Briefly: The BFI London Film Festival is getting a little bigger every year. Last year it was given a push when Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox debuted at the fest. This year, the festival will open on October 13 with the European premiere of Mark Romanek‘s new film Never Let Me Go, which adapts the novel of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro.
That isn’t the film’s world premiere, as it will first bow at the Toronto International Film Festival, but it’s a good booking for the London fest regardless. Doesn’t hurt that there’s a lot of British talent on board, among them screenwriter Alex Garland and cast Andrew Garfield, Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley. (The film will already be open in the US by the time of this showing; it hits Stateside screens on September 15, right after the TIFF premiere.)
There’s a solid if low-key buzz on the film, which looks like a lush, smart take on Ishiguro’s novel, even if some of the marketing might be trying to trick us into thinking it’s a bit more overtly sci-fi than the film likely is. Regardless, can’t wait to see this one; check out the trailer if you haven’t already.
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I hadn’t seen a proper projection of the trailer for Mark Romanek‘s new film, Never Let Me Go, until I sat through the Trailer Park exhibition in Hall H at the San Diego Comic Con. Talk about weird — Romanek’s very quiet movie was sandwiched in between a lot of big-ticket films, and the contrast was pretty striking. (Plus, it was amusing to hear nearly the entire hall whisper ‘that’s the new Spider-Man,’ not when Andrew Garfield‘s face was shown, but when his credit was written on screen.)
Now there’s a new poster for the film, and the image captures some of the idea of hope and escape that permeates the latter half of the trailer. Read More »
So the word — the very advance word, mind you — is that this new movie version of Judge Dredd might not suck. Pete Travis (Vantage Point) is directing from a script by Alex Garland (Sunshine) and that’s enough of a pedigree, combined with the basic Judge Dredd backstory, to get me interested.
Now there’s word that Dredd could be played by Karl Urban, who isn’t a huge marquee name, but got audience attention in Star Trek and will be in Red and Priest. Would he make a good Dredd? Very possibly, yes. Read More »
A remake of Logan’s Run or, more properly, a new adaptation of William F. Noland and George Clayton Johnson‘s novel, has been in the works for a long time. Warner Bros. and Joel Silver are now moving ahead with a 3D take on the story, to be directed by Ridley Scott protege Carl Erik Rinsch.
Now WB and Silver are primed to hire a screenwriter: Alex Garland, who previously scripted 28 Days Later and Sunshine, among other films. Read More »
We’ve been hearing about the possibility of a new Judge Dredd movie for some time. Now the project has taken a big step closer to being real: in a deal made just prior to Cannes, where the film will be shopped around for distribution, Andrew Macdonald‘s company DNA Film has made a deal to finance Judge Dredd as a 3D feature with a budget around $50m. And there’s a director: Vantage Point‘s Pete Travis.
But here’s the catch, and the part that could, somehow, be reason to hope this version won’t suck: this is not a studio financing deal. The money comes from Indian outfit Reliance Big Entertainment. Without a studio calling some of the bone-headed shots that made the Sylvester Stallone version miss the mark, could this be…good? Read More »
UPDATE: According to three sources close to the Judge Dredd film (two are employees at Rebellion, the publishers of 2000AD, the other is Jock, responsible for the concept art at the head of this post) a draft of Alex Garland’s Judge Dredd screenplay has been shown to John Wagner, who created Dredd alongside artist Carlos Ezquerra. What isn’t clear – yet – is what feedback Wagner offered, or how that feedback has/hasn’t had an impact.
It is worth noting that many Dredd stories credited to either Alan Grant or John Wagner alone were actually written by the two of them in partnership, like some kind of reverse Lennon and McCartney.
The closest UK equivalent to Comic-Con would be the MCM Expo and I’ve been there today, looking for scoop. It’s not one half the size of San Diego’s mammoth geek Mecca (okay, not a quarter of the size, even) but it is rapidly expanding in terms of attendance figures, exhibitors and nifty special events. If you’ve got a good nose and alert ears, there’s all sort of great stuff to sniff out and tune into.
The major panel on day one saw Andy Diggle, Jock and Idris Elba taking to the stage to promote The Losers. Meanwhile, a less high profile event saw Alan Grant joining a group of comics creators in discussing multi-media crossovers such as comics adapting stories from other media, and other media leeching ideas from the comics world. What connected these two panels? Talk of DNA’s upcoming Judge Dredd movie.
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Mark Romanek is currently on location in the UK town of Clevedon, North Somerset, filming his melancholy sci-fi mystery Never Let Me Go with Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and just about every other great British actor currently in their 20s. In case you do not yet know, it was adapted by Alex Garland – who previously scripted 28 Days Later and a draft of the proposed Halo film – from a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro.
As well as a video clip snooping on a scene being shot (which you can see hosted on a BBC website but was not designed so that it might be embedded elsewhere) several paparazzi-style pictures have appeared here and there, showing the filming taking place and, as ever, the actors standing about between takes. I’ve put some after the break as well as some every basic, and not very spoilery, information to help you contextualise them.
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Mark Romanek has signed on to direct a big screen adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro‘s novel Never Let Me Go. According to Production Weekly, Beach author and 28 Days Later/Sunshine screenwriter Alex Garland penned the adaptation.
Romanek is probably best known for his music video work. He directed the video for Michael and Janet Jackson’s “Scream” in 1995, a sci-fi themed video which won the 1996 Grammy for Best Music Video, and to date, is still the most expensive music video ever produced ($7 million). His other videos include Closer for Nine Inch Nails, Criminal for Fiona Apple, Devil’s Haircut for Beck, and Johnny Cash’s cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt”.
In 2002, he made a wonderful indie thriller called One Hour Photo, which starred Robin Williams as an photo lab employee who becomes obsessed with a young suburban family (if you haven’t seen it, netflix it!). Romanek was originally attached to dieect The Wolf Man for Universal but dropped out for undisclosed reasons. The official book description follows:
“From the acclaimed author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, a moving new novel that subtly reimagines our world and time in a haunting story of friendship and love. As a child, Kathy–now thirty-one years old–lived at Hailsham, a private school in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe that they were special and that their well-being was crucial not only for themselves but for the society they would eventually enter. Kathy had long ago put this idyllic past behind her, but when two of her Hailsham friends come back into her life, she stops resisting the pull of memory. And so, as her friendship with Ruth is rekindled, and as the feelings that long ago fueled her adolescent crush on Tommy begin to deepen into love, Kathy recalls their years at Hailsham. She describes happy scenes of boys and girls growing up together, unperturbed–even comforted–by their isolation. But she describes other scenes as well: of discord and misunderstanding that hint at a dark secret behind Hailsham’s nurturing facade. With the dawning clarity of hindsight, the three friends are compelled to face the truth about their childhood–and about their lives now. A tale of deceptive simplicity, Never Let Me Go slowly reveals an extraordinary emotional depth and resonance–and takes its place among Kazuo Ishiguro’s finest work.”
The book was named one of TIME’s 100 Best Novels (from 1923 to the Present), featured on many top ten books of 2005 lists, and a finalist in the National Book Critic Circle Award. For those interested, you can buy the softcover for only $11.20 on Amazon.
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