William Monahan To Direct The Art of the Heist

The Departed screenwriter William Monahan has more projects on his plate than Guillermo del Toro, but the scripter hopes to direct a movie based on the career criminal Myles Connor. Producer Quentin Curtis has acquired Myles’ upcoming memoir The Art of the Heist which will be published in April by Harper Collins (the 304-page book is already available for preorder on Amazon for about $18). Got to admit, it’s a cool title.

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Poor chap. Despite also having written Kingdom of Heaven and Body of Lies, not to mention the upcoming big-screen fit up of Edge of Darkness, he is always referred to as WilliamThe DepartedMonahan. I don’t quite get it because, well, it strikes me that Kingdom of Heaven and Body of Lies are the better films.

Perhaps now he’s segueing to a directorial career, he’ll be be able to get a name change: William ‘London Boulevard‘ Monahan.

Variety tells us today that Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley have been cast in the lead roles: Mr. Farrell as “a South London criminal who, after release from prison, tries to give up the gangster life by becoming a handyman”, this character being called Mitchell in the novel; and Ms. Knightley most likely not as the “reclusive actress” who hires him, but some other female character called Aisling who sounds rather like a love interest. Variety initially told us when Monahan first started circling the project last spring and this seems to be the first proper update since then.

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Martin Scorsese to Direct The Falcon’s Tale?

I totally missed this item in the latest issue of Production Weekly, but Alex from FirstShowing sent me a link to this story on Cinemablend about a project called Falcon’s Tale that Martin Scorsese is supposedly attached to direct. What is this movie? A quick internet search turns up NOTHING. But I decided to dig a little deeper and have come upon more information about the project.

James Keene and author/reporter Hillel Levin sold a one-page description of this story to Playboy and to Paramount / GK Films (the production company behind Edge of Darkness) in a seven-figure film deal in November 2007. The article, titled “The Strange Redemption of James Keene”, appeared in the August 2008 issue of Playboy on page 54. The book is due to be released by St. Martin’s in Fall 2009.  So what is the story about?

“James Keene was serving a 10-year-to-life sentence as a convicted drug dealer when the FBI came to him with an amazing offer. They wanted him to enter a high-security prison for the criminally insane in order to get information from a suspected serial killer awaiting retrial. If he helped them succeed, they would free James from prison. Only one person in the prison would know Jim’s true identity.”

Sounds very compelling. Academy Award-winning screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed) is penning the screenplay adaptation. And as you know, Monahan has ties to Scorsese, and penned The Departed, which makes the story that much more believable. I’m not sure if Scorsese is officially attached, and even if he is, that doesn’t mean that he will direct it (if Scorsese directs 10% of the films he is currently attached to, I’ll be amazed).

William Shatner Comments on The New Enterprise

In today’s VOTD, we featured a funny video of classic-era Captain Kirk’s response to the new Star Trek movie trailer. But what about the real William Shatner? What does he think? He posted a new video on YouTube praising director JJ Abrams‘ new design of the USS Enterprise. Watch that video after the jump.
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When I think of actresses lucky enough to have a perfect part, one tailored and empowered with the entire spectrum of human emotion and not simply the giddy sex appeal that plagues Hollywood films, I think of Uma Thurman and Beatrix Kiddo/The Bride in Kill Bill. She should have received an Oscar nom for either volume, and won. While the following quote is in no way a slight at Tarantino, it was surprising to hear her say the following to MTV in regards to a role in Stanley Kubrick‘s Wartime Lies, neither of which happened, obviously…

“It was devastating because it was an incredible part,” she confessed. “It would have been the part of my career, the best part I ever had been offered or had written for me, or anything.”

In no way am I comparing Tarantino to Kubrick right now, but it seriously caught me off guard, especially the “writing” part. Kubrick’s Wartime Lies, based on Louis Begley‘s acclaimed novel, would have had Thurman play a Jewish woman who cares for her orphaned nephew as they face Nazi atrocities in Poland during the Holocaust and resort to taking the disguise of Catholics. More Uma…

“I was going to make a film with him – for a long time I was scheduled to make a film with him,” she said of “Wartime Lies,” a movie she was signed on to make with Kubrick in the early 90s. “I was contracted to do it and things happened and he shelved the film. He never made the film.”

An adaptation is currently being worked on by The Departed‘s ever-busy William Monahan, but Thurman didn’t discuss whether she’s still being sought for the part. Let’s hope, because she belongs in higher-brow fare than My Super Ex-Girlfriend.

Discuss: Thoughts?  

Cool Posts From Around the Web:


Fresh off the news that he’ll produce and probably star in two big budget Akira flicks and the rumor that he’ll star in Cocaine Cowboys, Leonardo DiCaprio is now circling a remake of the 2008 South Korean serial killer thriller The Chaser. What’s more, according to Variety, screenwriter William Monahan, the guy responsible for a lot of the sparks in Leo’s The Departed, has been pegged by Warner Bros. to write the script. While nothing’s signed as of yet, Monahan’s also producing the film.

This would be the third team-up between Monahan and DiCaprio, with their Body of Lies, directed by Ridley Scott, due this October. And, of course, The Departed was itself a remake of the Hong Kong hit Infernal Affairs. DiCaprio would reportedly play a down-and-out ex-cop who sets out to find a girl being used like a pawn by a serial killer against the police.

Released last month in Asia, The Chaser has banked more than $20 million. The plot is a bit seedy, as the ex-cop that DiCaprio is set to play is actually a pimp who runs a massage parlor as a cover. When his girls start disappearing, he makes a connection to the killer, finds him and the police become involved and yet they obsess over the body count. The cop sets out to find the last missing girl, who the serial killer hints is still alive, before the cops have to release him. There is reportedly lots of social commentary packed into the low budget film as well, especially regarding police focus.

Click here for the trailer. No U.S. release date has been for the original film at this time.

Discuss: Do you find the premise of The Chaser intriguing for the talent involved?

Source Link: Shadow20002

First Look: Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies

Body of Lies

Leonardo DiCaprio in Body of LiesWarner Bros has also provided us with the first photo from Ridley Scott‘s (Gladiator, American Gangster) big screen adaptation of David Ignatius’s novel, Body of Lies. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Roger Ferris, an injured former Iraq War journalist who is hired by the CIA to track down an Al Qaeda leader. And the screenplay is written by William Monahan, who won the Oscar last year for The Departed‘. The film also stars Russell Crowe and Carice van Houten.

Here is the Official Book Description:

A tale of counterterrorism from an author who “ranks with Graham Greene in his knowledge of espionage and the human heart” (Publishers Weekly). Roger Ferris is one of the CIA’s soldiers in the war on terrorism. He has come out of Iraq with a shattered leg and an intense mission-to penetrate the network of a master terrorist known only as “Suleiman.” Ferris’s plan for getting inside Suleiman’s tent is inspired by a masterpiece of British intelligence during World War II: He prepares a body of lies, literally the corpse of an imaginary CIA officer who appears to have accomplished the impossible by recruiting an agent within the enemy’s ranks. This scheme binds friend and foe in a web of extraordinary subtlety and complexity, and when it begins to unravel, Ferris finds himself flying blind into a hurricane. His only hope is the urbane head of Jordan’s intelligence service-a man who might be an Arab version of John le Carré’s celebrated spy, George Smiley. But can Ferris trust him?

Body of Lies will hit theaters in the Fourth Quarter of 2008.


Martin Scorsese has at least six projects in development (that we know about). We took an in-depth look at those films last week (you can read that report here). Well add another film to that list. The Departed 2 has been put on hold, at least for now. Academy Award winning screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed) is set to rewrite the script for The Long Play for Scorsese.
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Editors Blog: Oscar Notes


Random Notes from the Editor:

Errol Morris’ short film which opened the Academy Awards show was fantastic. If you didn’t see it, you can check out the video at Oscar.com.

Ellen DeGeneres is not funny (with exception of the Jennifer Hudson/Al Gore joke, but I have a feeling someone probably wrote that for her).

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2007 Academy Awards Winners

Let’s look at the results from the 79th Academy Awards ceremony:

Best Motion Picture of the Year:

The Departed
  • Babel
  • Letters from Iwo Jima
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • The Queen

Achievement in Directing:

Martin Scorsese for The Departed
  • Clint Eastwood for Letters from Iwo Jima
  • Stephen Frears for The Queen
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu for Babel
  • Paul Greengrass for United 93

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role:

Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland
  • Leonardo DiCaprio for Blood Diamond
  • Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson
  • Peter O’Toole for Venus
  • Will Smith for The Pursuit of Happyness

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role:

Helen Mirren for The Queen
  • Penélope Cruz for Volver
  • Judi Dench for Notes on a Scandal
  • Meryl Streep for The Devil Wears Prada
  • Kate Winslet for Little Children

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