Knightley in ‘Emperor’s Children,’ ‘True Grit’ Moves to Texas and Foxx Pens ‘Shirley’

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Knightley, Bana, Gere are Baumbach’s Children: Keira Knightley, Eric Bana and Richard Gere are set to star in Noah Baumbach’s The Emperor’s Children for Imagine Entertainment. The film is an adaptation of Claire Messud’s 2006 best-selling novel about a trio of Brown University graduates who are approaching their 30s with trepidation as they struggle to realize the lofty expectations held for their personal and professional lives. The novel was set in New York in the months leading up to and following 9/11. Filming is expected to begin this summer. [The Wrap]

Coen’s True Grit Moves to Granger, TX: Paul Rae (W.) has joined the cast of the Coen brothers’ True Grit as Emmett Quincy, a member of Ned Pepper’s (Barry Pepper) gang. The casting comes as news surfaces saying the shoot will move from New Mexico to Granger, Texas for 3 months where it is reported a trio of roles are being filled:

FRANK JAMES – Late 60’s – 80’s. Must be able to portray a menacing look through his eyes!! Beady-eyed bastard. Very mean looking! Thug. Son-of-a-gun. Not a nice guy!

GRANDMA TURNER – Late 60’s – 80’s. Must be able to portray a mean woman – decrepit & pruney looking (great wrinkles/facial lines). She snores loudly! 2 options: Old crone (mean old lady) OR a very large woman (too big to share bed w/Mattie).

GENERAL WOMEN – Frontier, hard-bitten types of WOMEN. Must have interesting faces (facial lines, crooked teeth, larger noses, weathered skin type, hard features). Preferably longer hair w/no artificial color. They need rough frontier types – NOT modern looking. No makeup!

True Grit hits theaters on December 25. [Variety and Acting Auditions]

Jamie Foxx Penning Laverne and Shirley Adaptation: In an interesting bit of news, Garry Marshall says Jennifer Garner and Jessica Biel are set to star in a feature film adaptation of “Laverne & Shirley” which starred Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams. The script being written by none other than Jamie Foxx. “Jamie and I are trying to do it,” Garry said. “He’s writing it. It’s a whole different modern day take on how they came up on the streets during difficult times. Laverne would be this very tough girl with a big ‘L’ tattooed on her arm. Jennifer Garner would play Laverne and Jessica Biel would play Shirley.” [TV Guide]

Snyder Pretty Much Promises a Prequel to 300: It’s been known for some time that Frank Miller was working on a prequel story to “300” called “Xerxes” but whether it would make its way to theaters was never confirmed. In an interview, 300 helmer Zack Snyder makes it sound like the film is almost certainly guaranteed to hit theaters saying, “I’m waiting on Frank to show me something in the next couple of months, and there’s a really good chance that will be the next thing we do. I’m not telling him what to write. I’ll take it and I’ll adapt it and make it into a movie and I’ll write a screenplay, but I want him to do whatever he thinks.”

When Snyder says it’s the next thing he’ll do that means after this year’s release of The Legend of the Guardians and next year’s 2D-to-3D feature Sucker Punch. Oh, and there are also reports Warner is prepping a 2D-to-3D conversion of 300. [Coming Soon]

Music Box Acquires Rest of Millennium Trilogy: This past week saw the release of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo based on the late Stieg Larsson’s novel and now it’s being reported Music Box has also picked up the rights to the two follow up films The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest. The two films maintain the lead casting from the first film with Noomi Rapace playing Lisbeth Salander and Michael Nyqvist playing Mikael Blomkvist. Daniel Alfredson directed both films, which were originally released across the pond in 2009.

The Girl Who Played With Fire centers on a sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest centers on Salander as she battles corrupt government institutions to clear her name.

Right now rumor has David Fincher attached to direct an American language remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for Columbia Pictures. [Screen Daily]

Maleficent Gets a Wonderland Scripter: Linda Woolverton (Alice in Wonderland) has been tapped by Disney to pen the script for Maleficent, a live-action take on the evil queen in the 1959 animated classic Sleeping Beauty. The film is expected to tell the classic fairy tale from the point of view of the self-proclaimed “Mistress of All Evil.” Tim Burton is reportedly interested in directing the project, which would reunite him with Woolverton, but a deal is yet to be made. [Heat Vision]

Shepard Filming Butch Cassidy Sequel: Sam Shepard is set to play the real-life Robert LeRoy Parker in Blackthorn, a supposed sequel to the 1969 feature Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman. Mateo Gil will direct the film telling the story of Cassidy’s attempt to return to the United States. Cassidy is compelled to commit just one more robbery before he can retire. I’m not sure why it’s being referred to as a sequel, it obviously isn’t an all-out sequel considering both Butch and Sundance die at the end of the original film. [USA Today]

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Weekend: Oct. 17, 2019, Oct. 20, 2019

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