This morning the AFI Board Of Trustees meeting was held from 9-11 AM at the Peninsula Hotel. Among those attending were Sir Howard Stringer, Bob Daly, Amy Pascal, Christopher Dodd, Thomas Tull, Chris Silbermann, Rich Ross, and more. As a surprise for the board chairman Sir Howard Stringer, the Sony Corp topper who celebrated his 70th birthday on February 19th, was a phone call from his pal Sean Connery. Phoning from the Bahamas, Connery toasted Sr Howard on his 70th, elaborated on their friendship (Connery is Scottish and Stringer is Welsh), and noted “Howard, my friend, at our age it’s not the wheels that go, it’s the axel!” Connery also talked about the movie biz. “Without appreciating the art form, the movies would all be Mickey Mouse. I am sure Rich Ross would understand that better than anyone.”
Diane Cilento, the Australian actress once married to Sean Connery and who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1963 for Tom Jones, has died aged 78. Cilento was reckoned to be one of the best actresses of her generation in the early 60s, but she had the misfortune to appear on the scene at a time when roles for young women in British cinema mostly consisted of either nurses or well-brought-up gals. Movie producers did not know how to use her lubricious sexuality, which director Tony Richardson caught when she played Molly, the sexy gamekeeper’s daughter Tom Jones. Hollywood tried to push her as a sex symbol opposite Charlton Heston in The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) and Paul Newman in Hombre (1967). But it was her marriage to Sean Connery during the 60s — then at the peak of his Bond fame — which took up most of her energy. They had one son together, Jason — who became an actor himself – and divorced in 1973. Cilento became increasingly involved with Gurdijeff spiritualism and mostly abandoned acting, apart from The Wicker Man (1973). She subsequently remarried Anthony Shaffer, screenwriter of Sleuth and The Wicker Man, and moved back to Australia, where she founded an experimental theatre in northern Queensland. The actress was classically trained at RADA and appeared on stage in a variety of Shakespearian roles as well as opposite Michael Redgrave in the play …
EXCLUSIVE: Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, here for today’s world premiere of his latest film The Intruders, is Summit Entertainment’s choice to direct Highlander. That is the reboot of the 1986 film about immortals who battle with swords, and live and die by the mantra that “there can be only one.” Fresnadillo is now in discussions to direct a film that Summit will co-finance with RCR Media Group. Fresnadillo is also attached to direct a reboot of The Crow, which has Bradley Cooper attached.
Fresnadillo, who first attracted Hollywood’s attention with the genre film Intacto, followed with the superb 28 Weeks Later. Today he unveils Intruders, an intense psychological drama that stars Clive Owen as a father who cannot protect his young daughter from faceless intruders. The film also stars Daniel Bruhl, who starred Inglourious Basterds and next stars as Formula One racer Niki Lauda in the Ron Howard-directed Rush. The film is an acquisition title that is high on many buyers’ lists, and the director’s UTA reps are selling it.