The masterful Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino has his arresting feature The Great Beauty arriving in Australian cinemas this week, and as with 2008's Il Divo it's defined by his relationship with leading man Toni Servillo. But for his next movie, In the Future, Sorrentino (pictured) will work in English with a leading Hollywood name, as he did on 2011's oddball but affecting This Must Be the Place, where Sean Penn gave the best 'Robert Smith from The Cure goes in search of Nazis' performance ever committed to celluloid. The plot details for the 2015 release are being kept under wraps, but the director's leading man will be Michael Caine, who in between offering wisdom in Christopher Nolan blockbusters has been exploring the vagaries of ageing in smaller films such as Harry Brown, Is Anybody There? and Mr. Morgan's Last Love.
Maggie on the make
The synopsis for Rebecca Miller's Maggie's Plan is succinct: 'A young woman tries to make it on her own in New York City'. Thankfully, when that young woman will be played by Greta Gerwig (Lola Versus, Frances Ha) it starts to make sense; Gerwig makes the disarray of Manhattan twentysomethings emblematic. The romantic comedy of manners will co-star Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights, What Maisie Knew) and is the latest carefully nurtured production from writer/director Miller, following 2002's Personal Velocity: Three Portraits, 2005's The Ballad of Jack and Rose (which starred the director's husband, Daniel Day-Lewis), and 2009's The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.
Quentin Tarantino's next film with be a western like Django Unchained, and for The Hateful Eight the now veteran filmmaker has penciled in regular collaborator Christoph Waltz (Carnage, the forthcoming Muppets Most Wanted) and Bruce Dern (current Academy Award nominee for next month's Nebraska)… James Cameron is making three more Avatar movies, and Sam Worthington (Clash of the Titans) and Zoe Saldana (Star Trek Into Darkness) have committed to return for all of them… Michael Fassbender (Hunger, Prometheus), who is currently shooting Australian director Justin Kurzel's take on Macbeth with Marion Cotillard (Inception), will star as the mysterious stranger who helps a young man (Kodi Smit-McPhee) traverse the 19th century American frontier to find the woman he loves in John Maclean's debut Silas.
London Fields fovever
“Darts, Keith!” Martin Amis fans will know that phrase, punctuating as it does a riotously brilliant journey across London – for darts – in a chapter from the English author's magisterial 1989 apocalyptic comedy London Fields. Not wholly successful adaptations of Amis' earliest works, 1973's The Rachel Papers and 1975's Dead Babies, were produced, but little has been seen of his work on the screen despite his literary prominence and keen ear for dialogue. London Fields will be directed by feature debutante Matthew Cullen, with Amber Heard (Pineapple Express) as the manipulative American Nicola Six, who twists a diverse trio – Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade) as an ailing writer, Theo James (The Inbetweeners movie) as a miserable banker with a terrifying toddler, and Jim Sturgess (Cloud Atlas) as a petty criminal and aspiring darts champion – into her plans to be murdered on her 35th birthday. The tone will need to be bang on for this one to work.