SORRY FOR OUR RECENT ABSENCE.
ALMOST EVERYTHING IS STILL ACCESSIBLE WHILE WE ARE UNDERGOING RECONSTRUCTION.
Felicity Jones, who we all cherish from Rogue One (the finest Star Wars spin-off) is producing a “family drama series” called, simply, One. As in Formula 1, you see. The project puts her in production bed with two Hollywood heavyweights: Tony To, one of Spielberg’s Band of Brothers co-producers, and True Detective exec producer Dan Sackheim. Plus she has won a co-prod deal with Formula 1, itself: ”The high stakes world of F1 continually delivers edge-of-your-seat drama,” she comments, ”and to have the opportunity to create a show based in this world is a thrilling prospect.” Succession on Wheels? It could even end up with walk-ons from the latest guys in the Grand Prix pits, the new motor sport investors Ryan Reynolds and Michael B Jordan.
Felicity Rose Hadley Jones is always working. She has knocked off 42 screen roles in 27 years, working with George Clooney, Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes (twice) Tom Hanks, Anthony Hopkins, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy (three times) Eddie Redmayne (twice, including her Oscar nod for The Theory of Everything). She was a dying mother in A Monster Calls, totally improvised her way through her amazing Like Crazy and shared a Last Letter from Your Lover with Joe Alwyn. Plus, of course, her superb work in On the Basis of Sex, the biopic (inherited from Natalie Portman) about US Supreme Court judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg... Jones spent the Spring shooting The Brutalist in Budapest and Tuscany (with Alwyn again). Well, few actors are content with just a single movie with Felicity. She is, after all, the finest British screen actress we have. Sorry about that, Olivia Colman.
(I’ve just done the impossible. Two paragraphs on Felicity without mention of, oh here you go, Emma Grundy and The Archers…!)
Now this is better… A Barbarella re-make is bejng promised. Yes, OK, based on a French comic book. (Although it was more oggled than read as it was based on Brigitte Bardot). Various new versions were announced since 1967 when Jane Fonda played the curvaceous outer space outlaw because Bardot and Virna Lisa fled, Sophia Loren was pregnant and Raquel Welch was Myra Breckenridge. Fonda’s husband (and Bardot’s ex) Roger Vadim directed. After the divorce, he attempted a cheekily named sequel, Barbarella Goes Down, with Drew Barrymore or Sherilyn Fenn. Later, Robert Rodriguez tried with Rose McGowan.
Now Sydney Sweeny (super savvy) has done (without realising it) what another actor-producer, Margot Robbie, was doing with Ms Pink – getting a major studio keen on a blonde heroine with box-office potential. For the moment, the rest is silence. First, Syd (the minx from the first White Lotus and Euphoria) is making two other Sony projects – Madame Webb and The Registration. If they fail, she’s toast. Which would be a great shame, although I must admit to seeing her as more of a new Candy than Barbarella.
What? Oh sure, this Barb has a Ken, too. A tall, blind angel called Pygar. With huge wings. As white as his hair. And his loin-cloth.
CINEMA ON STAGE
Jaws is in the theatre? Well, almost. Except in the Ian Shaw-Joseph Nixon play – born in Brighton in 2019 and finally hitting Broadway – The Shark Is Broken… But then the mechanical beast, famously nicknamed Bruce, was always busting its guts – and making the film’s three stars extremely tetchy, waiting for the damn thing to function again. As Deadline critic Greg Evans put it, the trio spent their downtime drinking (Robert Shaw), snorting (Richard Dreyfus) and coming quietly unglued (Roy Scheider). Ian Shaw plays his dad (and has done ever since 2019) and Colin Donnell is such an amazing Scheider clone you’d actually think his ghost was on-stage.
There’s a new Marilyn – in the Bungalow 21 play in Paris. It might become a movie, possibly directed by Roman Polanski – as his wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, is playing Marilyn Monroe, opposite her sister, Mathilde, as Simone Signoret. In 1960, these fine ladies and their husbands (Arthur Miller and Yves Montand), lived in adjacent bungalows at the Beverly Hills Hotel while Monroe and Montand shot Let’s Make Love… and took the title way too literally. We never heard about this affair in the UK at the time but it remains the #1 love story in Paris showbiz history. Although love had very little to do with it.
REFUSED, LOST or TURNED DOWN
Keanu Reeves refused 40 films: Batman, Superman, Jack Reacher, etc. Preferring John Wick.
She lost Baby Doll, Can-Can, Freud, Harlow. So what! She was s