It's springtime for Hitler as far as the studios are concerned with Nazis back big time over the next year or two.
Brit director John Madden is raising the stakes with "The Debt", a movie that sees Nazis and the Israeli secret service Mossad go head-to-head. Madden has assembled an impressive cast including Jessica Chastain (right) as a young Helen Mirren. The script, written by producer/ director/writer Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman and Peter Straughan, tells the story of how three Mossad agents capture and kill a Nazi war criminal in 1965. Thirty years later, a man claiming to be the Nazi resurfaces, and one of the agents is sent to seek the truth. Ciaran Hinds and Tom Wilkinson also star in the thriller, which is currently shooting in London before the cast and crew move on to Budapest and Tel Aviv.
Knights in action
Casting on Madden's flick was revealed to bigwigs at this year's Berlin Film Festival, but it's not all Nazi terror. It was also announced that James Purefoy has joined an impressive cast in medieval thriller "Ironclad". Purefoy is to don the armour alongside Robert Carlyle, Bob Hoskins, Pete Postlethwaite, Richard Attenborough and Angus McFadyen.
A new romcom, "The Baster", directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon, teams Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman. They play best friends; when he learns that she plans an artificial insemination pregnancy, he replaces the donor's semen with his own. Produced by the team behind "Little Miss Sunshine", the pedigree is there.
Julia heads east
In the current financial climate, the movie industry is experiencing gamekeeper turned fox syndrome. Five years ago, emerging markets such as India and China were talking to Hollywood about securing movies and financing. Now LA dwellers are negotiating to get their hands on a slice of the action. In the past week, Julia Roberts's Red Om Films and Brett Ratner's Rat Entertainment were the latest to sign development deals with Indian media and entertainment giant Reliance Big Entertainment. They join an impressive deal list including the companies of Jim Carrey and George Clooney.
German arthouse director Werner Herzog and maverick filmmaker David Lynch are to collaborate on making a psychological horror. The duo have signed up Michael Shannon, Willem Dafoe, Chloe Sevigny and Udo Kier to star in "My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done" to star in the project that Herzog will direct. Lynch is exec producing the story loosely based on events surrounding a San Diego man who acted out a Sophocles play in his mind and murdered his mother with a sword.