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According to the Hollywood Reporter both Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain really has done wonders for his career) and Sean Penn are in talks to star in The Tree of Life. The film has been around in many guises since the 70s (then known as Q) and it originally sounded a lot more like The Fountain in that it spanned many years (with added Minotaur) but very little is known about its current state. According to IMDB the projected budget is <ccc style="font-size: inherit; background-color: yellow; " title="$150">£94.74</ccc>m which I don't really buy as I can't see any studio giving Malick that sort of cash as he doesn't make films that will draw in an audience big enough to recoup the costs. But these are encouraging times and a 3-4 year turn-around from his last film is quite surprising. At the very least it will be a stunning looking movie.
Studio Ghibli's next film was announced today and it is to be directed by first time director Hiromasa Yonebayashi. From GhibliWorld: <!--quoteo--><div class="quotetop">QUOTE </div><div class="quotemain"><!--quotec-->After yesterday's exclusive warming up on Twitter by GhibliWorld, today Studio Ghibli made the official announcement of their new full length feature film titled Karigurashi no Arrietty (The Borrower Arrietty). <b>The film will be an adaptation of Mary Norton's Carnegie Medal winning novel The Borrowers and, as hinted earlier on GhibliWorld, will be directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi. Unlike the original novel, which tells a story about tiny people who "borrow" things from normal humans during the 1950's in Enland, Studio Ghibli have transferred their version to Tokyo Koganei in 2010 (Koganei is where Studio Ghibli is settled) and tell the story of 14-year-old little Arrietty (Chiisana Arriety was the films original title).</b> Yonebayashi earlier worked as a key animator on previous Ghibli works like Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo and Spirited Away and was animation director for Miyazaki Goro's Gedo Senki. Karigurashi no Arrietty will be his directing debut which is something he did not expect to happen (as told by Ghibli producer Suzuki Toshio earlier this week). Nowadays Yonebayashi is encouraged by Miyazaki Hayao every single day, who also happens to be the one handling the planning of the film. Production, as always, will be handled by Suzuki Toshio. Karigurashi no Arrietty's theme song has been co-written by the French celtic harpist/singer Cécile Corbel who also is responsible for its performance. The theme song will be digitally released in Japan starting December 19. <b>Karigurashi no Arrietty is to be released summer 2010 and will have a length of about 80 minutes</b>.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd--> <img src="http://www.ghibliworld.com/images/Karigurashi_no_Arrietty.png" border="0" class="linked-image">
The film stars Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst and is about a man who searches an alternate universe for a long-lost love from his youth. http://youtu.be/qahaiYkf-Bc The love story looks pretty standard fare but the switching top and bottom worlds looks pretty intriguing and well realised. Hopefully they'll use these alternate worlds to good effect.
Not only did I have to endure Twilight: Breaking Dawn at the cinema they also showed a trailer for this hideously mawkish film. Synopsis: A nine-year-old amateur inventor, jewelry designer, astrophysicist, tambourine player, and pacifist searches New York for the lock that matches a mysterious key left by his father when he was killed in the September 11 attacks. Reading the above synopsis gives you a flavour of the potential shitness of the film but the trailer really sells it. I just feel sorry for Max von Sydow, I really hope the pay was fantastic. Anybody read the book and is the story as toe-curlingly awful as the film makes out?