By: Romeo San Vicente*/Special to TRT—
Jodie Foster leaves prison, moves into House of Cards
Jodie Foster’s next feature as a director, Money Monster, is in that weird no-person’s-land known as pre-production, so in the meantime, the double Academy Award-winning actor has been dropping in for guest spots directing cool episodic television. She helmed the fittingly-titled “Lesbian Request Denied” episode of the hit Netflix series Orange Is The New Black, and will now step into David Fincher’s shoes to work on an upcoming episode of House of Cards, the critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated political drama, also from Netflix, starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright about a manipulative – and murderous – congressman with his eyes on the White House prize. Producer/director Fincher is stepping back for the show’s second season, so Foster (in addition to Spacey and Wright) reportedly will direct at least one episode. If she keeps on working with Netflix, will Foster get her own special section of streaming product there? It would make it a lot easier to watch Freaky Friday and Bugsy Malone whenever we want. And we really do want.
McKellen and Condon reunite for a Trick
Dreamgirls/Twilight director Bill Condon’s latest drama, the WikiLeaks-themed, Benedict Cumberbatch-starring The Fifth Estate, recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, so the man has his autumn promotional tour already planned. But after that he’ll go back to his roots, working with Sir Ian McKellen on a project currently titled A Slight Trick of The Mind. The filmmaker and actor first collaborated in the ’90s on the acclaimed indie Gods and Monsters, a movie that earned McKellen a Best Actor Oscar nomination and won Condon an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Trick, though, promises McKellen in a role currently co-owned by both hyperactive Robert Downey Jr. and the hypnotic Benedict Cumberbatch, that of Sherlock Holmes. The new film Holmes, based on the novel by Mitch Cullin, will focus on the retired sleuth, haunted by a 50-year-old unsolved case. Brilliant ideas: Cast all three men as various incarnations, or just go Clumps-style and make it a vehicle for McKellen in multiple roles, including all female characters, the villain and Gandalf, who shows up to help Holmes solve the case in 1.5 seconds. Too irreverent? Probably. But look, there are no bad ideas in brainstorming.
Dane DeHaan does Dean
For a man who starred in a grand total of three films, James Dean still fascinates millions of fans, generations after his death. In fact, more films have been made about him than by him; he’s been portrayed by more than a few young, brooding actors, including James Franco, and now it’s time for the Millennial take on the icon. Up-and-comer Dane DeHaan (Chronicle, Lincoln) will star as Dean in Life, the latest film from director Anton Corbijn. His co-star? Just some guy named Robert Pattinson (building on the cool cred and decent reviews for David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis in his post-Twilight bid for a career beyond heartthrob status). Pattinson will play photographer Dennis Stock and the story will follow the friendship the pair forged when Stock was assigned to photograph the emerging star. Life is scheduled to go before the cameras in February of 2014, plenty of time for you to watch Rebel Without A Cause, East of Eden, Giant and every other biopic on the man. You know, just in case you’ve been slacking off and not doing your homework.
De-gaying Tchaikovsky in Russia. Of course.
Re-writing history is a good way to control it. And that’s what’s happening right now as a new Russian biopic on the life of classical composer Pyotr IlyichTchaikovsky plans to strip the man of his homosexuality. The film, partially underwritten by the Russian Ministry of Culture, will censor itself before anyone else gets a chance to – if you’ve been living under a rock you might have missed the avalanche of recent news reports about a terrifying, government-instigated wave of anti-gay laws and cultural sentiment – removing the gayness from the famous musician. The film’s screenwriter, respected scribe Yuri Arabov, has, in a bizarre twist, been quoted as saying that Tchaikovsky was not a man who loved men, even though earlier drafts of the script suggested otherwise. And in spite of all the historical evidence to the contrary, it looks like misinformation is going to rule the day here and the sanded down version of the man’s unhappy life is the one the world will get. Next for Russia? A remake of Behind The Candelabra where Liberace finally finds love with a good woman.
*Romeo San Vicente loves plenty of good women, just not “that” way. He can be reached care of this publication or at DeepInsideHollywood@qsyndicate.com.