December 17, 2012 – FremantleMedia has finalized a deal with writer Craig Pearce to develop the New York Times bestseller The Maid into a television drama series for international audiences. The as yet untitled series will be executive produced by Pukeko Pictures, the television company co-founded by Richard Taylor, head of Weta Workshop; and written by Craig Pearce, whose credits include co-writing with Baz Luhrmann Romeo + Juliet, the Oscar-winning Moulin Rouge, and the upcoming The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire. This is the first project to come out of the Pukeko Pictures / FremantleMedia partnership announced earlier this year.
The Maid is the bestselling novel by Kimberley Cutter and tells the tale of Joan of Arc, a peasant girl who believes she is sent by God to save France. This story of Joan, the girl, is a new and gripping take on how a farmer’s daughter sought escape from her own personal oppression to lead thousands of French fighters against a brutal and prolonged English invasion. The series will breathe life into the action-packed final years of the Hundred Years War by chronicling them from not only Joan’s perspective but also those of the international noble houses that battled for control of the French throne and ultimately, the birth of a nation.
EXCLUSIVE: Ben Affleck is in talks to play the role of Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, the Baz Luhrmann-directed 3D adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald literary classic at Warner Bros. Now, Affleck will have to work to fit this in. After starring in and directing The Town, he’s prepping to direct Argo, a film about the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. But signs point toward him making time in his schedule to join Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan in Gatsby. Both projects are at Warner Bros.
Tom Buchanan is the husband of Daisy (Mulligan), in a role originated by Bruce Dern in the 1974 film. DiCaprio plays Jay Gatsby (Robert Redford starred in the original) and Maguire plays Nick Carraway (Sam Waterston in the 1974 pic). Luhrmann, who wrote the script with Craig Pearce, is still in the process of setting the roles of Jordan Baker (originated by Lois Chiles), the gas station owner George Wilson (Scott Wilson) and his wife Myrtle (played by Karen Black in the original). Tom is having an affair with Myrtle, and they all play a role in a tragedy.
Luhrmann, Catherine Martin and Catherine Knapman of Luhrmann/Bazmark Films will produce with Red Wagon partners Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher. G Mac Brown will also produce. WME reps Affleck.
EXCLUSIVE: While James Bond has gotten the lion’s share of attention from studios this week, Jay Gatsby has also been making a stir around town. I’m told Warner Bros has emerged as the clear frontrunner to finance and take worldwide distribution on The Great Gatsby, the Baz Luhrmann-directed adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary classic.
The film will star Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan. The pieces are still coming together, but a deal could be done by Friday. Deals with the cast will follow, with DiCaprio furthest along in negotiations to play Gatsby. Red Wagon partners Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher have joined the project, and will produce with Luhrmann, Catherine Martin and Catherine Knapman of Luhrmann/Bazmark Films. G Mac Brown will also produce. Luhrmann wrote the script with Craig Pearce. Given what is happening, recent reports that Luhrmann might not do The Great Gatsby seem completely unfounded. Though Luhrmann also has an original musical project and is refashioning his breakout film Strictly Ballroom as a stage musical, he has been squarely focused on Gatsby. He spent weeks recently reading top young actresses for the role of the manipulative Daisy Buchanan, before Luhrmann decided that Mulligan was the right fit to play alongside DiCaprio and Maguire (who’ll play narrator Nick Carraway). Warner Bros seems a good fit: the …
EXCLUSIVE: Director Baz Luhrmann is expanding his search for Daisy Buchanan as he moves closer to committing to The Great Gatsby as his next film. Deadline revealed recently that Luhrmann did a workshop of the screenplay he wrote with Craig Pearce, with Leonardo DiCaprio reading Jay Gatsby, Tobey Maguire reading Nick Carraway, and The Town‘s Rebecca Hall reading Daisy Buchanan. Luhrmann wants those guys to star, but he’s casting a wider net on Daisy. I’m told that Hall is in the running, but that he’s got a bunch of actresses and wants to see how they read with DiCaprio. Luhrmann likes to work shop his scripts, and this should play out over the next two weeks, in New York. This might be hard for some of the actresses, who are shooting movies abroad. Among the names I’ve heard on Baz’s list: Keira Knightley, Amanda Seyfried, Blake Lively, Abbie Cornish, Michelle Williams and Scarlett Johansson. Aside from those names, I’ve heard that Luhrmann is also sweet on Natalie Portman, the …
EXCLUSIVE: While Baz Luhrmann hasn’t settled on whether he’ll make The Great Gatsby his next film, he workshopped the adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel that he wrote with frequent collaborator Craig Pearce. I’m told that Leonardo DiCaprio read the role of Gatsby, Tobey Maguire read Nick Carraway, and that The Town star Rebecca Hall read the role of Daisy.
The picture is set up at Sony Pictures Entertainment and the reading went well, I’m told. Luhrmann workshops every script he’s considering and there’s no guarantee those actors will wind up starring in the film. Reports have mentioned Amanda Seyfried as a possible Daisy and I’ve heard Baz is sweet on Natalie Portman. Luhrmann and Catherine Martin are producing with Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher.