1.) The swiftness with which producer and financier Scott Steindorff has replaced Jane Got a Gun director Lynne Ramsay after she reportedly no-showed on the first day of production leads me to believe there is even more to this story. Less than a day after the news broke Steindorff has already set Warrior helmer Gavin O’Connor to direct. After nine months of development, Ramsay mysteriously dropped out of directing the picture on the first day and we have yet to hear her side of the story.
As of now, filming will begin in Santa Fe, New Mexico on the picture in which Natalie Portman plays a woman whose outlaw husband returns home riddled with bullet wounds and barely alive. When her husband’s gang eventually tracks him down to finish the job, she is forced to reach out to an ex-lover (Edgerton) and ask if he will help defend her farm. Jude Law and Rodrigo Santoro co-star. For more on yesterday’s events, Deadline]
2.) Rumor has it Justin Timberlake will play Daddy Warbucks to Quvenzhane Wallis‘ Annie in the feature film adaptation of the Broadway musical Annie for director Will Gluck. Timberlake and Gluck previously worked on Friends with Benefits together. [Page Six]
3.) In a conference call with investors, MGM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Barber commented on the future of the James Bond franchise following the billion-plus dollar earner Skyfall and specifically referred to James Bond 24 saying, “[W]e look forward to announcing a director soon. We are currently developing the screenplay and working with our partners. We look forward to developing the script soon and signing a director. We are hoping within the next 3 years it will be released.” Sam Mendes has already announced he will not return as director, John Logan is penning the Bond 24 screenplay. [Reuters]
4.) The spy thriller The Man From U.N.C.L.E. has gone through a lot of directors — Matthew Vaughn, David Dobkin and Steven Soderbergh — and a lot of potential leading men — George Clooney, Michael Fassbender, Joel Kinnaman, Johnny Depp and Channing Tatum. The latest duo conspiring to bring the adaptation of the ’60s spy thriller to the big screen are director Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes) and Tom Cruise. The ’60s original featured Robert Vaughan and David McCallum as Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, two agents of the United Network Command for Law Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E.) as they fought the evil forces of T.H.R.U.S.H. [Deadline]
5.) David Lowery made a splash at Sundance this year with Ain’t Them Bodies Saints starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck and apparently he’s going from gritty drama to animated dragons as he and his writing partner Toby Halbrooks have been hired by Disney to write a new take on the studio’s 1977 film, Pete’s Dragon. [Deadline]