Haifaa Al-Mansour, fresh off her breakthrough film Wadjda, will be moving closer into the Hollywood spotlight with a new project from writer Emma Jensen, titled A Storm In The Stars. The story follows the relationship between poet Percy Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft, who would later go down in history as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. Elle Fanning will be starring in the film as Wollstonecraft, which will be produced by Amy Baer under Gidden Media with executive producers Joannie Burstein and Rebecca Miller. Fanning just appeared in Disney’s summer release Maleficent opposite Angelina Jolie, and should be a good fit for the character considering she was only 17 at the time. Filming should begin sometime in 2015, and the producers are still searching for a distributor, but with a writer, director, and star already attached, we may see filming begin even earlier than expected. Stay tuned.
If you have been to Summer Set in recent years, you know this festival is still figuring itself out. Being only in the third year of its existence, the festival will hopefully find its groove. THE two biggest issues last year: A) Not enough variety/genres of music B) A lot of pointless security checkpoints leaving you wanting to just stay put, missing out on some of your favorite artists.
Now that phase two has been released, many questions have been answered. As we stated previously, the festivals ability to add a large group of hip-hop artists has definitely peaked our interest in attending. While electronic music still dominates as the main genre, their variety has improved. The release of phase two includes some of the following artists: Danny Brown, Umphrey’s Mcgee, Break Science, Kascade and about 30 more bands. Our concern with the second phase, is the lack of local performers. With a large group of very talented musicians in its own backyard, it appears they could have looked their for some of their fanbase.
Bottom line – Summer Set continues to grow immensely by adding to its lineup and hopefully this year won’t feature the unnecessary security checkpoints.
Filmmaker Warren Beatty, known for both his writing and acting talents, is finally getting his biopic on Howard Hughes underway after a 20 year struggle to get production going. The project has received financial backing from both Ron Burkle and Steve Bing, and has Windsor Media and New Regency also helping with production. Beatty is set to direct the film and also star as aviator and filmmaker Howard Hughes, who will apparently be a supporting character rather than a lead role, and the plot will instead focus on a story following Hughes’ assistant. Beatty started out in Hollywood as an actor in the 1960s and then moved into writing and directing in the mid-70s. He is also no stranger to starring and directing simultaneously. Heaven Can Wait (1978), Dick Tracy (1990), and Bulworth (1998) are all directing projects that Beatty also starred in while directing. Director Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, Red Dragon) is also lending a hand with production under RatPac Entertainment.
Deadline Hollywood reported today that Raius-TWC acquired the North American rights for the Pablo Escobar film Paradise Lost for $2 million. The film is directed by Andrea Di Stefano and costars Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games), Brady Corbet, and Claudia Traisac, with Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro in the role of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. The story follows a young man who visits Columbia and falls for and marries a local girl, only to discover he has married the kingpin’s niece, whose uncle then begins to lure him into the family business. The film is produced by Dimitri Rassam and Romain Le Grand, with Pathe and Frederique Dumas of Orange Studio, as Miquel Angel Faura from Roxbury and uMedia. The film is expected to be released later this year. As you may know, Hollywood studios have been attempting to get a film chronicling the life of Pablo Escobar for several years now, with titles including The Ballad of Pablo Escobar. Beneicio Del Toro was once involved with a similar project, and actors like John Lequizamo and directors like Brad Furman have at different points been attached to various projects regarding the cartel leader, but until now, nothing had gained enough speed to get from the production stage to the big screen. A fun spin on the situation was taken in the HBO series Entourage, where fictional actor Vince Chase took on the role of Escobar in an independent picture called Medellin, which was accepted for showing at the Cannes Film Festival only to receive terrible reviews and being released straight to DVD. Paradise Lost takes the name from the famous 12-book poem by John Milton, which was published in 1667 and covers such matters as the War in Heaven, and the temptations of Lucifer on Adam and Eve. I’m not sure whether the filmmakers meant to make this connection or not, intentionally using the character of Satan in the original poem as an analogy for Escobar himself, but I guess we’ll see sometime soon. Hopefully this movie is worth the wait; if it stays true to the depths of Escobar’s character and the violence-fueled world that he was a part of and doesn’t focus too heavily on the supporting love story, it should be a pretty good movie, especially with Benicio Del Toro appearing as Escobar.
Last week we heard that Django Unchained director Quentin Tarantino had decided to drop his next project, The Hateful Eight, until he decided how to proceed with the newly finished script. The script was leaked onto the internet after Tarantino had given several copies to potential actors he was interested in for the new film. A few names he mentioned included actors Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, and Tim Roth, who have all worked with the director on several of past projects. Now Tarantino has filed several lawsuits against Gawker Media for copyright infringement, each suit priced at a hefty one million dollars. The suit claims “Gawker Media knowingly and actively acted as a promoter of copyright pirates, and, itself, did directly cause, contribute to, enable, and facilitate copyright infringement.” Gawker posted a URL link to their site that allowed viewers to download the script. Tarantino also stated that Gawker “crossed the journalistic line by promoting itself to the public as the first source to read the entire screenplay immediately,” and slammed the site for promoting illegal pirating and immoral journalism. The director is being represented by Martin Singer, Henry Self, and Evan Spiegel at Lavely & Singer.
Last weekend the good guys at Jugrnaut and Fake Shore Drive threw their joint 6th Year Anniversary party at Chicago’s Tantrik. From the looks of Fly Kite Media’s recap video, it went down in fashion. If you were in Chicago last Friday and snoozed, you definitely missed out. Peep the video above and stay tuned for more from Jugrnaut.
The annual event and compilation CD “The Best Love is Free” is making it’s rounds again for the 5th and final installment to what’s been a great series. Presented by the good guys at Polkadot Mayhem & Copycats Media, the compilation showcases a unique blend of national & local talent. In the past contributors included Polica, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Astronautalis & Prof so it’s safe to say that these guys know what they’re doing. Submissions end on Friday, December 20th; Polkadot Mayhem & Copycats Media will also be taking over 7th Street Entry & First Avenue so keep an eye out for that as well. If you think you have what it takes for placement, click the link below and submit your music; more info regarding the shows COMING SOON.
As the guys at GoPro ride the success of their new HD Hero 3+ camera, they’ve decided to drop the second installment in their adventure series. This time they enlist the help of riders Aaron Chase, Brian Lopes & Chris Van Dine as the 3 rip up the streets of Valparaiso, Chile. Check out the video above and keep an eye out for these at your local sporting goods stores.
Despite the uncertainty of whether or not there really would be a full length film regarding the life of one of the world’s most famous drug kingpins, Relativity Media has picked up Brad Furman’s The Ballad of Pablo Escobar that has been floating around since 2011. The film will be re-titled King of Cocaine under the new production company, and will star rumored actor John Leguizamo in the lead role. Despite early speculation that Benicio Del Toro would be starring as Escobar, and even more recent reports of Oscar Issac playing the part, Furman has been pushing hard for Leguizamo despite concerns from studios. Leguizamo starred in Furman’s first film The Take (2007) and most recently held a supporting role in the director’s upcoming film Runner Runner with Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake. Landing a lead role like this could be huge for Leguizamo, who has always provided great performances in supporting roles in films like Miracle at Saint Anna (2008) and Carlito’s Way (1993). Seeing him take on a role as important and unique as Pablo Escobar should be really exciting!