Robert Pattinson 'Life': Pattinson to play James Dean photographer and travel companion Dennis Stock
Robert Pattinson is keeping himself busy. Pattinson is reportedly going to play Life magazine photographer Dennis Stock in the aptly titled Life, to be directed by Anton Corbijn, himself a photographer. Dane DeHaan is slated to co-star as Stock's traveling companion and photographic subject James Dean. The screenplay, chronicling the relationship between the young photographer and the Hollywood-legend-to-be, is by Luke Davies. (Image: Robert Pattinson.)
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, among whose producing credits are Tom Hooper's Best Picture Academy Award winner The King's Speech and the Steve McQueen / Michael Fassbender sex addiction drama Shame, will bring Life to life (sorry, I couldn't resist) via See Saw Films. FilmNation will reportedly be looking for foreign buyers at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival.
As per the Reporter, Life is to be budgeted between $10-15 million. If all goes as planned, filming should commence in early 2014.
Dennis Stock on James Dean: 'I liked him sometimes'
Dennis Stock, who died at age 81 in 2010, shot the iconic Life magazine photo of an overcoat-clad James Dean, cigarette in mouth, walking down Times Square. Dean, who starred in only three movies – Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without a Cause, Elia Kazan's East of Eden, George Stevens' Giant – died at age 24 in a car crash in Cholame, Calif., on Sept. 30, 1955.
Regarding his friendship with James Dean, Dennis Stock would later say, “I liked him sometimes, but not all the time. But he was like family after a while. We really bonded in Indiana. Not in New York, where he was distracted a lot. He was an insomniac and didn't get a lot of sleep and was a pain in the ass to work with.”
Robert Pattinson: Life after 'Twilight'
As mentioned above, Robert Pattinson, who became world-famous following the phenomenal success of the Twilight movies opposite Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, has kept himself busy in front of the camera. Besides his wildly popular Dior commercial – which looks more like a short film – Pattinson has collaborated with David Michôd on The Rover, co-starring Guy Pearce, and with David Cronenberg on Maps to the Stars, co-starring John Cusack, Julianne Moore, and Mia Wasikowska.
Additionally, Robert Pattinson may – at this stage, emphasis on may – start filming Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert, opposite Naomi Watts and possibly James Franco, in fall 2013, and Jesper Ganslandt's Mission: Blacklist in early 2014. And that brings us back to Life, which is also supposed to start shooting at around that time.
Dane DeHaan: From 'Spider-Man' to James Dean
Dane DeHaan's upcoming movies include Jeff Baena's Life After Beth, with Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, and Matthew Gray Gubler, and Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, playing Harry Osborn opposite Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.
Dane DeHaan's previous screen credits include Josh Trank's sleeper domestic hit Chronicle; Bradley Rust Gray's Jack and Diane, with Juno Temple and Riley Keough; John Hillcoat's Lawless, starring Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy; and Derek Cianfrance's The Place Beyond the Pines, starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Eva Mendes.
Director Anton Corbijn, screenwriter Luke Davies
Anton Corbijn's movie credits include Control, with On the Road's Sam Riley as Joy Division's Ian Curtis; the crime drama The American, with George Clooney; and the upcoming thriller A Most Wanted Man, based on John le Carré's novel, and featuring Daniel Brühl, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
According to the IMDb, Luke Davies has two previous screenwriting credits: Neil Armfield's Australian drug-addiction drama Candy, starring Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish; and the 2009 short Air, which Davies also directed, featuring Andrew Garfield.
'Queen of the Desert' news: Naomi Watts out, Nicole Kidman maybe in, Robert Pattinson maybe still in – or maybe not
In an Q&A with The Butler producer Cassian Elwes, published on September 6, 2013, The Hollywood Reporter indicated that Elwes' movie project Queen of the Desert, a biopic of multitasker (political officer, writer, explorer, spy, etc.) Gertrude Bell to be directed by Werner Herzog, has lost its two leads: Naomi Watts, who was initially cast in the title role, and Robert Pattinson, who was to play T.E. Lawrence a.k.a. “Lawrence of Arabia” – brought to movie life by Peter O'Toole in David Lean's 1962 multiple Oscar-winning blockbuster of the same name.
“With Naomi Watts and Robert Pattinson dropping out of Werner Herzog's Gertrude Bell biopic Queen of the Desert, is the project dead?” inquired the Reporter. As found in the trade magazine, Elwes' reply was: “It's been in casting hell, but we feel like we are coming out of it now. I think we're close to making an announcement.” Note that Elwes seemed to implicitly agree that Watts and Pattinson were both gone.
However, a Deadline.com “exclusive” has Robert Pattinson still as one of the film's stars, with U.S.-born, Australian-raised Best Actress Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman (The Hours) replacing U.K.-born, Australian-raised Best Actress Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts (21 Grams, The Impossible) as the British Gertrude Bell. Apparently as British diplomat Henry Cadogan, James Franco is the reported replacement for the originally announced Jude Law.
Will Robert Pattinson play T.E. Lawrence?
Needless to say, Robert Pattinson fans have been in a tizzy. Is Pattinson in or out of Queen of the Desert?
Earlier today, Cassian Elwes took a non-committal route on Twitter. When asked by a fan if he could confirm that Pattinson is indeed gone from the project, Elwes replied: “nothing is written in stone.” In other words, stay tuned.
If Robert Pattinson ends up playing T.E. Lawrence, that may well turn out to be his third back-to-back character based on a real-life person. In Jesper Ganslandt's Mission: Blacklist, about the discovery of Saddam Hussein's whereabouts following the Iraq War, Pattinson is (for the time being) slated to play U.S. military interrogator Eric Maddox. And if all goes as planned, in the recently announced Life Pattinson will play photographerk Dennis Stock opposite Dane DeHaan's James Dean under Anton Corbijn's direction.
Earlier this year, Robert Pattinson was featured in David Michôd's futuristic action thriller The Rover, co-starring Guy Pearce, and reteamed with his Cosmopolis director, David Cronenberg, on the Los Angeles-set Maps to the Stars, starring opposite Julianne Moore, John Cusack, and Mia Wasikowska.
Nicole Kidman: From Grace Kelly to Gertrude Bell?
And in case Nicole Kidman truly ends up landing the role of Gertrude Bell in Queen of the Desert, that'll be her third character based on a real-life figure this past year or so. In Jonathan Teplitzky's The Railway Man, which has been screened at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival, Kidman plays Patricia Wallace, the wife of Scottish World War II prisoner of war Eric Lomax (Colin Firth in the film); and in Olivier Dahan's upcoming Grace of Monaco, Kidman incarnates actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly (Best Actress Oscar winner for George Seaton's The Country Girl, 1954), later known as Princess Grace of Monaco.
Wrapping this up, Gertrude Bell remains an important historical personage – if only morons everywhere would come to the realization that current events don't take place in a historical vacuum. After all, modern-day Syria and Iraq were at least in part her (artificial) creations.
That took place nearly a century ago, but such events, for better or for worse, tend to have long, long lives: decades, centuries, millennia. People in power today should remember that their actions will have long-lasting effects as well – but don't hold your breath expecting them (or their braindead followers) to stop and consider any future consequences.
Nicole Kidman The Railway Man photo: Lionsgate.
Kristen Stewart: 'Sils Maria' set photos
Kristen Stewart co-stars opposite Oscar winner Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) and Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, the upcoming Carrie remake) in Olivier Assayas' Sils Maria, a psychological drama currently being filmed in Germany and Switzerland. A Kristen Stewart fan site on Twitter has posted a series of images showing Stewart, wearing a jacket and glasses, on the Sils Maria set. Warning: Be extremely careful when visiting the photo site where the Kristen Stewart images are stored. I've removed the link from this post because twice when clicking on the images, popups attempted to install phishing software. (Now, please scroll down to check out the “full-body” shot of the bespectacled Kristen Stewart in Sils Maria.)
Set in the Swiss area known as Sils Maria, writer-director Olivier Assayas' movie tells the story of a middle-aged former stage star, Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche, in a role written expressly for her), now living as a recluse in Switzerland. Maria's seemingly placid existence is badly disturbed when her old mentor unexpectedly dies and a young director offers her a role in a movie based on the play that had originally made her a star. Now, however, Maria is to be cast in the part of the middle-aged character, while a young, rambunctious actress (Chloë Grace Moretz) will be cast in Maria's old role – as the young woman who destroys the older one.
Where does Kristen Stewart fit into all this? Stewart is The Third Woman: Maria's assistant and interlocutor, the troubled middle-aged actress' connection with the outside world.
'Sils Maria': Shades of Ingmar Bergman, Robert Altman, 'The Sound of Music' – 'The Sound of Music'??
Once again, when reading about Sils Maria, I find it impossible not to think of Ingmar Bergman's Persona (Liv Ullmann and Bibi Andersson as actress/patient and nurse) and Robert Altman's Three Women (Sissy Spacek, Shelley Duvall, and Janice Rule sort of blending into one).
Admittedly, because of Sils Maria's trio of female stars, How to Marry a Millionaire (Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall) and its various permutations (Three Blind Mice, The Greeks Had a Word for Them, etc.) invariably come to mind as well. And no, I don't expect Sils Maria to have much else in common with the 20th Century Fox CinemaScope comedy. Nor do I expect Assayas' movie to have much at all in common with Robert Wise's The Sound of Music, but considering Sils Maria's Alpine setting and the fact that Julie Andrews' singing nun was called Sister Maria, how could that 1965 blockbuster not come to mind?
Curiously, Olivier Assayas has been quoted as saying that Sils Maria is “a Juliette Binoche movie about Juliette Binoche with Juliette Binoche.” So, let's forget How to Marry a Millionaire and The Sound of Music and think instead of … No, not that Joan Rivers TV movie. How about Diane Keaton in Woody Allen's Annie Hall? But more dramatic. Or Lana Turner in The Bad and the Beautiful. But less melodramatic. (Though Turner is at her best in that one.)
Anyhow, most moviegoers – hungry for original, quality fare (or so we're told) – are eagerly awaiting The Amazing Spider-Man 2, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Transformers: Age of Extinction (a.k.a. Transformers 4), Paranormal Activity 5, and/or Fast & Furious 7. I'm not that selective; I'm eagerly awaiting Sils Maria.
'Sils Maria' cast
According to the IMDb, besides Chloë Grace Moretz, Kristen Stewart, and Juliette Binoche (who also starred in Olivier Assayas' multiple award winner Summer Hours), the Sils Maria cast features Brady Corbett, Johnny Flynn, Lars Eidinger, Hanns Zischler, Alister Mazzotti, Claire Tan, Steffen Mennekes, and veteran Angela Winkler (of Volker Schlöndorff and Margarethe von Trotta's The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, Schlöndorff's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner The Tin Drum).
Daniel Brühl (currently on screen in Ron Howard's Rush, opposite Kristen Stewart's Snow White and the Huntsman co-star Chris Hemsworth), Tom Sturridge (one of Stewart's co-stars in Walter Salles' On the Road), and veteran Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire, Downfall) have also been mentioned as Sils Maria cast members. Update: Daniel Brühl has been replaced by Lars Eidinger, apparently because Brühl has been busy plugging Rush. Johnny Flynn has taken over the part originally intended for Tom Sturridge, who has been cast instead as one of the leads in Thomas Vinterberg's remake of Far from the Madding Crowd, currently filming with Carey Mulligan and Michael Sheen. On Twitter, one of the Sils Maria producers, Charles Gillibert (who also happens to be one of the On the Road producers), added that “Bruno Ganz has never been part of [the project].”
I should add that Kristen Stewart replaced initial Sils Maria choice Mia Wasikowska, who, coincidentally, was recently paired up with Stewart's Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson in David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars – which also stars Julianne Moore, who plays Chloë Grace Moretz's demented religious-freak mother in Carrie. See, it's all connected.
Another update: According to Charles Gillibert – see comments section – Kristen Stewart was the actual first choice for the role of Juliette Binoche's assistant Valentine, but schedule issues prevented Stewart from accepting the part. Enter Alice in Wonderland's Mia Wasikowska, who was later forced to quit the project. As per Gillibert, she left because of a previous commitment with Walt Disney Studios, though it's unclear what “Pirates 2” is – unless it's Alice in Wonderland 2, even though production dates on that Disney project haven't been announced. For now, Wasikowska has been cast in Sophie Barthes' Madame Bovary and Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak. Anyhow, following schedule modifications Kristen Stewart was invited back into the Sils Maria fold and was now able to take on the role.
'Sils Maria' release date
Sils Maria will likely come out some time in 2014. IFC Films, which released Olivier Assayas' Summer Hours, Carlos, and Something in the Air, in addition to Walter Salles' On the Road, will distribute Sils Maria in the United States. Here's hoping this latest Assayas' effort will have better luck at the Academy Awards than his previous ones. (The widely admired Carlos was deemed ineligible for the Oscars because it had been originally made for television.)