Noomi Rapace has landed an out-of-this-world project…
Apple TV+ has given a formal green light to Constellation, a conspiracy-based psychological thriller drama series starring the 42-year-old half-Spanish actress.
Rapace will star alongside Jonathan Banks in the project, which was created and written by Peter Harness.
Michelle MacLaren is set to direct the series from Turbine Studios and Haut et Court TV.
Constellation will star Rapace as Jo, a woman who returns to Earth after a disaster in space — only to discover that key pieces of her life seem to be missing.
The action-packed space adventure is an exploration of the dark edges of human psychology, one woman’s desperate quest to expose the truth about the hidden history of space travel and for her to recover all that she has lost.
Banks will play Henry, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. The answers to his secret discovery are protected by Jo on the ISS… until she returns.
Constellation, which has been unofficially referred to as CosmonautsandElectric Eye, is co-produced by Turbine Studios and Haut et Court TV.
Rapace’s television credits include a starring role in Season 2 of Prime Video’s Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. Her most recent features include The Trip, You Want Be Alone, Black Craband the upcoming Assassin Club.
Mario Vargas Llosa is bringing his special service online…
The 85-year-old Peruvian novelist, journalist, essayist, former politician and literary Nobel Prize winner’s novel Captain Pantoja and the Special Service will be adapted by TelevisaUnivision as an exclusive Spanish-language series for its premium streaming service Vix+.
The series, to be produced by Patricio Wills’ W Studios, will feature a modern take on this story about a captain who leads a secret mission for the army to recruit women who use their feminine wiles to motivate the soldiers.
“As we build a brand that will be a beacon for Latin cultures, we are congregating the Spanish-language creative community under one roof to elevate Hispanic storytelling and celebrate our unique and diverse stories,” Rodrigo Mazón, EVP and general manager of Vix+, said in a statement. “We are proud to work with notable writers such as Mario Vargas Llosa to continue together developing the most prolific Spanish-language streaming service.”
This is Vix+’s second adaptation of a book by the internationally acclaimed Peruvian author. Vargas Llosa’s Travesuras de la Niña Mala is currently also in development.
The premium SVOD service is slated to launch in the second half of 2022; a free AVOD product will be available in the U.S., Mexico, and other Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America on March 31.
Camila Cabello is urging the U.S. Congress to support President Joe Biden’s climate change plan…
While Democratic leadership tries to unite its progressive and moderate wings, a group of 80-plus artists, celebrities and activists, including the 24-year-old Cuban/Mexican singer, are calling on the leaders of Google, Disney, Amazon, Fox, Facebook to join them in urging Congress to support Biden’s Build Back Better plan.
In addition to Cabello, signatories to the group letter included J.J. Abrams, Greg Berlanti, Cate Blanchett, Jack Antonoff, Don Cheadle, Ellen DeGeneres, Selena Gomez, Shakira, Chris Evans, Jimmy Kimmel, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Chuck Lorre, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sean Penn, Joaquin Phoenix, Billy Porter, Robert Redford, Ryan Reynolds, Shakira, Barbra Streisand, Wes Studi, Justin Timberlake, Kerry Washington and many more.
On Monday, a group of 17 Nobel Prize-winning economists also came out in support of Biden’s plan.
Manish Bapna, President and CEO of the NRDC Action Fund said, “These are the tastemakers of our time—and in moments like these they have an opportunity to be the changemakers, too. What started as an idea by Camila Cabello has exploded into a clarion call from entertainers overnight to take action. Congress holds in its hands our best chance at combating our biggest environmental challenge yet. We need all hands on deck to make sure they seize it, and these industry leaders can play a critical role in making sure that they do.”
In today’s initiative, the artists call out the following execs by name: Lincoln Benet at Access Industries (Warner Music Group), Sundar Pichai at Alphabet (Google, YouTube), Andy Jassy at Amazon, Tim Cook at Apple, John Stankey at AT&T (WarnerMedia), Brian Roberts at Comcast, David Zaslav at Discovery (and soon Warner Bros. Discovery), Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook, Lachlan Murdoch at Fox, Reed Hastings at Netflix, Kenichiro Yoshida at Sony, Robert Bakish at ViacomCBS, Arnaud de Puyfontaine at Vivendi (Universal Music Group) and Bob Chapek at Walt Disney.
“It’s no secret that climate change is here and is already affecting people’s lives across the globe,” wrote Cabello in her post on Instagram about the effort. “We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to act boldly to fight the climate crisis, so I am honored to join over 60 fellow artists to call on leaders of the entertainment industry to use their power and demand that Congress pass @potus’s #BuildBackBetter agenda this fall.”
Here’s the full text of the letter and a list of its signatories:
Dear Entertainment Industry Executives:
Climate change has arrived on our doorstep: California is on fire, record-breaking and deadly storms are flooding New York City, hurricanes are devastating the Gulf. This summer alone, nearly one in every three people in the United States experienced an extreme weather event.
Scientists warn that if we fail to act now, every single one of us will feel the impacts, a billion people will be displaced, and low-income people and communities of color will continue to be hit first and worst. Right now, we have a critical window of opportunity to do something about it. And we need all hands on deck to demand that our leaders protect the people we love and the places they live before it’s too late.
Congress has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in a clean, just, and equitable future for all by passing the robust climate action that President Biden called for in his Build Back Better agenda. This legislation will create healthier communities, put millions to work in clean energy jobs, and free us from the fossil fuels that are driving climate change.
As the top leaders of the entertainment industry—one of the nation’s most powerful and influential business sectors—you are needed to lead our community’s call for action and embrace this vision for a better world. The entertainment community has a long, proud tradition of driving societal change. Our industry is already leading the charge toward more sustainable practices within our own businesses and productions. Now is the time to use your influence to shape our future.
Congress needs to hear you demand, unequivocally, that it put forward and pass the most ambitious climate change agenda in U.S. history.
The plan currently before Congress will protect people’s health and clean up our drinking water. It will create a just transition away from dirty fossil fuels and create millions of new jobs. It will protect communities from climate change through investments in clean energy, clean transportation, and infrastructure upgrades. And it will make sure we finally prioritize and invest in the low-income communities and communities of color that are hit hardest by both fossil fuel pollution and climate impacts.
This plan will create a stronger, brighter, and more just America—and we need you to help make this vision a reality.
At this pivotal moment, please lead the call. Demand publicly and loudly that our senators and representatives in Congress pass this critical legislation.
And we pledge to do our part as well. We will use our platforms to remind all Americans: Tell your senators and representatives in Congress that you demand climate action now. Advocate for Congress to take up the president’s climate agenda. And don’t stop there. Tweet. Post. E-mail. Call. Whatever it takes.
Dave Burd aka “Lil Dicky”
There’s a little rest (stop) for Celia Cruz’s biggest fans…
The late Cuban musician, who died in 2003 in her Fort Lee, New Jersey home at the age of 77, is one of several of New Jersey’s most iconic figures getting their names on a Garden State Parkway rest stops.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority approved naming nine Parkway service areas after luminaries, including Cruz, one of the most popular Latin artists of the 20th century.
Others getting their name on a rest stop include groundbreaking baseball player Larry Doby, rocker Jon Bon Jovi and late actor James Gandolfini.
It’s being done in conjunction with the New Jersey Hall of Fame, which has inducted more than 180 people since 2008 in fields such as science, sports and the arts.
The service areas will contain Hard Rock Cafe-style exhibits and artifacts, and an interactive Wall of Fame featuring a life-sized video monitor showcasing Hall of Fame inductees and their acceptance speeches, according to Gov. Phil Murphy’s office.
Murphy said it’s part of a larger effort to showcase local heroes in a variety of fields at locations around the state, including Battleship New Jersey, the New Jersey Turnpike and Newark Penn Station.
In addition to Cruz, Gandolfini, Doby and Bon Jovi, service areas will be named after broadcast journalist Connie Chung; Grammy-winning singer Whitney Houston; Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison; author Judy Blume; and perhaps New Jersey’s most famous native son, Frank Sinatra.
Pedro Almodóvar is offering his support to the LGBT+ community in Poland.
A wide group of global entertainment figures, including the 70-year-old Oscar-winning Spanish filmmaker, have signed a letter supporting the Polish LGBT+ community in the face of growing controversy in the country.
On Tuesday, the government stepped in to support the Polish town of Tuchow, which recently lost financial support from the European Union after it set up a ‘LGBT-free’ zone. The authorities said they were “supporting a municipality that has a pro-family agenda”; the decision has provoked angry responses around the world. On August 8, authorities detained 48 people at a reportedly peaceful pro-LGBT+ protest.
The responses now include an open letter signed by a cross-section of notable figures from film, literature and further afield, including the Almodóvar and Luca Guadagnino, the Nobel Prize-winning author Olga Tokarczuk, The Handmaid’s Talewriter Margaret Atwood, and Polish filmmakers Agnieszka Hollandand Jan Komasa.
The letter, published on the website wyborcza.pl, states that homophobia in Poland is growing because of the incumbent socially conservative government, which it claims is using LGBT+ groups as a “scapegoat”. The letter is addressed to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and calls on the organization to step in and “defend core European values” of “equality, non-discrimination, respect for minorities” which it says are being “blatantly violated in Poland”.
Here’s the full letter:
Dear Dr. von der Leyen:
We, the undersigned, express our outrage at repressions directed against the LGBT+ community in Poland. We speak out in solidarity with activists and their allies, who are being detained, brutalized, and intimidated. We voice our grave concern about the future of democracy in Poland, a country with an admirable history of resistance to totalitarianism and struggle for freedom.
On Friday, 7 August 2020, 48 persons were arrested in Warsaw – in some cases quite brutally – and detained on the grounds that they had participated in a violent illegal gathering. In fact, they were engaged in a peaceful protest in solidarity with an LGBT+ activist named Margot, who had been arrested for damaging a homophobic campaigner’s van. Her group had also placed rainbow flags over statues, including a statue of Christ. These actions were neither “hooliganism” nor “provocations,” as Poland’s government-run media insist, but rather desperate acts of resistance against degrading homophobic hate speech. The van is one of many similar vehicles parading outrageous claims around the cities of Poland: equating homosexuality with pedophilia, and asserting that gays are the source of diseases and a threat to children. Efforts to stop this well-funded hate campaign by legal means had led to nothing.
The broader context is the persistent use of anti-LGBT+ rhetoric by Polish politicians and media, attacks against “LGBT ideology” in the recent presidential campaign, preceded by the emergence in many municipalities and districts of “zones free of LGBT ideology,” allegedly defending the safety of families and children, and last year’s violent attacks against Equality March in Białystok. Homophobic aggression in Poland is growing because it is condoned by the ruling party, which has chosen sexual minorities as a scapegoat with no regard for the safety and well-being of citizens. Margot is, in fact, a political prisoner, held captive for her refusal to accept indignity.
We call on the Polish government to stop targeting sexual minorities, to stop supporting organizations that spread homophobia and to hold accountable those who are responsible for unlawful and violent arrests of August 7, 2020.
We call on the European Commission to take immediate steps to defend core European values – equality, non-discrimination, respect for minorities – which are being blatantly violated in Poland. LGBT+ rights are human rights and must be defended as such.
Naja Marie Aidt, writer, Danish language Pedro Almodóvar, film director, Spain Jakuta Alikavazovic, writer, France Margaret Atwood, writer, Canada Paul Auster, writer, USA John Banville, writer, Ireland Sebastian Barry, writer, Ireland Judith Butler, philosopher, USA Sophie Calle, writer and artist, France John Maxwell Coetzee, writer, South Africa Isabel Coixet, director, Spain Stephen Daldry, director, UK Jean-Baptiste Del Amo, writer, France Lucas Dhont, director, Belgium Marion Döring, director of European Film Academy Cynthia Enloe, political scientist, USA Anne Enright, writer, Ireland Ildiko Enyedi, director, Hungary Richard Flanagan, writer, Australia Barbara Frey, theatre and opera director, Switzerland/Austria Timothy Garton Ash, historian, UK Agnieszka Graff, americanist, Poland Luca Guadagnino, director, Italy Miron Hackenbeck, dramaturg, Germany Ed Harris, actor, director USA Aleksander Hemon, writer, Bosnia/USA Agnieszka Holland, director, Poland Siri Hustvedt, writer, USA Isabelle Huppert, actress, France Aki Kaurismäki, director, Finland Padraic Kenney, historian, USA Jan Komasa, director, Poland Ivan Krastev, political scientist, Bulgaria Jan Kubik, political scientist, UK Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, choreographer, Belgium Yorgos Lanthimos, director, Greece Andrzej Leder, philosopher, Poland Jacek Leociak, historian, Poland Jonathan Littell, writer, France Mike Leigh, director, UK Deborah Levi, writer, UK Edouard Louis, writer, France Sergei Loznitsa, director, Germany/Ukraine Valeria Luiselli, writer, USA Dorota Masłowska, writer, Poland Hisham Matar, writer, USA Ulrich Matthes, actor, Germany Ian McEwan, writer, UK Lina Meruane, writer, Chile Teona Mitevska, director, North Macedonia Chantal Mouffe, philosopher, Belgium James Norton, actor, UK Claus Offe, sociologist, Germany Paweł Pawlikowski, director, Poland Richard Powers, writer, USA Axel Ranisch, filmmaker and opera director, Germany Keith Ridgway, writer, Ireland Philippe Sands, lawyer and writer, UK Volker Schlöndorff, director, Germany Marci Shore, historian, USA Stellan Skarsgaard, actor, Sweden Leila Slimani, writer, France Timothy Snyder, historian, USA Johanna ter Steege, actress, the Netherlands Dariusz Stola, historian, Poland Małgorzata Szczęśniak, stage designer, Poland Małgorzata Szumowska, director, Poland Colm Toibin, writer, Ireland Olga Tokarczuk, writer, Poland Alia Trabucco Zerán, writer, Chile Fien Troch, director, Belgium Jan Vandenhouwe, artistic director and opera dramaturg, Belgium Krzysztof Warlikowski, theater director, Poland/France Beau Willimon, playwright, screenwriter, USA Adam Zagajewski, poet, Poland Slavoj Žižek, philosopher, Slovenia
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.
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.
Ciro Guerra isn’t Waiting for his Hollywood crossover…
The 35-year-old Colombian film director and screenwriter is partnering with actor Mark Rylance and producer Michael Fitzgerald to adapt J.M. Coetzee’s award-winning book Waiting For The Barbariansfor the big screen.
Coetzee, a Nobel Prize winner for literature, adapted the novel, which the Nobel Prize committee called “a political thriller in the tradition of Joseph Conrad, in which the idealist’s naiveté opens the gates to horror.”
Waiting For The Barbarians, which first was published in 1980 and quickly amassed honors, follows a magistrate (to be played by the Oscar-winning Rylance) of a far-flung border outpost as the reckless behavior of the “Empire” he serves threatens to trigger a Barbarian invasion. He begins to question imperialism when he saves a young ‘barbarian’ (one of the indigenous people in the country) and realizes that all is not what it appears to be. After mounting a harrowing escape, he is arrested by his own people and thrown in jail only to escape and eventually become an inspiration and leader to others.
The book, which is considered Coetzee’s master work, won both the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize for fiction. It has been brought to the stage before (Phillip Glass composed a two-act opera for it) but never to the big screen. Coetzee, who is South African but lives in Australia, is one of the most respected authors of this century.
Fitzgerald is the one who pulled the prestigious project together with Rylance and Guerra.
Guerra is currently in pre-production on Birds of Passagewhich is in pre-production to shoot in the deserts of Colombia in January. The film is the follow-up to his award-winning film Embrace of the Serpent.
Pedro Almodóvar is beloved in France… And he has the prize to prove it!
The 65-year-old Spanish filmmaker has received the country’s Prix Lumiere for his lifetime filmmaking career.
Almodóvar was overcome by emotion during the tribute ceremony over the weekend, which was attended by members of the French film industry, as well as some of the actresses closest to him like Marisa Paredes, Rossy de Palma and Elena Anaya.
The ceremony ended with the 3,000 attendees packed into the Lyon Congress Center showing their devotion to the director, and at one point singing and dancing to “Resistire” by the Duo Dinamico.
Almodóvar closed the night’s moving festivities, which went on for more than two and a half hours, with a speech that, he said, he had prepared as if it were for a Nobel Prize and which he dedicated entirely to his mother.
Almodóvar, known for such films as Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, All About My Mother and Talk to Her, said that his use of “explosive and saturated” colors is his act of revenge for the more than 30 years his mother spent in the “imposed” black of mourning.
Among the film icons who came to honor him were Isabella Rossellini, Paolo Sorrentino, Berenice Bejo and Keanu Reeves.
French actress Juliette Binoche presented him with the prize while shouting “Merci!” which recalled Penelope Cruz’s famous cry of “Peeeedro!” when she announced that the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film went to All About My Mother in 2000.
The prize offered by the Lumiere Institute has paid tribute every year since 2009 to an international film personality. Previous recipients include Clint Eastwood, Milos Forman, Gerard Depardieu, Ken Loach and Quentin Tarantino.
The next day, on Saturday, Almodovar announced that he has begun pre-production for his next film and that on Monday he will begin finding locations for the shoot, but specified it will take place “in various points around Spain’s geography, as well as in Madrid.”
“About the rest, the actors and other details, we’ll have time to talk about that in the coming months,” Almodovar said, after confessing that his visit to the Lumiere Festival has been a “delightful pause” in his new moviemaking project.
Gabriel García Márquez is being immortalized with a bronze statue in his native homeland…
Bogota City Hall will pay tribute to the country’s 1982 Nobel Literature laureate with a statue representing him as a young journalist erected in the gardens of Lievano Palace.
The Bogota Culture, Recreation and Sports Secretariat announced on its Web page the inauguration of the life-size statue of the 86-year-old Colombian novelist, screenwriter and journalist, fashioned in bronze according to the lost wax method by artist Julia Merizalde.
Merizalde won a district program to stimulate artistic production, a recognition that allowed her to design, fund and install the work of art in the gardens of the Lievano Palace, the seat of the Bogota City Hall, in a location it will share with the sculpture Cascade by Edgar Negret and El Quinde de la Paz by Ecuador’s Nixon Cordova.
Wearing a shirt, his unmistakable bushy mustache and glasses, Garcia Marquez’s image shows him as just another passerby in the garden of the city hall.
García Márquez, born in the Caribbean town of Aracataca, left his home region at a young age and came to Bogota to study law at the Universidad Nacional, although he soon dropped out to become part of the city’s intellectual life and work for the daily El Espectador.
The Culture, Recreation and Sports Secretariat is coordinating two-hour tours of the Lievano Palace in both the morning and afternoon so the public can see the statue, among other sites.
Known affectionately as Gabo throughout Latin America, García Márquez is the mastermind behind Love in the Time of Cholera, One Hundred Years of Solitude and Autumn of the Patriarch, among others.
Mario Molina has earned a major presidential honor…
The 70-year-old Mexican chemist and environmental scientist has been named a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Molina, the first Mexican-born citizen to ever receive a Nobel Prize in chemistry, joins a list of 16 individuals that includes jazz musician Arturo Sandoval, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, veteran Washington Post journalist Ben Bradlee, former President Bill Clinton and country singer Loretta Lynn.
The award established 50 years ago by President John F. Kennedy is the country’s highest civilian honor given to Americans who’ve made contributions “to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
Molina, one of the most prominent precursors to the discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole, has received several awards and honors throughout his career, sharing the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry with Paul J. Crutzen for their discovery of the role of chlorofluorocarbon gases (CFCs) in ozone depletion.
Molina had been assigned by President Barack Obama to form part of the transition team on environmental issues.
He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Science.
This year’s other honorees include: baseball player Ernie Banks, Senator Daniel Inouye (posthumous), Nobel Prize-winning scholar Daniel Kahneman, Senator Richard Lugar, astronaut Sally Ride (posthumous), civil rights activist Bayard Rustin (posthumous), ex-UNC basketball coach Dean Smith, Gloria Steinem, civil rights leader Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian, and Judge Patricia Wald.
“The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours,” said President Obama. “This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world. It will be my honor to present them with a token of our nation’s gratitude.”