September 29, 2006

More Scarlett News

Apparently, Scarlett Johansson has the Tudor era bug. She'll don historical garb once more playing Mary Queen of Scots in a biopic chronicling the contentious relationship between Mary and Elizabeth I. (Liz got the last word when she had Mary beheaded in 1587 for plotting to assassinate her.) -- Amy

September 28, 2006

Pics of Scarlett and Natalie Filming The Other Boleyn Girl!

As we previously reported, two of Hollywood's most gorgeous actresses won out over the Brits (including Keira Knightley) to star in a big screen adaptation of The Other Boleyn Girl. (Michelle Williams was also rumored to be considering a part in the film at one point.) Natalie is portraying the ill-fated Anne while Scarlett will play her sister Mary. Eric Bana is Henry VIII. See more pics of the girls from the set here. The lucky pair appear to be having a good time. Who wouldn't? The headpieces are lovely--I can't wait to see the rest of their costumes. Do you think they will give Natalie a prosthetic sixth finger? --Kim

September 27, 2006

New Casanova Is "Terrific" Says Vogue

"At a ball Casanova and Bellino shock Venetian society by wearing torn-up pieces of each other's clothes, another Galliano moment; half a minuet later, Bellino pulls him out of the rank of dancers and into a waltz, immediately followed by the entire ballroom, and you want to clap and cry."

Vogue raves that "the freedom of invention and the liberties taken serve the original libertine magnificently..." Visit for more on Masterpiece Theatre's Casanova which premieres in October. --Kim

Picture Pages

Thanks to our friend, Meg, for sending us Viking Studio's Illustrated Jane Eyre and Illustrated Dracula. Spaced throughout the pages of these two classic novels are 40 illos by neo-Victorian comic book artist Dame Darcy and goth-noir Marvel wunderkind, Jae Lee, respectively. The drawings are downright gorgeous, making these books a wonderful gift for that lit-loving hipster or comic book lover in your life. (If i didn't already have them, I'd be stoked -- or should I say "Stokered?" -- to get one in my Christmas stocking.) Apparently, these are just the first in a series. I'll be curious to see what's next. -- Amy

September 26, 2006

Shhh! Scorsese to Direct Silence

Martin Scorsese's next film is an adaptation of Shusaku Endo's novel Silence.

"The story of Silence is set in 16th century Japan where Portuguese missionaries are battling with the feudal lords' hatred of the religion and the violence directed towards priests,"


September 25, 2006

Jolie Gets "Rand"y

The Book Standard reports that Angelina Jolie has signed on to play Dagney Taggart in an adaptation of writer-philospher Ayn Rand's classic, Atlas Shrugged. (As for the immortal question: "Who is John Galt," the answer may turn out to be Jolie's baby's daddy, Brad Pitt, who is reportedly still in talks to possibly star in the film.) Jolie will also lend her voice to the role of Grendel's mother in next year's Robert-Zemeckis-directed version of Beowulf, and, as we reported back in January, she's slated to play Catherine to Johnny Depp's Heathcliff in a new adaptation of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. I feel a swoon coming on. -- Amy

September 21, 2006

Benny & Joon Director to Helm Adaptation

Benny & Joon director Jeremiah Chechik will film Michael Turner's coming-of-age novel The Pornographer's Poem, "the story of an ordinary man who stumbles into the world of porn movies via short films." I haven't read it, but the article notes that it's a cult favorite. (Empire Movie News) --Kim

New Jane Eyre to Borrow P&P Fog Machine

The U.K.'s Independent gives some reasons why we should have our knickers in a bunch about the new Jane Eyre adaptation (other than the fact that it's a new Jane Eyre adaptation). I'll summarize for you:

*It's being filmed at "the most perfect house to survive from the Middle Ages."

*In his first scene Toby Stephens as Mr. Rochester "emerges out of a thick mist on his trusty steed, which rears up and bucks its esteemed rider at the sight of Jane on the moors."

*The journalist thinks 37 year-old actor Toby Stephens (Twelfth Night, Die Another Day) could have "the Colin Firth affect." Frankly, that's reason enough for me. --Kim

Image: Toby Stephens and Pierce Brosnan in Die Another Day

September 20, 2006

Robin Hood, Recovered

With the recently stolen tapes of BBC's new Robin Hood series now back in safe hands, the show is back on track for its premiere on Saturday night in England. (We Yanks will have to wait until next spring before it starts airing on BBC America.) The Daily Telegraph has an interesting article on how creator Dominic Minghella tried to update the legend. (Robin now has a "gang," not a band of "merry men," for instance. And oddly enough, he based the show's hero on none other than British chef, Jamie Oliver. Let's at least hope that, unlike Jamie, he doesn't have a pronounced lisp.) -- Amy

Will Ioan fight for Burberry workers?

Things that make you go "Hmmm": Burberry hires a Welsh spokesperson, but closes down their Whales-based factory.

BBC News reports that Welsh-born actor Ioan Gruffudd (the new face of Burberry) may be lobbied by his fellow countrymen to prevent the clothing company from closing down their factory in the south of Whales (which would result in the loss of 300 jobs.) Perhaps playing British political activist William Wilberforce in the upcoming Amazing Grace will prompt Ioan to go all "Norma Rae" on behalf of the Burberry workers? -- Amy

September 13, 2006

Gabriel Byrne, Christopher Plummer, and Susan Sarandon Add It Up

Director Paolo Barzman will direct an adaption of Matt Cohen's novel Emotional Arithmetic. Production Weekly reports that the film will tell the story of three people reunited forty years after their imprisonment in a concentration camp. --Kim

Paris, je t'aime

"Paris, je t'aime," a collection of romantic short films about the City of Lights screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday. Stars like Natalie Portman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Elijah Wood, Nick Nolte, Juliet Binoche, Emily Mortimor, Rufus Sewell and Steve Buscemi appear in the shorts, which are set in each of the city's arrondissements (uh...neighborhoods for ye non-Frenchies). Wes Craven, Alexander Payne, the Coen brothers and Gus Van Sant are among the directors. Billed as "Stories of love from the City of Love," it's set to be released in North America sometime next year via First Look Pictures. -- Amy

September 11, 2006

The Mayor of Casterbridge

Angling for some angst? Pining for some pathos? Look no further than A&E's 2003 production of The Mayor of Casterbridge. Adapted from the brilliant novel of Thomas "Get the man some Prozac!" Hardy, the movie stars one of Romancing the Tome's favorite actors, CiarĂ¡n Hinds (who you may know as Caesar from HBO's Rome, and who is also strangely sexy for an old guy). In his long career, Hinds has an amazing ability to play absolute scumbags that you can't help rooting (and feeling) for. This movie proves no exception. His character, Michael Henchard, begins the film by selling off his wife and daughter in a Victorian-style eBay auction — bastard! It's only the first of many unfortunate choices he makes throughout the story. As he struggles to right past wrongs, his jealousy, hubris, and "fits of gloom" lead him to alienate those who love him most.

Polly Walker (Atia of HBO's Rome) oozes lust as Henchard's scandalous fling, while Jodhi May ably brings on the waterworks as his on-again, off-again "daughter." Meanwhile, James Purefoy (Rome's Mark Antony and Reese Witherspoon's Rawdon in "Vanity Fair") plays Henchard's annoyingly perfect nemesis, Farfrae. He makes a semi-hilarious seduction attempt in a scene reminiscent of Lauren Bacall's "You just put your lips together and blow." (I'm still cracking up just thinking about it.) Nevertheless, the film's ending is a weepy one, so be prepared. -- Amy

September 8, 2006

C'est Magnifique! takes you behind the scenes with Kirsten Dunst (a.k.a. Marie Antoinette) at her photo shoot with famed photographer Annie Liebowitz for the September issue of Vogue. Total eye candy... or should we say bonbons? -- Amy

Perfume: The Smell of Success?

The Guardian wonders whether Tom Twyker's adaptation of Patrick Suskind's Perfume can actually measure up to the novel. Apparently, such directorial big wigs as Stanley Kubrick, Tim Burton, Ridley Scott and Martin Scorsese had been previously connected with the film before each decided that the novel was "unfilmable." Considering the book relies so heavily on the aspect of scent, I can see the dilemma. Nevertheless, Twyker's movie (starring Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman and newcomer Ben Whishaw) promises to be one of the big hits of the year, according to The Guardian's Jess Smee. The movie is set for release on December 27. -- Amy