Sunday, October 22, 2017

Best Actress 2017: Emma Stone in "Battle of the Sexes"

It's been a month since I've had the chance to see a film involving a Best Actress contender. I had wonderful intentions of seeing Jennifer Lawrence in mother!, but based on the reviews and my low expectations of it's Oscar-earning prowess, I've held off. Instead, I swung by a local theater on Thursday after work to catch a screening of Emma Stone in Battle of the Sexes.

Tennis has been a major interest for me since I was a kid. I've played off and on since I was 12 and have closely followed professional tennis ever since. Billie Jean King was before my time, but I was course aware of her from a young age, knowing that she had been the top ranked player at one point in the '70s. I've had the opportunity to attend matches at the national tennis center named after her in Flushing, NY, so I went into the film a little skeptical about what it may look like if they were going to reproduce major sections of her historic match against Bobby Riggs. I've since learned that the tennis scenes were portrayed by actual pros.

For those not familiar, the story surrounds the events leading up to Billie Jean King's exhibition matchup against former professional player Bobby Riggs. Spoiler alert: King beats Riggs after he had successfully defeated the then current number one-ranked women's player, Australian Margaret Court. It happens to be a socially topical story, as in the film King and other players on the women's tour are faced with overt sexual discrimination and a fight for equal pay. Emma Stone does a fine job in capturing King's struggle, as well as her mannerisms and speech. I have to admit, I tend to always see Emma Stone in her roles versus forgetting her and just seeing her character. But I didn't mind in this case, as she portrayed King as a very sympathetic and character, who unfairly had to hide her sexuality for fear of damaging her career.

The film has gotten wonderful reviews, particularly for Stone. I wonder if its release was a little too early for it to make a huge splash on the awards circuit, however. Its theme is wonderful and it's a crowd-pleaser as well, but in this year's delightfully stacked Best Actress race, not to mention that Stone is last year's winner, my guess is that she'll be the first one out the of top five for Oscar.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cher reportedly joining "Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!"

Well isn't this an interesting twist! A few sources are reporting tonight that Cher is joining the cast of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!  Said to be in London currently rehearsing, she will evidently be performing two Abba songs in the film. No other details were revealed on her exact role or character name.

There's also been some speculation about Meryl's participation in the film. As I mentioned in my last post, filming has seemed to wrap in Croatia and we didn't see any pics of Meryl on set, sparking rumors that she wasn't involved after all. But I read this weekend that a possible reason that Meryl did not immediately comment on the Weinstein scandal (she released a statement four days after the story broke) was because her publicist said she was "off the grid" for several days. A film set in Croatia could possibly be "off the grid."

If Meryl is indeed still in the film and now Cher is joining, this latest piece of news is is just one more factor that is sure to get butts in the theater seats.





Friday, October 13, 2017

Poll #5: With which director would you most like to see Meryl work?

Despite Meryl having four projects either in the can, filming, or recently acquired by a studio, there's surprisingly been little news about her specifically in regard to these projects recently. We know Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! is currently filming in Croatia (although on Instagram some cast members have apparently already wrapped which gives me pause since we haven't seen Meryl on set), The Post should have its first trailer any day now, Mary Poppins Returns is well into post-production, and The Nix was snatched up by Amazon. There have been about ten billion articles this week about Meryl's association with Harvey Weinstein, and if you're interested in discussing that, feel free to comment below. Of course I have my own opinions on the whole shit show.

So...I thought we'd throw in another poll! After poll #3, someone suggested asking with which director people would most like to see Meryl work.  I think that's a fabulous question to ask. But where to begin?  Well, take a look to the right and see if any of these folks seem suitable. I'm only listing folks that Meryl has never worked with in a live-action feature film. Looking forward to seeing everyone's thoughts.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Streep attends HBO premiere of Steven Spielberg documentary

Last night, Meryl attended the premiere of HBO's documentary "Spielberg." While this may not be particularly momentous news, I'm commenting on it because it adds to the buzz surrounding Spielberg's upcoming film, The Post, which of course stars our girl. The documentary is set to air on HBO tomorrow night (October 7), and I'm not sure if Meryl will be in it. She did briefly work with Steven in a cameo voice role in 2001's A.I. Artificial Intelligence. I'm guessing the documentary was primarily produced prior to their pairing for filming The Post this summer, but I have a feeling that Meryl will be included, thus her presence at last night's premiere.

Still desperate waiting for that trailer.


Monday, October 2, 2017

40 years of Meryl on the big screen

On October 2, 1977, Meryl Streep made her film debut in Fred Zinnemann's drama Julia. It was a minor role, but she managed to capture the attention of her co-star Jane Fonda, who, as Meryl has described, opened countless doors for her in the film industry. Only one year later, Streep would star in the film that earned her her first of twenty Academy Award nominations, The Deer Hunter. 1979 saw her win her first for Kramer vs. Kramer.  Together, the three films earned 29 Oscar nominations, with the latter two winning Best Picture. Not a bad welcome for a promising newcomer.

No one could've predicted the prestige Streep's career would achieve over the subsequent 40 years. While we likely can't expect another four decades of performances from her, with a slew of enticing roles in the pipeline over the next year, Streep is showing no signs of slowing down. Thanks for the incredible catalogue of performances you've given us, Meryl. I'll keep watching.


 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Did Amazon pick up "The Nix"?

Several months ago when I posted about the status of the limited series adaptation for Nathan Hill's debut novel The Nix, the project still hadn't landed with any specific studio. Hill had offered that maybe Netflix, Showtime, or Amazon would be in the mix to produce. Yesterday, Variety reported that Amazon Studios has increased its production spending for 2018, and among many other shows included in its pipeline, The Nix was listed as a current project in development.  I assume this means that The Nix has indeed found its home.

No word on when production was scheduled to begin, but having read the book, a lot of the action takes place during the summer, so maybe as soon as spring 2018? I wonder if the release would be likely for the end of next year or spring 2019, as the prime Emmy window tends to be in April or May, just before the deadline for qualification.

Regardless, I'm encouraged by this news, as so little concrete info has been released in some time on the status of The Nix. Always fun to look forward to new projects from Meryl!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Trailer expected this week for "The Post"

I read on Awards Watch tonight that there is speculation in the Twitter universe that a trailer for The Post is expected before the end of the month, which means this week.


I'm not sure how much we can rely on this predictor, but apparently Clayton Davis from Awards Circuit also has reason to believe that a trailer will be released this week. It's not that crazy to expect that we get our first glimpse of the film at the end of September. I doubt it will be a full trailer, more likely a teaser running about 45 to 80 seconds.

I hope they're right!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Best Actress 2017: Salma Hayek in "Beatriz at Dinner"

Now that we're approaching October, performances that will contend for Best Actress this year are actually becoming available to view. Namely, Jennifer Lawrence in mother! and Emma Stone in Battle of the Sexes. Since Meryl is going to almost certainly be on everyone's radar for her upcoming performance in The Post, I'm planning on providing my two cents this fall on many of the possible frontrunners.

Meryl's performance may ultimately be the last I actually see, since it's not going to be released nationwide until mid January. Similarly, Margot Robbie's performance may not go wide until a similar time, but it's been seen by many people already at the Toronto International Film Festival and we know that I,Tonya is likely going to be a factor.

This year is particularly stacked with notable performances from women on screen, something that is not always the case. Cracking into the top five in votes for the Best Actor category on Awards Watch generally indicates a much-lauded performance. With the preponderance of male-led films each year, it can be difficult to stand out. It's nice to see that on the women's side it's far from a done deal as we approach the last quarter of 2017.

I'm going to start my assessment of this year's performances with one I was actually able to rent already on Itunes: Salma Hayek in Beatriz at Dinner. Before it was released, it was predicted that Hayek might be in the mix for awards, and she still may be, but the buzz has dwindled significantly. It doesn't help that the film was a summer release. But as a dark comedy, her role might show up at the Globes, and with some calling it "the first great film of the Trump era," I think it's worth covering.

I don't want to get into a super detailed synopsis, but the story surrounds Beatriz (Hayek), a holistic healer who's car breaks down at a wealthy client's home, resulting in her staying for dinner and interacting with three couples who represent stereotypical privileged whites whose biggest concern seems to be whether to decide on halibut or steak for dinner. Beatriz in particular clashes with Doug (John Lithgow (this guy's having a great year)), a CEO-type real estate magnate whom Beatriz at first mistakes for the man who ruined her Mexican town with his predatory development. Things get awkward as she uncomfortably confronts him on his way of life.

Hayek does a wonderful job in this picture. Her performance provides such a sharp contrast to the setting and viewpoints of the other main players. She's a healer, sensitive to needs and pain of other living things. Thrust into a scenario where she's surrounded by people who are anathema to everything she believes about the world, Beatriz can't help but draw attention to that contrast and shine light on the carnage that can be left behind from unbridled American capitalism.

I don't expect this film or Hayek's performance to go too far with awards. If anything, as I mentioned, a nod for Best Actress in the Musical/Comedy category is a possibility, but even there I see her as coming in at number six or seven currently. Again, it's a stacked category in 2017. In most other years, she'd likely be in the conversation for an Oscar nom. But it's anyone's guess as this point...

 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

More pics from the set of "Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!"

There have been a few pics of Lily James in Croatia this week, where they're currently filming  Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!  I sort of breezed by them because they all seemed like just random shots off set. I realized today however that there were indeed a few taken of James with her co-star Jeremy Irving during what looks like an actual scene from the film:


                                 


Irvine plays the young version of Pierce Brosnan's character from the original. The full set of pics can be seen here


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Streep wins Emmy for narrating "Five Came Back"

Well what a pleasant surprise. Last night, the Creative Arts Emmys were handed out and Meryl took home the gold for narrating the Netflix WWII documentary Five Came Back. She was not in attendance of course, as production is underway for Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!  Streep will now have three Emmys in her trophy case, this most recent in addition to those she won for her performances in the miniseries Holocaust (1978) and Angels in America (2003).  Now if we can just get The Nix into production, we can expect that she'll contend for her fourth!

Congratulations, Meryl.


Saturday, September 9, 2017

The state of the 2017 Best Actress race

Now that we're into September, a lot of the movies that will include contenders for Best Actress at the Oscars have been screened. Film festival season is upon us and the prognosticators are out in full force, each providing their two cents on whom they think will end up on the top spot. It's still early of course, but we're far enough along now that I figured I'd take the pulse of the race and give my own thoughts as well.

My go-to resource for getting a sense of who the contenders are has for some time now been Awards Watch. Their aggregate predictions on nominations are very accurate. Gold Derby also has their "Expert" picks up now, but I typically find Awards Watch more valuable. As of today, with 243 Awards Watch users casting votes for Best Actress, the top ten are:

1. Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) 87.24%
2. Meryl Streep (The Post) 82.30%
3. Kate Winslet (Wonder Wheel) 77.37%
4. Jennifer Lawrence (Mother!) 42.39%
5. Annette Bening (Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool) 36.63%
6. Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) 35.80%
7. Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) 35.39%
8. Judi Dench (Victoria & Abdul) 28.81%
9. Emma Stone (Battle of the Sexes) 23.46%
10. Daniela Vega (A Fantastic Woman) 12.35%

I should mention that until Sally Hawkins's film debuted recently to rave reviews for her, Meryl was solidly in first place. We won't have any reactions to The Post until likely late November, so Meryl's predictions are based solely on the pedigree of the filmmakers. Judi Dench dropped quite a bit recently after reviews were so-so for her film, likewise for Annette Bening, but to a lesser degree. Saoirse Ronan shot up this past week as well, and I'm expecting that Emma Stone will be higher than ninth in October's first poll, after her reviews for playing a young Billie Jean King in Battle of the Sexes were fantastic.

As recently as yesterday, I, Tonya, the biopic of Tonya Harding had sort of fallen off the radar as it was not set for a definitive 2017 release. After being screened yesterday at the Toronto International Film Festival to mostly great reviews, including for Margot Robbie in the title role, I'm expecting it to get snatched up by a distributor soon and contend for awards.  Expect Robbie to potentially be in next month's top five.

Jessica Chastain will contend for Aaron Sorkin's Molly's Game, and Claire Foy stands a small chance with Breathe, starring alongside Andrew Garfield in a film that looks remarkably similar in tone to The Theory of Everything. It would be a wonderful milestone were Chilean Daniela Vega to sneak in, as she'd be the first transgender actor ever nominated for an Academy Award. I'm disappointed, however, that after strong representation last year, the top ten I've listed includes no person of color.

I have seen zero of the films listed above, but come January, I'll have seen most, if not all. If I had to make my own guesses for a top five right now, I'd have to go with Hawkins, Streep, Winslet, Bening and McDormand. I'd list Lawrence and Dench close behind, and watch out for Margo Robbie. This is a very strong year for women in film, particularly those over 40. I certainly want to see Meryl nominated, but the best circumstance would be that she's not only nominated, but the film does well both critically and financially. Everything is in place for that to happen...on paper.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Entire original cast reportedly returning for "Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!"

Dominic Cooper, who will be reprising his role of Sky in the currently filming Mamma Mia! sequel, has apparently confirmed that the entire original cast will be joining the remake.  I'm not really sure how a newspaper in North Dakota scooped this info, or maybe I totally missed that the news was previously confirmed, but before today I was still unsure if Julie Walters, for example, would complete the Dynamo trio.

The larger cast has also been updated on IMDb. Although I've never been a big fan of the original original, with everyone returning and the fact that it'll be a decade since it was released, I'm getting a little nostalgic for the movie and will probably end up watching it again soon.

Looking forward to seeing the first pics of Meryl on set!


Saturday, August 26, 2017

"The Papers" switches title back to "The Post"

Deadline is reporting that Steven Spielberg's upcoming Pentagon Papers film starring Meryl and Tom Hanks is switching its title back to The Post.  Evidently the official title was Untitled Steven Spielberg up to this point and The Papers was a previous title.  I'm glad they have it figured out, as the film is set to be released in under four months.  I wager that we might even get a teaser trailer as early as late September.

Friday, August 25, 2017

First set pics from "Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!"

The Daily Mail posted the first pics from the set of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!  Sadly, none of the photos are of Meryl, but we're treated to several of Lily James, who plays the younger version of Meryl's character Donna:


The Dynamos from L to R: Alexa Davies (young Rosie), Lily James (young Donna) and Jessica Keenan Wynn (young Tanya)

The Dynamos from L to R: Christine Baranski (Tanya), Meryl Streep (Donna) and Julie Walters (Rosie)


Some rockin' 70's fashions in these pics!  The film is set for release on July 20 next summer.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Principle photography begins on "Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!"

Well, I guess it's now official that filming is underway on Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!  Last weekend I had posted an Instagram pic from Lily James which suggested that they had already begun shooting.  It looked as if she was in costume, but it's possible that they were just in rehearsals.  Regardless, Universal tweeted today they've begun production.


Filming is apparently taking place on the Greek island of Kalokairi. Previous reports suggested that some scenes will also be shot in Croatia.  No word on whether Meryl's scenes will be shooting soon.  I'm still curious to know exactly how big her part is.  Is it just a bit role and the majority of the film is with the new cast, or is Meryl still the main character and the new cast just have smaller roles shown in flashbacks?  More to come, I'm sure.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Full cast of characters revealed for "The Papers"

I was checking out Awards Watch this morning and noticed that someone had posted that the full cast of The Papers had been revealed.  There was no source cited, so I checked IMDbPro, but several actors' names are still not associated with specific characters.  Wikipedia, however, does now list the main cast and whom each will be playing:

Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee
Meryl Streep as Kay Graham
Alison Brie as Lally Weymouth
Carrie Coon as Meg Greenfield
David Cross as Phil Geyelin
Bruce Greenwood as Robert McNamara
Tracy Letts as Paul Ignatius
Bob Odenkirk as Ben Bagdikian
Sarah Paulson as Tony Bradlee
Jesse Plemons as Roger Clark
Matthew Rhys as Howard Simons
Michael Stuhlbarg as Gene Patterson
Bradley Whitford as Fritz Beebe
Zach Woods as Daniel Ellsberg

No surprises here, really. With the exception of Hanks and Streep, the list is essentially made up of great television actors.  This list looks like a wonderful recipe for a SAG ensemble nomination.  Assuming the film is decent, the only thing standing if the way of that would be if screeners don't get out to members in time for voting to end on December 10, considering the film just wrapped less than a month ago. SAG noms are set to be announced on December 13. The film opens in limited release on December 22, going wide on January 12.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!" begins filming

Yesterday, Lily James posted an Instagram photo writing "It's Happening," indicating that filming has begun on the Mamma Mia! sequel.

A post shared by @lilyjamesofficial on

There were earlier reports that filming was to be at least partly in Croatia, but I don't know if that's where this photo was taken or when Meryl's scenes actually begin.  Regardless of when they do, since it's barely mid August and filming is already underway, I expect shooting to wrap around November.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Six years of Word on the Streep

Today marks six years since I started Word on the Streep!  After almost 700 posts (and counting), it continues to bring me great joy to follow Meryl's career.  As always, I want to say a very big 'thank you' to any and all readers.  The discussions, feedback and information you all provide make this blog doubly worth doing.  I hope to continue to live up to expectations and quality updates about our girl.

I hope she never slows down!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Results of poll #4

I know that the current poll has a few days remaining but since the voting has sort of leveled off I thought I'd comment on it now.  With 35 total votes in, I'm pleasantly surprised that Diana Nyad is the person whom people would most like to see Meryl portray in a biopic.  My surprise comes from not even expecting most people to know who she is.  I had never heard of her until I saw that one of the black list scripts was about her.

This could still be a viable role for Meryl.  A physical transformation in an inspiring story.  As I mentioned in one of my comments, it would be cool if she chose to film this just after turning 70 in 2019, sort of a fun physical achievement to prepare herself for all the swimming she'd likely have to do.  Plus, with already having completed The Papers, were she to do Nyad, I'd be two-for-two in the last two years in predicting which black list script she chose!

Make it happen, movie world.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Casting update for "Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!"

Multiple sources have reported that Jeremy Irvine and Alexa Davies have joined the cast of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!  Irvine, best known for playing the lead role in Steven Spielberg's War Horse, will portray the younger version of Pierce Brosnan's character, while Davies will play Rosie, the younger version of Julie Walters's character in the original.

I have to admit I've never seen War Horse, but like the idea of Irvine and Meryl swapping stories on set of working with Steven.  The last I heard, filming was to start in late summer or early fall, so I suppose Meryl will be hightailing it to Croatia fairly soon.

The next year will be an unexpectedly full one for Meryl in the filming department.  Shooting just wrapped on The Papers, so I imagine that as soon as she's finished up with shooting Mamma Mia she'll be on a promotional blitz for the film back in the U.S.  Hopefully she'll be a factor in awards season.  Then we get Mamma Mia in the summer and Mary Poppins Returns next December.  Still crossing my fingers that The Nix finally gets greenlit for production as well.  If it does, I expect it to film next spring and/or summer.

It's a fun time to be a Meryl fan!





Monday, July 31, 2017

Poll #4: Whom would you most like to see Meryl portray in a biopic?

You guys have given me a great list of options for what the next poll should be.  As I said in an earlier post comment, I'm going to make polls of all the questions, but of course can only chose one at at time.

For poll number four, I've chosen the question of whom we'd like to see Meryl portray in a biopic.  We all know that she's already given us an incredible package of portayals, from Karen Silkwood, Karen Blixen and Lindy Chamberlain, to Roberta Guaspari, Julia Child and Margaret Thatcher.  But there are several more women out there that could make incredible subjects, with Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham her latest incarnation.

I've made the list longer this time around, as there are so many names I can think of that I'd love to see Meryl play.  As usual, chose one of the names in the poll.  I'm asking that if you chose "other", that you please comment your choice below.  And even if you happen to chose a name from the list but happen to think of another, I'd love to hear your suggestion.

The poll will be open for two weeks.  Let's do this.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

New pics from the set of "The Papers"

Some eager fans evidently had their phones at the ready on the set of The Papers today, as a few new shots of Meryl were tweeted:




Filming will be entering its third month next week.  I imagine they'll be wrapping by the third week in August which will leave just four months for completion before it hits theaters in a limited release.  Spielberg will probably need to have it ready even sooner, as they'll have to get screeners to SAG members and the Hollywood Foreign Press, as the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe Award nominations are usually announced in early December.  We know Spielberg has done it before in a short time.  He'll do it again.  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Results of poll #3

Jeeze I almost forgot to comment on the results of poll #3: Which film would you remove from Meryl's biography?  I personally selected The House of the Spirits.  The main reason of course is that it's just an awful film.  In fact, my friend Scooter and I tried to re-watch it a few years back and had to stop after about twenty minutes because it was so bad.  Secondly, the film is a whitewashed version of a book that supposed to take place in South America.  The characters are supposed to be Chilean, but half of them are just super white Anglo-Saxon.  We could debate for hours the multiple questions and problems that involves, but I tend to be someone who prefers realism in narrative films such as this, and the casting drew me out of the story immediately.

Just as many people chose Before and After as did The House of the Spirits, and with good reason.  Before and After is arguably a worse film, but House of the Spirits was supposed to be a slam dunk of assembled talent and story.  Considering that House had the potential to be a great film and fell so far from that, I had to give it the edge over Before and After, which probably had fewer major problems overall.

What should we do for the next poll?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

More new pics of Streep on set of "The Papers"

Filming of The Papers continues in New York with a few new snapshots of Meryl in character released online today:



Probably just a few more weeks of filming, then they'll have to hit the editing room hard to get this out by the end of the year. 



Saturday, July 15, 2017

Disney teases Emily Blunt in "Mary Poppins Returns"

Earlier today, Disney tweeted a brief video of Emily Blunt in character in the title role as Mary Poppins for the upcoming sequel to the 1964 classic:


I realize that this is basically a tease of a tease, in that we don't see any actual footage of the film, but apparently a snippet was unveiled this weekend at the Disney Fan Club Expo (D23), and the audience freaked out.

Of course Meryl has a supporting role in the picture, playing Poppins's cousin, Topsy Turvey.  The film opens nationwide on Christmas Day, 2018.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Streep receives Emmy nomination for narrating "Five Came Back"

Well isn't this a nice surprise?!  The Emmy nominations were announced Thursday and our girl snagged a nom for her narration of the Netflix documentary series Five Came Back.  Congrats, Meryl!  The others in her category were as follows:

Liev Schreiber (Muhammad Ali: Only One)
Liev Schreiber (UConn: The March To Madness--“Episode 1”)
Sam Neill (Wild New Zealand)
Ewan McGregor (Wild Scotland)
Lawrence Fishburne (Year Million)

Interestingly, Meryl has worked on screen with all of her fellow nominees, with the exception of Lawrence Fishburne.

The awards ceremony will be held September 17.  I highly doubt Meryl will be in attendance.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Lily James cast as mini Meryl in "Mamma Mia!" sequel

Multiple sources are now reporting that actress Lily James (Downton Abbey, Cinderalla, Baby Driver) has been cast in the role of 'Young Donna' in the upcoming Mamma Mia! sequel, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!  Meryl of course plays the original Donna, while the film goes back and forth between past and present.  The great Christine Baranski has also confirmed that she'll be reprising her role for the sequel as well.

With the quality of cast that has agreed to return and new members joining, I can't imagine that this script is pure crap.  As I mentioned before, having Ol Parker at the helm this time around boosts my confidence in this project a bit as well.  The one big question remaining is exactly how big of a role is this for Meryl?  Will it be half and half present and past?  Almost a cameo?  Lead role? I'd venture a guess that it's somewhere in the middle.  We'll find out soon enough.

The film is set for release on July 20, 2018.





Tuesday, July 11, 2017

New pic from the set of "The Papers"

A new pic has surfaced of Meryl in costume as Kay Graham in Steven Spielberg's The Papers:


I think the glasses might be Meryl's, but obviously the rest is pure character.  

There's certainly been a lot of chatter on awards blogs about not only Meryl's role but the entire pedigree of this film.  Speculation is that this will contend for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor and Actress.   I want more than anything for this movie to be big deal and of course bring Meryl a lot of acclaim, but the pessimist in me is cautious.  We've been in the position before where expectations were super high for a film (see A:OC) and it not delivering in all departments.  Here's hoping The Papers is the real thing.  


Saturday, July 8, 2017

John Williams to score "The Papers"

Variety reported yesterday that five-time Academy Award-winning composer John Williams will be writing the score for The Papers.  Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg's other film that is currently going through post-production, was apparently going to be scored by Williams, but since The Papers will likely be finishing up within the next month, Allen Silvestri will handle Ready Player One and Williams The Papers. 

I hadn't realized that Williams worked with Spielberg on all but two of Spielberg's other films.  The Papers is shaping up to have everything it needs to in regard to production team and actors to be a huge deal.  If this goes well, it could be a major boost to Meryl's career.  I realize that she already enjoys legend status in Hollywood, but I'm always looking forward to whether or not great scripts get put into production with her involved.  Favorable reviews and big box office returns for a film that captures the zeitgeist of the U.S. political climate could very well be the next project to do that for her, a la The Devil Wears Prada.  It's exciting.



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wish list entry #5: Clarice Lispector

It has been since March of 2014 that I've made an official entry to this blog section.  What's prompted the update?  Well, over the past several weeks I've been revisiting the list of roles I've kept of characters (whether real people or fictional) I'd love to see Meryl portray.  I have a more specific intention for revisiting this list, but I'm not going to get into that quite yet.  Suffice it to say that I'll be taking on another fairly extensive Meryl project, not unlike my Reimagined Filmography.  More on that in the future.

Having the day off from work yesterday for Independence Day, I found myself doing a deep dive of the "rumored projects" section of the Meryl Streep Forum.   It was a good review of some things I already knew, but there were many roles or potential projects that I had never heard of!  Most of them were indeed simply rumors.  Others turned out to be the real deal.  One role in particular that she was rumored for, based purely on fan speculation, was a biopic of Brazilian author Clarice Lispector.

I had never heard of Lispector prior to yesterday.  Reading that she was Brazilian quickly made me wonder if it would be appropriate for a white person to portray a Brazilian, but Lispector was actually born to Ukrainian parents (in Ukraine) and emigrated to Brazil as an infant.  Of course my mind immediately went to "OMG I wonder what she sounded like?!"  So I promptly went on YouTube and watched a portion of the only television interview she ever did, which took place in January of 1977, less than a year before her death, one day before turning 57.

Why this character?  After reading about her background, life events and personality, and having watched her interview online, she seems like an absolutely fascinating individual.  Leaving post-WWI Ukraine with her family as a baby, growing up Jewish, frighteningly intelligent, possibly mental illness, physical impairment (she suffered severe burns on her right hand after falling asleep with a lit cigarette in 1966), death by ovarian cancer at relatively young age.   Add that to the aforementioned distinct speech she had (one of Meryl's specialties), and it would be very interesting to see on screen.

I couldn't find any info on whether or not she definitively spoke English, but considering she spent a fair amount of time in London and over five years living in the U.S., I imagine she did.  American author Benjamin Moser published an extensive biography on Lispector in 2012 entitled Why This World, which I may just have to check out.  Perhaps I'll get a better idea of how a feature film would've worked out if one were interested in chronicling her later life.




Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Poll #3: Which film would you remove from Meryl's filmography?

If any of you have read my reimagined filmography of Meryl's career, you know I've spent way too much a lot of time pondering which movies of hers I'd replace or simply remove, given the chance.  As it's been a few weeks since I've posted a poll and a few readers have had the same suggestion on what the next one should be, off to the side you'll see the latest question.  Feel free to add your explanations for your choices in the comments section as usual.  I'm going to leave voting open for two weeks this time.

Friday, June 23, 2017

First look at Meryl in "The Papers"

Some lucky woman who was apparently late for work snapped a selfie on an elevator with Meryl (on her birthday no less) and Tom Hanks while the two were in costume on the set of The Papers. 


It looks like Meryl is wearing her own glasses, but that hair and dress are extremely 1970s.  She of course will be portraying publisher Kay Graham, while Tom Hanks plays editor Ben Bradlee.  Despite this being a non-official still, it's nice to get a glimpse of their looks.  

Thanks to Sean L for alerting me to the pic!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Happy 68th, Meryl!

Our girl turns 68 today.  Not much to say other than just acknowledging this milestone.  She's probably busily shooting scenes this week for The Papers, but hopefully she gets a chance to put her feet up and enjoy a nice glass of wine at some point.  Cheers to you on your birthday and best wishes for many more to come.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

What's the status of "The Nix"?

I came across a couple of videos on You Tube today that feature author Nathan Hill on tour discussing his novel The Nix.  As we know, it was announced last September that Meryl had signed on to portray one of the main characters, Faye.  Not long after that we learned that John Logan would be the showrunner and that Meryl was going to make bank for each episode.  Other than that, not much has been updated since.

So, my ears perked up a bit when Hill briefly discussed the potential limited series in two separate videos at events that both took place last month.  Go to 51:23 in the first and 48:55 in the second.

    


    

We don't really learn a ton of new stuff, but since both of these events took place in May, it's good to know that he recently met with producers about the adaptation.  He confirmed John Logan as the screenwriter, stated J.J. Abrams would be directing and that it would probably be a single season of about 10 episodes.  They're just waiting to see which network is interested in picking it up.  This seems HBO-ish to me, but could see it going to Netflix or Amazon too.  I don't really care, as long as it gets made.

Despite The Papers probably wrapping by early August, Meryl won't have a ton of time before heading to Croatia to film Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!  The Nix is a fairly sprawling tale which could potentially take a while time to shoot.  That said, Meryl's role of Faye would not require she be in every episode, or at least not a lot of every episode.  It might make sense for them to shoot this next spring and have it out by fall of next year to precede the midterm elections in the U.S.  Looking forward to the possibility of seeing this story come to life.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!" set to film in Croatia this fall

An online Croatian magazine has reported that filming for the Mamma Mia! sequel is planned to begin on the island of Vis this fall.  Set near Croatia's Dalmation coast, the island will serve as a substitute for the Greek island of Kalokairi.

My big question is what does "fall" or "later this year" mean?  Also, we still don't know exactly how big Meryl's part is going to be in this pic.  An autumn filming schedule could mean different things for other potential projects if Meryl were lead vs supporting.  By most accounts, it sounds like she does not have the same size role as the original, which would likely result in a shorter shooting schedule for her in Croatia.

I wonder if we're ever going to hear about a network that officially picks up The Nix.  If that were to get pulled together, I imagine that they'd like to get it going to allow for a release prior to May 31 next year, which would make it eligible for the Emmys.  Similarly to The Papers, The Nix is very topical considering the current U.S. president and overall political climate.  In fact, I think it even more so captures the zeitgeist than does The Papers, so getting it out sooner than later seems like it would maximize interest and therefore viewers.

Stay tuned.

Not a bad spot to film a movie. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Results of poll #2

It's been almost two weeks since the second poll closed.  I have to admit, I was a bit surprised that Evita came in first with a total of  14 votes (40%).  In second place with nine votes was Thelma & Louise, which of course was the film I voted for.  As I had commented in my original Shoulda Coulda Woulda for that film, it's probably the mother of all missed opportunities for me as a Meryl fan.  Of course there is no way of knowing if the film would've been as good or successful with different leading ladies, but that doesn't stop me from wondering.  Especially since it came during Merl's "wilderness years" in regard to quality pictures.

Glad to see that Julieta didn't finish last.  Wasn't sure if people would be aware of how that film never came to fruition with Meryl.

What do people want for next poll?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Behind the scenes look at "Mary Poppins Returns"

Entertainment Weekly is running a cover story on Mary Poppins Returns.  In it, they apparently give us some behind the scenes info on the making of the film.  There's a link to a few new production stills as well.  Although we don't get a glimpse of Meryl in character as Topsy, we do get a shot of her at the piano with Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda:


After watching the below video, I'm actually kind of getting excited to see this film.  I'm a great fan of the original and the sequel's production value looks exquisite.  Only a year and a half to wait! 

                                     

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"The Post" gets new title, cast members

Several sources are reporting today that the 'Untitled Steven Spielberg Project,' formerly known as The Post, has been retitled The Papers.  This most likely refers to the Pentagon Papers, but I wonder if it might also include the fact that the publishing of the Pentagon Papers was a duel effort that actually began with The New York Times, not the Washington Post.  Regardless, the new title is more fitting.

In addition to the new title, at least twelve new cast members were revealed today.  IMDb has already added the names, and it's quite impressive.  Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story, The People v. O.J. Simpson)  Michael Stuhlbarg (from TV's Fargo and the upcoming Call Me By Your Name which I cannot wait for), Matthew Rhys (whom I absolutely adore from The Americans) and Tracy Letts (who of course wrote August: Osage County), among others.   Unfortunately, the characters each is playing is not yet listed, but I'm sure we could speculate to high heaven as to who is playing whom.  I'm particularly interested in which actress of either Carrie Coon or Alison Brie will play Meryl's daughter, Lally.  By the looks of her, I'm guessing Brie.  I imagine Sarah Paulson will portray Tom Hanks's wife, Tony Bradlee.

Regardless of who ends up where, this is a splendid cast.  It's almost impossible to not imagine or expect a SAG ensemble win for this group, particularly since there are so many speaking parts and characters intertwined.  All anchored by our girl, of course.  I couldn't be more please with this news.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Filming wraps on "Mary Poppins Returns"

Filming is evidently complete on Mary Poppins Returns.  I was pretty sure they were close based on some of the tweets I had read from Lin-Manuel Miranda.  But this recent one confirms they have officially wrapped:


IMDbPro lists that filming began in February of this year.  Not that five or six months wouldn't be a long shoot, but I seem to remember that some scenes were shot as early as last fall.  Unfortunately I've seen no glimpse of Meryl on set or in costume.  My guess is that we'll have to wait for some production stills or a teaser.  Considering the film won't be released for another 18 months, those glimpses might be a while.  Director Rob Marshall should have plenty of time for post-production.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Filming begins on "The Post"

IMDb has switched the "Untitled Steven Spielberg Project" to the 'filming' section of Meryl's filmography.  It's listed as having started May 31 (yesterday), which aligns with original reports that shooting would be underway by May.

I'm still rather surprised that we have no information on other cast members at this point, but we know that info will be revealed eventually, and probably soon.  And for those of you skeptics out there who still think that the film won't be ready in time for a 2017 release, we know that there are multiple films that have had even later start dates that not only made it in time, but were also good film.  See Munich.  

In other news, several sources are reporting that Amanda Seyfried has joined the cast of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!  I didn't necessarily feel this needed its own post so I figured I'd just tag it along with this one.  Details on the shooting schedule of that film should be forthcoming.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Streep, Hanks and Spielberg visit Washington Post

I'd been wondering if filming was underway for The Post (no longer the title, but haven't seen official release on new title) as I had previously seen that May 22 was supposed to be the date.  It now appears that they may still technically be in pre-production, as Meryl, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg were on hand this morning at the Washington Post to observe a meeting, likely for research purposes.


All previous indications have been that filming was set to start in May, knowing that it is supposed to be released in December.  Maybe it will officially begin next week (still May).  Regardless, just glad to see some action on this!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Poll #2: Which film that Meryl was at one point attached to star in do you most wish she had ultimately done?

That is probably going to be the longest post title I will ever have on this blog.  Hopefully people understand what I mean.  As you can see to the right, I've listed five films in which Meryl never starred:

Thelma & Louise
The Remains of the Day
Evita
The Last Station
Julieta

If you click on any of the above titles, you'll get the background on her potential involvement in each.   Chose which one you would've most like to see her in.   I'll of course hold off on talking about which role I choose, but you might be able to tell just from the links.

Excited to see everyone's responses!

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.  



Saturday, April 8, 2017

Streep narrates "Five Came Back"

Last week, the documentary Five Came Back was released on Netflix.  I don't tend to post much about side projects Meryl does that don't directly involve her acting, but having watched this film, I thought it best to make mention of it.  Based on the book by Mark Harris and directed by Laurent Bouzereau, the three-part series covers five Hollywood directors' experiences in World War II (Frank Capra, John Ford, John Huston, George Stevens and William Wyler).  In it, we're opened to the American public's perception of the war prior to official U.S. involvement, how films ended up bolstering support for U.S. participation and how these directors were utilized to capture the war's countless atrocities.

Five contemporary directors (Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo del Toro, Paul Greengrass, Lawrence Kasdan and Steven Spielberg) offer insight into the historical influence and impact of the aforementioned directors.  The series is a compelling, sobering  representation of the undeniable way film can affect each of us.  It's also currently playing in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles to qualify for Oscar recognition.  Check it out.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Streep leaps to the top of the 2017 Best Actress race

I realize that it's only the first of April, and that The Post isn't even supposed to start filming until next month.  However, last month's news of Streep's participation in the film with Steven Spielberg at the helm and Tom Hanks to star, followed shortly after by the announcement that it is slated for a 2017 release, shot Meryl to the top of many people's predictions of who will make the cut for an Academy Award nomination.

My go-to site for Oscar prognostication, Awards Watch, updated its monthly voting tally today and Meryl is currently in first place not only among all users, but among the site's Gold Rush Gang.  It's still early in the voting but considering that in last month's poll, Streep's name wasn't even on the list of options, I'd say she's sparking a lot of confidence with predictors.

One would have to be foolish at this premature stage of the race to not include Meryl in the top five of predictions.  A script that came in tied for second place on the Hollywood Blacklist, Steven Spielberg, Hanks, biopic, political drama about freedom of the press...seems like a slam dunk for our girl this year.  Again, it hasn't even begun filming, but assuming it indeed gets underway next month, it's likely going to be a year with every other actress playing catch-up.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Thoughts on "The Post" script and casting

The Post is currently in pre-production, with filming scheduled to begin sometime around late May.  Back in January, when I had posted about my interest in having Meryl star in this film, I of course couldn't help picture her in the role of Kay Graham.  Now that it's actually happening, I obviously had to reread the script.  In doing so, I was more interested in paying close attention to the story and Meryl's character, but now that I look back, I should've also been thinking about who might fit the other roles.

This picture, despite having its two leads (Meryl of course and Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee), will very much be an ensemble piece.  There are multiple characters with a fair amount of screen time, so I'd like to throw out a few ideas on who might fit the bill for portrayals.  I have to admit that not very many names popped into my mind while reading the script, but I'll try to joggle my brain a bit to come up with a few actors.  Hopefully readers of this post will be willing to offer their suggestions as well.  It'll be fun to see if we get any right as casting is revealed over the coming weeks.

We of course know that Tom Hanks is portraying Bradlee, but for whatever reason I kept picturing Russell Crowe in the role while reading.  It would not surprise me if the role of Lally, Kay's daughter, were given to Grace Gummer.  Lally is a decent-sized role, and following Streep's recent work with her daughter Mamie in Ricki and the Flash, it would be a great opportunity for Meryl to actually have dialogue in a scene with her daughter Grace.  The two both shared a scene in The Homesman a few years ago, but really no interaction.  Grace was also cast by Tom Hanks in his film Larry Crowne (2011), a connection that may casting her seem less nepotistic.  The one hurdle for Grace's participation may be a scheduling conflict, as season 3 of Mr. Robot evidently begins shooting in April.

Ok, so who are the other characters?  I'm only going to list a few more because there are too many to go through.  A juicy supporting role might turn out being that of Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times.  Ellsberg would have been around 40 years old at the time.  Ben Bagdikian, an Armenian-American and Washington Post journalist, to whom Ellsberg gave potions of the Papers is also a fairly large supporting character. He would have been around 50 at the time (an incidentally just passed away last year).  Hanks's character's wife Tony (Antoinette) could be nice bit part for an actress in her late 40s or early 50s.

Beyond that, there are several older male characters that serve on the board of The Washington Post, the most prominent among them being Frederick "Fritz" Beebe, in his 60s at the time.  A handful of minor characters who would portray Post employees will see a fair amount of screen time as well, as they're regularly working alongside Bradlee.

Here's where I need some help from you guys.  My mind is sort of overwhelmed with the number of cast members so I'm struggling to nail down possibilities.  For Ellsberg, maybe Edward Norton?  For Bagdikian, Ralph Fiennes or Mark Rylance?  Maybe Spielberg will cast Rylance because he's pushing back their collaboration in The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara.  It's anyone's guess who will play Tony.  Sharon Stone?

Chime in, please.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Nathan Hill talks "The Nix"

Two nights ago I was alerted to an interview that author Nathan Hill gave regarding his book The Nix.  In it, he briefly discusses the status of the optioned limited series based on the novel that is supposed to star Meryl.  The interviewer specifically asks "what's going on with the Netflix series starring Meryl Streep?"  I initially thought, "well it being on Netflix is news to me."  But Hill goes on to say:

"Well, we’re actually waiting to see where it will land: Netflix, Amazon, Showtime. I have been in contact with the guy who’s going to be our showrunner and is doing the adaptation. His name is John Logan (creator of the Showtime series “Penny Dreadful”) and he’s a fantastic guy and an incredibly talented writer. I’m really excited. We have a lot of firepower behind it. Nothing in Hollywood is set in stone until it’s actually made, so we’re kind of circling around it. But hopefully, we’ll get the green light. We’ve got Meryl Streep (as Faye), we’ve got JJ Abrams, we’ve got John Logan. We’ve got such wattage and I’m super excited about it."

So, a few things here.  Showrunner John Logan is also apparently writing the screenplay for the series.  I was disappointed to read that they're still sort of waiting on getting production finalized, but HIll overall seems pretty optimistic about it.  If we get a network officially attached, I'll feel a lot more comfortable with the likelihood that this is actually going to happen. Like The Post, this story would nicely reflect that current political climate in the U.S., which of course is very much up Meryl's alley. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

40 years since "The Deadliest Season"

Wow.  I'm piggybacking on Simply Streep's post about the 40-year anniversary of Meryl's TV movie The Deadliest Season. Although it's technically the second time Streep had been seen on television (she was seen in a filmed version of the play Secret Service two months prior on PBS), The Deadliest Season marks the first made-for-screen role of her career, and it happened to air on CBS exactly 40 years ago today.

It's astounding to think about how quickly Meryl's screen career skyrocketed in just a few short years following this TV movie.  Her feature film debut came later that year alongside Jane Fonda in Julia, and just one year after that, she would earn her first Academy Award nomination for her supporting role in The Deer Hunter.

I couldn't pass up the chance to recognize this milestone in Streep's career.  Incidentally, The Deadliest Season is the only screen performance of Streep's I haven't seen, as I've never been able to find a copy of it.  Five new clips from the film were released on You Tube last week, so I'll leave you with gem of scene of Meryl at the tender age of 27.

Friday, March 10, 2017

"The Post" set to start filming in May

Deadline is reporting that The Post is already set to begin production this May, with a potential late 2017 release.  Holy crap!  We just found out about this Monday and it may start shooting in like six weeks.  It's understandable that the way this picture may capture the zeitgeist that getting it out as soon as possible could be vital to the film's popularity and overall success.  Director Steven Spielberg will be on a tight schedule to get this wrapped in time for screenings at fall festivals.

If any film were going to be fairly straightforward in regard to shooting, however, it's this one.  Most of the scenes consist of dialogue in interior settings.  No special effects.  No large, sweeping landscapes.  I imagine additional casting news will likely be forthcoming as well.

This would leave the fall open for Meryl to shoot The Nix, which I imagine they'd want to release sometime next spring to most effectively contend for Emmy nominations.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Streep to team with Spielberg and Hanks for "The Post"

Oh. My. God.  It's hard to believe that the blacklist script I discussed two months ago might actually be filmed with Meryl.  Not only that, but Tom Hanks will co-star and Steven Spielberg is going to direct.  Multiple sources are reporting that The Post is set for production, to be co-financed by Fox and Amblin Entertainment.  Based on the Washington Post's publishing of the Pentagon Papers in 1971, Streep would portray publisher Kay Graham, with Hanks as editor Ben Bradlee.

It's not a huge surprise that this script interested Meryl.  The subject is very topical, in that it follows the process of the press trying to keep politicians honest.  And although no specific timeline has been revealed for filming, the Deadline article linked above states that they will "fit this into Spielberg's busy schedule soonest."

So thrilled to have a feature film lead role in the works for Meryl.  More to come soon I'm sure. Ahhh!