BAFTA‘s EE Rising Star Award nominees are actors and actresses who have “demonstrated exceptional talent” and are “destined to be bright stars in the future of cinema,” the British Academy says. This year’s crop of five includes Dane DeHaan, George MacKay, Lupita Nyong’o, Will Poulter and Léa Seydoux. DeHaan was recently seen in Kill Your Darlings and will play Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 this summer. MacKay has been working since he was 10 and in 2013 starred in Sunshine On Leith, For Those In Peril and Kevin Macdonald’s How I Live Now. Nyong’o had a breakthrough in 2013 with Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave and is up for a Golden Globe and an Indie Spirit as well as having taken critics’ prizes for her supporting turn. Poulter was in last summer’s We’re The Millers and will be seen in this year’s The Maze Runner. French actress Seydoux, who I named as an actor to watch in Cannes 2013, is one of the stars of Palme d’Or winner Blue Is The Warmest Color and has also appeared in such international films as Midnight In Paris, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Farewell, My Queen. She’s next up in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel which opens Berlin in February. The winner of the Rising Star prize will be selected by a public vote (www.ee.co.uk/bafta) and announced at the BAFTA film …
As flicks about the undead continue to disinter, Anna Kendrick, Molly Shannon and Cheryl Hines have boarded I Heart Huckabees writer Jeff Baena’s directorial debut. Shooting is underway in Los Angeles on Life After Beth, which stars Amazing Spider-Man 2 heavy Dane DeHaan as a guy mourning the death of his girlfriend (Aubrey Plaza). But when Beth comes back to life, he tries to live their relationship to the fullest — until things take a turn for the much worse. John C. Reilly, Paul Reiser and Matthew Gray Gubler in the pic, which Baena also wrote. Liz Destro and Michael Zakin are producing the film alongside American Zoetrope, Starstream Entertainment, and Abbolita Pictures. Charles Bonan, Tim Nye, and Kim Leadford exec produce. CAA and WME are co-repping the domestic rights to the pic. Beth is the second horror comedy to flesh out its cast in the past week; Elijah Wood’s Cooties tapped Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill and others on Friday.
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures, Walden Media and director Angelina Jolie are getting closer to the start line on Unbroken, the incredible story of Louis Zamperini based on Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling book. I’m hearing that three young actors — Alexander Dreymon (Blood Ransom), 300: Rise Of An Empire co-star Jack O’Connell and Chronicle and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 star Dane DeHaan — are screen-testing to play Zamperini as a young man. I don’t know that Jolie won’t widen her short list — she has met with reams of young actors already to get to this point — but I do believe this has the potential to be a career-making job. The actor will play Zamperini from the time he was a wunderkind member of the American track team that competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, to his survival of a harrowing plane crash on the water, to becoming a POW in a Japanese prison camp during WWII. Zamperini, who has shown an iron will in dealing with adversity, turned 96 in January and the emergence of this short list is good news because it means he hopefully will get to see the film. It is one that Universal first developed in 1956 when it was to star Tony Curtis, right after Spartacus. Matthew Baer and Erwin Stoff are producing and Mick Garris is exec producer.
Jolie signed on last December to make this her second film as director after In The Land Of Blood And Honey. She had campaigned hard for the job against other directors who sparked to Hillenbrand’s book. I spoke to her at the time and she was completely dialed into the story and how she wanted to tell it. Since then, Joel and Ethan Coen rewrote a script that had been penned by Gladiator and Les Miserables co-writer William Nicholson, who rewrote an earlier draft by Richard LaGravanese, The book has now been on The New York Times Bestseller List for two and a half years, which is the fifth-longest a book has stayed there.
Dane DeHaan has appeared in four films this year — Lincoln, Lawless, Jack & Diane and Chronicle — and will play Harry Osborn in Columbia’s sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man alongside Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx and Shailene Woodley. Production starts early next year, ahead of a 3D release on May 2, 2014. James Franco played the wealthy Osborn — who in the comics mythology becomes the second Green Goblin, after his father — in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. Director Marc Webb tipped the casting news today via his Twitter feed. Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkner wrote the script based on a previous draft by James Vanderbilt. Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are producing. In addition to TV and stage work, DeHaan, repped by CAA, next stars in Place Beyond The Pines alongside Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling. He also will star in Atom Egoyan’s Devil’s Knot, about the fate of the West Memphis 3, and John Krokidas’ Kill Your Darlings.
Is Akira on the rocks with Warner Bros? I’m told that along with Warner Bros closing the Vancouver production office, the studio let lapse the test options deals it had with Dane DeHaan and Michael Pitt. Both actors had been competing for the lead role of Tetsuo, to star alongside Garrett Hedlund, Kristin Stewart, and potentially Ken Watanabe and Helena Bonham Carter. DeHaan and Boardwalk Empire star Pitt have been vying for that role since late last year. Neither was chosen over the other, and since those option deals ended today, it remains an open question whether either will keep the slot open to see if this movie goes forward. The film was all but greenlit, with production slated to begin March 5.
What’s the problem? Akira sounds not a lot different than what has happened at the studio to the films Arthur & Lancelot and Legendary Pictures’ big-budget film Paradise Lost. I’ve even heard turbulence on the 300 prequel Xerxes. Basically, the studio is scrutinizing everything. Akira, which was bought years ago and put on a fast track when Albert Hughes was going to direct it. While reports indicate Warner Bros has problems with budget, I’m told that’s not really the issue. The studio suddenly wanted changes made to the script, the most recent draft of which came from David James Kelly. They will quickly set a high-end writer to …
EXCLUSIVE: Scottish actress Laura Fraser has landed a lead role on Showtime’s drama pilot Homeland. Additionally, In Treatment standout Dane DeHaan has joined HBO’s vampire drama True Blood as a recurring, while Rebecca Wisocky has been cast for a key guest spot in the fourth season premiere.
Homeland, from 24 executive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, centers on Marine Sergeany Scott Brody, who returns home eight years after going missing in Iraq, and Carrie Anderson (Claire Danes), a driven CIA officer who suspects he might be plotting an attack on America. Fraser (A Knight’s Tale) will play Jessica Brody, Scott Brody’s smart, strong wife. Production on the pilot, whose cast also includes Mandy Patinkin, is slated to begin Jan. 10 in Charlotte, N.C.
On True Blood, DeHaan will play Timbo, one of the teens Jason (Ryan Kwanten) takes care of in Hotshot. The part extends DeHaan’s relationship with HBO. He plays Jesse on the current season of the network’s drama In Treatment. Wisocky (90210) will play Queen Mab, who is described as an elegant beauty who presides over a fantasy land and also has a temper. Wisocky will next be seen in Atlas Shrugged.
The third season of the HBO drama series In Treatment will premiere with two back-to-back half-hour episodes on Monday Oct. 25 and two more episodes on Tuesday Oct. 26. A reminder, this is the first completely original season of the therapy drama. The Israeli series it is based on ran for 2 seasons. Joining Gabriel Byrne, who returns as Dr. Paul Weston, are new cast members Irrfan Kahn, Debra Winger, Dane DeHaan and Amy Ryan.