Gus Van Sant chooses lead actress for 'Restless': movie news recap

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In the movie news recap for Friday, October 9: Gus Van Sant picks Australian Alice in Wonderland actress Mia Wasikowska to star in his next production, Restless; Lucy Liu begins filming in the Mexican production Nomads; and the Hollywood musical Nine, with its Oscar-winning cast, has been moved from November to a Christmas release date.

Gus Van Sant picks Mia Wasikowska to star in Restless
Australian actress Mia Wasikowska is in final negotiations to star in Oscar-winning director Gus Van Sant's upcoming Restless, according to entertainment trade publication The Hollywood Reporter. Wasikowska, who appears next as the title character of American director Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, will portray a teenager who (along with a male buddy) shares a preoccupation with death. Shooting begins in the fall. Restless will be co-produced by Academy Award-winning American director Ron Howard and his daughter, actress Bryce Dallas Howard, for Columbia Pictures.

Lucy Liu commits to Mexican production, Nomads
Mexican film production company Goliat Films cast American actress Lucy Liu in Nomads, an English-language drama, according to entertainment trade magazine The Hollywood Reporter. Liu plays a documentary filmmaker directing an exposé about subway suicides; the movie is helmed by Mexican director Ricardo Benet. Nomads also features Mexican actors Tenoch Huerta and Dagoberto Gama.

Nine musical moved to a Christmas release
The Weinstein Co. musical Nine (starring French actress Marion Cotillard, English actor Daniel Day-Lewis, Australian actress Nicole Kidman and Spanish actress Penélope Cruz: all Oscar winners) will receive a December 25 release, according to entertainment trade publication Variety. Originally scheduled for November 25, the film opening was adjusted to accommodate another Weinstein Co. production, the post-apocalyptic The Road. American director Rob Marshall's Nine is based on the classic 1963 film by Italian director Federico Fellini, and tracks a philandering filmmaker dealing with a midlife crisis.


Spider-Man 4 screenwriter in talks to direct Venom spinoff
American screenwriter Gary Ross, currently rewriting the script for Spider-Man 4, is closing a deal with Columbia Pictures to write and direct the superhero spinoff film Venom, according to entertainment trade publication Variety. Venom, originally the starring supervillain of 2007's Spider-Man 3, is planned to star as an antihero in his own film. American actor Topher Grace originally starred as Venom, but is expected to be replaced for the spinoff film.

Marlon Wayans slated to star in biopic of comedian Richard Pryor
American comedic actor Marlon Wayans is in advanced discussions to star as late American comedian Richard Pryor in the upcoming biopic Is It Something I Said, according to esteemed movie blog Hollywood Insider. The film was originally set to star American actor Eddie Murphy, but the comedian recently dropped out of the project for undisclosed reasons. American director Bill Condon ( Dreamgirls) will direct.

Director Abel Ferrara reunites with Wesley Snipes on Game of Death
American director Abel Ferrara will reunite with American actor Wesley Snipes for the action thriller Game of Death, according to entertainment trade magazine Variety. The two first teamed on the acclaimed 1990 thriller King of New York. Snipes will star as the bodyguard of a politician charged with battling the world's best assassins. The film began shooting this week in Detroit, Michigan.


Mark Wahlberg commits to remake of Icelandic thriller
American actor Mark Wahlberg will star in a remake of the 2008 Icelandic thriller Reykjavic-Rotterdam, according to entertainment trade magazine Variety. Directed by Icelandic filmmaker Óskar Jónasson, the film won five Edda Awards (the Iceland equivalent of the Oscars) in November 2008. Wahlberg will portray an alcohol smuggler involved in a double-cross. Reykjavic-Rotterdam was recently chosen as Iceland's submission for the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 2010 Academy Awards.

Chris Rock, Oprah Winfrey bring GQ magazine article to life
Lionsgate and American media mogul Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Films are currently developing an article from American men's fashion magazine GQ into a film entitled Will You Be My Black Friend?, starring American comedic actor Chris Rock, according to entertainment trade publication The Hollywood Reporter. The subject of the article, by American GQ correspondent Devin Friedman, involved the white writer's attempt to add a black friend to his social circle via the online classified ads service Craigslist.

China chooses October 28 air date for Michael Jackson's This Is It
China Film Group, which only imports 20 foreign movies per year, selected the American concert documentary M ichael Jackson's This Is It to screen in the country on October 28, according to Sony Pictures. The film cleared Chinese censors last week, and promoters will create as many prints of the movie as possible before the air date. Though only 20 non-Chinese films are permitted into the country per year, the nation's two most recent all-time box office records were created by American movies: this year's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and 1997's Titanic.


Director Michael Mann to shoot Robert Capa biopic
American director Michael Mann has partnered with Columbia Pictures to film a biopic on celebrated Austrian-Hungarian war photographer Robert Capa, according to entertainment trade publication Variety. Focusing on Capa's two-year romance with renowned Jewish German war photojournalist Gerda Taro during the Spanish Civil War, Waiting for Robert Capa will be adapted from the 2009 novel Esperando a Robert Capa, by Spanish writer Susana Fortes. Mann will reportedly produce and direct the film for a low budget. Public Enemies, directed by Mann this year, grossed over $194 million worldwide.

Bangladesh selects Britter Bairey for 2010 Oscar candidacy
The Bangladesh Federation of Film Societies announced its nomination of Bangladeshi director Golam Rabbani Biplob's political fable Britter Bairey ( Beyond the Circle) to represent the country in the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 2010 Academy Awards. The film deals with a rural flute player (Bangladeshi actor Jayanto Chattopadhyay) getting sucked into the market economy of Dhaka. Announcements are scheduled to take place for the Best Foreign Language nominees on February 2, 2010. The Academy Awards ceremony takes place March 7 in Los Angeles, California.

Liam Neeson begins filming The Next Three Days opposite Russell Crowe
Irish actor Liam Neeson has joined the cast of The Next Three Days, an American adaptation of the 2008 French romantic thriller Pour Elle, according to entertainment trade publication Variety. Canadian-American director Paul Haggis is directing The Next Three Days, and Neeson stars opposite Australian actor Russell Crowe. The plot involves a high school teacher hatching a daring plan to spring his wrongly incarcerated wife from prison. Production began Friday, October 2, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is scheduled to wrap up December 12.