What will Lupita Nyong’o do next? The Kenyan-American actor came out of nowhere (well, actually the drama program at Yale) to win an Academy Award for her fiercely moving portrayal of Patsey, a beleaguered captive in 12 Years a Slave. Nyong’o has a small role in the Liam Neeson action flick Non-Stop, which was shot pre-Oscars buzz, but now faces a decision that has proven difficult for some actors to make. One possibility? Go straight into Star Wars: Episode VII, which is scheduled for December 26, 2015 and begin shooting in London in June to meet the mammoth post-production schedule. Anyone who has been seen in the vicinity of director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Super 8) has been attached by rumour, but several names are confirmed as being in contention, including Jesse Plemons (Battleship, The Master) and Adam Driver (television’s Girls, Tracks). Nyong’o has met Abrams, but nothing is confirmed apart from a lot of Star Wars geeks growing more nervous over the coming months.
Bleibtrau becomes Basile
German director Oliver Hirschbiegel’s German-language films have repeatedly topped his English-language productions: Downfall and The Experiment win out over The Invasion and Diana. For his next film he’s adding some Italian to the mix. The Angel Face is the story of Giorgio Basile, a German hitman who worked extensively with the Calabrian mafia in the 1980s and 1990s before becoming a state’s witness in Italy and testifying extensively. Basile, who now lives in a witness protection program, will be played the industrious Moritz Bleibtrau (The Baader Meinhof Complex, Soul Kitchen).
Galifianakis and Hamm buddy up
Sometimes all a generic Hollywood comedy needs is the right cast. Keeping Up with the Joneses, to be directed by Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland), is the story of a suburban couple who learn that the picture perfect neighbours are in fact undercover agents. Wasn’t this a Chevy Chase film no-one can remember the name of? But if you add Jon Hamm (television’s Mad Men, The Town) and Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, The Campaign) as the respective husbands then perhaps you get an intriguing comic dynamic. Hamm, who looks like a Hollywood matinee idol from the 1930s, is actually more interesting in comedies than dramas when he ventures into features. Then again, it could be a bad version of a Chevy Chase film no-one can remember the name of.
Moretti makes it personal
Italian director Nanni Moretti will follow up The Caiman and We Have a Pope with Mia Madre, the story of a successful filmmaker who commands each film set she works on, but at home is dominated by her ailing mother and unhappy adolescent son. Margherita Buy (The Caiman, Days and Clouds) will play the conflicted artist, with Moretti augmenting his comic vision with a role as the director’s brother, while John Turturro (Miller’s Crossing, Transformers: Dark of the Moon) will play an American actor in her latest production. Turturro, the longtime Coen brothers favourite, won’t have to travel far from his current workplace in Spain, where he is shooting Ridley Scott’s Biblical epic Exodus with Christian Bale (American Hustle), Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters), Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby) and the wonderful Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani (About Elly).
Photo credit: Johnny Vy / ©A.M.P.A.S.