Sweeping Culture Daily

SPOTLIGHT: Sweeping Culture Daily

In Five: Cate Blanchett Eyes “Triple Nine,” Changes at La Scala, and More Culture News

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1. Cate Blanchett is in talks, along with Christoph Waltz, to join “Triple Nine,” a police drama directed by John Hillcoat. “Pacific Rim” and “Sons of Anarchy” star Charlie Hunnam is attached to play the lead role, a LAPD officer who is targeted by a group of criminals as a diversion for a big heist they are planning. Blanchett is set to play “the juicy role of a notorious mobster’s Lady Macbeth-esque wife who’s really pulling the strings behind the heist.” Has Blanchett ever played a criminal, or even a villain? This could be great! There’s always been something cold, or dangerous, about her, so this makes sense. Waltz will reportedly play the main character’s uncle. Shia LaBeouf was once attached to the lead role, but has apparently dropped out of the project. [The Wrap]

2. La Scala, the renowned Italian opera house, is getting a new general manager earlier than expected. In June, it was announced that Alexander Pereira would take over the position from Stéphane Lissner, who held the position from 2005 and is moving to a position at the Paris Opera in October 2015. Now, the board at La Scala has voted to shorten the time of the transition, and has moved Pereira’s appointment up a year, to October 2014. Pereira is currently the artistic director of the Salzburg Festival, where his contract will end in September 2014, one month before he takes over La Scala. [Artsbeat]

3. Thankfully, we won’t have to wait a decade for another Whit Stilman film. The writer/director is reportedly in New York casting “Love and Friendship,” based on Jane Austen‘s “Lady Susan,” which “follows a widowed woman trying to find a husband for herself and her daughter.” Stilman previously attempted to bring two unfinished Austen novels — “The Watsons” and “Sandition” — to the screen as one film, reportedly titled “Winchester Races,” which sadly never got off the ground. No word if financing is in place, but we imagine after the limited success of the very-underrated “Damsels in Distress,” Stilman will be able to get this film made. [Indiewire]

4. Now that “Happy Endings,” one of our favorite shows last year, is officially cancelled, the cast has been finding jobs all over network television. Damon Waynes Jr. is returning to Fox’s “New Girl,” where he starred in the pilot but backed out to take the role in “Endings,” and now it’s being reported that Adam Pally is joining Fox’s “The Mindy Project” for a multi-episode arc, where “the actor will play a new doctor at the OB/GYN practice where Mindy Kaling’s titular hot mess works.” That previous quote pretty much explains why this show is not funny. Although with Pally, they’re moving in the right direction, not to mention the addition of James Franco in a cameo role. [TV Line]

5. Forget Morgan Freeman‘s boring portrayal of Nelson Mandela. Don’t you want to see the former president of South Africa cry, fight a bunch of dudes, say some really important things, all backed by a sweeping soundtrack? That’s what you get in the trailer for “Mandela.” Idris Elba, a versatile actor, seems to be doing a decent and non-hokey impression of the great leader, and the film is very typical. What did we expect? This film was basically made to get Oscar votes, and you know what? It would be cool to see Stringer Bell up on the big stage. Watch the trailer below. [Vulture]

Previously: Jake Gyllenhaal, “Gone Girl,” “Macbeth,” Jay Z, Damon Albarn

Image: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

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  1. GHG says:

    Another Wire/Mandela connection: Clarke Peters, who played Lester Freamon in The Wire, played Mandela in the movie “Endgame,” about the Botha/Mandela negotiations that ended apartheid. Peters played him as understated, steely, deep – a good fit for him as an actor. Pretty good movie overall.

  2. Ingrid says:

    The Lady Susan note is exciting news. I loved both the original (though it is dated compared to Austen’s more mature writing), and the recent adaptation called Lady Vernon and Her Daughter, that did a fine job of expanding the work and putting it in an Austen context. I do wish that Stillman would not call it Love and Friendship, which is the title of another early Austen fragment.
    Some time ago, Tom Fontana (I believe he is one of the powers behind the BBCA series Copper) adapted Lady Susan as The Notorious Lady Susan for a staged reading in NYC. Saffron Burrows did an excellent job in the title role, and would be one of my two picks for the part, the other being Kate Winslet.

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