Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"Africa" film scrapped

 A couple of months ago I had reported that Meryl was mentioned to be attached to the Angelina Jolie project about paleoathropologist Richard Leakey.  The film, entitled Africa, was tentatively scheduled to begin shooting later this summer.  Today, the would-be cinematographer Roger Deakins, who worked with Jolie on Unbroken, indicated that the film will not be happening.  In a French interview for Premiere magazine, he states on page 16:

"Invincible was a good experience, and when Angelina announced she wanted to do this film about Richard Leakey , I jumped at the chance. Not only because I had worked with her, but because I wanted to return to Africa , where I went often. Especially for Mountains of the Moon in Kenya. I not only admired as director Bob Rafelson , but humanly , it was adorable. Unfortunately, Africa will not take place . This is a big disappointment."

Earlier this month it was revealed that Jolie was having trouble securing funding for the film's ballooning budget.  Not a huge surprise that they've passed on this one.  Too bad, as it sounded like a very interesting subject.  I guess this just opens up more time for Meryl to film The Good House!

Friday, May 22, 2015

First pic of Streep in "Florence Foster Jenkins"

Pathé has released the first production still from the set of Florence Foster Jenkins: 

Hugh Grant plays her partner and manager St. Clair Bayfield.  The film, directed by Stephen Frears is currently filming around London.  

With the first official pic released already in May, it begs the question of whether they'll try to push this into cinemas by the end of the year.  I still think it would fit perfectly in late summer 2016 as a comedy, but even some of the blogs I've been reading have inquired about the same thing.  As usual, time will tell.  Looking forward to this film regardless of when it's released.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Preview of new song from "Ricki and the Flash"

A preview of the original song "Cold One" has been posted to the Ricki and the Flash website.  Penned by Jenny Lewis and Jonathan Rice, we get to hear Meryl with the lead vocals. She provides a nice folk-rock sound to it..even a bit of gravel in her voice.  I think what I'm most looking forward to in this movie is the music.  The film opens nationwide August 7.  

Monday, May 18, 2015

Shoulds Coulda Wouldas #12: "Dirty Tricks"

I'm a bad Meryl fan.  Here I thought I was all done with the Shoulda Coulda Woulda section, but a couple of weeks ago while doing a little research for my "predicting the next five years" post, I realized something.  We already know that Ryan Murphy has been interested in filming Best Actress, the behind-the-scenes look at the making of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? for HBO.  I was unaware however that it was him who in 2005 was announced to write and direct Meryl in the film version of John Jeter's play Dirty Tricks.  

I had been fully aware of this project dating back to 2005, but was under the impression that the part of Martha Mitchell would've been a supporting role, along with Annette Bening as Helen Thomas, Jill Clayburgh as Pat Nixon and Gwyneth Paltrow as Maureen Dean.  Upon learning that it was indeed Murphy behind this project, with a little investigation I also realized that this was likely going to be a lead role for Meryl.  Martha Mitchell was deemed "the mouth of the South" for her whistleblowing in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal in early 70's.  The outspoken, Arkansan wife of Nixon's attorney general John Mitchell became famous after her frequent phone calls to members of the press, detailing political shenanigans that took place under the corrupt Republican administration.  

The news of this project broke in August of 2005, with Murphy hoping to begin filming by spring 2006.  If we consider the possibility that this came together for production at some point in 2006, we could've expected a release sometime in 2007, and as is usual with Streep's starring roles, likely fourth quarter for awards placement.  This idea created a predicament for me, as I've already completed my reimagined history, which included 2007 of course.  But consider if Meryl had a lead role in a politically-themed movie in place of the two supporting roles in the poorly-received Rendition and Lions for Lambs.  Plus it's a fairly baity character...alcoholic, eccentric, heavy Arkansan accent. Seems a better project than either of the aforementioned films.  

This of course would alter my reimagined history, something I thought was completely set in stone.  But I'm strongly considering addending it to replace both Rendition and Lions for Lambs with Dirty Tricks.  With the same rationale in mind, I'm also considering altering 2014's filmography, but I'm not giving away those exact details quite yet.  Regardless of what I decide, this was a fun discovery and yet another fun speculation of what could've been.  

Monday, May 11, 2015

Production begins on "Florence Foster Jenkins"

It was reported this morning that Meryl is in the UK to begin filming Florence Foster Jenkins. We've been expecting a May start, so this seems to confirm that.  The article also reports that the shooting schedule is expected to last ten weeks.  If filming is actually beginning this week, we could expect it to wrap by mid July.  It would be quick, but five months is absolutely possible to complete post-production on a film like this.  I still think it's unlikely, but Frears pics have tended to be end-of-the-year fare, a la The Queen and Philomena.  It doesn't seem as likely that they would push a release all the way to the end of 2016.  If it's released  next year, I would guess another late summer release.  I'll be very interested to learn when they officially plan for it to premiere.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Trailer for "Ricki and the Flash"

As usual, without further ado...

First thoughts were that I wanted more music!  Meryl of course looks amazing, and it definitely seems to be marketed as a comedy.  I was thrilled to see so much of Audra McDonald.  I have to watch it a few more times to get a full, honest reaction.  I'll add more thoughts later.  Hope everyone enjoys!

Monday, May 4, 2015

First trailer for Ricki and the Flash arriving May 6

Two days!  About time considering the film will be released in three months.  I'm hoping we get a good sample of Meryl playing the guitar and singing.  Also interested to see how they are going to market this, meaning whether or not the trailer will make it seem like a full-on comedy.  I have a feeling it will.