Saoirse Ronan in from Neil Jordan’s Byzantium

Nearly two decades after Interview With the Vampire, director Neil Jordan is heading back into bloodsucker territory with Byzantium. Based on the young adult play A Vampire Story by Moira Buffini, the film follows two 200-year-old “sisters” who arrive in a small coastal town.

The outgoing older one, Clara (Gemma Arterton) takes up with a sweet man named Noel (Daniel Mays) and turns his family’s old guesthouse into a brothel, while the younger, more introspective Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan) meets and falls for the sickly Frank (Caleb Landry Jones). But whatever peace they find is threatened when their secrets and misdeeds catch up with them. Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.

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If you’re attracted to the idea of a fable-like vampire tale but don’t want to forego big splashes of blood and big, baroque emotional arcs, then Neil Jordan‘s Byzantium might be one to see. The film features Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan as mother and daughter, with the twist being that they share vampiric blood. They’re trying to maintain the undead version of a living in a small town, but when Ronan’s character sparks to a young man played by Caleb Landry Jones, things get out of control.

Jonny Lee MillerSam Riley, and Tom Hollander also show up in the story that marks Jordan’s return to vampires following his 1994 effort Interview With the Vampire. (There are also distinct shades of his 1984 fairy tale A Company of Wolves here, as well.)

Reviews of this one out of TIFF last year were mixed, but this new international trailer does a good job of setting up the film as something fun and a bit set off from the now-typical film depiction of vampires. Read More »

I’d like to make this the ‘leading lady’ edition of Casting Bits, but I don’t think Caleb Landry Jones would like that very much. (Jason Segel would probably be OK with it.) Still, after the break you’ll find that two films have chosen their lead actresses, while Jones joins Jordan. Ahem. To wit:

  • Alexandra Maria Lara (above) takes the (female) lead in Ron Howard’s racing movie Rush,
  • Cody Horn will be the leading lady in Soderbergh’s Magic Mike,
  • Caleb Landry Jones, aka the First Class version of Banshee, joins Neil Jordan’s Byzantium,
  • and, as a final note, Jason Segel appears to be confirmed for Judd Apatow’s This is Forty.

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Is Saoirse Ronan the latest young talent to be cloned so that she can be attached to many projects at once? That appears to be the case. She’s already scheduled for  The Host,  may be in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina and Emma Thompson’s Effie, and the latest is a film called Byzantium, a ‘mother-daughter’ vampire tale co-starring Gemma Arterton that Neil Jordan will direct. Read More »

moira_buffini

What the world needs now is another vampire movie like I need two holes in my neck. Of course, it’s going to get one, and a whole lot more than one. Perhaps the most interesting one on the cards, however, is a big screen adaptation of Moira Buffini‘s play A Vampire Story to be called Byzantium. The play was commissioned as part of the NT Connections program in London last year and I’m not even the tiniest bit surprised the movie adaptation is coming. The official synopsis follows after the break.

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