The other film news stories of the week
Carney set to direct new film
After suffering delays due to the Hollywood writers strike, John Carney, director of Once, will finally go behind the camera for his American follow-up in August. Town House, a darkish comedy, is set to star Amy Adams and the increasingly ubiquitous Zach Galifianakis (the beardy one from The Hangover). Meanwhile, Zonad, the bizarre low-budget comedy Carney directed with brother Kieran, has been scheduled for release on March 19th.
Dublin the scene for new thriller
You never know what Steven Soderbergh will do next. Well, you do now. The prolific director is coming to Dublin to direct a thriller called Knockout. Produced in conjunction with Parallel Films, the folk behind The Clinic and Intermission, and partly funded by the Irish Film Board, Knockout stars Ewan McGregor and Michael Fassbender. Sources at the Film Board whisper that Dennis Quaid and Michael Douglas might also come on board. Knockout begins filming on February 2nd.
Selling Bones to teens
What kind of film is Peter Jackson adaptation of Alice Sebold's novel The Lovely Bones? Well, if you heeded the promotion on its limited release in the US, you could be forgiven for regarding it as a big serious film aimed at awards voters. However, following poor reviews, disappointing box office returns and few awards nominations, Paramount has now apparently decided that it is a different class of film altogether. The studio, noting that young girls reacted better to the flick than adults, has repositioned the picture as a teen fantasy in the style of Twilight. Crafty stuff. Decide for yourself when The Lovely Bones, starring Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci and our own Saoirse Ronan, opens in Ireland on February 19th.
Magazine pays out to Polanski
The Roman Polanski circus continues to offer up interesting sideshows. This week a French court ordered VSD magazine to pay the director recently arrested on a 30-year-old statutory rape charge €5,500 for invasion of privacy. The judge said that certain images, taken during Polanski's house arrest in Switzerland, were "neither necessary nor useful for legitimate public understanding". Jeez, if all images that met this description were prohibited, we’d see a darn sight less of Jennifer Aniston.
Beijing pulls popular Avatar
Talk about belatedly shutting the stable door. Authorities in China, concerned at the antitotalitarian message in James Cameron’s Avatar, have reportedly demanded that the 2-D version of the film be withdrawn from the nation's cinemas. The news came just a day after it was announced that the flick had wrested the title - from 2012 of all things - of the biggest-ever earner at the Chinese box office. Avatar has raked in about €80 million in the People's Republic.