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 »

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Add Cleopatra to the list of subjects that are being developed by multiple producers at once. A new biography of Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff, is about to be published, and Michael Pietsch of Little, Brown says that Scott Rudin has picked up the rights to the book (he actually bought the rights years ago, before the book was even written) and is working with Angelina Jolie to develop a movie from the material. Right now, the idea is that Jolie would play Cleopatra, as if that needs to be explained.

Note that this isn’t Cleo, Steven Soderbergh‘s proposed 3D musical about Cleopatra with music by Robert Pollard and Guided by Voices. Totally different projects. Soderbergh’s is basically backburnered, as he put it off when Moneyball fell into his lap and hasn’t come back into the frame in the wake of his ouster from the baseball picture. Doubt anyone will be surprised when I say I still really hope Soderbergh somehow makes his first, as unlikely as that is. [USA Today]

After the break, more casting for Dexter, Knights of Badassdom and The Walking Dead. Read More »

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