INDIEWIRE – Scarlett Johansson is taking on a new, less controversial, role. The actress is reportedly set to play the famous novelist Zelda Fitzgerald in the upcoming feature The Beautiful and Damned, according to Tracking Board.

The film, written by Hanna Weg, centers on the tumultuous and overwhelming relationship between Zelda and the Great Gatsby writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. Their doomed love was filled with jealousy and drama, which makes it perfect for the big screen.

Known as “the first American flapper,” Fitzgerald gave her the name “flapper” for her inhabited lifestyle. The novelist gained much inspiration from his wife, using her as material for his books such as Tender is the Night and The Beautiful and The Damned, which is said to draw close to their marriage.

Zelda also took her personal life to the pages, her novel Save Me the Waltz is a semi-autobiographical look at her marriage. She also faced many obstacles during her lifetime and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Always trying to find herself artistically, she ended up being admitted to a sanatorium. At one point, Nick Cassavetes was rumored to direct the film with Keira Knighley attached.

Johansson recently received backlash and was accused of “whitewashing” her role in anime adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, character originally written for a Japanese actress. Currently she can be heard in The Jungle Book and be next seen as Black Widow in Captain America: Civil War.

Labels: The Beautiful and Damned

THE PLAYLIST – The #filmtwitter world is focused on France and the Cannes Film Festival announcement this morning, but there’s much more going on beyond the Croisette. Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures have announced that production has started on “Ghost In The Shell” starring Scarlett Johansson, and they’ve released the inaugural first look image from the movie.

Rupert Sanders (Snow White And the Huntsman) is directing the anime adaption, with lensing taking place in Wellington, New Zealand. Paramount Pictures will release the film in the U.S. on March 31, 2017. Press release details below.

The film, which is based on the famous Kodansha Comics manga series of the same name, written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow, is produced by Avi Arad (THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1 & 2, IRON MAN), Ari Arad (GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE), and Steven Paul (GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE). Michael Costigan (PROMETHEUS), Tetsu Fujimura (TEKKEN), Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, whose animation studio Production I.G produced the Japanese GHOST IN THE SHELL film and television series, and Jeffrey Silver (EDGE OF TOMORROW, 300) will executive produce.

Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, GHOST IN THE SHELL follows the Major, a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.

“We are so pleased to be in Wellington to shoot ‘GHOST IN THE SHELL,’” said producers Avi Arad, Ari Arad, Michael Costigan and Jeffrey Silver. “The city boasts state-of-the-art production facilities and a rich urban landscape that make it an ideal setting for a sci-fi action film. The crew-base in New Zealand working on the film is first class, and working with Sir Richard Taylor and the team at Weta Workshop is inspirational on every level. The people of New Zealand have been terrific partners in helping us bring this story and its beloved characters to audiences around the world and we are thankful for their continued hospitality.”

Labels: Gallery Updates, Ghost in the Shell, Projects

Labels: Captain America: Civil War, Projects

Labels: Captain America: Civil War, Projects

I have updated the gallery with a gorgeous promotional shot of Scarlett alongside her The Jungle Book character, Kaa (in CGI form, of course). You can view the other shots of Lupita Nyong’o, Christopher Walken, Giancarlo Esposito, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba with their on-screen counterparts by clicking here.

Kaa is a massive python who uses her voice and hypnotic gaze to entrance Mowgli. The man-cub can’t resist her captivating embrace. “Kaa seduces and entraps Mowgli with her storytelling,” says Scarlett Johansson. “She’s the mirror into Mowgli’s past. The way she moves is very alluring, almost coquettish.”

Labels: Gallery Updates, Projects, The Jungle Book

I’ve updated the gallery with the latest additions from the upcoming Captain America: Civil War–which is now just two months away from its U.S. theatrical release. I can’t wait to see more!

Labels: Captain America: Civil War, Gallery Updates, Projects

VARIETY – Takeshi ‘Beat’ Kitano has joined the cast of DreamWorks’ “Ghost in the Shell.”

The live action Hollywood film is an adaptation of the iconic Japanese anime film originally directed by Mamoru Oshii.

Kitano will play Daisuke Aramaki, chief of Public Security Section 9 — and boss of the cyborg cop heroine played by Scarlett Johansson.

Directed by Rupert Sanders, the live-action “Ghost in the Shell” has been slated by fans and commentators for its non-Japanese/non-Asian casting choices, so the inclusion of Kitano, well known abroad for his award-winning films and powerful performances, usually as a gangster or cop, may calm, if not still, such criticism.

Kitano is one of Japan’s top directors and one of the country’s best known actors and comedians. He usually performs under the name Beat Takeshi.

The “Ghost” role follow his recent lead performance in the Wayne Wang erotic drama “While the Women Are Sleeping,” which premiered at Berlin and is currently on release in Japan. It also Kitano’s first Hollywood film since playing a gangster in the sci-fi thriller “Johnny Mnemonic” in 1995.

Paramount is set as the global distributor of “Ghost,” following a switch from Disney. Release is set for March 31, 2017.

Labels: Ghost in the Shell, Projects

I’ve updated the gallery with screen captures of Scarlett’s role as Birdy Abundas in The Man Who Wasn’t There, directed by the Coen brothers (Hail, Caesar!). Those who have seen the film will know that Scarlett’s screentime is pretty limited, but her character shares some memorable scenes with Ed Crane, played by Billy Bob Thornton.


Labels: Gallery Updates, Projects, The Man Who Wasn't There
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