Begin Again trailer

Once was one of the real gems of 2007, a delicate love story about two people brought together by music. Based on the new Begin Again trailer, director John Carney seems to be trying to repeat the trick in 2014, only on a larger scale with bigger stars.

Mark Ruffalo plays a washed up record exec who has just about hit rock bottom — that is, until he chances upon a freshly dumped musician (Keira Knightley) who’s also feeling adrift. The two strike up a collaboration that takes them all over New York City. Music is so central to this film, it was originally titled Can a Song Save Your Life?. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Steve Carell has been slowly transitioning toward more dramatic roles ever since he quit The Office to focus on his rising film career, but some of his choices have sounded a bit questionable, at least on paper. One of the stranger ones he’s been attached to is the lead in The Dogs of Babel, an adaptation of Carolyn Parkhurst‘s debut novel.

The premise of the story — a grieving man tries to teach his dog to speak — is so aggressively quirky that it’s easy to see how the film could veer away from heartfelt toward silly or schmaltzy. So it’s something of a relief to hear that Mandate Pictures has tapped a guy who may actually be able to pull off that tough balancing act: Once director John Carney. More details after the jump.

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Scarlett Johansson may seem like an unlikely lead for a Judd Apatow film, but in this context her casting actually makes a lot of sense. Johansson has signed on to star in Can a Song Save Your Life?, which will be written and directed by John Carney (Once) and produced by Apatow. The film follows “a washed-up A&R man who forms a passionate bond with a young singer-songwriter (Johansson) from out of town.”

The project calls for Johansson to sing, which shouldn’t be a problem for the actress. Johansson is in fact a professional singer, having released an album of Tom Waits covers titled Anywhere I Lay My Head back in 2008 and a collaboration with Pete Yorn called Break Up in 2009. Though the male lead has yet to be cast, Mark Ruffalo and Jim Carrey have been rumored as possibilities. (FWIW, I vote Ruffalo.) Shooting on the film will begin in New York City next year. [The Playlist]

After the jump, new gigs for the stars of Twilight, Wizards of Waverly Place, and the late-’90s/early-’00s teen alien show Roswell. Gosh, remember that?

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adams-galifianakis

Now this seems like a winning combination. Zach Galifianakis has been riding a rocket of success following his scene-stealing performance in The Hangover, and Amy Adams is simply always fun to see on screen. The two are currently in talks for the next film by John Carney, director of Once, which was among my favorite films of its year. The project is a dramedy entitled Town House which  has been brewing since before the writer’s strike in 2007.

According to Variety, the film is based on the Tish Cohen novel of the same name. The plot revolves around an agoraphobic man who lives in an inherited town house with his teenage son. He’s forced to reassess his life after royalties from his rock star father start to dry up, and ends up befriending a call girl.

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apatow producing

ComingSoon has learned that Judd Apatow is developing a romantic sex comedy project with Kimberly Peirce, the indie film director responsible for Boys Don’t Cry and Stop-Loss. Apatow also revealed that he’s developing a comedy project with John Carney, the director of the 2007 Sundance micro-budget musical Once.

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Once: The Broadway Musical?

John N Hart Jr, Jeffrey Sine and Frederick Zollo have acquired the worldwide rights to produce a stage adaptation of John Carney‘s 2007 Irish musical Once. When I interviewed Carney in 2007, he talked briefly about the possibility of a Broadway musical adaptation.

“Haven’t thought of it at all. I don’t think it would play at all on a stage,” admitted Carney, before quickly adding: “I don’t know, it would be great if someone were to ask for the rights or something. They don’t mess around. When those guys buy the rights for those things, they give you millions!”

Well looks like Carney’s wishes have come true. The trio hope to have the musical on Broadway for the 2010-2011 season. Stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova are expected to be involved in the development process, but aren’t expected to reprise their roles on stage.

Honestly, I think the only way a Once musical could work is with Glen and Marketa as the stars. I know they aren’t A-list talent (or even b or c list in terms of mainstream audience awareness), but they are the ones who wrote the music, and created the magic in the original indie film. In my 2007 interview, Carney also joked that Jennifer Lopez and Bryan Adams could star in the Broadway version. Lets hope it doesn’t come to that.

source: Variety

Once PosterOn Thursday May 17th, we had the chance to speak to director John Carney and stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova about the new india musical Once. At Sundance this year, Once was one of the most talked about films. However we missed it at the festival. We finally caught the film before the San Francisco International Film Festival and loved it. It’s so wonderful, yet so hard to describe. Is it a musical? Is it a love story? We decided to ask the people who would know the answer.

Running Time: 29 minutes

Timecode Chapter Guide:

0:25 Is This a Musical? “Calling it a musical is probably the worst thing you can do!”
3:00 It Started with a Conversation at a Concert…
4:40 “The Music was easy, that’s what we do.”
5:45 The difficult part was the shooting hours
6:10 Trusting John to get a real performance
6:45 Working with Non-actor Performers
8:15 The Top 5 Movies of All Time
12:30 Improving vs. Script
14:30 Returning to the Street to Perform
15:00 Hiding the Cameras, Trying Not to be Noticed
16:15 The Street Scene that Went Wrong
18:30 Once: The Play?
19:45 Filming Handheld Means No Permits
20:10 A Once Sequel?
21:45 John Carney wants to Remake Guys and Dolls Like The Sopranos
23:30 A Big Hollywood Remake?
26:10 The Collaborative Process Behind The Screenplay/Music

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