Meryl Streep has signed on to star as a former rocker in Ricki and the Flash.
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28 Apr 2014 - 3:16 PM  UPDATED 6 May 2014 - 2:18 PM

Just as a new generation of singers cross over into the movies – Nicki Minaj and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine have supporting roles respectively in The Other Woman and the forthcoming Begin Again – some acclaimed veteran actors are playing musicians. Al Pacino has already finished shooting Imagine, where he plays a famous vocalist who rediscovers a letter John Lennon sent him and decides to seek out his estranged adult son, and now Meryl Streep will play a former rocker in Ricki and the Flash who searches out her estranged daughter. The film was written by Diablo Cody (Juno, Young Adult) and will be directed by Jonathan Demme (Married to the Mob, The Silence of the Lambs), who has added to his long list of music documentaries in the years since his last feature, 2008’s Rachel Getting Married, with the likes of Neil Young Journeys.

Rest up for Rowe

One of Australia’s leading new filmmakers is finally about to make his English-language debut. Michael Rowe has lived and worked in Mexico City for the past two decades, where he made the intense sexual drama that was 2010’s Leap Year, a Camera d’Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival, and last year’s follow-up, The Well, a domestic drama told from the perspective of a young girl. Rest Home is the story of a security guard who is drive to the brink of madness when he discovers that his wife is having an affair with another man, and Rowe has cast another expatriate Australian, Melissa George (The Limey, television’s The Slap) alongside French-Canadian actor Roy Dupuis (The Barbarian Invasions, Public Enemy #1).

Dad's jokes take flight

The German director Maren Ade finally has her third feature underway, having won acclaim (and some misunderstanding) with 2009’s Everyone Else. Toni Erdmann is the story of a young German woman, working internationally, who is unexpectedly visited by her father, who is convinced that his daughter has lost her sense of humour and seeks to repair the situation. Ade’s new feature will star Sandra Huller (Requiem, A Woman in Berlin) as the unimpressed offspring, with Peter Simonischek (Assignment Berlin, Henri 4) as the errant parent.

Blunt and Benicio cross borders

An English import who has become thoroughly assimilated into American filmmaking, Emily Blunt has seemingly not stopped working since her breakthrough turn as a desperate fashionista waiting on Meryl Streep in 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada. Since then Sunshine Cleaning and The Young Victoria have given way to The Adjustment Bureau and Your Sister’s Sister, followed by The Five-Year Engagement and Looper. Blunt’s new interest appears to be what the Americans call ass-kicking: she’s a super soldier opposite Tom Cruise in the sci-fi war epic Edge of Tomorrow in June, and now she’s signed on for Sicario, the contemporary story of an American police officer who crosses the Mexican border with two mercenaries. Blunt, playing the law enforcement agent, will co-star with Benicio Del Toro (Traffic, Che) as one of the soldiers of fortune for director Denis Villeneuve (Incendies, Prisoners).

Michôd marked for McChrystal movie

David Michôd is going to war. The Australian filmmaker, whose follow-up to 2010’s acclaimed crime drama Animal Kingdom, the dystopic outback thriller The Rover is due in cinemas come June – and will screen out of competition in Cannes – is writing and directing an adaptation of Michael Hastings’ non-fiction book, The Operators. Hastings was the Rolling Stone journalist whose 2010 profile of General Stanley McChrystal, the senior U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, resulted in the veteran officer resigning. The film’s producers include Brad Pitt (World War Z, 12 Years a Slave), who reportedly intends to play McChrystal, who was renowned for saying what other career soldiers only dared to think.

Dead women walking

Nicolas Winding Refn has said goodbye to Ryan Gosling, star of his Drive and Only God Forgives, although the Danish filmmaker is sticking with Gosling’s co-star from Drive, Carey Mulligan (The Great Gatsby, Inside Llewyn Davis), for his next feature. I Walk with the Dead is planned as a horror film with an all-female cast, although no other names are yet confirmed.

Moretz waves in three new roles

What does every leading young Hollywood actress need? A multi-part adaptation of a young adult book series set in a dangerously uncertain future. Jennifer Lawrence has The Hunger Games, Shailene Woodley has Divergent, and now Chloë Grace Moretz (the Carrie remake, Hugo) will play the lead in The 5th Wave. The 2013 book by Rick Yancey, the first in a trilogy, tells the story of 16-year-old Cassie Sullivan, one of the survivors of four previous waves of alien attacks upon the Earth, who is searching for her little brother. Moretz, currently making her Broadway debut in a play directed by Steven Soderbergh, also features in Olivier Assayas’ for thcoming Clouds of Sils Maria, alongside Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart, and a remake of the 1980s television series The Equalizer, where Denzel Washington replaces Edward Woodward.

Electric dreams

Prepare your Daft Punk robot masks, as the gifted French director Mia Hansen-Love’s next film will chart the rise of French electronic music in the 1990s. The eclectic cast for Eden, which was written by Hansen-Love (Father of My Children, Goodbye First Love) and her DJ brother, includes Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha, Arthur), Golshifteh Farahani (Body of Lies, About Elly) and Brady Corbet (Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene, Melancholia). Expect an American distributor to suggest renaming it ‘Get Lucky’.