Starring Robert Pattinson, Julianne Moore, John Cusack, and Mia Wasikowska, Maps to the Stars has found a German distributor. Screen Daily reports that Christian Meinke's MFA+ has acquired the rights to the David Cronenberg-directed Hollywood satire at the American Film Market, recently held in Santa Monica. MFA+ also picked up Vincent Grashaw's feature debut Coldwater and Tobias Lindholm's Danish thriller A Hijacking / Kapringen, which has a similar premise to that of the Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks hit Captain Phillips. (Image: Robert Pattinson on the set of Maps to the Stars.)
In Map to the Stars, John Cusack (replacing Viggo Mortensen) plays a Los Angeles analyst and self-help guru whose wife (Olivia Williams) is immersed in the career of their teen star son (Evan Bird), fresh off of rehab. Their daughter (Mia Wasikowska) is a recovering pyromaniac – a dangerous passtime in Kalahari-arid Southern California.
One of Cusack's clients is an actress (Rachel Weisz replacement Julianne Moore), who has visions of her dead mother (Sarah Gadon) and whose chief goal in life is to remake the movie that made Mom a star in the '60s. And finally, Robert Pattinson plays Jerome Fontana, a limo driver with aspirations of movie stardom who befriends the young pyromaniac.
Bruce Wagner (Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hill) wrote the Maps to the Stars screenplay, which has been a prospective David Cronenberg film project since at least 2006. Back then, the film was described as a "dark Hollywood thriller," which, if correct, indicates that the screenplay has undergone some radical changes.
Note: Maps to the Stars is totally unrelated to Miguel Arteta's Star Maps, a 1997 drama about a young and handsome seller of star maps and sex worker (Douglas Spain), who suffers at the hands of his abusive father (Efrain Figueroa).
'Maps to the Stars': Cannes 2014 as possibility?
Toronto Star film critic Peter Howell tweeted that Maps to the Stars, "with plot of life crisis & rehab, had industry sneak Monday in T.O. – perfect choice!" Whether or not this second David Cronenberg and Robert Pattinson collaboration will have a Cannes Film Festival 2014 premiere remains to be seen.
There's certainly a chance, as Cosmopolis had its official debut at the festival two years ago. In fact, in the last 18 years, four David Cronenberg movies have vied for the Palme d'Or. Besides Cosmopolis, there were Crash, Spider, and A History of Violence.
'Maps to the Stars' cast
Besides Robert Pattinson, Julianne Moore, John Cusack, Mia Wasikowska, and the other aforementioned performers, also in the Maps to the Stars cast are the following: Niamh Wilson, Emilia McCarthy, Jayne Heitmeyer, Amanda Brugel, Kiara Glasco, Joe Pingue, Justin Kelly, Ari Cohen, Jennifer Gibson, Chris Anton, Jonathan Watton, Donald Burda, Clara Pasieka, Gord Rand, Byron Lane, and Star Wars' Carrie Fisher as herself.
Carrie Fisher, of course, wrote her own bit of Hollywood (semi-)fiction, Postcards from the Edge, which became a 1990 movie directed by Mike Nichols. Meryl Streep starred as a sort of Carrie Fisher while Shirley MacLaine played a sort of Debbie Reynolds.
Hollywood satires have been around for as long as Hollywood has been around. Some have been lighthearted – e.g., King Vidor's Souls for Sale, starring Eleanor Boardman as a film-star to be – others have been scathing – e.g., Billy Wilder's Sunset Blvd., starring Gloria Swanson as what might have become of Eleanor Boardman three decades later. (Actually, Norma Desmond was inspired by Barbara La Marr and other movie vamps of the period. Boardman played Good Girls.) Anyhow, chances are Maps to the Stars will fall into to the latter category.
Robert Pattinson movies
After leaving Edward Cullen behind following the release of Bill Condon's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 nearly one year ago, Robert Pattinson has kept himself busy. Although there have been no 2013 releases – unless one counts his Dior commercial – Pattinson has several projects that, if they all come to fruition, will have his name plastered on movie billboards about half a dozen times in the next two years.
Those include David Michôd's Australian-set futuristic thriller The Rover, co-starring Guy Pearce; Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert, with Nicole Kidman (replacing Naomi Watts) in the title role (as Gertrude Bell) and Pattinson as T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia); Jesper Ganslandt's Mission: Blacklist, with Robert Pattinson as U.S. interrogator Eric Maddox; and James Marsh's thriller Hold on to Me, with Carey Mulligan.
Recently, Robert Pattinson's name has found its way into James Gray's The Lost City of Z, to star Benedict Cumberbatch as British explorer Lt. Col. Percival Fawcett, who nine decades ago disappeared in the Amazon while in search of a mythical civilization. It's unclear which role Pattinson would have in the film.
And as a commenter reminded me below, Robert Pattinson should also be playing photographer Dennis Stock opposite Dane DeHaan's James Dean in Life. According to online reports, the Anton Corbijn-directed movie is supposed to begin production in February 2014. One more: the IMDb lists Hate Mail as another Pattinson movie project; Scarlett Johansson was at one point mentioned as the film's leading lady-to-be. (More on Robert Pattinson and 'Life.')
Besides David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis and the Twilight movies co-starring Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson's previous features include Mike Newell's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (as Cedric Diggory), supporting Daniel Radcliffe; Paul Morrison's Little Ashes as a troubled Salvador Dalí in love with Javier Beltrán's Federico García Lorca (much to the dismay of Matthew McNulty's Luis Buñuel); Allen Coulter's romantic drama Remember Me, opposite Emilie de Ravin; Francis Lawrence's Water for Elephants, co-starring Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz; and Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod's underrated Bel Ami, with Robert Pattinson excellent in the title role opposite Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci, and Uma Thurman.
Info about Maps to the Stars acquisition by German distributor via mapstothestarsfilm.com. Image of Robert Pattinson on the set of Maps to the Stars via justjared.com, which offers about a dozen other photos on the film's set.