I have add Kristen at the The 78th Venice International Film Festival photos to our gallery.
I have add Kristen at the The 78th Venice International Film Festival photos to our gallery.
A biopic starring Kristen Stewart as Diana, the Princess of Wales, and more Cannes-winning titles are bound for the Toronto International Film Festival.
Organizers have added titles to several sections, including the competitive Platform program, where Oscar-nominated “Sound of Metal” star Riz Ahmed will head the jury.
“Spencer” by Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larrain, set during a tumultuous Christmas, will screen in TIFF’s Special Events program after premiering at the Venice Film Festival.
Larrain is well established in depicting historical women onscreen, having also directed the Oscar-nominated 2016 biopic “Jackie,” starring Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy.
Also in the Special Events section is “Memoria” by acclaimed Thai auteur Apichatpong Weerasethakul, starring Tilda Swinton as an expatriate reeling from mysterious events in Colombia.
“Memoria” shared the Jury Prize with “Ahed’s Knee” by Nadav Lapid at last month’s Cannes Film Festival.
Other buzzy films added to TIFF, which runs online and in-person from Sept. 9 to 18, include the Iranian prisoner drama “A Hero” (“Ghahreman”) by Asghar Farhadi, which shared the Grand Prize at Cannes with Juho Kuosmanen’s “Compartment No. 6.” It will screen as a special event.
Last week TIFF added another Cannes sensation, the Palme d’Or prize-winning horror “Titane,” to the Midnight Madness section.
Films competing in the Platform program include the world premiere of “Drunken Birds” (“Les oiseaux ivres”) by Montreal’s Ivan Grbovic, about “a drug-cartel worker who runs afoul of his boss and migrates to Canada.”
On Wednesday, the festival also revealed it will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Inuk filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk’s Inuktitut-language Canadian drama “Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner,” which won the Camera d’Or award at Cannes in 2001. TIFF Cinematheque will hold a free screening of a digitally remastered version.
Kunuk will also have a film in the newly announced Shorts Cuts lineup: “Angakusajaujuq — The Shaman’s Apprentice.”
Shorts Cuts will have a total 38 films, including the world premiere of the South Korean-set drama “Together” by Canadian filmmaker Albert Shin, director of acclaimed features “In Her Place” and “Disappearance at Clifton Hill.”
TIFF Cinematheque also announced details of its Alanis Obomsawin retrospective, “Celebrating Alanis,” which will have 19 films from the prolific Abenaki documentary maker. The films include the world premiere of her newest title, “Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair.”
The festival has also outlined the schedule for the IMAX screenings of Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic “Dune,” adding one at Cinema Banque Scotia Montreal on Sept. 12.
“Spencer,” Pablo Larraín’s highly anticipated drama starring Kristen Stewart as Lady Diana, will world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival, Variety has learned.
Written by “Peaky Blinders” creator Steven Knight, the film centers on a weekend in the early 1990s when Diana decided to separate from Prince Charles amid rumours of affairs. The late princess was spending the Christmas holiday with the royal family at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, when she decided to leave her marriage to Prince Charles.
Stewart stars in the film opposite “Poldark” star Jack Farthing who plays Prince Charles. The cast also includes BAFTA nominee Timothy Spall (“Mr. Turner”), Academy Award nominee Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”) and Sean Harris (“Mission: Impossible – Fallout”). The film comes out in 2022 to mark the 25th anniversary of Diana’s death.
The Venice Film Festival declined to comment on Monday.
Neon and Topic Studios have jointly acquired the U.S. rights to the movie in June 2020. The film is expected to be an Oscar contender. Larrain’s last film “Jackie” earned Natalie Portman a best actress nomination for playing Jackie Kennedy Onassis in the days after JFK’s assassination. “Spencer” was produced by Juan de Dios Larraín (“Jackie”) for Fabula Films, Jonas Dornbach and Janine Jackowski (“Toni Erdmann”) for Komplizen Film and BAFTA winner and Oscar nominee Paul Webster (“Anna Karenina”) for Shoebox Films.
Other high-profile movies set to world premiere at Venice include “Dune,” Denis Villeneuve’s big-budget sci-fi epic starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, which will play out of competition.
While Venice is assembling a starry lineup, the ongoing pandemic and rise of variants is casting a shadow over the festival which is scheduled to kick off Sept. 1. With a resurgence of cases across several countries, there could be travel bans restored, notably with the U.S., though the situation is still fluid. The Cannes Film Festival, which has been running for 6 days so far, has reported several COVID-19 cases despite a strict protocol.
Neon and Serendipity Point Films have set a summer production start in Athens, Greece for Crimes of the Future, the David Cronenberg-written and -directed sci-fi thriller that has locked Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux and Kristen Stewart as its stars, with Scott Speedman, Welket Bungué, Don McKellar and Lihi Kornowski also starring.
This is the first original sci-fi script by Cronenberg since 1999’s eXistenZ. It sounds just as ambitious, taking a deep dive into the not-so-distant future where humankind is learning to adapt to its synthetic surroundings. This evolution moves humans beyond their natural state and into a metamorphosis, altering their biological makeup. While some embrace the limitless potential of trans-humanism, others attempt to police it. Either way, “Accelerated Evolution Syndrome” is spreading fast. Saul Tenser is a beloved performance artist who has embraced Accelerated Evolution Syndrome, sprouting new and unexpected organs in his body. Along with his partner Caprice, Tenser has turned the removal of these organs into a spectacle for his loyal followers to marvel at in real-time theatre. But with both the government and a strange subculture taking note, Tenser is forced to consider what would be his most shocking performance of all.
“I have unfinished business with the future,” Cronenberg understated.
“To work with David Cronenberg is to embark on a journey exploring terrain where no one has gone before,” said Robert Lantos, who’s producing. “Each of our collaborations has been an exhilarating adventure and David’s unwavering vision is what real cinema is all about.”
The film has been in the mix for some time, gaining attention in that it marks the fourth teaming of Cronenberg with Mortensen, including the terrific films A History of Violence and Eastern Promises. It’s real now, with Neon set to release in the U.S, as the film joins the distributor’s growing slate of recent acquisitions that include Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee, the Ryan Gosling-starrer The Actor and Pablo Larraín’s Spencer.
MK2│Mile End will distribute Crimes of the Future in Canada; Rocket Science is handling international sales.
Crimes of the Future is also the fourth collaboration between Lantos and Cronenberg, who teamed on Eastern Promises, eXistenZ and Crash. Steve Solomos is co-producer, and Panos Papahadzis is co-producer for Athens-based Argonauts Productions. Executive producers include Joe Iacono, Thorsten Schumacher, Peter Touche, Christelle Conan, Aida Tannyan, Victor Loewy and Victor Hadida. Bonnie Do and Laura Lanktree are associate producers.
Aside from Mortensen and Lantos, Cronenberg has surrounded himself with longtime collaborators that include production designer Carol Spier (Crash, Dead Ringers), and Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore (A History of Violence).
Cronenberg is repped by WME; Mortensen is repped by Rawlins Company, UTA and GGSSC; Seydoux is repped by UTA, Agence Adequat and United Agents; and Stewart by WME and McKuin Frankel Whitehead. Speedman, whose credits include Lena Dunham’s Sharp Stick and Netflix’s You, is repped by CAA and Speedman is CAA and GGA. Serendipity Point Films is repped by Brecheen Feldman Breimer Silver & Thompson.
Crimes of the Future is a Serendipity Point Films and Argonauts co-production. This Canada-Greece co-production is produced in association with Ingenious Media, Coficine and Telefilm Canada, with the support of EKOME.
Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) and Sean Harris (Mission: Impossible – Fallout) have joined Kristen Stewart in buzzed-about Lady Diana biopic Spencer, which is now filming in Germany before moving to the UK.
The producers have today released a first-look image of Stewart as the iconic Lady Di.
As Deadline first revealed, Jackie filmmaker Pablo Larraín is directing the Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders) script about a weekend in the early ‘90s when Diana decided her marriage to Prince Charles wasn’t working and that she needed to veer from a path that had put her in line to one day be queen.
The drama takes place over three days in one of her final Christmas holidays in the House of Windsor in their Sandringham estate. The producers have not said who will play Prince Charles and their two children: Prince William and Prince Harry.
Stewart said of the film: “Spencer is a dive inside an emotional imagining of who Diana was at a pivotal turning point in her life. It is a physical assertion of the sum of her parts, which starts with her given name; Spencer. It is a harrowing effort for her to return to herself, as Diana strives to hold onto what the name Spencer means to her.’
The movie is among the first – if not the first – UK film productions to shoot on the continent after Brexit. However, in a surprising outcome, producer Paul Webster told us today that “no visas were necessary for cast and crew from the UK,” something that has been anticipated as a result of the UK leaving the EU.
There was a minor-meltdown among some corners of the UK media and social media late last year when it was reported that the two princes couldn’t be portrayed by British actors due to Brexit travel restrictions. Producer Webster subsequently told us this wasn’t the case. Presumably some of the cast will be German, however, as the project is getting investment from German funding bodies.
Larraín is producing with Fabula partner Juan de Dios, as well as Jonas Dornbach, Janine Jackowski and Webster. Neon and Topic Studios picked up U.S. rights and are expected to debut the film in fall 2021. 2022 marks the 25th anniversary of Diana’s death.
Larraín’s impressive creative team includes Director of Photography Claire Mathon (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Costume Designer Jacqueline Durran (Little Women), Make Up and Hair Designer Wakana Yoshihara (Murder On The Orient Express) and Guy Hendrix Dyas (Inception) is the Production Designer. Composing the original score is Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood (Phantom Thread).
Executive producers are Tom Quinn, Jeff Deutchman and Christina Zisa for NEON and Michael Bloom, Maria Zuckerman and Ryan Heller for Topic Studios. FilmNation handled international sales and, as we first reported, sold all key territories last Cannes. STX will release in the UK.
The film is supported by German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, German Federal Film Board (FFA), Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and HessenFilm und Medien.
Hulu said Tuesday that has acquired U.S. rights to Clea DuVall’s Happiest Season, the holiday romantic comedy starring Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis that had been aiming for a November 25 theatrical release from Sony Pictures. With the deal today, the pic will now bypass U.S. big screens and premiere on the streamer as a Hulu Original film on that date.
Sony and eOne co-financed the film and retain distribution rights in Canada and the rest of the world. The studio said overseas plans, which could include theatrical releases, will be finalized later.
The deal is the latest where a studio has struck a deal with a streamer to distribute its product thanks to low movie theater capacity amid the pandemic.
Directed by DuVall from a screenplay she wrote with Mary Holland stars Stewart as Abby, who is planning to propose to her girlfriend Harper (Davis) during Harper’s family’s annual Christmas dinner — until she realizes they don’t even know Harper is gay. Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Daniel Levy, Mary Holland, Burl Moseley, Victor Garber and Mary Steenburgen also star.
“This holiday season — more than any other — we could all use a little happiness. It was essential to Sony Pictures and to the filmmakers that Clea’s marvelous and fresh holiday-themed romantic comedy come out when the lights are on the trees,” said Nicole Brown, President of TriStar Pictures. “We are excited that Hulu is geared up to make this happen in the U.S. and grateful that they love the movie as much as we do.”
Marty Bowen and Isaac Klausner produced the pic, with Wyck Godfrey and Jonathan McCoy executive producers.
“Jackie” filmmaker Pablo Larrain may be set to direct Kristen Stewart in Lady Diana film “Spencer,” but the pair will first collaborate in a new collection of short films for Netflix. (Watch the trailer above.)
Filmed during COVID-19 and across various states of global lockdown, “Homemade” unites 17 leading filmmakers in a compendium of short films — available to watch individually as five to seven-minute shorts or as one long feature — that captures the shared experience of quarantine. The project is helmed by Larrain, his brother and creative partner Juan de Dios Larrain under the pair’s Fabula banner, and Lorenzo Mieli, CEO of Fremantle-backed Italian outfit The Apartment, for which “Homemade” is its inaugural project.
“Personal Shopper” and “Charlie’s Angels” star Stewart marks her directorial follow-up to her 2017 short “Come Swim” with a short filmed in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Maggie Gyllenhaal contributes a film out of Vermont — the “Kindergarten Teacher” actor’s directorial debut ahead of her star-studded film “The Lost Daughter.”
Other directors include Paolo Sorrentino (“The Great Beauty”) out of Rome, Italy; Ladj Ly (“Les Misérables”) from Clichy Montfermeil, France; Rachel Morrison (“Black Panther”) from Los Angeles, U.S.; Naomi Kawase (“True Mothers”) from Nara, Japan; Nadine Labaki and Khaled Mouzanar (“Capernaum”) from Beirut, Lebanon; Gurdiner Chadha (“Blinded By the Light”) from London, U.K.; and Ana Lily Amirpour (“A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”).
“For once in our careers, this wasn’t about money, agencies, lawyers or the Hollywood structure,” Juan de Dios Larrain tells Variety. “This was a simple idea of [conveying] one message in five to seven minutes, and the idea was to give that message without any pressure; it was totally open. We asked only for [each film’s] rating to be general, and not only for older audiences.”
Pablo Larrain notes that the underlying message around “Homemade” is about “adversity, and how we are all from different countries, cultures and circumstances, but for a very unique moment of humanity, we’re all sharing very similar circumstances in different contexts.”
Based out of Santiago, Chile, the “No” director notes that the experience of coronavirus continues to vary wildly across the globe. Chile saws its “very worst moment of the pandemic” on Monday, according to Larrain, while in Europe there is marked progress despite fears of a second spike. “We’re going through different situations, but there are many things we have in common. That was the heart of this and the challenge we faced.”
Directors were instructed to use only equipment found at home, with the focus ranging from a glimpse into their working lives — Pablo Larrain’s film, for example, focuses on a conversation via Zoom call — to more narrative meditations on an unprecedented moment in history.
Plot details for all films remain largely under wraps, but Gyllenhaal’s short — which appears to star her partner, actor Peter Sarsgaard — will “surprise the whole world,” promises Pablo Larrain. “All shorts have something [special] but Maggie’s is very particular.”
“Each director has done a completely different thing,” explains Teresa Moneo, director of original films for Netflix. “We have put them together thematically. Some were very clearly personal stories and some were more narrative or fantastical or funny. We tried to give them some kind of organization…so they’ve been arranged thematically.”
The executive admits it was a race against time to ensure the concept — conceived collectively in March by Mieli and the Larrain brothers and then presented to Netflix — was still timely upon release.
It was intense work, says Moneo. “Intense in that it was all happening live, in front of our eyes, so we all had to pivot and join forces very quickly to make sure we had this within a time where it made sense to go out,” she adds.
“It’s been a real alliance among all our groups within Netflix to make sure everything is subtitled, and all the potential technical glitches are out of the way.”
Pablo Larrain describes the experience of “Homemade” as a “very strange, beautiful, unique film festival” where different voices have convened to tell a story in a “planetary exercise.” Mieli further underlines that the project looks to “show a broad variety of things from all over the world, done in exactly the same conditions, at the same time.”
“Homemade” will debut on Netflix on June 30, and a donation in honor of each filmmaker will be made from Netflix’s Hardship Fund to third parties and non-profit groups providing emergency relief for out-of-work cast and crew.
Pablo Larraín is set to direct and Kristen Stewart to play Princess Diana in Spencer, a drama that shapes up to be a hot package for the virtual Cannes Market. The Steven Knight-scripted film covers a critical weekend in the early ‘90s, when Diana decided her marriage to Prince Charles wasn’t working, and that she needed to veer from a path that put her in line to one day be queen. The drama takes place over three days, in one of her final Christmas holidays in the House of Windsor in their Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England. Production is expected to begin in early 2021.
The package will be unveiled to buyers at the virtual Cannes Market by CAA Media Finance and FilmNation Entertainment. CAA Media Finance arranged the financing and will make the U.S. distribution deal with Endeavor Content, while FilmNation Entertainment represents international rights.
The film will be produced by Larraín, director of films that include Jackie and Neruda, along with Fabula partner Juan de Dios, Jonas Dornbach, Janine Jackowski and Paul Webster. Knight’s script work includes Eastern Promises, Peaky Blinders, Locke and The Hundred-Foot Journey.
While growing up in Chile didn’t make Larraín as obsessed as many were in Diana and Charles’ storybook wedding, or the endless coverage as their high-profile union was frayed by the pressures of fame and the crown. But he grew up reading fairy tales literature, and sees this as the antithesis of that trope.
“We all grew up, at least I did in my generation, reading and understanding what a fairy tale is,” Larraín told Deadline. “Usually, the prince comes and finds the princess, invites her to become his wife and eventually she becomes queen. That is the fairy tale. When someone decides not to be the queen, and says, I’d rather go and be myself, it’s a big big decision, a fairy tale upside down. I’ve always been very surprised by that and thought it must have been very hard to do. That is the heart of the movie.
“How and why do you decide to do that? It’s a great universal story that can reach millions and millions of people, and that’s what we want to do. We want to make a movie that goes wide, connects with a worldwide audience that is interested in such a fascinating life.”
Stewart is an intriguing choice to play Diana. She got a taste of that fishbowl life borne of fame when she starred in the blockbuster Twilight Saga films, with press hounding her every move at a very young age. She eschewed that persona, and has refashioned herself as one of the most interesting and unpredictable actresses working mostly in independent films. Now she’ll play one of the most famous women in the world at her moment of great moment existential crisis.
“Kristen is one of the great actors around today,” Larraín said. “To do this well, you need something very important in film, which is mystery. Kristen can be many things, and she can be very mysterious and very fragile an ultimately very strong as well, which is what we need. The combination of those elements made me think of her. The way she responded to the script and how she is approaching the character, it’s very beautiful to see. I think she’s going to do something stunning and intriguing at the same time. She is this force of nature.
“I’ve seen movies from Kristen that are so diverse it’s incredible, showing different layers and her diversity and strength as an actress,” he said. “We’re very happy to have her, she’s very committed. As a filmmaker, when you have someone who can hold such a weight, dramatic and narrative weight just with her eyes, then you have the strong lead who can deliver what we are looking for.”
The film won’t deal with Diana’s tragic death after she left that palace life, but will examine the fraying of the relationship with her husband, and her ferocious love for her sons Prince William and Prince Harry. Latter married actress Meghan Markle and made a decision similar to the one made by his mother while he was just a child.
“I’ve always been intrigued and fascinated by the Royal Family and how things are in that culture, which we don’t have where I come from,” Larraín said. “Diana is such a powerful icon, where millions and millions of people, not just women, but many people around the world felt empathy toward her in her life. We decided to get into a story about identity, and around how a woman decides somehow, not to be the queen. She’s a woman who, in the journey of the movie, decides and realizes that she wants to be the woman she was before she met Charles.
“It’s about finding herself, about understanding that possibly the most important thing for her is to be well, and to be with herself and by herself,” Larraín explained. “That’s why the movie is called Spencer, which is the family name she had before she met Charles. It’s very contained, set over a few days in Sandringham. They spent Christmas there for many years and that’s where we set the movie in the early ‘90s, around 1992, we’re not specific. It’s Christmas Eve, Christmas and Boxing Day, three days, very contained. We get to understand what it is she wants and what she will do.
“It’s a very energetic and beautiful script by Steven Knight, whose work I have admired for years. It’s incredible and captures what I have always found and that is an enormous amount of beauty in the power of Diana. When she had the stage of the world and what she had to say in her own story and how strong she could be when she needed to transform herself into something different, to find her own path. It’s a romantic story of a woman going through difficult times who finds the light and the solution.
“She died years after where our story is set and so we don’t deal with that,” Larraín said. “It’s only three days of her life and in that very small amount of time, you’re able to get into a wider, bigger perspective of who she was. We all know her fate, what happened to her, and we don’t need to go there. We’ll stay in this more intimate space where she could express where she wants to go and who she wants to be.
“The key is how she discovers during the process of the movie that what she really needs to do is be who she wants to be,” he said. “And by that, it doesn’t mean she needs to be next to anyone, to be part of anything, but herself and her own children. Diana was many things, but chief among them, she was a great mother. This is the story of a woman who understands the most important thing for a woman in her life is her own children.
“We believe that this is a movie that could create interest around the planet,”Larraín said. “This is a beloved, iconic women and we have everything in front of us to do a beautiful movie and we are working very hard to get it made.”
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