Robert Redford dons director cap, casts 'Conspirator': movie news recap

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In the movie news recap for Friday, October 16: Robert Redford casts Evan Rachel Wood and others in Conspirator; Will Ferrell commits to the independent production Everything Must Go; Warner Bros. Pictures shifts production of The Green Lantern out of Australia over high costs.

Robert Redford dons director cap, casts Conspirator
American actor-director Robert Redford cast his upcoming historical drama Conspirator with English actor Tom Wilkinson, and American actors Evan Rachel Wood, Kevin Kline, and Alexis Bledel. American actor Robin Wright Penn and Scottish actor James McAvoy have already been cast in the film, which deals with the aftermath of the assassination of US president Abraham Lincoln. Production on Conspirator began October 12 in Savannah, Georgia. Robin Wright Penn portrays Mary Surratt, the sole female charged in a conspiracy to murder President Lincoln; Evan Rachel Wood plays her daughter, Anna.

Will Ferrell accepts indie role in Everything Must Go
American comedic actor Will Ferrell has committed to Everything Must Go, the directorial début of American commercials director Dan Rush, according to entertainment trade publication Variety. Based on a short story by American author Raymond Carver, Everything Must Go stars Farrell as a recently unemployed guy whose belongings get tossed onto his front lawn by his wife; he spends four days trying to sell them while locked out of his house. Production begins in March 2010 for under $10 million.

The Green Lantern production leaves Australia due to economics
Warner Bros. Pictures is pulling the film production of its 2011 superhero film The Green Lantern out of Australia due to budgetary constraints, according to the studio. Industry sources have suggested that production will move to Canada or Mexico, though no official decision has been announced by the studio. Currently, the Australian dollar is experiencing a 27-year high against the US dollar, which would reportedly add over $20 million in cost to the budget of The Green Lantern. American actor Ryan Reynolds stars as DC Comics superhero Green Lantern, the wielder of an omnipotent ring who belongs to an intergalactic police force, the Green Lantern Corps.


Jon Favreau will not direct Marvel superhero team-up film The Avengers
Contrary to previous reports, American actor-director Jon Favreau will not be directing Paramount Pictures' 2012 superhero team-up film The Avengers, according to MTV News. The Avengers is a group of superpowered Marvel Comics heroes including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and The Hulk (all of whom have starred in Marvel Studios films or have films in development). Favreau, the director of both Iron Man and next year's Iron Man 2, previously expressed his desire to direct The Avengers, but has now recanted. "You need somebody who has the perspective of all the different franchises to bring them together," Favreau admitted. "I have the myopic vision of just knowing and loving Iron Man."

Columbia Pictures adapts UK miniseries Red Riding into feature film
Columbia Pictures acquired rights to remake the UK television miniseries Red Riding with the intent for American filmmaker Ridley Scott to direct, according to entertainment trade publication Variety. The Channel 4 miniseries aired as three feature-length TV episodes in early 2009, adapted from English author David Peace's Red Riding series of novels: Nineteen Seventy-Four (1999), Nineteen Eighty (2001) and Nineteen Eighty-Three (2002). The Red Riding story deals with police corruption and the disappearance of young girls; the US version will be transposed from Britain to America.

Clive Owen, Catherine Keener sign up for Trust
English actor Clive Owen and American actress Catherine Keener have committed to American actor-director David Schwimmer's Trust, according to entertainment trade magazine The Hollywood Reporter. Trust will be the second feature film ever directed by Schwimmer, known best for his role as paleontologist Ross Geller on the defunct NBC-TV series Friends. The film deals with an online sexual predator harassing the daughter of Owen and Keener's characters. Fourteen-year-old American actress Liana Liberato portrays the daughter.

Netherlands installs Oorlogswinter as foreign Oscar submission replacement
The Netherlands announced Dutch director Martin Koolhoven's historical drama Oorlogswinter ( Winter in Wartime) to represent their national cinema in the Best Foreign Language Film category at next year's Academy Awards ceremony. The film replaces the country's previous pick, Congolese director Jean Van de Velde's Wit Licht ( The Silent Army), which was rejected on Academy Award grounds that new versions of existing films be excluded from competition. Oorlogswinter is set during World War II, and tracks a Dutch boy hiding a British pilot from German army forces.


Tommy Lee Jones in talks to direct and co-star in The Lincoln Lawyer
Oscar-winning American actor Tommy Lee Jones is currently in advanced negotiations to direct and co-star in The Lincoln Lawyer, according to entertainment trade publication The Hollywood Reporter. Starring American actor Matthew McConaughey, the film is an adaptation of the bestselling 2005 novel of the same name by American author Michael Connelly. McConaughey will portray Mickey Haller, a Los Angeles lawyer operating from the backseat of his Lincoln Continental defending a Beverly Hills playboy accused of murder.

Gus Van Sant scripts double-suicide drama with author Bret Easton Ellis
Based on the American journalist Nancy Jo Sales's 2008 article "The Golden Suicides" (from American arts culture magazine Vanity Fair), the screenplay will be jointly produced by PalmStar Entertainment, Celluloid Dreams and K5 Film. American painter Jeremy Blake and American videogame designer Theresa Duncan were a fixture on the downtown New York City art scene; Duncan committed suicide first, and Blake drowned himself in the Atlantic Ocean one week later. Van Sant is not attached to direct the film. Bret Easton Ellis's novels Less Than Zero and American Psycho have been previously adapted into Hollywood movies.

Chris Pine negotiates to reprise Jack Ryan role for Paramount reboot
American author Chris Pine is in talks with Paramount Pictures to portray CIA analyst Jack Ryan in a reboot of films starring the action hero, according to the movie studio. American actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck have all portrayed Jack Ryan in several Hollywood films, including The Hunt for Red October (1990), Patriot Games (1992), and Clear and Present Danger (1994). The Jack Ryan character stems from a popular novel series by American author Tom Clancy. It is currently unclear whether Pine will begin this reboot of the Paramount series before or after reprising the role of Lt. James T. Kirk in a sequel to the 2009 summertime blockbuster Star Trek.


Sharon Stone stars in indie production, Satisfaction
American actress Sharon Stone has committed to the independent film production Satisfaction, which English director Anya Camilleri begins filming in the UK during the first quarter of 2010, according to entertainment trade magazine Variety. The film revolves around a young gigolo cruising London, England, oscillating between a wealthy, calculating older woman (Stone) and a young woman (Dutch actress Carice Van Houten) offering unconditional love. American actor Chris Evans, known best for his recurring role in The Fantastic Four superhero franchise, is currently negotiating for the role of the gigolo.

Chris Pine breathes life into Rolling Stone article for The Art of Making Money
American actor Chris Pine is in advanced negotiations to star as a counterfeit artist in The Art of Making Money, according to entertainment trade publication Variety. American director D. J. Caruso is set to helm the movie, based on a 2005 article in the American pop-culture magazine Rolling Stone (subsequently expanded into 2008's The Art of Making Money: The Story of a Master Counterfeiter, by American author Jason Kersten). Pine will portray real-life Chicago counterfeiter Arthur Williams, and production may begin in early 2010.

Studio renames Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz romantic thriller Knight & Day
20th Century Fox has confirmed Knight & Day as the official title of its action comedy starring American actors Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, according to entertainment trade magazine Variety. American director James Mangold has been shooting the film in Massachusetts since last month under the working title Wichita, though Trouble Man was another strongly considered title. Knight & Day reportedly stars Cruise as a secret agent who pulls his blind date (Diaz) into intrigue surrounding the protection of some infinite power source.


Director Bryan Singer seeks crack at X-Men 4
American director Bryan Singer expressed interest to 20th Century Fox in directing a third installment of the X-Men superhero film franchise, according to entertainment trade publication The Hollywood Reporter. Singer, the director of both 2000's X-Men and 2003's X2: X-Men United, turned down completing the trilogy with X-Men: The Last Stand to direct Superman Returns in 2006 instead. At the Pusan International Film Festival in South Korea, Singer revealed recent talks with Fox concerning his return to the X-Men franchise.

Charlize Theron abandons another lead role, in The Tourist
Oscar-winning South African actress Charlize Theron abandoned her lead role in the American remake of the 2005 French romantic thriller Anthony Zimmer entitled The Tourist, according to The Hollywood Reporter movie blog Risky Biz. Theron is likely to be replaced by American Oscar winner Angelina Jolie. British director Bharat Nalluri has also left the project behind, with the studio avidly seeking a replacement. The film deals with an American tourist who goes undercover on behalf of Interpol to entrap a former lover. Theron recently bowed out of a lead role in The Danish Girl, a biopic on the transsexual Danish painter Lili Elbe.

Studio greenlights The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn for 2011
Summit Entertainment okayed a fourth installment in The Twilight Saga franchise, according to the studio. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn is an adaptation of American author Stephenie Meyer's 2008 novel Breaking Dawn (the fourth and final book in the Twilight series), and begins filming in Portland, Oregon, in September 2010. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn may be split into two films due to the complexity of plot developments in Meyer's source material. A director has yet to be named.