Pablo Larraín to Direct Kirsten Stewart in Princess Diana Film “Spencer”

Pablo Larraín is taking on the portray of another legend…

The 43-year-old Oscar-nominated Chilean filmmaker will direct Kristen Stewart in the drama Spencer about Princess Diana

Pablo Larraín

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. 

“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.

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.

“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.”

“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,” he adds.

Production is expected to begin in early 2021 on the film, which Larraín will also produce.

Larraín previously directed Natalie Portman in Jackie. The film follows Jackie Kennedy in the days when she was First Lady in the White House and her life immediately following the assassination of her husband, U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The film earned Portman an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

Larraín’s other credits include Neruda, about poet Pablo Neruda, as well as the Spanish-language film No, Oscar-nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, and The Club.

America Ferrera Signs Open Letter Urging Local Governments to Decrease Police Budgets

America Ferrera is calling for decreased police funding…

The 36-year-old Honduran American actress and activist has joined the likes of John LegendCommon, the WeekndLizzoJane Fonda, and others to signed a new open letter urging local governments to decrease police budgets in favor of spending more on health care, education, and other community programs. 

Others to sign the letter include Megan RapinoeYada Shahidi, and Anthony Romero, the executive director of the ACLU.

The letter was released by activist Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter and a founding member of the Movement 4 Black Lives, a coalition of more than 100 black-rights organizations. 

The letter arrived in conjunction with #BlackOutTuesday and #TheShowMustBePaused, a grassroots campaign within the music industryto pause work today, June 2nd, and “reconnect with our community.” 

Talib KweliNatalie PortmanBrie Larson and Taraji P. Henson also signed the letter.

The open letter ties the deaths of unarmed black people like George FloydAhmaud ArberyBreonna TaylorTony McDade, and others to the disproportionately devastating effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on black communities. 

The COVID-19 deaths and the deaths caused by police terror are connected and consequential to each other,” it states. “The United States does not have a national healthcare system. Instead, we have the largest military budget in the world, and some of the most well-funded and militarized police departments in the world, too. Policing and militarization overwhelmingly dominate the bulk of national and local budgets. In fact, police and military funding has increased every single year since 1973, and at the same time, funding for public health decreased every year, crystallized most recently when the Trump administration eliminated the U.S. Pandemic Response Team in 2018, citing ‘costs.To know more about health check this site.

Noting, for instance, that state and local government spending on police and corrections jumped from $60 billion to $194 billion between 1977 and 2017, the letter lays out an array of different ways that money could be used. “It could go towards building healthy communities, to the health of our elders and children, to neighborhood infrastructure, to education, to childcare, to support a vibrant Black future. The possibilities are endless.”

At the end, the letter lays out its three demands and asks all signees to encourage their local officials to take the pledge as well: “Vote no on all increases to police budgets. Vote yes to decrease police spending and budgets. Vote yes to increase spending on Health care, Education, and Community programs that keep us safe.”

Larrain Attached to Direct Annapurna Pictures’ “The True American”

Things could be ringing True for Pablo Larraín

The 40-year-old Chilean filmmaker, the Oscar-nominated director behind such titles as Jackie and Neruda, is attached to direct Tom Hardy in Annapurna Pictures’ The True American.

Pablo Larraín

The project is based on Anand Giridharadas’ nonfiction book of the same name, which is set in Texas in the days following 9/11. It follows the story of Rais Bhuiyan, a Muslim immigrant and Bangladesh Air Force veteran who narrowly survived a killing spree that took the lives of two other immigrants. Employed at a Dallas-area convenience store as he established himself in America, Bhuiyan worked to have his attacker, self-styled “Arab-slayer” Mark Stroman, spared from execution.

This is a project that has been kicking around for a few years now, with Kathryn Bigelow attached to direct at one point, but now it’s moving forward with Bigelow taking a producer role on the film.

Larraín is fast becoming one of the most sought after international directors after his recent effort Jackie, starring Natalie Portman as the former First Lady in the days following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, was nominated for three Oscars.

His Spanish-language film Neruda, a twist on the biopic genre about the eponymous Nobel Prize-winning poet, was made in Chile and debuted at the Cannes Film Festival while his 2012 political satire No was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas was published in 2014 by W.W. Norton & Company.

Larrain’s “Jackie” Joins the Film Slate at This Year’s AFI Fest

Pablo Larraín’s latest film will get the AFI Fest treatment…

The 40-year-old Chilean director’s latest film Jackie has joined the American Film Institute’s slate of AFI Centerpiece Galas at this year’s AFI Fest.

Pablo Larraín

From Fox Searchlight and starring Oscar winner Natalie Portman, the film will screen on Monday, November 14, at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

Jackie, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival, is an intimate portrait of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, which takes us into the iconic First Lady’s world during the difficult days immediately following her husband’s assassination.

Jackie

Noah Oppenheim penned the screenplay.

In addition to Portman, the film stars Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup and Oscar nominee John Hurt. 

Jackie joins previously announced Mike Mills-directed 20th Century Women; Elle directed by Paul Verhoeven; and Damien Chazelle-helmed La La Land starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

The AFI Fest runs from November 10-17.

Isaac In Talks to Star in the Post-Apocalyptic Horror Adventure “Annihilation”

Oscar Isaac is facing annihilation

The 37-year-old Guatemalan and Cuban American actor is in talks to reteam with Alex Garland, his director for the acclaimed sci-fi movie Ex Machina, for Annihilation, a post-apocalyptic horror adventure feature for Paramount Pictures.

Oscar Isaac

Isaac, who was a standout as X-wing pilot Poe Dameron in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens, would star opposite Natalie Portman and Gina Rodriguez in the film, which is an adaptation of a book by Jeff VanderMeer.

The story follows a biologist, to be played by Portman, as she embarks on a four-person expedition into Area X, a territory cut off from civilization. While there, she must deal with a mysterious contamination, disappearing colleagues, a deadly animal and a being known as the Crawler, all while searching for clues regarding her husband’s disappearance.

Isaac will play Portman’s husband, who may not have disappeared after all.

Isaac starred with Alicia Vikander and Domhnall Gleeson in Ex Machina, in which he played the Steve Jobs-like owner of a search engine tech company creating artificial intelligence.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, meanwhile, blasted box office records and currently has grossed over $933 million domestically, $2 billion worldwide

Rodriguez Signs with 42West

Gina Rodriguez is heading (42) West

The 31-year-old Puerto Rican actress and Jane the Virgin star has signed with 42West for publicity.

Gina Rodriguez

42West is one of the leading full-service public-relations firms in the entertainment industry.

Rodriguez, who may co-star opposite Natalie Portman in the sci-fi film Annihilation, won her first Golden Globe in January for her starring role the CW’s Jane the Virgin.

Rodriguez In Talks to Star Opposite Natalie Portman in the Sci-Fi Film “Annihilation”

Gina Rodriguez is ready to annihilate Hollywood

The 31-year-old Puerto Rican Golden Globe-winning actress is in talks to star opposite Natalie Portman in the sci-fi film Annihilation.

Gina Rodriguez

The post-apocalyptic horror adventure film will be helmed by Ex Machina‘s Alex Garland.

The feature is an adaptation of a book by Jeff Vander Meer.

The story follows a biologist, to be played by Portman, as she embarks on a four-person expedition into Area X, a territory cut off from civilization. While there, she must deal with a mysterious contamination, disappearing colleagues, a deadly animal and a being known as the Crawler, all while searching for clues regarding her husband’s disappearance.

Garland wrote the script, adapted from Vander Meer’s book, which hit stores in February 2014 and is the first in a trilogy.

Rodriguez stars on the CW‘s Jane the Virgin.

Larrain’s “The Club” Selected as Chile’s Bid for the Oscar’s Foreign Film Category

Pablo Larrain is Chile’s choice for Oscar glory once again…

Pablo Larrain

The 39-year-old Chilean filmmaker and former Oscar nominee’s latest film, The Club, has been selected as the nation’s bid for the Academy AwardsBest Foreign Language Film category, the Chilean Minister of Culture Ernesto Ottone has announced.

At the official send-off for the delegation that will attend the San Sebastian Film Festival, Ottone also announced Maite Alberdi’s documentary Tea Time will be the candidate for the Spanish Goya Awards.

A gripping portrait of four former priests who live secluded in a cabin as a punishment for their past sins, Larrain’s film won the Grand Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year.

 

One of Chile’s most renowned directors today, Larrain’s previous film No, starring Gael Garcia Bernal, grabbed a Foreign Language nomination in 2013. Before that, his film Tony Manero was Chile’s entry in 2008, but it failed to get a nomination.

Garcia Bernal also stars in Larrain’s upcoming Neruda, about the political persecution of Chile’s renowned poet and left-wing senator Pablo Neruda, played by Luis Gnecco.

His next project, the Jackie Kennedy biopic Jackie, starring Natalie Portman, will be produced by Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin, and Chile’s Fabula, lead by Larrain’s brother Juan De Dios.

“What is relevant now is that we have two Chilean films that have already been awarded abroad, and they are aiming to secure a nomination for these academies,” said Ottone. “These awards are an important platform to make local productions visible, as they are creating a unique mark. So, we congratulate their creative teams for proposing new ways to see today’s Chilean society, both from an intimate perspective in Tea Time, and from the social questioning The Club suggests,” he added.

Santoro to Star Opposite Will Smith in the Heist Film “Focus”

Rodrigo Santoro is about to share the screen opposite Will Smith

The 37-year-old Brazilian actor, who will next appear as Xerxes in 300: Rise of an Empire, will star opposite Will Smith in Focus.

Rodrigo Santoro

The Warner Bros. heist movie, which is being directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, follows a con man (Smith) who becomes romantically involved with a novice, being played by Margot Robbie. He’s then thrown off his game when the former flame shows up just as he’s staging an elaborate con in Buenos Aires.

Santoro will play the magnetic and powerful owner of an international auto racing team who is vying for Robbie’s affections. He also hires Smith to gain a competitive edge for his racing team.

The picture will begin shooting in October in New Orleans and Buenos Aires.

Santoro just wrapped the Western Jane Got a Gun with Natalie Portman and is currently in Brazil starring in Carlos Saldanha’s segment of Rio I Love You.  He’s also lending his voice for Saldanha’s animated film Rio 2, which opens May 14, 2014.

He was last seen in the indie feature Heleno, a black-and-white Portuguese-language film Santoro starred in and produced based on the life of one of Brazil’s greatest soccer players, Heleno de Freitas.

Warner Bros. is set to release Rise of an Empire, in which  reprises his role of the mad Persian monarch Xerxes, on March 7, 2014.

Santoro Cast in the Natalie Portman-Starrer “Jane Got a Gun”

Rodrigo Santoro is heading to the Wild, Wild West…

The 37-year-old Brazilian actor, currently starring opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger and Genesis Rodriguez in The Last Stand, has joined the cast of the Western action film Jane Got a Gun.

Rodrigo Santoro

Santori, who will star opposite Natalie Portman and Michael Fassbender in the film, will portray Fitchum in the Lynne Ramsey-directed film about Jane Hammond (Portman), who reaches out to her ex-lover (Fassbender) for help when her outlaw husband becomes the target of a violent gang.

Santoro will star in the upcoming prequel 300: Rise of an Empire, reprising his role as the Persian king Xerxes from the first 300.

300: Rise Of An Empire is due out on August 2, 2013.