Keanu Reeves In Talks, Isla Fisher Negotiating For Dome Karukoski’s ‘The Starling’
Dylan Sellers and PalmStar Media’s Kevin Frakes are pulling together a dramedy entitled The Starling which is a decided turn for actor Keanu Reeves who is coming off the $125M+ (and climbing) worldwide box office actioner John Wick 2. Reeves is in talks and Isla Fisher is in final negotiations to star in the feature film that will be directed by Dome Karukoski (Tom of Finland). The script, which is just a superb allegory written by Matt Harris, was once on the Black List of best, unproduced scripts.
The logline: A married couple lose a child and the wife goes into a recovery place to help her with overwhelming grief, leaving the husband at home alone. To help aid in her recovery, the husband decides to build a beautiful garden for his wife in their backyard, but as he does he is tormented by an aggressive, black starling. At his wits end with the relentless nature of the bird, he goes to see a veterinarian to find out if there is a humane way to get rid of it. The vet, the husband finds out, used to be a psychiatrist but gave it up to help animals instead. However, the quirky vet begins counseling the husband in a turn that neither of them really expected.
The theme of the story is how love can carry you through grief.
The Finnish director Karukoski is an award-winning filmmaker who has worked both in film and TV and he is currently receiving critical praise in Scandinavia for Tom of Finland. He also directed Heart of a Lion, a film about a Neo-Nazi who falls in love with a woman who turns out to have a biracial child. That film from 2013 put him on the map around Hollywood as a director to watch.
The Starling is being produced by PalmStar’s Frakes and Sellers who both have relationships with Reeves. Frakes has worked with the actor on multiple films including the John Wick series while Sellers has a history with Reeves on Chain Reaction and The Replacements. Also producing is Buddy Patrick of Windy Hill Films (John Wick 2, The Alchemist) and Michael Bederman (Spotlight, Collateral Beauty). An early June start date is being planned.
Fisher’s previous credits include Tom Ford’s gritty Nocturnal Animals, the comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses and Arrested Development.
Sellers is the former president of TWC who oversaw such gems as St. Vincent and Southpaw. He launched his River Edge Films and formed a strategic partnership with the finance/production company PalmStar about two years ago. PalmStar, Sellers and Patrick are all together on The Alchemist.
This is not the first time that PalmStar has tackled this subject matter — it also produced and financed Collateral Beauty (with the aforementioned Bederman) which starred Will Smith as a father dealing with the death of a child. PalmStar also is in the midst of production on Catcher Was a Spy with Paul Rudd, Paul Giamatti, Jeff Daniels and Guy Pearce.
Reeves, who also has the romantic-thriller Siberia directed by Matthew Ross on his plate, is repped by WME and attorney Melanie Cook. Fisher is repped by UTA, Shanahan Management and attorney Warren Dern. Karukoski is repped by ICM Partners.
Variety and Deadline have more news on the potential sequel to Wedding Crashers that Isla teased us about during her recent appearance on The Today Show:
So What’s The Deal With ‘Wedding Crashers 2’? ‘Fist Fight’ Scribes Evan Susser & Van Robichaux Wrote Script
While Isla Fisher was promoting her turn in the Tom Ford-directed Nocturnal Animals, she let slip in a Today interview that she heard things were moving toward on a sequel to the 2005 hit comedy Wedding Crashers. So what’s really happening?
Insiders say there is reason to be hopeful, even though it’s not near a green light because the stars need to sign off creatively and then make deals that will be pricey. I’m told is a sequel script has just been turned in by Evan Susser & Van Robichaux to New Line, and the plan is for David Dobkin to return as director, along with the original stars Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Fisher and Rachel McAdams. No word on whether they’ll try to bring back Will Ferrell, Bradley Cooper or Christopher Walken, each of whom had memorable moments in the first film. Andrew Panay is returning as producer.
New Line sparked to the writing team Susser & Robichaux after they scripted the upcoming Ice Cube-Charlie Day starrer Fist Fight, which the studio releases February 17. The writers competed for the open writing assignment, and their pitch for the sequel won them the job. The original grossed $285 million worldwide on a $40 million budget.
The scribes are repped by UTA and Fourth Wall Management.
Unclear as to whether Isla will reprise her role in this 3rd film yet – we’ll keep you posted….
‘Now You See Me 3? in the Works at Lionsgate
Lionsgate has begun developing “Now You See Me 3,” a year before it releases “Now You See Me 2? on June 10, 2016, as part of its strategy to focus on franchises.
CEO Jon Feltheimer made the disclosure Friday during the company’s conference call with analysts to discuss quarterly earnings. “We’ve already begun early planning for ‘Now You See Me 3,’” he said.
Feltheimer said production has wrapped on “Now You See Me 2.” Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine are reprising their roles while Lizzy Caplan has replaced Isla Fisher.
Feltheimer said Lionsgate believes that the movie will top the $350 million grossed by the original comedy caper in 2013.
Jon M. Chu is directing the sequel from a script by Ed Solomon and Pete Chiarelli. Producers are Alex Kurtzman and Bobby Cohen.
Lionsgate has seen strong performances from its “Twilight,” “Hunger Games” and “Divergent” franchises and recently announced the plans for a sequel to Keanu Reeves’ “John Wick.”
Last year Isla guest starred in the resurrected Arrested Development – the show is now set to continue next year, and we’ll keep you updated as to whether Isla will continue her involvement …
More ‘Arrested Development’ Coming to Netflix in Mid-2016, Says Producer Brian Grazer
Production will start early next year, he told the “Adam Carolla Show” Tuesday
There will definitely be more “Arrested Development,” and sooner rather than later, according to Brian Grazer.
The super-producer shared the news on Tuesday’s “Adam Carolla Show” podcast. Grazer said he spoke with Fox Studios on Monday, and everyone is on board. As a matter of fact, Grazer told Carolla that he broke the news to Mitch Hurwitz from the popular podcast’s greenroom.
“Netflix is determined to do more episodes, so we’re going to do more episodes,” he told Carolla. Production is slated to begin after Jan. 1.
Fans can expect new episodes “four months after that,” Grazer added.
The producer previously revealed that 17 episodes were in the works for the show that Netflix revived in 2013.
“Arrested Development” originally ran for three seasons on Fox from 2003-06.
Carolla tends to record his podcasts the evening before they post.
– The Wrap
Back in May it was reported that Isla had joined the cast of Aussie film The Dressmaker. Inside Film now report that she has had to drop out of the film, and will be replaced by Sarah Snook:
The Dressmaker rolls
Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth and Hugo Weaving star in The Dressmaker, a tale of love, revenge and haute couture now shooting at Docklands Studios.
The ensemble cast includes Caroline Goodall, Shane Bourne, Kerry Fox, Rebecca Gibney, Sacha Horler, Shane Jacobson, Alison Whyte, Genevieve Lemon and Sarah Snook.
There have been two changes in the cast since it was first anounced in Cannes. Elizabeth Debicki dropped out to play the lead in the Foxtel drama The Kettering Incident, replaced by Sacha Horler. And Isla Fisher dropped out and Sarah Snook took her role.
CANNES: Liam Hemsworth Joins Kate Winslet on ‘The Dressmaker’
Liam Hemsworth (“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”), Isla Fisher (“The Great Gatsby”) and Elizabeth Debicki (“The Great Gatsby”) are set to join Kate Winslet and Judy Davis (“Husbands & Wives”) in Jocelyn Moorhouse’s “The Dressmaker.”
Embankment is selling international territories and co-represents the U.S. with CAA.
Principal photography starts in Australia in October.
Winslet plays an avenging angel who returns home to the remote country town from which she fled as a child after being accused of murder, to make amends with her eccentric mother. Although ostracized, as an exponent of the most stunning 1950s haute couture inspired by Madame Vionnet and Balenciaga, she liberates and empowers the town’s women with her quick wit and beautiful clothing. She unexpectedly finds love and ultimately exacts sweet revenge on those who wronged her.
Moorhouse (“Proof,” “How to Make an American Quilt”), who directs her script adaptation of the eponymous novel by Rosalie Ham, said: “Kate Winslet is perfect for Tilly. She’s beautiful, intelligent, and deeply mysterious on screen. Judy Davis is amongst the great contemporary actresses and she will bring powerful wit and charm to the role of Molly. Liam Hemsworth is a laid back, genuine charmer who’s also tall, dark and movie-star handsome. He’ll create a character for the audience to fall in love with.”
Working with Moorhouse will be director of photography Don McAlpine (“Moulin Rouge!”), costume designer Tim Chappel (“The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”), production designer Roger Ford (“Chronicles of Narnia”) and editor Jill Bilcock (“Moulin Rouge!”).
“The Dressmaker” is produced by Sue Maslin (“Japanese Story”) through Film Art Media, and the film has been financed with the assistance of Screen Australia, Fulcrum Media Finance, White Hot Productions, Film Victoria, Soundfirm and developed with the assistance of Screen NSW.
The film is also financed by Ingenious Senior Film Fund, represented by Gavin Poolman and Michael Shyjka, and will be distributed by Universal Pictures in its home territory.
The Hollywood Reporter report that Isla is being considered for a role in upcoming comedy-drama This Is Where I Leave You, alongside Tina Fey and Jason Bateman:
Tina Fey Joining Jason Bateman in ‘This Is Where I Leave You’
Tina Fey continues to shape her post-30 Rock acting slate, entering negotiations to star alongside Jason Bateman in This Is Where I Leave You, Warner Bros.’ adaptation of the book by Jonathan Tropper.
Shawn Levy is directing the movie and producing along with Paula Weinstein.
Tropper wrote the script, which centers on a man (Bateman) whose father dies and tasks his dysfunctional family comprised of four grown siblings with one last request: to spend seven days following the funeral together under the same roof for first time in a decade.
If a deal comes together, Fey will play Bateman’s older sister, a woman who is married and whose first love now has brain damage.
The project, which is eyeing a production start in June in New York, also is casting other female roles: Bateman read actresses Ari Graynor, Isla Fisher, Zoe Saldana and Mary Elizabeth Winstead for the part of the romantic lead, but no decision has been made. Kathryn Hahn is looking likely to play Bateman’s sister-in-law.
Fey is expected to segue into the role after she wraps shooting a leading role in Disney’s The Muppets…Again!, the sequel to The Muppets, which is currently shooting in Europe.
Fey is repped by WME, 3 Arts Entertainment, Ziffren Brittenham.