Looking Ahead: Woody Allen, Lucille Ball, and More

Forgive me for the lateness of this piece. I know I’m looking ahead to next year, but still…


Steve Carell replaces Bruce Willis in Woody Allen’s next outing

Carell, who just picked up his first Oscar nomination for Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher last year, steps into Allen’s upcoming film – his first to be shot in Los Angeles since Annie Hall (1977), which won Oscars for picture, director, actress, and original screenplay. Blake Lively, Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, and Corey Stoll also star in the film. (Will Carell end up with Lively or Stewart?)

Anyway, Willis’ official reason for departure was his upcoming stint in the Broadway adaptation of Stephen King’s Misery with Laurie Metcalf, but since this is Hollywood, the truth may be more interesting than what we’re actually hearing. Vince Mancini of Film Drunk points out that Jeff Sneider called BS on the official story, suggesting that Willis was instead fired from the project.

For what it’s worth, Mancini looks through a Woody Allen filter to speculate about what happened:

For me the big question is whether Bruce Willis’ character was supposed to be pursued by Kristen Stewart or Blake Lively, and what Emma Stone did to fall out of Woody Allen’s favor. Bruce’s character was probably real depressed about something, and then Kristen Stewart wanted to bone, and he was against it at first, but after a few beautiful picnics in a sun-drenched park, he gave in.

cateblanchett_cannes2015Cate Blanchett at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival (via Tom and Lorenzo)

Cate Blanchett will lead Lucille Ball biopic written by Aaron Sorkin

The two-time Oscar winner will star as the comedienne in a film that focuses on her 20-year marriage to Desi Arnaz. Variety notes that Ball eloped with the Cuban bandleader in 1940. The two are most famous for creating and starring in the iconic sitcom I Love Lucy in 1951.

Lucy won four Emmy Awards for the series; it’s easy to imagine Blanchett scoring some awards love of her own. The casting already strikes some as curious, but Michelle Williams made enough of an impression with My Week with Marilyn (2011) to get a nomination. Sorkin on script duty seems a bit odd, too, even though he scripted one of the best films of the current decade – even after we’d preemptively dismissed it as “the Facebook movie.”

Either way, we expect Blanchett and Sorkin to get some Oscar attention – for Todd Haynes’ Carol and/or James Vanderbilt’s Truth, and Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs, respectively – this year.

brycedallashowardBryce Dallas Howard (via ABC News)

Bryce Dallas Howard joins Stephen Gaghan’s Gold

The actress joins the film alongside Matthew McConaughey and Édgar Ramírez, who respectively lead as an unlucky prospector and luckless geologist who team up to find gold in an Indonesian jungle. Howard will play “the longtime girlfriend of McConaughey’s character, with her loyalty tested as the hunt for gold pushes their relationship to its breaking point,” according to Variety.

Gold sounds a bit mainstream for Oscar, but The Weinstein Co. is behind it, so maybe there’s a supporting-actress campaign play in store for Howard. While her turn involves the potential breakdown of a romantic relationship, the film’s focus suggests that she’s in supportive-partner territory *sighs* I hope Gold allows Howard to do more than phone-act…



But if that is the case, she’s got it covered.

Howard also stars in David Lowery’s Pete’s Dragon remake, which Disney will release on Aug. 12, 2016.

greenroom_picA promotional photo for Green Room (via VICE)

A24 snags Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room, sets for next year

A24 will release the punk-rock horror thriller (!!!) next spring. Is Green Room, which stars Patrick Stewart, Imogen Poots, and Alia Shawkat, and Anton Yelchin, the next Ex Machina? Indiewire notes that the Cannes player makes its North American debut later this year as part of the Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness. A24 also plans to release Robert Eggers’ horror flick The Witch next year.


Armie Hammer at the New York premiere of Guy Ritchie’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (via Tom and Lorenzo)

Armie Hammer joins Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals

Hammer will play Adams’ husband in this adaptation of Austin Wright’s Tony and Susan, which was originally intended to be two features. One story involves Adams’ reading of a novel and her subsequent reflections on her previous marriage. The other story focuses on the novel Adams is reading, titled (what else?) Nocturnal Animals, about the violent twist in Gyllenhaal’s vacation with his family.

Awards obsessives’ eyes are on Adams and Gyllenhaal, obviously, but Hammer has flirted with awards season, too. After snagging attention for his twin performance in David Fincher’s The Social Network (2009), he landed a Screen Actors Guild nod for Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar the following year.

The A.V. Club notes that Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Oscar nominee Michael Shannon will also feature in Nocturnal; I’m guessing one of them plays Adam’s ex?

lauralinney_berlin2015Laura Linney at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year (via AceShowbiz)

Laura Linney joins Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart in Clint Eastwood’s Sully

The three-time Oscar nominee straps in to play the wife of Hanks’ Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger. Sully marks Linney’s third collaboration with Eastwood; her first, Mystic River (2003), landed her a BAFTA nod for supporting actress. He also gave Sienna Miller’s supportive wife more to do in American Sniper (2014) than Paul Greengrass afforded Catherine Keener in Captain Phillips (2013), so maybe this isn’t a thankless role for Linney.

Deadline Hollywood notes that Linney also stars in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Half Shell and, more notably, Genius with Colin Firth, Jude Law, and Nicole Kidman, both of which we expect to hit next year. If 2016 is huge for her, Linney may land her fourth bid for Warner Bros.’ Sully – or perhaps it helps her get in for Genius.



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