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Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
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No Sophomore Slump?

Here’s Murtada with casting news for three directors’ sophomore efforts after the critical success of their debuts.

Insane chemistry retread?

While everyone is talking about Miles Teller and how maybe he was fired from La La Land, the new movie from his Whiplash (2014) director Damien Chazelle, that movie has been adding cast members. It's got a rather charming cast all told. Joining Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in lead and J.K. Simmons and Ex Machina’s Sonoya Mizuno in support, are John Legend (Selma) and Rosemarie Dewitt (Rachel Getting Married).

The movie is about an aspiring actress (Stone) and a musician (Gosling) falling in love while trying to make it in LA. Legend’s role is unknown but we assume his talents as an Oscar winning songwriter will be used in some capacity in addition to his acting. DeWitt will reportedly play Gosling’s sister. Can you spot any family resemblance?

Yesterday Michael Shannon and  Aaron Taylor Johnson were announced as the latest additions to Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals joining Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams. There were reports a few months ago that Joaquin Phoenix was being considered for a part, which we'll assume is the one Shannon has now taken. Plot details are sketchy on this one beyond the fact that it’s based on Austin Wright’s 1993 novel Tony And Susan, and it involves two interlocking stories. One story is maybe a fictional one within the other. Ford has written the script and could have veered a bit from the book. Any readers of the book that can shed some light on the plot?

Will he find someone as talented as Quvenzhane Wallis?

And  Benh Zeitlin is finally following up Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012). Reports appeared online that he has put up a casting call for child actors to appear in his new movie Wendy. Filming will take place in Antigua and the story is about “a young girl who gets kidnapped onto a hidden ecosystem where a tribal war is raging over a form of pollen that breaks the relationship between aging and time.” Hmmm, sound similar to Beasts, no? Other reports say it's loosely based on the Peter Pan myth.

Expect to see these three intriguing projects in 2016. Have they jumped to the top of your most anticipated lists?


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Reader Comments (11)

Why do people keep saying 'Whiplash' was a debut?? :S

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSquasher88

Definitely: Zeitlin

Yes: Chazelle

Only if the reviews don't suck: Ford (hated A Single Man)

August 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Gosling and Stone in a "musical"... I'm already crying from happiness.

August 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Can't wait for all 3, but probably the most excited about La La Land. Gosling and Stone have wonderful chemistry and I love both their singing voices. And God knows we need more musicals. Also Finn Wittrock is in the film, another plus.

Also looking forward to seeing Amy and Jake together on screen. Jake continues to do such fascinating work as of late.

August 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Chazelle's actual debut, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, is a lovely film, it shouldn't be ignored.

August 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHannes

I'm very intrigued to see what Zeitlin and Ford come up with next. Chazelle maybe, but Whiplash was too silly (in the wrong way, i.e. didn't realise how silly it was) and so I'll approach his next film with caution!

August 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

I didn't like A Single Man but something about Jake with Amy makes this new one interesting to me.

August 8, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersummer

Squasher88 and Hannes - thanks for the correction re Chazelle. I have never heard of that movie, was it released and is it available now?

August 8, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

I think it is amazing that Damien Chazelle will only write about musicians. Fascinating niche.

August 8, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterkin

@murtada It's definitely available and was even nominated for a special Gotham award. I watched it on iTunes on it's pretty good.

August 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSquasher88

Tony & Susan is about a woman who receives a manuscript from her ex-husband after not seeing him for some twenty-odd years. It’s a horror story, of sorts, about a man whose wife is kidnapped whilst they’re on the road. The book-within-a-book is terrifying, but the surrounding template is more interesting than truly satisfying. I don’t want to give more of the plot away, but it’s a real kettle of fish, if that makes sense!

August 10, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterben1283

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