If you sometimes find yourself thinking, “When is the director of Yentl and The Mirror Has Two Faces going to get back behind the camera?” then salvation is at hand. A mere 16 years after helming her last feature, Barbra Streisand will direct the estimable pairing of Cate Blanchett (I’m Not There, Hanna) and Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man) in Skinny and Cat, a romantic drama about writer Erskine Caldwell and photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White, who were briefly married at the end of the 1930s and collaborated on a series of controversial books about poverty and racism in America’s south. 70-year-old Streisand has had her eyes on the project for decades: at one stage she wanted to star in it opposite Robert Redford.
Cronenberg and Viggo promise us a sequel
Having served as a jaded and provocative presence in David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, Vincent Cassel (Irreversible, Black Swan) will reportedly reunite with the filmmaker and co-star Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings, The Road) for a sequel to the 2007 crime drama Eastern Promises, which was about the activities of Russian gangsters in London. The French actor will also star in a remake of Beauty and the Beast from French director Christophe Gans (Brotherhood of the Wolf) alongside Lea Seydoux, which will probably be a touch more extreme than Jean Cocteau’s legendary 1946 adaptation.
Carrie-d away with pointless remakes
Another unnecessary remake with an overqualified cast: Brian De Palma’s 1976 teenage horror film Carrie, where a young Sissy Spacek literally brought the house down as a bullied teen whose public humiliation at her high school prom leads to a telekinetic rampage of revenge, is on track for a 2013 repeat. The director is Kimberly Peirce, who did fine work with 1999’s Boys Don’t Cry and 2008’s Stop-Loss, while the key roles of the lonely adolescent and her repressive, reclusive mother will be played by Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, Hugo) and Julianne Moore (Children of Men, Crazy, Stupid, Love). Carrie was a hit upon release because De Palma allied cheap, bloody shocks to a powerful undercurrent of sexual emergence, which was groundbreaking at the time. Pierce is best known for characters dramas, but you can’t imagine that conflict mediation is going to get in the way of the popular kids getting their comeuppance.
Marty casts from Ramsay Street
Martin Scorsese has made an Australian connection as he rounds out the cast for The Wolf of Wall Street, his biopic where Leonardo DiCaprio will play disgraced and imprisoned 1990s financier Jordan Belfort. Former Neighbours star Margot Robbie, who subsequently did a season on the cancelled U.S. network television show Pan Am (didn’t see it? Mad Men-lite with great air crew uniforms), will play Belfort’s demanding second wife, while Jonah Hill (Moneyball, 21 Jump Street) is a business partner and Jean Dujardin (The Artist) will play a Swiss banker who provides money laundering services. Somewhere the Blakeney twins are looking at each other and sighing loudly.