Ledger’s role goes to three stars
Director Terry Gilliam reportedly has come up with an ingenious solution for completing The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which was in production when leading actor Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose last month.
In the fantasy film, Ledger’s character is transported into three separate dimensions, which he accesses via a paranormal mirror. In these new worlds, his character will be played by Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell. Coincidentally, in the recent I’m Not There, Ledger was one of six actors playing different versions of Bob Dylan.
Gilliam has yet to set a date for restarting the film, which also stars Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits, Lily Cole and Andrew Garfield.
Russians must wait for Katyn
The Russian release of Katyn, the new film from veteran Polish director Andrzej Wajda, has been deferred for political reasons. Nominated for best foreign-language film at next Sunday’s Oscars, and screened in Dublin last Sunday, Katyn dramatises the massacre of 22,000 Poles by Stalin’s secret police in 1940.
The film, a major hit in Poland that registered
more than 2.7 million admissions, had been set to open in Moscow cinemas on March 5th, the 55th anniversary of Stalin’s death.
“We did not want this film to be screened on that anniversary because it would be received politically, and discussions afterwards would not be about the film but its political impact,” says Wajda, whose father died in the 1940 massacre.
Cillian Murphy to split in two
Cillian Murphy will co-star with Oscar nominee Ellen Page in Peacock, writer-director Michael Lander’s intriguing-sounding psychological thriller. It is set in a Nebraska town. Murphy’s character has a split personality and fools the local people into believing that his alter egos are man and wife.
Juno star Page plays a young mother who holds the key to his past and sparks a battle between his personalities. Shooting gets under way in May.
“Peacock stunned me as a script from start to finish,” Murphy says. “It offers an incredible challenge to an actor – one I couldn’t turn down.”
Cotillard gunning for new role
Voted best actress at Bafta last week and nominated for an Oscar on Sunday, Marion Cotillard has joined the cast of Michael Mann’s Public Enemies, which stars Johnny Depp as gangster John Dillinger and Christian Bale as Melvin Purvis, who led the FBI hunt for him. Cotillard will play Dillinger’s lover, Billie Frechette.
Shooting starts on March 10th, and the cast includes Channing Tatum, Stephen Dorff and Giovanni Ribisi. Mann worked on the screenplay with Ann Biderman and Irish writer Ronan Bennett.
In 1934, the FBI killed Dillinger when he emerged from the Biograph cinema in Chicago, where he had been watching Manhattan Melodrama, a crime movie.
Stars are acting, always acting
Do some actors never stop working? Three movies featuring Philip Seymour Hoffman opened here within the first five weeks of 2008: Charlie Wilson’s War, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead and The Savages.
Jack Black, seen last month in Walk Hard (in a cameo as Paul McCartney), stars in Be Kind Rewind, released today (see review, page 11), and in Margot at the Wedding, due out next Friday.
Belfast native Ciaran Hinds features in Margot as well as in There Will Be Blood, which also opens next Friday. A week later comes In Bruges, in which Hinds has a cameo, and he turns up for a fourth time in the April release Stop-Loss, which stars Ryan Phillippe.
Johnny Depp will play Public Enemy No 1 John Dillinger