The next notable actor to take up directing is Alan Rickman. The witheringly dry 66-year-old English actor, best known for being on the teaching staff in the Harry Potter films as well as featuring in everything from Anthony Minghella's Truly, Madly, Deeply to Kevin Smith's Dogma, will direct A Little Chaos, the 18th century story of rival gardeners at the French royal court each creating a fountain for the grounds at Versailles for Louis XIV. The concept gets fleshed out by two exceptional leads: the Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts, the breakout European star whose Bullhead wasn't released in Australia but who will have Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone with Marion Cotillard out at the close of March locally; and Kate Winslet, who most recently starred in Roman Polanksi's Carnage and Steven Soderbergh's Contagion in 2011 (and married someone named Ned RocknRoll).
Benicio goes native
French director Arnaud Desplechin is making his next film in America. The director of A Christmas Tale is in post-production on Jimmy Picard, which is adapted from the 1951 non-fiction account by French psychoanalyst Georges Deveraux of the American Native Indian World War II veteran he treated and befriended at a hospital in Topeka, Kansas. As Deveraux Desplechin has the versatile Mathieu Amalric (Quantum of Solace, Chicken with Plums), while as his patient, the titular Picard, there's Benicio Del Toro (Che, Traffic), who needs to deliver a purposeful performance after the mess that was Oliver Stone's Savages.
Hader finds inner Hasselhoff
First the bad news: work is underway on a Baywatch movie. Now the good move: it will be a send-up. The world of Californian lifeguards and their strange ability to constantly run in slow-motion gets the comedic treatment courtesy of director Robert Ben Garant, creator and star of the improvised television comedy series Reno 911! and screenwriter Peter Tolan (Analyse This, Just Like Heaven). Their first casting choice is another television star, Saturday Night Live oddball Bill , whose supporting roles in the movies include Paul, Adventureland and Tropic Thunder. Hader will be replacing David Hasselhoff, not Pamela Anderson, although the show that really needs sending up is the Baywatch spin-off Baywatch Nights, the 1995 paranormal mystery series where Hasselhoff's lifeguard Mitch Buchanan moonlighted as an X-Files-inspired private detective. Sadly, I am not making this up.
Paul Rudd, road worker
David Gordon Green's eclectic career is taking a left turn. The American director, who alternates independent dramas such as All the Real Girls and Snow Angels with Hollywood studio comedies such as Pineapple Express and Your Highness, will next release Prince Avalanche, the story of two Texan road workers whose isolated gig literally painting the lines on roads leads to a strange friendship. The film is an adaptation of Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson's 2011 Icelandic film Either Way, and as leads Green has cast Paul Rudd (I Love You, Man and This is 40) opposite Emile Hirsch (Milk, Killer Joe). It is official, with Baltasar Kormakur remaking Rotterdam-Reykjavik as the Mark Wahlberg hit Contraband, that Icelandic cinema is so hot right now.