doing for his 2011 films Your Highness and Rise of the Apes, he’s got three films set for the year. First up, he’ll costar with Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, and Cate Blanchett in Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young. In the summer he’ll move on to Oz, which is an origin story of the Wizard of Oz and the land’s various witches. Finally, in the late fall/winter he’ll star alongside Nicole Kidman in David Cromer’s revival of the Tenneesse Williams play Sweet Bird of Youth.
Throughout his shooting scheduled he’ll continue working towards getting his PhD in creative writing at Yale. I’ll be pretty busy myself, especially in the fall when a bunch of new video games come out. Sure, Franco may make loads of money, earn tons of awards, and get his doctorate, but will he have solved all of the Riddler’s clues in Batman: Arkham City? I think not.
Writer/director Noah Baumbach is prepping his next film, While We’re Young, and as usual, he’s culling an excellent cast. Ben Stiller and James Franco are attached to star, with offers out to Greta Gerwig and Cate Blanchett. Franco is the only newbie to the land of Baumbach. Stiller and Gerwig assumed the lead roles in his last film, Greenberg; Blanchett acted in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, the script of which Baumbach co-wrote.
Vulture indicates the story centers on “a free-spirited Brooklynite twenty-something couple (Franco and Gerwig) who inspires an uptight documentarian (Stiller) and his wife (Blanchett) to loosen up — with comedic consequences.” More after the jump.