Following her award-winning role on Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit, the 25-year-old Argentine-British actress is in talks to star in Searchlight’s dark comedy The Menu.
Taylor-Joy would star opposite Ralph Fiennes. Mark Mylod, who has played a major part in the success of HBO’s Succession, will direct.
The film is a darkly comedic psychological thriller set in the world of eccentric culinary culture, centering on a young couple who visit an exclusive restaurant on a remote island where an acclaimed chef has prepared a lavish tasting menu. Taylor-Joy will play one half of the couple. Fiennes is playing the chef.
Will Tracy and Seth Reiss penned the script.
After her breakout role in Robert Eggers’ The Witch, Taylor-Joy has been rising through the ranks and was handpicked to star in the M. Night Shyamalan thriller Splitand its sequel Glass.
She became one of the big winners of 2021 when her Netflix limited series Queen’s Gambit, about a chess prodigy in the 1960s, became one of the streamers biggest hits of 2020. She was also recently seen in the Focus Features film Emma.
She has a busy 2021 ahead of her with starring roles in the Viking drama The Northman, the untitled David O. Russell film and Edgar Wright’s Last Night In Soho. She was also tapped to star in the Mad Max spinoff Furiosain the title role.
The first trailer has been released for Edgar Wright’s psychological thriller Last Night in Soho, starring the 25-year-old Argentine-British actress.
Focus Features will release the film on October 22.
The film stars Taylor-Joy, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Matt Smith, Terence Stamp and Diana Rigg in a story set in 1960s Soho, London.
It follows a young girl (McKenzie), passionate in fashion design, who is mysteriously able to travel back in time where she encounters her idol, a dazzling wannabe singer (Taylor-Joy), but her journey isn’t without consequences.
Last Night in Soho originally was due to debut in September before being disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, it was then scheduled for April 23 before being pushed back again.
Universal is handling the international release. The film had been tipped for a Cannes Film Festival premiere, but there’s no confirmation yet on whether it could turn up at the French festival, which announces its lineup next week.
William Morris Endeavor (WME) has signed the 36-year-old Puerto Rican actress and her production company I Can and I Will Productions, run by Molly Breeskin, in all areas.
The Golden Globe-winning former Jane the Virginstar was previously at Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
Rodriguez played the title role in the CW series Jane the Virgin for 100 episodes, winning a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Series Musical or Comedy in 2015.
Rodriguez recently starred in the Focus Features title Kajillionaireopposite Evan Rachel Wood and Richard Jenkins. The Miranda July directed feature made its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
Rodriguez’s upcoming projects include the Netflix film Awake and the miniseries Lost Ollie for the streamer.
She has starred in Sony/Screen Gems’ Miss Balaand the Netflix feature Someone Great, a film in which she also served as a producer.
Her voice can be heard in the title role of Netflix’s Carmen Sandiego, and she also had starring voiceovers in Twentieth Century Fox/Blue Sky’s Ferdinand, Warner Brothers’ Smallfoot and Scoob, and Sony’s The Star.
In addition to her acting career, the native Chicagoan and NYU Tisch School alum is a driving force for inclusion and the empowerment of women in all ways, particularly in the entertainment industry. This passion led her to create her production company, I Can and I Will Productions, with a mission directly reflecting her commitment to create art and tell stories from those who are traditionally unseen and unheard.
The company has finished its second season of Diary of a Future Presidentwhere Rodriguez directed, produced, and performed as the future president.
With her family, she established the We Will Foundation, which aims to uplift and champion underprivileged youth through arts, education, scholarship funding, and financial literacy.
Gina Rodriguez has (lost &) found her next project…
The 36-year-old Golden Globe-winning Puerto Rican actress and former Jane the Virgin star is set to star in Amazon Studios’ comedy adventureLost and Found.
Rodriguez will star opposite Zachary Levi, with Steve Pink set to direct. Pink and Jeff Morris wrote the script, about a headstrong lawyer and an off-the-grid renegade who reluctantly team up to find a long-lost buried treasure by the Mississippi River.
Levi is producing through his Wyldwood Studios along with Rodriguez and Molly Breeskin under their banner I Can and I Will Productions, and Pink through his Pink Machine banner.
Focus Features has pre-bought world rights to under-the-radar supernatural-horror You Won’t Be Alone, which will star the 40-year-old half-Spanish Swedish actress.
Rapace will appear opposite Anamaria Marinca, Alice Englert, Carloto Cotta, Félix Maritaud and Sara Klimoska.
Filming has just wrapped in Serbia on the feature, which is being made by Kristina Ceyton and Sam Jennings.
Set in an isolated mountain village in 19th century Macedonia, the film follows a young witch who is left to go feral in the woods. Curious about life as a human, she accidentally kills a peasant in the village, then takes her shape to see what life is like in her skin. This ignites her deep-seated curiosity to experience life inside the bodies of others. The witch will be played by different actors and the film will include an old Macedonian dialect.
The movie marks the feature debut of Australian-Macedonian writer-director Goran Stolevski, whose short film Would You Look At Her won Best International Short Film at 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
Focus will handle domestic and Universal Pictures International will handle international territories. Bankside is the sales agent and cut the deal with Focus, which has boarded early.
Said producers Kristina Ceyton and Sam Jennings: “You Won’t Be Alone is a very special project by a very special and talented filmmaker and we’re so proud and excited to be producing Goran Stolevski’s debut feature film. And to be collaborating with Focus Features and, for the third time, with Bankside Films, to bring this story to life and out into the world. Making a film amidst a pandemic has certainly been challenging, but with such supportive financiers in Screen Australia and Film Victoria, our post partner KOJO Studios, Head Gear Films, and the dedication of our amazingly committed international cast and the incredible crew here in Serbia, we feel very grateful.”
Focus Features‘ Sundance Film Festival acquisition of Annapurna/Plan B’s Kajillionaire, starring the 36-year-old Golden Globe-winning actress and formerJane the Virginstar, will now open in select theaters on September 25, a week later than originally anticipated.
The Miranda July directed film will hit PVOD around October 16. Despite that, the film’s marketing will be driven toward its theatrical release, and the movie will continue to be available to cinemas while it’s on PVOD.
Written and directed by July, Kajillionaire follows con artists Theresa and Robert, who spent 26 years training their only daughter, Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood), to swindle, scam and steal at every opportunity. During a desperate, hastily conceived heist, they charm a kind stranger, Melanie (Rodriguez), into joining their next scheme, completely shaking up Old Dolio’s routine. Her unlikely connection with Melanie begins to challenge Old Dolio’s odd and stoic reality — and she finds herself suddenly caught between the only family she has ever known and the prospect of total freedom.
The film also stars two-time Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins and three-time nominee Debra Winger.
During the pandemic when the big circuits were closed, Focus Features played two titles on theatrical PVOD: Jon Stewart’s political comedy Irresistibleand the Nisha Ganatra directed music drama The High Note.
Gael García Bernal is hitting the ring to play a Lucha Libre legend.
The 41-year-old Mexican actor/filmmaker will star in Cassandro, an independent feature from Oscar winning and two-time Emmy nominee filmmaker Roger Ross Williams.
Cassandro tells the true story of Saúl Armendáriz, a gay amateur wrestler from El Paso who rises to international stardom after he creates the “exotico” character Cassandro, the “Liberace of Lucha Libre,” and in the process upends not just the macho wrestling world but also his own life.
Armendáriz at the age of 15 quit school and began training for Lucha Libre, beginning his professional wrestling career in 1988 under the mask as Mister Romano. Ultimately he would abandon the character and take on the exotico character of Baby Sharon. Exoticos are male wrestlers who dress in drag.
Ultimately, Armendáriz would take the new ring name of Cassandro, from a Tijuana brothel keeper Cassandra whom he appreciated.
In January 1991, after bad press that he was going to wrestle El Hijo del Santo in the UWA World Welterweight Championship, Armendáriz reportedly attempted suicide by cutting his wrists with a razor blade, but was saved.
The title match occurred a week later and Armendáriz credits it as the match that earned him the lucha libre community’s acceptance.
While Cassandro failed to win the UWA World Welterweight Championship from El Hijo del Santo, he managed to win his first title, the UWA World Lightweight Championship in October 1992, by defeating Lasser, becoming the first exótico in history to hold a championship in UWA.
Bernal, who will star in M. Night Shyamalan’s new secret movie from Universal, will shoot that movie first before stepping into the ring for Cassandro, which is eyeing a November start in Mexico.
Cassandro will rep the feature narrative directorial debut for Williams, who took home the Oscar for his short docu Music by Prudence in 2010, and recently was nominated at the Emmys a second time, this time in Outstanding Documentary/Nonfiction Special category for the HBO doc The Apollo. That movie, which made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, follows the historic and famed Harlem NYC venue and its legacy.
“As a filmmaker, my own life experience has inspired my passion to tell inspirational stories about outsiders and uplift the voices of people we don’t normally see on screen. The true story of Cassandro, Saúl Armendáriz, was one I knew I wanted to tell from the moment I met him. I look forward to being able to bring Saúl’s story to a wide audience,” said Williams.
Williams wrote Cassandro with Emmy-winner David Teague and Julián Herbert (Satelite).
Bernal is a two-time Golden Globe nominee and winner for the Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle. He was part of the SAG ensemble nominated cast of Paramount’s Babel, and a BAFTA nominee for Focus Features’ 2004 The Motorcycle Diaries.
The filmmakers are reportedly in talks with Amazon to acquire Cassandro once complete, but that deal is contingent on several factors before it’s a negative pick-up.
Focus Features has released the first trailer for Kajillionaire, Miranda July’s Sundance comedy about a family of grifters starring the 36-year-old Puerto Rican actress and former Jane the Virgin star.
“Most people wanna be kajillionaires,” Dad says in the clip. “That’s the dream. That’s how they get you hooked — hooked on sugar, hooked on caffeine. Ha, ha, ha, cry, cry, cry. Me? I prefer to just skim.” His daughter looks up and says, “So do I.”
Here is your logline: Con artists Theresa (Debra Winger) and Robert (Richard Jenkins) have spent 26 years training their only daughter, Old Dollo (Evan Rachel Wood), to swindle, scam and steal at every opportunity.
“She learned to forge before she learned to write,” Pops boasts of Old Dollo. “Actually, that’s how she did learn to write.”
During a desperate, hastily conceived heist, they charm a stranger (Rodriguez) into joining their next scam, only to have their entire world turned upside down.
July wrote and directed Kajillionaire as her first feature since 2011’s The Future.
The trailer features “Mr. Lonely,” a song performed by Angel Olsen & Emile Mosseri, the latter being the film’s composer.
Produced by Plan B and Annapurna Pictures,Focus Features plans to release the film in theaters in September.
Amber Garza’s words will be coming to life on the big screen…
Focus Features and Will Packer Productions are developing When I Was You, a feature adaptation based on the forthcoming book from the Latina author.
Described as a female-driven thriller, When I Was You centers on Kelly Medina, whose obsession starts on an ordinary fall morning when she gets a call from her son’s pediatrician. It’s a cruel mistake; her son left for college a year ago. The receptionist quickly apologizes: another Kelly Medina, who’s half her age, is a new patient.
For days, Kelly can’t stop thinking about the woman who shares her name, lives in her same town, has a baby, and her whole life ahead of her. When Kelly just happens to bump into the single mother outside that pediatrician’s office, it’s simple curiosity getting the better of her. When they become friends, Kelly can’t help but find a renewed sense of purpose taking care of this young woman and her adorable baby boy. And when one Kelly disappears, well, the other one may know why.
The book is slated for release, via MIRA, in August 2020. Will Packer and James Lopezwill produce the film project under the Will Packer Productions banner.
Garza’s works include The Girl Frozen in Time, The Last Time I Saw Her, and theProwl trilogy.
Rosie Perez is preparing for the Dead days of summer…
Focus Features will release Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die, starring the 54-year-old Puerto Rican actress,wide on June 14 this year.
Billed as “the greatest zombie cast ever disassembled”, The Dead Don’t Die boasts an all-star cast of Perez, Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Caleb Landry Jones, Iggy Pop, Sara Driver, RZA, Selena Gomez, Carol Kane and Tom Waits.
Jarmusch writes and directs the film his third with Focus Features. The studio previously released the filmmaker’s highest-grossing pic in his canon, 2005’s Broken Flowersstarring Bill Murray which made $13.7M.
Focus Features and Universal Pictures Internationalwill distribute the film worldwide.