Thursday, April 11, 2024

Streep eyed for "The Thursday Murder Club" film?

An article caught my eye today from World of Reel, suggesting that Meryl had been set to star in a Steven Spielberg-directed film adaptation of Richard Osman's novel, The Thursday Murder Club. This was complete news to me, as was the idea that Viola Davis was going to co-star. I didn't immediately think I would blog about because it seemed like such an off-hand possibility. Diving in a little deeper, however, my interest has been piqued. 

First off, the book (now a series of four, with a fifth set for release in 2025) is completely unknown to me. I'm often on the hunt for stories that involve seniors, and I've made several of my own suggestions on novels that portray interesting characters of an age demographic for which Meryl would be suitable. Those are and will continue to be harder and harder to come by. Reading a brief background of the story, it does seem that Meryl would be suitable for one if not two roles. 

Right of the bat I sort of thought "ugh this sounds too much like Only Murders in the Building," much like how I may have rolled my eyes when news of Places,Please came out on the heels of Prom. The novel follows four British seniors in a retirement community ("pensioners") who form a club to solve old murders, only to find someone close by who dies mysteriously. Gasp! Honestly, at this point, I'd just love to have real news of a new project for Meryl. And it does sound like a potentially interesting character. From Penguin Random House description of main character, Elizabeth:

Elizabeth Best is an ex-spy, resident at Cooper Chase Retirement Village and founder of the Thursday Murder Club. Elizabeth doesn’t play games, and if her experience in espionage has taught her anything, it’s how to get what she wants. The driving force of the Thursday Murder Club’s antics, Elizabeth spearheads their investigations. Even in her old age, Elizabeth is just as strong and fiery as ever, regularly employing tactics of intimidation and deception to get the info she wants. Despite her tough-as-nails exterior, however, Elizabeth’s vulnerable side comes out in her personal life as she deals with the reality of her husband’s dementia.

So, despite the theme/setting surrounding seniors solving crimes, Meryl's actual character would be very different from that of Loretta in OMITB. Another article from earlier this year had an interview with Osman, where he indicated that filming was postponed due to the actors' strike, but is on schedule to film this August. He was not at liberty to say who was cast or being considered to be cast, but he was previously quoted as joking that Meryl sends him Facebook messages asking to be in a film adaptation of the movie, only to then add that "If Meryl said she wanted to be in it I would not be saying no." Interesting additional fact: Spielberg is no longer set to direct, with Ol Parker taking the reigns instead, who just happened to direct Meryl (albeit very briefly) in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again

The is widely popular, so having that built-in interest would be a nice boon for the film's potential success. It'll be fun to keep an eye out for this. 






55 comments:

  1. Interview with the author from February: https://youtu.be/LAZpsIRiwY4?si=8mBuV6BETx8ZRdXB

    Watched to see if he hints and I can't tell! Also just realized this could've been a Doubt reunion!

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  2. Can't see him hinting at Meryl. It's too early to talk about it; after all, the project that's been on hold for a year doesn't know what's changed yet. Don't be happy for nothing.

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    1. Elizabeth's role, the most vocal among fans of the book, is Helen Mirren.I think many elderly actors would like to play this movie, as there are too few movies featuring elderly people. This is also a popular novel. If the first movie is well received, there may be a sequel. There are several novels. This is a very favorable project for elderly actors.

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    2. He linked an article where he joked about her that’s what the hinting is

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    3. Also, even though in the book all the characters are British, Meryl playing the one American among the Brits could absolutely work and would be an amazing opportunity to have her alongside some of the Dames!

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    4. I absolutely believed Meryl could do it, I was just afraid it wouldn't be her in the end and disappointed again.

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    5. Just because Spielberg isn't doing it doesn't mean it's not happening, the film is still happening and they haven't announced a cast so she could still very well be doing it as she has hinted at having things in the works.

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  3. https://twitter.com/richardosman/status/1780246081697153038

    We'll all know soon enough it seems!

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  4. https://www.afi.com/news/meryl-streep-morgan-freeman-naomi-watts-and-reese-witherspoon-among-presenters-at-afis-tribute-to-nicole-kidman/
    - Jamie

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  5. https://variety.com/2024/film/news/thursday-murder-club-chris-columbus-helen-mirren-pierce-brosnan-ben-kingsley-1235975953/ Just announced the lineup.No Meryl.

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  6. I think Meryl has quietly semi-retired. She will make appearances (Nicole, Cher tribute) and take up maybe one or two supporting roles (OMITB). That's it. We'd better get used to it and enjoy her past performances.

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    1. First, there's a female role not announced yet and second, you're absolutely jumping the gun when she has literally hinted at having new projects in the works. Calm down and just be patient.

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    3. I should remind some people she’s been through a separation, pandemic, and now has grandkids, so cut her some slack

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    4. And honestly if you’re a Meryl fan you should know she’s expressed that she could never imagine not acting.

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    5. https://www.showbiz411.com/2024/01/13/exclusive-meryl-streep-returning-for-season-4-of-only-murders-but-not-dating-martin-short-just-on-the-show

      article where she told the journalist herself she has projects “cooking”

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  7. It's a gossip site, not that credible. Who knows if Meryl really said that?

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    1. He’s an industry vet not a gossip site, he’s been right about a lot of things.

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    2. He was literally at the event if you read the article

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  8. So what? He can make up anything he wants. There's nothing to lose. Maybe he can start by proving that he said the third honorary Palme d'Or at Cannes this year will go to Meryl, haha.

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  9. I should remind some people she’s been through a separation, pandemic, and now has grandkids, so cut her some slack
    ——
    Couldn't agree with you more, some people desperately take the words of the past and don't look at how old Meryl was when she said them. Meryl is 75 years old. It would be understandable if she did semi-retire.

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    1. No she said them to indicate doesn’t matter how old she is she isn’t stopping ever. You missed the point.

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  10. Exactly. She's 75 years old and her priorities are now different. Yes she did say she can never imagine not acting but hey that was decades ago. Also, juicy roles for women above 70 are not as plentiful. That's why I said we should manage our expectations. She's definitely semi-retired and she would do a few more supporting roles either on TV or movies but that's probably it.

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    1. No, it doesn’t mean she’s semi-retired when she literally said she’s hoping to get back in to film are you reading everything??

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    2. There’s no reason to jump to such a conclusion is the point

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    3. She hasn't taken on any movies since 2021, and has only guest-starred in OMITB for the past three years. That's obviously slowing down and semi-retiring. Some people are very stubborn. That website denied Meryl's scandal and she pretended not to see it and continued to pounce on it every day, but firmly believe that that website's claim that Meryl has several movie projects is true and interesting.

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    4. Scandal? What are you talking about? That site is run by a veteran journalist who was at the AFI luncheon and so there’s no reason not to believe it.

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    5. Also again, separation, pandemic, and grandchildren are why she slowed down, as was already pointed out, so there’s literally nothing to substantiate that semi-retirement is the reason, that’s the point, let’s not say things like that and just be patient.

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    6. The site said in the same news that Meryl denied the rumor with Martin, and some people chose not to believe it, and now selectively believe the news that Meryl has a couple of projects in the pipeline. Just thought it was funny.

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  11. From Steven Spielberg to Chris Columbus? Blah.

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  12. Well this has been quite the discourse! I'll add my two cents.

    Sounds like Mirren was an automatic for the main role in this movie. Yes, there's another female role to cast, but something tells me that it's not for Meryl. I also expect that this movie will have sequels, and as much as I'd like to see Meryl keep working, I like seeing her in new things.

    I do NOT think she is retired or retiring or semi-retired. We have several previous examples in her career where she has had "quiet" times for projects. Yes, there as the pandemic, and news of her separation from Don, and the fact that there are fewer roles for women over 60. But other actors continue work, and I'd be shocked if Meryl simply stopped.

    My main reason for believing that she is not "semi-retiring" is that I truly truly believe (trying to put my own bias for wanting her to continue work aside as best I can) that she relishes participating in filming projects. She craves getting lost in another person's head and also (this may be a tricky observation for many Streepers to admit to), I think she absolutely craves the attention and praise and accolades she gets from others finding her work so astonishingly good. I think she's great at making us think she doesn't think about those things, but there have been enough comments and little things over the years that convince me that she loves it all. Given the opportunity to continue doing all this, I think she continues until she drops. The options and roles might become fewer and fewer, which may result in us seeing her in "smaller" things, but I'm convinced her desire will only die with her body.

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    1. Well yes, she likes the attention to the films as a whole that she gets, I think that's what you'e seeing, but it's not that she absolutely loves attention on herself all the time, obviously not, as she has said the fame aspect has never been comfortable for her.

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    2. Eh, not quite. She may not be the most at-home on a red carpet, but I do believe she loves the accolades for her individual work and not just the attention it brings to film. She's said as much on late night TV.

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    3. Have you read this interview with Meryl in 2016? The last two paragraphs make me think that she is actually a hidden pessimist. Everyone will eventually leave the stage and even be forgotten, and she is very relieved about this.
      https://pridesource.com/article/77571-2

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  13. Well, by now the only character of the four protagonists that is not being announced is a female role. It is quite mysterious that they have announced the three protagonists at the same time and they are only missing one. Maybe they are doing it on purpose to keep it as a secret? The golden brooch. In some articles they mention Meryl's name to play Joyce. I would love to see Streep participating in this casting. Watching her perform with Pierce, Helen and Ben would be a real treat. Filming starts in June and will end in September, we'll see.

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    1. It's certainly possible. It is sort of strange that Joyce has not been announced. I think she's been cast, right? Just not announcing yet. Maybe still working out some details of the contract. At this point, any news on a future project would nice.

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    2. The writer said they were still negotiating. But I would be surprised if they didn't have the actress 100% confirmed. I think it's more of a marketing strategy, saving a big name for last, but I could be wrong. I hope I'm not getting my hopes up for anything. I would really like to see Meryl in this project. A duo with Helen would be wonderful. They are also good friends.

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    3. A bigger name than Helen Mirren?? As far as British actors of her generation, who would be bigger that it would be a sort of "we saved the biggest for last" kind of reveal? I suppose Meryl would fit that bill. Bigger, and not a Brit. Some surprise in that alone.

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  14. The film is a co-production of Netflix and Amblin (Spielberg's production company). I wouldn't be surprised if Spielberg, who was the one who bought the film rights to the book, would support Meryl's participation to put an American actress among the protagonists. Meryl's name, since it was announced that the film adaptation was going to be made, has always been mentioned for the project and I don't think it is a coincidence. For the character of Joyce, many readers of the book say the name of Penelope Wilton, a wonderful actress, but at the casting level she is not a big star. Readers also mention that Joyce's character is even more protagonis than Helen Mirren's character.

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    1. I have not read the books, but I wonder if the script will only be from book one. I think I read that Joyce is featured more prominently in book two, as more the main character. Not that she isn't prominent in book one too, just sounds like Elizabeth is sort of strongly "main."

      One thing that gives me pause about Meryl participating in this is that it seems the type of project that would naturally have a (or several) sequels. Maybe this would be bonus for some people (and I like the idea of her have multiple known projects in the pipeline), but I like when she does different/new characters. Then again, we haven't had the opportunity to see her front and center in a limited series, for example, so it would perhaps be an opportunity to showcase a broader character arc that what's possible in a 120-minute film.

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    2. The other British name people have said a lot that is a bigger name than Penelope is Julie Walters, who hasn't been acting as much for a little while maybe in part due to being treated for cancer, so I could see negotiations for her taking a little longer.

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  16. Any Brits reading this, who do you think might be announced as Joyce, and it would it irk anyone if an American go the job?

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  17. Meryl just did a talk with Lin-Manuel and when asked about projects in the pipeline, the response was none. Which means I may be right that films are no longer a priority compared to whatever that's going on in her life. Kind of like semi-retired. Good for her but not so good for us fans.

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    1. As a fan who only started liking her last year, it's quite a loss to hear this news. Well, it's a relief to give up expectations.

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    2. I think that could change pretty quickly as well. It's certainly possible that she has things down the line "in talks" for example that she's not at liberty to discuss openly. I maintain that I can't imagine her stopping acting...at least not at this point.

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    3. I can't find a link to the interview. Can you share?

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    4. Yeah her saying she has nothing to announce doesn’t mean she has nothing she’s looking into, especially when she has said she wants to get back into film.

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    5. Someone who was there just told me she was never asked that and never said that, so whoever you are why would you make that up?

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    6. Two other fans who were there have also said she was never asked and never said that.

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    7. I also asked two fans who were there and they both said Meryl wasn't asked that question.

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    8. I can’t believe that one person is so convinced she’s semi retired that they needed to completely make up an exchange that never happened lol

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  18. There is no official video, this is the TDWP post-screening conversation. There were some fans in attendance. Took some video.

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  19. Looks like this is a not happening for Meryl- casting for the 4th main character announced today- Jamie

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