The jury is still out on Cameron Crowe. The American writer/director made amends for 2005's dire Elizabethtown with last year's family friendly We Bought a Zoo, but a knack for conjuring great soundtracks doesn't recapture the skilful professionalism of Jerry Maguire or the expert nostalgia of Almost Famous. He's had no problems casting his next film, however, which may be a reworking of Deep Tiki, a film about a U.S. government consultant and a Hawaiian volcano that Crowe (pictured) had to abandon after Elizabethtown (and Orlando Bloom's lead performance) cratered. Bradley Cooper (The Hangover, The A-Team) will play the lead, opposite Emma Stone (The Amazing Spider-Man, The Help).
Cooper, who spent more than a few years playing jerks and other Hollywood bit parts, appears keen to make the most of his increased cachet. While a third Hangover movie is already predictably in production, he's also worked with Ryan Gosling (Drive) on The Place Beyond the Pines for director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) and with Robert De Niro (Heat) and Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games) on the forthcoming Silver Linings Playbook from David O. Russell (The Fighter). Cooper's taste in filmmaker continues to expand, with the actor starring, once again opposite Lawrence, in Serena, the Depression-era story of a lumber magnate (Cooper) and his infertile wife (Lawrence). The director for that project is the noted Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier (Brothers, After the Wedding).
French director Sophie Barthes, who made the very strange 2009 film Cold Souls, which starred Paul Giamatti as Paul Giamatti minus his soul, has turned to the classics, mounting an adaptation of Gustave Flaubert's 1856 novel Madame Bovary. The title role in the story, of a provincial doctor's wife who relieves her boredom with affairs that eventually result in a merchant she owes a great debt financially ruining the young woman and her husband, will be played by – we promise this column is not being paid to repeatedly mention her – Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland, Lawless), with supporting turns from Giamatti and Ezra Miller (We Need to Talk About Kevin).
Magic-Al Mystery Tour
Al Pacino as an ageing rock star? At least it beats that run of melancholic, disgruntled mentors he played for much of the last decade. In Imagine, the directorial debut of American screenwriter Dan Fogelman (Cars, Crazy, Stupid, Love), Pacino will play a veteran music star whose career consists of one greatest hits set after another. But when he finds a letter John Lennon once wrote him he tries to correct his life, reconnecting with his adult son and getting involved with a hotel manager. Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Avengers) and Julianne Moore (Safe, Crazy, Stupid, Love) will feature opposite Pacino, who you suspect will need his singing voice dubbed.