Friday, May 19, 2017

"Mamma Mia!" sequel in the works

Among other sources, Variety is reporting that Meryl is set to reprise her role as Donna in the sequel to 2008's Mamma Mia!, entitled Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!

When I first read the news, I have to admit that I was disappointed.  Generally, I've never really thought that doing a sequel would be up to Meryl's standards.  Historically, what I've probably enjoyed most about her is the variety of characters she chooses to portray, and doing a sequel seems to fly in the face of that history.

It's not like Mamma Mia! was a great film, either.  However, it totally made the dough.  If we consider the fact that Meryl will turn 68 this summer, it might actually be a super smart move on her part.  Mamma Mia! grossed over $600 million worldwide in 2008.  What better way to give a boost to your "bankability" than to star in a cash cow that might bolster your status with filmmakers for a decade to come?

With that in mind, I can't help but wish this were news of The Good House instead.  I have to try to be pragmatic though, understanding that Meryl had a great number of doors open for her after the financial success of the original, and if the sequel were to do even half as well, it would provide for future projects that would likely be very much to my liking.

It's interesting that for a long time after Florence Foster Jenkins rapped in 2015, I lamented the dearth of projects on Streep's horizon.  Finally, in July of last year it was announced that she would have a bit part in Mary Poppins Returns, to be released at the end of 2018.  Now, however, we potentially have three projects that are set to film and debut well before that.  The Post, or "Untitled Steven Spielberg Project" has a release date of December this year.  The Nix could potentially get pulled together for a second quarter slate of 2018, and now Here We Go Again! already has a release date for July 20, 2018.  What a change from just a few months ago!

It gives me confidence in this new project that the writer of both Exotic Marigold Hotel films is penning this for Meryl.  That said, it doesn't seem that Ol Parker has necessarily established himself as a great director.  Regardless, we know he probably has a good handle on what makes this demographic tick, which is why I feel Meryl is hopping aboard.

Fingers crossed that this is a success and provides Meryl  multiple future opportunities to shine.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Final first poll results!

Well, the voting has ended for the first poll on Word on the Streep, and The Hours is the overwhelming top vote-getter (71%) to decide which performance was the biggest Oscar snub for Meryl.  I was one of the few who voted for The Manchurian Candidate.  While I absolutely believe Meryl should've been nominated for her performance as Clarissa Vaughan in The Hours, if we take into account the landscape of the films and performances that were up for recognition in both 2002 and 2004 (the release years for The Hours and The Manchurian Candidate, respectively), it's more of a snub that she missed out in 2004.

The Hours happened to be released the same year as Adaptation, a film for which she was nominated for Actress in a Supporting Role.  Couple that with the fact that The Hours was a film that essentially had three female leads in Nicole Kidman (ultimate winner that year in lead for her role of Viginia Woolf), Julianne Moore (nominated in supporting) and Meryl, and it gets tough to nominate two or especially all three.  If each were on the cusp of being lead or supporting and Kidman's performance was sort of undeniable for a nom, Meryl really had no chance for that film.  Keeping in mind that actors cannot be nominated for two roles in the same category.

Two years later, Streep missed out on a nomination for Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance as Senator Eleanor Prentiss Shaw The Manchurian Candidate.  She had no other films that year that were likely to result in nomination, and she had snagged both Globe and BAFTA noms.  I won't rehash why I think she should've been recognized, but I'll link my thoughts from the original snub post.

What do readers want as the next poll?!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

'Poll' feature added to Word on the Streep

I've been considering for a while adding polls to the website to sort of allow some interaction among readers.  A few of you have offered suggestions and I'm happy to create several polls, but I think I'm going to start with a fairly easy one: Oscar snubs.  To the right you can see the first poll.

There of course is already a section where up to this point I have analyzed four instances where it could be argued Meryl should've been nominated and wasn't.  I'll include those four and add 1994's The River Wild.  

Please let me know if there are other ideas you  have or poll questions you'd like to me create.  This first poll will close in one week.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Is "The Post" now "Nor'easter"?

So, the website My Entertainment World is listing The Post under the new title Nor'easter.  Hmmm.  Well, I don't know if this will ultimately be the title at time of release, but the site also lists that filming is set to start on May 22 in New York, which seems to fit previous info regarding a late May shooting schedule.

I'm not so sure about that title.  The definition of "nor'easter" is 'a a storm or wind blowing from the northeast, especially in New England.'  Seems more like a new title for The Good House than The Post.  I suppose the idea of a storm brewing would be an appropriate usage in regard to the Pentagon Papers, but that title doesn't really give us any indication of what the film is about.  I'm curious to see if it sticks.

If May 22 is the true start date, casting info should be revealed very soon.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

"The Post" no longer "The Post"

After it was announced last week that The Post was to be given a limited release on December 22 of this year, articles began removing the title "The Post" from their descriptions.  I had originally thought that this was in error, but it now appears clear that they are likely going to change the title.

I imagine this change is meant to draw better attention to the nature of the film's story.  Considering the film was optioned just last month, has yet to shoot and already has a release date inked in...the powers that be likely want this to capture as much of the current political climate as possible.  Were the film to be called something like "The Pentagon Papers" instead, it might be a bit more alluring (at least to American audiences I suppose).

IMDbPro lists the "The Post" as the film's working title, with "The Pentagon Papers" and "Untitled Steven Spielberg Project/Untitled Steven Spielberg Pentagon Papers" as 'world-wide' working titles.  I'm interested to see if the new name will make it seem more captivating, or help draw the mind away from thinking it's just about a team of journalists working against a powerful foe, similar to the recent Best Picture winner Spotlight (which I absolutely love).  We'll find out soon enough I should think.  Until we do, for the sake of ease, I'll continue to refer to this project as The Post.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

"The Post" gets a release date

Variety is reporting that The Post will be given a limited release on December 22 of this year and then be expanded nationwide three weeks later, on January 12.  As we were expecting, this will make the film eligible for the 2018 Oscars.  No official word on the exact date filming is set to start, but considering this news, I expect it will remain on schedule and begin sometime in May, as previously reported.

Strangely, the article cited states that the film is currently untitled, calling it "Steven Spielberg's untitled Pentagon Papers drama."  I imagine that's just bad reporting, and that they're not changing the name of the movie.

Looking forward to info on casting soon!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Updates on "Mary Poppins Returns"

It's been over a month since the first production still was released from the set of Mary Poppins Returns, and in the past couple of weeks there have surfaced some new pics as filming progresses.

Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda

Blunt and Miranda

There was also a brief video uploaded to You Tube of a night scene of "chimney sweeps" riding their bicycles in St. James Park:

Despite these few morsels from the set, what we're really interested in is getting a glimpse of Meryl in costume. Well, I haven't found any of of those (yet), but based on the following Instragram photo from Sri Lankan lawyer Aritha Wickramasinghe, it appears that she is currently in London, presumably there to film.

So proud to have the support of inspiring people like #MerylStreep to help change world education through @thinkequal and so proud to wear a sarong and showcase #SriLankanStyle to her! #londonevents #londoncharityfundraisers #education

It's not much, but it's somethin'!  My guess is that she's wrapping up her few weeks of filming and then heading back to the States by May to begin shooting The Post.