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Sierra/Affinity have announced that Jude Law has joined Werner Herzog’s upcoming period drama ’Queen of the Desert.’ Written and directed by Herzog, the film also stars Naomi Watts and Robert Pattinson. Watts leads the pic as Gertrude Bell, an explorer, writer, archeologist and attaché for the British Empire, who is credited with helping to catalyze the formation of the Middle East at the dawn of the 20th century. One of the first women to graduate from Oxford at the turn of the 20th century, Bell traveled through the Middle East, defining the borders of Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Bell became highly influential to British imperial policy-making due to her extensive travels in Greater Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Arabia.
Robert Pattinson is set to play T.E. Lawrence in ‘Queen of the Desert,’ a British Army officer whose writing earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, on whom David Lean’s classic 1962 epic is based. Lawrence was a good friend to Gertrude Bell over the years, as the duo helped establish the Hashemite dynasties in Jordan and Iraq. There’s currently no word on Jude Law’s role. Nick Raslan will produce via his Palmyra Films banner along with Cassian Elwes and Michael Benaroya. Benaroya’s Benaroya Pictures banner will finance the film. Sierra/Affinity will handle international sales and will make it available to buyers during this year’s American Film Market. Principal photography is scheduled to begin in Morocco in March 2013.
Variety bring word that Saoirse Ronan has nabbed the female lead in Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel.’ The director has said that the story, set 85 years ago in a Hungarian hotel, is partly inspired by the witty films of Billy Wilder and Ernst Lubitsch (The Shop Around the Corner). Ronan joins the likes of Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman in the pic.
Saoirse Ronan was nominated for an Oscar at the age of 13 for her supporting performance in ‘Atonement.’ She’ll next be seen in Andrew Niccol’s adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling novel ‘The Host,’ Kevin Macdonald’s ‘How I Live Now,’ Neil Jordan’s ‘Byzantium’ and Geoffrey Fletcher’s ‘Violet & Daisy.’ ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ will be both written and directed by Wes Anderson, with the filmmaker re-teaming with producers Scott Rudin and Steve Rales. Their most recent project, ‘Moonrise Kingdom,’ was a huge success both critically and at the box office this past summer. Look out for more details shortly.
Debut Trailer For Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Side Effects’ – Starring Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum & Jude Law
Yahoo! Movies has premiered this first theatrical trailer for Steven Soderbergh’s thriller ‘Side Effects.’ The film follows Emily Hawkins (Rooney Mara), an unsettled young woman who is taking serious amounts of prescription drugs to deal with anxiety and depression, leading to a dangerous love triangle. The likes of Channing Tatum, Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones co-star.
‘Side Effects’ marks Mara’s first film with Soderbergh. The thriller is Tatum’s third collaboration with the director (‘Haywire’ and ‘Magic Mike’), Zeta-Jones’ third (Traffic and Ocean’s Twelve), and Law’s second (Contagion). The Scott Z. Burns (The Informant!, Contagion) scripted film is will be released on February 8th, 2013 in the US and March 15th, 2013 in the UK
Quentin Tarantino presents ‘The Man with the Iron Fists,’ an action-adventure inspired by kung-fu classics as interpreted by his longtime collaborators RZA and Eli Roth. Making his debut as a big-screen director and leading man, RZA – alongside a stellar international cast led by Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu – tells the epic story of warriors, assassins and a lone outsider hero in nineteenth-century China who must unite to destroy the clan traitor who would destroy them all. Since his arrival in China’s Jungle Village, the town’s blacksmith (RZA) has been forced by radical tribal factions to create elaborate tools of destruction. When the clans’ brewing war boils over, the stranger channels an ancient energy to transform himself into a human weapon. As he fights alongside iconic heroes and against soulless villains, one man must harness this power to become saviour of his adopted people. RZA, one of the greatest hip hop producers of all time and de-facto leader of Wu-Tang Clan (the legendary group that’s highly influenced by Asian culture and 70s martial arts flicks – hence the name), stars as the lead alongside Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, Rick Yune, Jamie Chung, Cung Le, Dave Bautista, Byron Mann, Daniel Wu and Pam Grier. ‘The Man with the Iron Fists’ opens on November 2nd in the US and December 7th in the UK. My interview with Russell Crowe for the film can be read here, while my Lucy Liu interview can be found here.
You ate and breathed martial arts movies for the majority of your childhood….
RZA: Yeah. Martial arts films have been influencing me since I was nine, when I first saw kung fu movies and karate flicks on Staten Island at the St. George Theater. Double features, I’ll never forget. This one was called ‘Fury of the Dragon,’ with Bruce Lee in it as Kato, and the other was ‘Black Samurai,’ starring Jim Kelly. Later on, I’d go to 42nd Street and see movies like ‘Godfather of Hong Kong,’ ‘Fists of Double K’ and ‘Five Deadly Venoms,’ which got me addicted to the genre. Growing up in New York, we would break dance, hip-hop, graffiti, all these types of things, and we’d catch moves from the movies. I’d imagine martial arts films as I’d be walking to school, I’ve got a tonne of them up in my head (laughs). ‘The Man with the Iron Fists’ is one of them, or an accumulation of ideas meshed together.
“Icecube” Clip From Jacques Audiard’s ‘Rust and Bone’ – Starring Marion Cotillard & Matthias Schoenaerts
With the fantastic ‘Rust and Bone’ arriving in UK cinemas today, the good people over at Studiocanal have released this new clip from the film. Lead by Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts, the film is director Jacques Audiard’s follow-up to the sublime ‘A Prophet.’ ‘Rust and Bone’ is co-written by Audiard and Thomas Bidegain and adapted from the acclaimed book of short stories by Craig Davidson. It tells the story of an unemployed 25-year-old man who falls in love with a killer whale trainer. Look out for ‘Rust and Bone’ from November 2nd in the UK and November 16th in the US.
The official synopsis for ‘Rust and Bone’ is as follows: “Jacques Audiard, acclaimed director of A Prophet and The Beat That My Heart Skipped, returns with this powerful, tender romantic drama about two people from very different worlds seeking redemption in each other. Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose, Inception) stars as Stephanie, a killer whale trainer who late one night meets Alain (Matthias Schoenaerts, Bullhead) in a fracas at the nightclub where he works as a bouncer. Put in charge of his young son, Alain has come from Belgium to Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain’s bond with Stephanie grows deeper after she suffers a horrible accident, bringing the two together once more.”
‘Skyfall’ has made history in the UK by securing the biggest seven-day gross of all time, pipping ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.’ The 23rd James Bond adventure, continuing the longest running and most successful franchise in film history, has taken a hefty £37.2 million in its opening week at the UK box office. “The continued record-breaking success of this film is a true testament to all involved and the global power of this 50 year old franchise” said Gary Barber, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at MGM. Jeff Blake, Chairman of Sony Pictures Worldwide Marketing and Distribution added, “The results are a true testament to the 50 year legacy of James Bond. The best is still yet to come in the UK and all around the world.” ‘Skyfall’ has a November 8th release in North America on IMAX and other large-format screens before rolling out everywhere a day later.
Directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road, Road to Perdition), ‘Skyfall’ sees Daniel Craig and Judi Dench continue their roles as James Bond and M. The cast also includes Naomie Harris as a field agent named Eve, Javier Bardem as Silva; the stories leering and sinisterly creepy lead villain, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw as Q; MI5′s resident gadgets man, Tonia Sotiropoulou, Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner; the MI6 Chief of Staff, Ola Rapace, Bérénice Marlohe as the “glamorous and enigmatic” Sévérine, and Ralph Fiennes as Gareth Mallory.