MGM is negotiating with Dean Israelite to direct and Arash Amel to script WarGames, the remake of the smart 1983 John Badham-directed film that starred Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy as teenage hackers who unwittingly find a back door into a Defense Department computer. They start a game with the machine that puts the world in danger of WWIII.
Talks are early, but I’ve heard the studio is close to signing Israelite, who just made his directing debut on Project Almanac for Paramount and Platinum Dunes. Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, Israelite the U of Witwatersrand studying Dramatic Art before moving to Australia to attend Curtin University, where he received his undergraduate degree in Film and Television. An MFA from AFI followed. He wrote and directed Acholiland, a short that won three Student Emmys as well as a BAFTA/LA award. He met director Jonathan Liebesman and scribe Scott Silver on Battle Los Angeles, and they are mentoring him on Chase Liberty, which he wrote and will direct.
Amel most recently scripted Grace Of Monaco, the Nicole Kidman starrer about Grace Kelly’s transition from Hollywood star to Monaco princess. The film made its debut at Cannes, where a long-gestating deal was finally closed with The Weinstein Company. He has also scripted Seducing Ingrid Bergman, about the romance between the actress and war photographer Robert Capa, and Marie Colvin’s Private War, based on the courageous war correspondent who was … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Grace Of Monaco scribe Arash Amel and that film’s financier Uday Chopra have found another untold story involving an iconic actress as their next project together. Chopra’s YRF has optioned Seducing Ingrid Bergman, a book by Chris Greenhalgh that will be published in the U.S. next year. Amel is writing the script and will produce with Chopra, who’ll finance the film, same roles they played on the Olivier Dahan-directed Grace Of Monaco, which The Weinstein Company releases this fall. Seducing Ingrid Bergman is the story of a torrid, clandestine romance between the beloved actress and the celebrated war photographer Robert Capa. Their tryst took place in post-WWII 1945 Paris, right before the onset of the Cold War and communist witch hunting. Amel tells me that the love affair set the stage for an image change for Bergman, whose The Bells Of St. Mary’s wholesome image would be shattered when her affair with director Roberto Rossellini became public and she was actually denounced by the U.S. Senate for loose morals when this Swedish housewife left home and fell in love with a playboy filmmaker.
Amel was just completing Grace Of Monaco when his CAA agents slipped him galleys of the Bergman book, and he responded to a symmetry between the stories of actresses in crossroad moments. Grace Of Monaco is many things, but at its core, it is the story of Grace Kelly’s struggle to surrender Hollywood stardom and swallow her ego to become a subordinate, a princess supporting her husband at a time when Monaco was under siege from France. Bergman is about an actress breaking free from the wholesome image she cultivated for herself, which didn’t match a true self that was far more complicated. Amel liked the idea that the book was written by an academic who got permission from Bergman to tell that story and of Capa’s role in liberating her. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has closed deals with Akiva Goldsman and Overbrook Entertainment to produce another installment of I Am Legend, the 2007 hit film. The intention is for Will Smith to reprise his role as scientist Robert Neville, who was the last man on Earth doing battle with a mutated mob in New York City after an apocalyptic man-made virus wiped out the population. A deal was made with Arash Amel to write the script. The film is not being called a prequel, which had been rumored for the past few years. But clearly Warner Bros sees more room to roam on a film that grossed $584 million worldwide. The original film is based on the novel by Richard Matheson. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: French helmer Olivier Dahan has signed on to direct the Arash Amel script Grace Of Monaco. Dahan, who directed Marion Cotillard to an Academy Award for La Vie En Rose, has been in on meetings that producer Pierre-Ange Le Pogam has taken as they figure out the right young actress who’ll play actress-turned-Monaco princess Grace Kelly. The producer is fully funding the $15 million project. Based on the acclaim that Michelle Williams has gotten for her Marilyn Monroe turn in My Week with Marilyn, Meryl Streep for Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady and the Oscar that Colin Firth won for playing King George VI in The King’s Speech last year, playing 20th century icons certainly has its appeal. And the script made the Black List.
The film covers a half-year period in 1962 when French leader Charles De Gaulle and Monaco’s Prince Rainier III were at odds over Monaco’s standing as a tax haven. France gave Monaco six months to reform its tax laws, and the situation escalated. By that time, Kelly (33 at the time) had given up her acting career to become a full-time princess, and the film details her political maneuvering behind the scenes to save Monaco. CAA reps Dahan. Now, who is the right actress to play Princess Grace?
20th Century figures seem to be the rage, from Colin Firth’s King George VI in The King’s Speech to Michelle Williams’ portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn to Meryl Streep’s upcoming turn as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. The next figure to watch out for: actress-turned-Monaco princess Grace Kelly. Shortly after his agents began circulating the Arash Amel script Grace of Monaco, producer Pierre-Ange Le Pogam has agreed to fully fund a $15 million project that is now out to directors and will soon look for an actress to play Princess Grace. The film covers a half year period in 1962, when French leader Charles De Gaulle and Monaco’s Prince Rainier III were at odds over Monaco’s standing as a tax haven. France gave Monaco six months to reform its tax laws, and the situation escalated. By that time, Kelly (33 at the time) had given up her acting career to become a full time princess, and the film details her political manuevering behind the scenes to save Monaco. The CAA-repped Amel scripted the Aaron Eckhart-starrer The Expatriate. Who should play Princess Grace?