adaptations

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BLINDNESS Still Coming to Cannes?

After posting the announcement about the Cannes Film Festival line-up the other day, there has been some speculation among Chlotrudis members about the absence of Fernando Meirelles' BLINDNESS. There's been a lot of talk about BLINDNESS on Mewsings (here, here and here), largely because of Chlotrudis Advisory Board member Don McKellar adapting the screenplay from Jose Saramago's novel, and the general thought was that it would premiere at Cannes. Then the line-up was announced, and no BLINDNESS! While we would love to see the film premiere at Toronto in September (mainly because many of us would be there) we were left wondering why it wasn't at Cannes.

Well apparently others were wondering the same thing, and the Hollywood Reporter has a piece about that very subject. Basically, they suggest that there are still announcements to be made about the Cannes line-up, and any speculation on there absence of BLINDNESS are still premature. So while it would be great for us to see the premiere of BLINDNESS at TIFF, it would be pretty cool for both McKellar and Egoyan to strut the red carpet at Cannes.

Take a look at the trailer for BLINDNESS

So a lot has already been said here and here about BLINDNESS, the new film due out this year by Fernando Meirelles, adapted from a Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Jose Saramago. Lots of people are looking forward to Meirelles' follow-up to CITY OF GOD. Others are excited about Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, or Gael Garcia Bernal, three of the more well-known cast members. Of course, Chlotrudis is all over BLINDNESS because it was adapted for the screen by our pal, and Chlotrudis Advisory Board member, Don McKellar, who also appears in the film, as does our other Canadian pal, Tracy Wright!(And to sweeten the Chlotrudis punch just that much more, it also features appearances by Sandra Oh, Maury Chaykin, Martha Burns (form "Slings & Arrows"), AFTER LIFE's Yusuke Iseya, Susan Coyne (also from "Slings & Arrows"), and Chlotrudis Award winner Nadia Litz! What more could you possibly ask for?

How about a creepy trailer? While you're vibrating with anticipation about everything I just told you, take a peek at the trailer for this film which is due to open this fall in the U.S. Originally we had thought the film would premiere at Cannes (and it still might) but it sure looks like they're setting it up for Toronto as well. Whooee! Wouldn't that be fun?

Can't Get Enough of That Page!

Okay, so Ellen Page seems to get an inordinate amount of attention on Mewsings, but after all, Chlotrudis did kind of discover her back in 2005 awarding her with a Beakthrough Award... and the rest is history. Besides, she's just so good! Case in point: the other day I blogged about a film at Sundance called SMART PEOPLE, starring Dennis Quaid, Ellen Page, Thomas Haden Church and Sarah Jessica Parker. This will probably be Ellen's next film to hit the big screen (unless U.S. distribution wises up and picks up on THE TRACEY FRAGMENTS... or better yet, it plays at the Independent Film Festival of Boston) and I've gotta say, judging by this clip Miramax has released, Ellen's in fine form as usual, and the rest of the film looks pretty good as well. It's director Noam Murro's first feature, but I'm excited about his next project, an adaptation of Alice Munro's Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, with Julianne Moore in talks to star.

A couple more words (and you know they're not the last) on BLINDNESS

So filming on Fernando Meirelles' BLINDNESS continues in Uruguay and Brazil next week. We got the inside scoop from Don McKellar (who adapted the screenplay) last week in Toronto. As you probably know from reading this earlier blog post (or this one), I'm very excited about BLINDNESS, having read the book, and loving the terrific international (and fairly heavily Canadian) cast. BLINDNESS became even more of a can't wait for me last week when I found out from Tracy Wright (pictured left) that she is scheduled scheduled to appear in the film as originally reported, despite not appearing on the Internet Movie Database's cast list. What's more (and I hope this isn't a trade secret) but Tracy is going to appear as a blonde! That's right... she decided she wants to bleach her hair for the role! I. Can't. Wait.

So anyway, Fernando Meirelles has a blog and he's talking about the shooting of BLINDNESS. Unfortunatley, it's all in Portuguese. Fortunately, Twitch has posted Fernando's latest post translated into English! Fernando talks about how Sandra Oh (yep, another great Canadian) got involved in the production. Go read it!

And could someone please add Tracy Wright to the cast list on imdb?

BLINDNESS Gets Even More Intriguing

Mewsings reported earlier about BLINDNESS, the currently-in-production feature directed by Fernando Meirelles (CITY OF GOD), and adapted from José Saramago's award-winning novel by our Chlotrudis-buddy Don McKellar. I'm currently reading the novel, and it's going to be pretty intense when they bring this to the big screen. Blindness tells the story of an unnamed city whose inhabitants start to go inexplicably blind. Julianne Moore has the leading role, and as reported before, Mark Ruffalo has stepped in to replace Daniel Craig in the male lead.

BLINDNESS is currently shooting in Guelph, Ontario, and a quick check of the Internet Movie Database reveals a pretty compelling, international, supporting cast. In addition to Moore and Ruffalo, there are a couple more names from the movie biz including Danny Glover, and Gael Garcia Bernal, who was last seen in the Chlotrudis-nominated leading role in THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP. I was also pleased to see another past-Chlotrudis honoree getting a role; Canadian mainstay Maury Chaykin. Don McKellar gets a brief but pivotal role as "The Thief." Fans of Hirozaku Koreeda will be pleased to see Yusuke Iseya, one of the leads from his beloved AFTER LIFE in the role of the "first blind man." Finally, for fans of the Canadian television dramedy "Slings & Arrows" (and there are a handful of you out there) two delightfully talented actresses from that show, Martha Burns and Susan Coyne also have roles.

The one name I didn't see in the credits who we were hoping would be involved is Chlotrudis honoree Tracy Wright. Hopefully there is something bigger and better in her future.

Mark Ruffalo Replaces Daniel Craig in BLINDNESS

A few weeks ago, new James Bond Daniel Craig pulled out of BLINDNESS, Don McKellar's adaptation of the award-winning novel by Jose Saramago. The film, directed by Fernando Meirelles (CITY OF GOD), about a doctor's wife, played by Julianne Moore, who becomes the only person with the ability to see in a town where everyone is struck with a mysterious case of sudden blindness. Now it has been announced that Mark Ruffalo will step in to replace Craig, and despite the fact that he seems a little young for the role, it's an interesting choice for a film of this caliber. In addition to adapting the screenplay, Chlotrudis-pal McKellar also has a role in the film, as does our other pal Tracy Wright. This one's sure to be a Chlotrudis crowd-pleaser when it is released in 2008.

I'd also like to point out that Chlotrudis members are not the only people who appreciate the talented Mr. Don McKellar. After originally writing this post, I found this post at The Reeler. It's entitled "Six Degrees of Don McKellar," although author Michelle Orange does lose points with me for calling Don "unfriendly."

Cormac McCarthy's The Road coming to the big screen

Variety reports that Cormac McCarthy's chilling, post-apocalyptic tale, The Road will be adapted for the big screen by screenwriter Joe Penhall (who penned the movie version of Ian McEwan's Enduring Love to mixed results. Australian director Joe Hillcoat, who recently helmed multiple Chlotrudis-nominee THE PROPOSITION, will direct. That's going to be one chilling movie... I just hope they don't go the full-out zombie route. The terror of McCarthy's book comes largely from the isolation surrounding the main characters, and the potential danger of discovery. It might be difficult to successfully translate to the big screen. I can see it working in Hillcoat's hands as long as he mixes in a little restraint. It's really a character piece and a road movie; I'd hate to see it turned into a horror flick. We'll see.