The Union Jack will be flying over Broadway big-time this coming season, as talk heats up about bringing Bill Nighy, Carey Mulligan and the acclaimed National Theatre revival of David Hare’s Skylight to New York in the spring. I wrote a few weeks ago that while the Stephen Daldry production will be telecast in the fall by NT Live, far better would be the chance to see Hare’s extraordinarily moving play — about the expired romance between an older, self-made businessman and an idealistic young teacher, roles created by Michael Gambon and Lia Williams — on Broadway.
This week the show, which runs in London through August, got the stamp of approval from the Times‘ Ben Brantley and Michael Reidel speculates that Scott Rudin and Robert Fox are joining forces to bring it over in the spring. I’m told that conversations are indeed going on to bring the show in. “Even more than in Richard Eyre’s fine 1996 Broadway production,” Brantley wrote of Nighy (who appeared on Broadway in Hare’s 2006 The Vertical Hour) and Mulligan, “I was always aware of how ineffably, achingly attracted each was to the other, and of the diametrically opposed ways in which that attraction became flesh.”
Skylight will have plenty of company: September 10 will see the first performance of another celebrated National Theatre import, The Curious Incident Of The Dog in The Night-Time. And on Halloweeen, Jez Butterworth’s The River starts up at Circle In The Square with Hugh Jackman, directed by Ian Rickson (who also staged Butterworth’s amazing Jerusalem in 2011, with Mark Rylance). Read More »
Oh all right, we’ll bite: Recovering tabloid bait Lindsay Lohan has signed on to play Karen, an office temp with an agenda, in an upcoming London revival of David Mamet’s semi-savage Hollywood comedy Speed-The-Plow. The casting of the other two roles — the newly appointed head of production at a studio and his friend, a producer – hasn’t been announced for the show, which will have a limited run beginning in September, opening October 2 and ending on November 29 at the Playhouse Theatre with Lindsay Posner, a Mamet specialist, directing.
Lohan’s role was originated by Madonna in the 1988 premiere at Lincoln Center Theater, which also starred Ron Silver and Joe Mantegna, with direction by Gregory Mosher. Madonna pleased the critics, and the show moved to Broadway, where Silver won a Tony for his performance.
In other news from the West End, a smash revival of David Hare’s remarkable play Skylight, starring Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan, will be broadcast by the National Theatre Live, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The transmission by NT Live will first be seen in Great Britain live on July 17, followed by an international broadcast to movie theaters on Oct. 23. The Stephen Daldry production runs through August 23 at Wyndham’s Theatre. Nighy and Mulligan play former lovers, he an older self-made millionaire, she a young schoolteacher. The roles were memorably originated by Michael Gambon and Lia Williams in Richard Eyre’s 1996 Broadway production, a transfer … Read More »
After helming Helen Mirren in the West End production of The Audience, Stephen Daldry will return to the London theater with Skylight. The major revival of David Hare’s Olivier Award winning play will star Carey Mulligan, Bill Nighy and Mulligan’s An Education co-star Matthew Beard. The drama is set on a bitterly cold London evening when schoolteacher Kyra Hollis (Mulligan) receives an unexpected visit from her former lover, Tom Sergeant (Nighy), a successful and charismatic restaurateur whose wife has recently died. As the evening progresses, the two attempt to rekindle their once passionate relationship, but find themselves locked in a dangerous battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desires. The Robert Fox Limited production will open at the Wyndham’s Theatre on June 18, with previews from June 6, and close on August 23. The original 1995 production was also at Wyndham’s.
Nighy is a Hare regular, previously starring in a 1997 production of Skylight as well as stage versions of Pravda, Map Of The World and The Vertical Hour. Later this year he’ll reteam with Hare for the 2nd and 3rd installments of the BBC’s The Worricker Trilogy series. Mulligan is making her West End stage debut in Skylight. She was last on stage in the Atlantic Theater Company’s 2011 production of Through A Glass Darkly at … Read More »
‘Arthur Christmas’ Slays ‘Em In The UK
Sony Pictures Animation and Aardman’s Arthur Christmas jumped to the top of the UK box office this weekend – in its fourth week of release. This bit of holiday magic came courtesy of a £1.9 million weekend take for a cume of £11.5 million. The film has been holding steady in second place since it bowed on November 11 and this weekend faced off against Happy Feet Two for the family audience. Largely positive notices and the British voice cast — including James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton — have no doubt been a local draw. Sony Pictures Releasing UK’s Peter Taylor said: “Opening a movie at No. 1 in such a competitive market as the UK is difficult enough, but to reach the top of the chart in the fourth week of release is almost unprecedented. We are all delighted.”
Tom Hooper Decides Against 3D For ‘Les Miserables’
Although director Tom Hooper flirted with the idea of filming the new movie version of the hit stage musical Les Miserables in 3D, the Oscar-winning helmer of The King’s Speech has decided to stick with 2D. Hooper told the BBC he had been “very tempted” to use 3D but worried that some audiences might “physically struggle” with the format. Not to worry, purists. “I can definitely announce it’s good old-fashioned 2D,” Hooper said at the British Independent Film Awards. “I wanted to make a film that would touch everyone. I believe the story is so strong, 3D is not essential.” Hooper added that the casting of Eponine and Cosette would be announced soon. “I’ve never done a film where big star actors are as obsessed with being in it as this.” Starring Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe as Javert, Read More »
Faith-based company Mission Pictures International will handle international sales on Hallmark’s Beverly Lewis’s The Shunning along with AFFIRM Films, a division of Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions. The project stars Danielle Panabaker and Sherry Stringfield. The Michael Landon Jr.-helmed film begins production November 8 and is about a young woman discovering her identity while coming to peace with the faith of her parents.
Anjelica Huston will play evil teacher Miss Battle-Axe in the big screen version of Francesca Simon’s Horrid Henry books. Richard E. Grant plays a rival headmaster and the cast is rounded by British TV stars Noel Fielding, Jo Brand and Prunella Scales. This is the second 3D feature from Vertigo Films after Streetdance 3D. Shooting will take place in London for 7 weeks, with Vertigo releasing the film in the UK summer next year.
Also from AFM, Rhys Ifans, Rupert Friend and Bill Nighy have signed up for This Beautiful Fantastic, the next feature by Joel Hopkins (Last Chance Harvey). The project – about a frustrated librarian who encounters a shambolic inventor — made the 2009 Brit List of best unproduced screenplays.
They join Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton for Aardman’s first movie under its 3-year Sony Pictures Animation deal. The 3D CG film is slated for release on November 23 of next year. Set on Christmas night, the film’s story reveals the answer to every child’s question: “How does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?” McAvoy leads the cast as Arthur, Santa’s youngest son, while Laurie plays his older brother Steve, who runs Christmas night with military-style precision. Sony is also in production with Aardman on The Pirates!