Saint signs on to Winter's Tale
Some of the greats of previous Hollywood eras are still with us and in select cases, thankfully, still acting for the cameras that made them stars many decades ago. One such example is Eva Marie Saint, who will forever known for having Marlon Brando hold on to her gloves in Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront in 1954 and beguiling Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest in 1959. Saint last appeared on screen in 2006's Superman Returns, the poorly received Bryan Singer reboot, where she played Martha Kent (pictured), but now she's agreed to appear with a raft of contemporary actors in a new drama.
In Winter's Tale the veteran Hollywood screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, I, Robot) tells the story of a terminally ill young woman in 19th century New York who falls in love with the thief she discovers inside her family's palatial home. A second storyline will take place in the present day, which may possibly involve the 88-year-old Saint's character. Also announced for the movie are Colin Farrell (In Bruges) as the thief, English actress Jessica Brown Findlay (television's Downton Abbey) as the dying heiress, and William Hurt (The Village) as her father.
And proving that not all screenwriters are quickly dispensed with and forgotten, Goldsman has two major Hollywood stars who he's written multiple parts for previously – Russell Crowe and Will Smith – appearing in small supporting roles. Shooting starts next month for a 2013 release.
Hirschbiegel courts hitman drama
The German filmmaker Oliver Hirschbiegel made his name with 2001's Das Experiment and 2004's Downfall, and after an American sojourn that went astray (2007's The Invasion) he's back to work in Europe. His biopic Diana, about the final two years of Princess Diana's life starring Naomi Watts (King Kong), is in post-production, and now he's preparing The Angel Face, which is based on the true story of a German hitman who went to work for the Italian mafia in the 1990s and ended up giving evidence in court against his employers. For the contract killer-turned-snitch Hirschbiegel has cast one of Germany's leading actors, Moritz Bleibtrau, whose recent successes include The Baader-Meinhof Complex and Soul Kitchen.
Spielberg machine moves ahead
Steven Spielberg has long alternated high minded dramas with popcorn outings. This is the director, after all, who released both Jurassic Park and Schindler's List in 1993. Spielberg's Lincoln, with Daniel Day-Lewis as America's Civil War president, releases at year's end, and now he's at work on an adaptation of Daniel Wilson's book Robopocalypse, a best selling tale set in the near future where an increasingly robot dependent humanity finds itself at war with its machines when an artificial intelligence escapes from electronic captivity. The novel spans the globe, with episodic events, but the cast suggests some focused storylines. Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers) and Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises, the forthcoming Les Miserables) are in talks for the lead roles in the April 2014 blockbuster, with the fine British actor Ben Whishaw (Bright Star) also eyeing a part. Now word yet on which machines are in line for supporting roles.