Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Casting update for "Extrapolations"

This cast just keeps getting more spectatular. Deadline is reporting that four additional members have been added to the roster of Scott Z. Burns's upcoming climate change anthology Extrapolations. Oscar winners Forest Whitaker and Marion Cotillard will be joined by Tobey Maguire and Eiza Gonz├ílez in the drama series for Apple TV+.

It was reiterated in the article that production is already underway. The roles of the four new cast members were described as well, but still no info on Meryl's character. I'm hoping it's not a simple little cameo or something. I tend to think that's unlikely if her name was at the top of the list when the news broke last week (even though she's the biggest name).  

With this type of cast assembled, one has to expect that that either the script is incredible, or that there's something important about it that has drawn such big names. It might be a combination of both. Here's hoping in ends up being a big hit. 

Gonzalez, Maguire, Cotillard, Whitaker
Gonzalez, Maguire, Cotillard, Whitaker

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The state of the race: Supporting Actress

We're heading into November. That means prime Oscar buzz season. All the films have release dates, some are already in theaters (remember those?), and most have had either a full trailer or even clips and reviews released. We're still waiting for a full trailer for Don't Look Up, but considering it's set for a limited theater release in early December prior to its Netflix release on Christmas Eve, I expect it could any time now. 

Which leads me to sizing up Meryl's chances at awards recognition this year. She's almost always in the conversation regardless of the film she's in, but this film has a stellar cast with a director whom the Academy has generally seemed to enjoy. There's been some buzz recently that recent screenings resulted in very positive reactions from critics, but considering no one will be allowed to write official reviews for several weeks, it's hard to know what's true and what's not. 

I tend to think that Don't Look Up could really end up on either end of the spectrum, as far as critical response. If the film is received very well, it could reasonably contend for a Best Picture nomination. I could also see screenplay, as well well as Lead Actor and Actress. Some are saying Jonah Hill and Mark Rylance might challenge for Supporting Actor. One can't help but wonder or even expect that if all goes well, Meryl might enter the top five for Supporting Actress. We haven't seen a lot of the role, but it seems a foregone conclusion at this point that her character of President Orlean is going to channel Donald Trump in some way. This might be a harmful thing for her chances, or potentially her best way forward for a nomination. There are also going to be a ton of other worthy contenders. 

Awards Worthy currently has the following top five in its predictions:

1. Caitriona Balfe (Belfast)

2. Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog)

3. Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard)

4. Ruth Negga (Passing)

5. Judi Dench (Belfast)

While the "experts" at Gold Derby include these:

1. Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog)

2. Ann Dowd (Mass)

3. Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard)

4. Caitriona Balfe (Belfast)

5. Marlee Matlin (CODA)

It's natural to think that Meryl has little to no chance, seeing how she's not even cracking the top five in these rankings. But there's some pretty glaring disparity here, and it's worth noting that she's standing at sixth over at Awards Worthy, and all it's going to take is a handful of stellar reviews to solidly skyrocket her into the top five. People love it when someone swoops in to shake up the race. This year, it might as well be our girl. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Streep cast in "Extrapolations" for Apple TV+

Multiple sources are reporting that Meryl has been cast in Scott Z. Burns's upcoming anthology series on climate change, Extrapolations for Apple TV+.  The drama series consists of eight interconnected episodes and is apparently in production. Burns (a fellow University of Minnesota alumnus--go Gophers!) has assembled a wonderful and diverse cast for his series, including Sienna Miller, Matthew Rhys, Kit Harrington, Tahar Rahim, Gemma Chan, Adarsh Gourav, David Schwimmer and Daveed Diggs. Burns is best known for his writing, which include the screenplays to The Bourne Ultimatum, The Informant!, Contagion, The Report (also director), and The Laundromt (which of course starred Meryl in 2019). 

I have to wonder if this is the reason that Places, Please hasn't filmed yet. Or has it? Considering this series might actually already be filming, who knows if Places, Please didn't quietly film in New York this summer? While I think that's unlikely, it makes me think that the project isn't dead, only on pause until Meryl's available. 

Her role in Extrapolations is the only one of the nine cast members' that is listed as "undisclosed." No fair! Everyone else has a little bio blurb but we're left guessing the character we'll get to see Meryl play. I'm guessing that each episode might focus mainly on a single character, with some minor connections to a couple of others. So it's tough to tell exactly how much of Meryl we'll get to see over the course of the series. Regardless, it's very much "on brand" for her to involve herself in a project that is timely and environmentally conscious. 

No word on when we can expect to see this, but I'd wager the second half of 2022 is likely for airing. More to come. 

Streep, Harrington, Miller

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Results of poll #11

The results are in, and Elizabeth Moss topped the (very non-exhaustive) list of whom people would like to see portray Meryl's daughter if when Places, Please films. Moss had double the votes of the next closest vote-getters, Emma Stone and Michelle Williams (both with six). 

I think Moss would be a great choice, and she has a bit of resemblance to Streep as well. She's a big TV star, less so a movie star, but absolutely has the chops to hold her own with Meryl on the big screen. 

I'd be curious to know what others' choices were for anyone who selected "other" on the poll. As mentioned, the list was simply actresses who came to mind for me, and there are likely countless others out there who would be excellent options. 

Fingers still crossed that this gets underway soon so that we have something new to see Meryl in next year!

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Streep described as the film's "Godmother" in upcoming Ledbetter biopic

Considering this info is coming from Page Six, a bit of salt might need to be taken with it. But there was an article the other day with a few quotes from Fair Pay activist Lilly Ledbetter about Meryl's involvement in her upcoming biopic, Lilly. I'll paraphrase the parts that would likely be of interest to Streepers. 

The first item is that Meryl reportedly passed on starring in the role because she felt she was "too old." That's reasonable, considering the actor who was eventually cast, Patricia Clarkson, is ten years younger than Meryl. I've mentioned many times how Meryl can convincingly play characters ten to fifteen years younger than she is, so it's interesting that she'd say this about this particular role. Perhaps there are scenes with flashbacks where Ledbetter is meant to be depicted as someone in her forties, for example. She was hired by Goodyear around the age of forty, and noticed her pay discrepancy around the age of sixty, from what I understand. Fifty to sixty for brief portions is very passable for Meryl. Forty might be pushing it at 72. 

The other thing I took note of was when Ledbetter mentioned that Streep was "also booked up for two years." Who knows when this 'two year' time period started. But considering that the film is set to begin filming this month in Georgia (under the direction of Rachel Feldman, who also wrote the script), and that the filmmakers would've been "willing to wait" for Streep had she accepted the role, I wonder if Meryl already has projects in the pipeline with which she expects to be occupied over the next two to three years. I certainly hope that's the case. And if we're being real, it's probably always been the case. We devotees are just often left in the dark unfortunately about what's really churning behind the scenes. These quotes from Ledbetter make me optimistic that we'll see some concrete info about future filming plans (I'm looking at you, Places, Please). 

Perhaps the nicest bit in the article is Ledbetter describing Streep as the "godmother" of the film. We know that Feldman had sent Streep a letter attached with the script, and that while Meryl passed on the role, she offered to help out in any way she could, apparently opening the necessary doors for the film to find the light of day. I'll be curious to see if there are future mentions of Meryl's involvement when press junkets take place around the time of the film's release, likely toward the end of next year. Until then, hoping the best for Lilly's production and finish. 

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Poll #11: Who should play Meryl's daughter when (and if?) "Places, Please" is cast?

I had mentioned in my last post that I might do a poll of whom people think should be cast as Meryl's daughter in the (hopefully) upcoming film, Places, Please. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I've commented below the poll on a couple to which I might be partial. I figure it's likely to not be a HUGE name, as the role is probably more a supporting one. But you never is a chance to work with Meryl, after all.  

For whatever reason, Phoebe Waller-Bridge seems like a good choice. I've never actually seen Fleabag, but she seems really cool on awards shows and it well-respected as far as I know. And I had no idea she was in The Iron Lady AND Albert Nobbs in the same year! I've currently been watching the 2013 limited series The White Queen (I have a bit of an obsession with the history of the English monarchy and particularly the Wars of the Roses), and I think Rebecca Ferguson is great. Both she and Waller-Bridge seem good from a resemblance standpoint too. With that in mind, I realize I've chosen all white actresses in this list. I expect that the casting won't be "outside of the box" in that they'd cast a person of color (not that Lillian Hall couldn't have had a child with a non-white gentleman or have adopted a child outside her own race). I tend to think that some might find that a bit contrived, but regardless, I'd be here for it. 

I'm hoping this poll wills this film (or any new project) into existence. For all we know, they're already shooting.