Mickey Rourke and his BAFTA award
Deadline reports Mickey Rourke will star in an adaptation of Philip Carlo’s book The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer, which tells the true story of Richard “The Ice Man” Kuklinski who for over 40 years led a double life as a notorious professional assassin and a loving husband and father in suburban New Jersey. David McKenna (American History X, Blow) is writing the screenplay.
This certainly sounds like the type of story that is perfect for Rourke’s signature blend of sensitivity and toughness, and producer Matty Beckerman calls it “a role Mickey Rourke was born to play.”
The Hollywood Reporter has the news that Matthew McConaughey and Emile Hirsch have signed on to star in the black comedy Killer Joe for director William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection). The script, by Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning writer Tracy Letts, centers on a brother (Hirsch) and sister combo who plot the death of their mother for the insurance money and hire “Killer Joe” Cooper (McConaughey), a cop and contract killer to do the deed. It will start shooting on November 8 in the New Orleans area. McConaughey once had a coolness about him that he has since lost somewhere in a heap of romantic comedies, so it’s nice to see him choosing interesting roles again.
Next, Deadline reports Al Pacino and Joe Pesci are now circling The Irishman, the mob drama that Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese have been working on together based on the exploits of mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran as chronicled in the book I Heard You Paint Houses. With Scorsese at the helm I trust this won’t won’t disappoint like Righteous Kill, the last collaboration between the De Niro/Pacino dream team. Scorsese is currently working on his 3D family film Hugo Cabret and it’s unclear if his next project will be The Irishman or Silence, the 17th century priest drama with Benicio Del Toro, Daniel Day-Lewis and Gael Garcia Bernal attached. Either one sounds like a winner to me.
Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones) and James Gandolfini will star in Violet and Daisy, an indie teenage hitgirl drama from Geoffrey Fletcher, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Precious. Variety reports Fletcher will also direct the picture, which will start shooting on September 27 in New York. Violet and Daisy are a pair of teenage assassins who take on what is supposed to be just another job, only to find that the man they’re supposed to kill is not what they expected. Slashfilm reports Alexis Bledel is in line to play Violet (a role previously previously rumored for Carey Mulligan), so that would leave Ronan to play Daisy. Danny Trejo is also reportedly set for a part. A prior report described the film as “Thelma and Louise meets Superbad meets Pulp Fiction.” So yeah, take that as you will.
Milla Jovovich has made it official that there is going to be a fifth Resident Evil, which comes as a surprise to absolutely no one. According to Vulture, her husband and director Paul W.S. Anderson already has some ideas and he’s looking for some ideas from fans as well. “We’ve been talking to a lot of fans on Twitter and stuff, so it’s probably going to be one of the first movies where we really talk to fans to see what they want, and what characters they want to see. It’s going to be a more interactive process,” she says. The fourth installment, Afterlife, had the franchise’s biggest opening last weekend and is the first in the series to open at number one worldwide. I wonder if those inflated 3D ticket prices had anything to do with it… Hmmmmmm…
According to Deadline, Disney has tapped William Monahan, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Departed, to adapt Oblivion, which will be the next film from Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski. The story was hatched from a Kosinski idea and turned into a graphic novel set on a future Earth where civilization lives above the clouds and scavengers collect ancient artifacts from the polluted surface below.
IFC Films announced they have acquired the rights to Super (Brad sees it Wednesday at TIFF), the dark superhero movie from director James Gunn (Slither), and will handle U.S. distribution under their new IFC Midnight banner. Super premiered over the weekend in Toronto and stars the likes of Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon, Linda Cardellini and Michael Rooker. The film tells the story of an average guy (Wilson) who takes on a superhero alter ego when his wife (Tyler) falls under the spell of a charming drug dealer and compensates for his lack of super powers by swinging a trusty wrench. I love the cast but I’m still waiting to hear what separates the film from the surprisingly strong Defendor, a similar-sounding movie that was dumped into a total of four theaters back in February.
Sam Riley (Control) will star as British playwright Christopher “Kit” Marlowe in A Dead Man in Deptford. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie will play with the idea that Marlowe, a notorious bar room brawler, was also a royal spy for Elizabeth I and that his death in Deptford at age 29 may have been an assassination ordered by the English Secret Service. Is it just me, or does that sound like a movie Oliver Stone would make if he were a 17th Century Englishman?
Gareth Edwards, whose buzzy Monsters (trailer to the right) screened as part of the midnight madness in Toronto, will team with Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov for his next project. Deadline reports Bekmambetov will produce, while Edwards will write and direct a sci-fi feature they describe as “an epic human story, set in a futuristic world without humanity.” I feel like those are opposing ideas, but the trailer for the $500,000 Monsters looks impressive enough to have me interested.
Rowan Joffe, helmer of the Toronto title Brighton Rock (of which Brad tells me he’ll have his review online in the next day or so), is targeting an adaptation of Steve Watson’s novel Before I Go to Sleep for his next project. The book, which has been sold in over 30 countries, tells the story of a young woman who wakes up after a long night of partying to discover that she has aged beyond recognition. It will be produced under Ridley Scott’s Scott Free U.K. umbrella, with principal photography expected to begin mid-2011 according to Variety.
Finally, Production Weekly has tweeted that Kevin Kline is set to reunite with Lawrence Kasdan (The Big Chill, Silverado) for the drama Darling Companion, which will begin filming September 27 in Utah.