When the UK feature Summer In February was originally announced in December, Dominic Cooper and Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens were to form a love triangle in the film with Ophelia Lovibond. Now comes word from the production that Sucker Punch‘s Emily Browning has stepped in for Lovibond. The CrossDay Productions/Apart Films title is directed by Christopher Menaul and adapted by Jonathan Smith from his own novel set at an Edwardian artists’ colony on the Cornish coast of England before the start of WWI. Principal photography starts Sunday. CrossDay’s Pippa Cross and Janette Day and Apart Films’ Jeremy Cowdrey are producing. Stevens is exec producing, a first for the actor. When I saw him last month in London at the screening of the Downton Abbey Christmas Special, he told me he was looking forward to the experience — if not the cold weather in Cornwall.
BREAKING: Sundance Selects acquired U.S. rights to Sleeping Beauty, the Julia Leigh-directed Cannes Film Festival pic that stars Emily Browning, Rachael Blake, Ewen Leslie, Peter Carroll and Chris Haywood, and was produced by Jessica Brentnall. The film premiered last Thursday and is described as the haunting portrait of a young university student drawn in to a mysterious world of unspoken desires. The film will be released in the fall.
Jonathan Sehring, president of Sundance Selects, said: “For the last five days, people throughout Cannes have been discussing Sleeping Beauty. We are thrilled to introduce Julia Leigh and her arresting debut to American audiences, and to continuing the discussion.”
UTA brokered the deal with Sundance Selects acquisitions exec Arianna Bocco. UTA reps Leigh and Browning, with the latter managed by Michael Aglion and Catherine Poulton in Australia. Sundance Selects is sister company to IFC, both owned by Rainbow Media.
EXCLUSIVE: Is it an exaggeration to say not since Gone with the Wind has the actress casting search for a studio film captured such attention? The decision on who’ll play Lisbeth Salander in Sony Pictures Entertainment’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo continues. Director David Fincher tested actresses this week and will hold another testing this Sunday. I’ve heard that Fincher will test as many as six actresses this time, and the stakes have been raised. Daniel Craig will read alongside the aspirants, and each of them will get the full hair, makeup, wardrobe, and piercings treatment, which wasn’t done in the earlier tests. This should give Fincher a sense of who is the best match to play the rogue computer hacking genius – one of the most complex roles to come along for a young actress in a very long time.
Right now the actresses who are being seriously considered may still include Inception’s Ellen Page, Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), Emily Browning (Sucker Punch), Sarah Snook (Sleeping Beauty), Rooney Mara (The Social Network), Sophie Lowe (Blame) and now French actress Lea Seydoux. Browning and Wasikowska didn’t make test deals, while Page sent in her own. Fish Tank discovery Katie Jarvis is a late entry but she isn’t testing Sunday.
Sony Pictures will release the first filmed installment of Stieg Larsson’s bestselling trilogy of books on December 21, 2011, and will begin production in early fall. Steve Zaillian wrote the script and Scott Rudin …
Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for Deadline:
I expected SUCKER PUNCH to blow my mind, and think perhaps I was expecting too much. It still looks cool, but not necessarily what I expected. Not long ago, I suggested on Twitter that, with new technology, it was time to cinematically revisit TANK GIRL. Drew McWeeny tweeted back that I should wait till I got a good look at SUCKER PUNCH. I see what he means… But I still want a new TANK GIRL. Regardless, I’ll be checking this one out at some point. Zack Snyder comes out, says he’s been working on this idea for 8 years.
EXCLUSIVE… UPDATE: The plot is thickening on the David Fincher-directed adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the internationally hot Stieg Larsson mystery novel. Of course, with the Swedish film version having made $100+M worldwide so far this year, many quarters are predicting that Sony Pictures will screw up the Hollywood version. Today, the studio set a December 21, 2011 release date for the film — even though the two leads are not locked in. The studio continues talking with Daniel Craig to play publisher Mikael Blomkvist, but sources tell me there’s a scheduling problem for him involving the long delayed next Bond pic and Cowboys & Aliens.
The studio is also signing test deals with a group of young actresses dying to play the complex role of Lisbeth Salander. While Carey Mulligan, Ellen Page, and Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) have been mentioned as possible Lisbeth candidates, I’m told others include Emily Browning (Sucker Punch), Sara Snook (Sleeping Beauty), Rooney Mara (The Social Network) and Sophie Lowe (Blame). Some have submitted their own tapes to director David Fincher already, while others will test shortly for the role. It’s a process similar to the one Sony orchestrated before choosing Andrew Garfield to play Spider-Man. Meanwhile, I hear Fincher is telling actresses to working on their Swedish accents, which indicates the novel may not Americanized. The book was adapted by Steve Zaillian and is being produced by Scott Rudin, who just worked with Fincher on …