Film News I’m excited about – Olivia Colman, Helen Mirren, Julia Roberts + George Clooney

It’s been a while since I actually curated recent movie/casting news that I’m excited about. I was reading one after another involving filmmaker/actors I love so I thought I’d include them here. 

Sam Mendes, Olivia Colman Team for Love Story Empire of Light

mendes-oliviacolman

Per THR, the Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes will be directing his own script (his first solo outing as a screenwriter), with Olivia Colman set to star in what sounds like a romantic drama. Mendes will once again be teaming up Roger Deakins in this feature project, the acclaimed cinematographer he worked with on 1917, Skyfall and Revolutionary Road.

The premise is described as a love story, “set in and around a beautiful old cinema, on the South Coast of England in the 1980s.”

Aawwww…. I absolutely LOVE the sound of Empire of Light… even the title sounds enchanting. With Deakins as the DP, surely the film would look absolutely beautiful. Nice that they’re making love, not war, this time around.

I also love seeing love stories involving women in the prime time of their lives (not gonna say older woman, as she’s only a year older than I am, and women in mid 40s are NOT old). I wonder who they’ll cast opposite Colman. I actually like the pairing of her with Rufus Sewell in The Father, though they barely shared a scene together.

 Searchlight Pictures is the studio behind this and the movie is set for a Fall 2022 release. Can’t wait!!


Helen Mirren to Play Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in ‘Golda’

Golda Meir-Helen Mirren

Another intriguing biopic starring one of my favorite leading ladies!! Per The Wrap, Dame Helen Mirren will play another iconic historical figure, this time it’s as Israel’s only female Prime Minister, Golda Meir.

Guy Nattiv, an Israeli director (Oscar winner for the short film Skin) will direct the film from a screenplay by Florence Foster Jenkins‘ writer Nicholas Martin. The film is called Golda and focuses on the intensely dramatic and high-stake responsibilities and decisions she faced during the Yom Kippur War.

Here’s the full synopsis:

On October 6th, 1973, under cover of darkness, on Israel’s holiest day and during the month of Ramadan, the combined forces of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan began a surprise attack on the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. Outnumbered and outgunned, Golda Meir confronts the immediate, clear and present danger of a ticking time bomb that she hoped never to face. Surrounded, isolated, and frustrated by the infighting of her all-male cabinet, with little hope of rescue, one woman is in a race against time to save millions of lives on both sides of the conflict.

Per the article, Nattiv was born during the Yom Kippur War, so naturally this is a personal story for him. Apparently during the final chapter of Meir’s life where this deadly surprise attack occurred, she was undergoing secret treatments for her illness. I personally am not familiar with the legendary leader, known as the Iron Lady of Israel, so I’m looking forward to seeing her story brought to life!


George Clooney & Julia Roberts re-teaming in rom-com Ticket To Paradise

George Clooney and Julia Roberts

Two of my favorite rom-coms are Notting Hill and One Fine Day, starring Julia Roberts and George Clooney, respectively. The two had only done the Ocean Eleven movies and a thriller called Money Monster (which I haven’t seen), so I like the idea of seeing them together in a romantic comedy!

Per Variety, director Ol Parker (the Mamma Mia movies) will direct this from a script he co-wrote with Daniel Pipski. Here’s the premise:

Clooney and Roberts will play a divorced couple that teams up and travels to Bali to stop their daughter from making the same mistake they think they made 25 years ago.

I was wondering if the film will be shot on location in Bali (an island in my home country Indonesia), but apparently it will in Queensland, Australia. Obviously they have good tax incentives there from the Australian federal government and from Screen Queensland’s Production Attraction Strategy. In any case, this sounds like a fun movie!


Now, as a film as well as theatre lover, THIS is something I cannot wait to watch!! National Theatre Live brings the best of British theatre to cinema screens all over the UK and beyond and this time they’re adapting another Shakespeare classic.

The National Theatre’s Romeo & Juliet

josho-connor_jessie-buckley

This stylized film of Shakespeare’s masterpiece from the National Theatre celebrates the theatrical imagination. In this contemporary retelling, a company of actors in a shuttered theater bring to life the tale of two young lovers who strive to transcend a world of violence and hate. Josh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley star as Shakespeare’s immortal star-crossed lovers. Check out the trailer below:

Another actor from The Crown continues to be making waves I’ve been enchanted by Josh since he played Prince Charles in The Crown. I’ve only seen Jessie in a couple of movies and she’s pretty memorable, so this is quite an intriguing pairing. I notice British actor Adrian Lester in the cast as well, love his work. Per PBS’ website, Great Performances Executive Producer David Horn is quoted as saying “During the ongoing performance shutdown in London and New York, we’re delighted to participate in this compelling hybrid of theater and film that brings an exciting contemporary perspective to one of Shakespeare’s most iconic plays.” 

The production of this modern Shakespeare adaptation looks positively mesmerizing!

Romeo & Juliet Premieres Friday, April 23 at 9/8c on PBS.


Are you excited about these projects?

11 thoughts on “Film News I’m excited about – Olivia Colman, Helen Mirren, Julia Roberts + George Clooney

    1. Yeah I think the lucky Brits already got the Romeo + Juliet NTL but we have to wait til end of April to see it. I’m glad PBS has it so I don’t have to pay for it, woot!!

  1. Josh O’Connor has put a spell on me recently. You mentioned his fab portrayal in The Queen. Have you seen him in the series “The Durrells in Corfu”? Great cast and charming storyline.

    1. Hi there, Cindy! Glad you’re also spellbound by Josh O’Connor, me too ever since The Crown. Funny you mentioned “The Durrells in Corfu” as I had put that on my to-watch list. I also love Keely Hawes who plays his mom.

      P.S. I ordered your book Inside the Gold-Plated Pistol from Amazon, but my friend borrowed it before I could read it, ahah. She loves historical fiction and a much faster reader than I am, she’s only halfway thru and said it’s VERY good (why of course!)

  2. Ted Saydalavong

    The George Clooney and Julia Roberts project sounds pretty interesting. You know I think you got me a press screening of Money Monster a few years ago, I saw it but don’t remember anything about it. So I guess it’s a very forgettable film. Lol!

    I’m also interested in the Sam Mendes’ project since I like Olivia Colman too. When Ralph Fiennes is done with playing M, they should cast her as the new M with a new 007!

    1. Hey Ted! Yeah I completely forgot there’s even a film called Money Monster, ahahahaha.

      That Mendes-Colman project sounds lovely, it’s still rare to see a larger-budget romance drama, esp coming from top directors like Mendes. Oh man, I’d LOVE to see Colman replaced Judi as M, that would be fantastic! You’ve just inspired me to write a post about that, Ted, been ages since I do a 007 post. I also love the idea of Janet McTeer as M, esp after seeing her as head of MI6 in The Honourable Woman miniseries!

  3. Empire of Light has got your name written all over it, Ruth!
    The ‘Iron Lady of Israel’ sounds like quite a character, and reminiscent of the UK’s Iron Lady of course.
    Out of the three my money will probably go to Ticket to Paradise, as that sounds like the one I’ll enjoy the most. I think Clooney and Roberts make a fun pairing, and I feel like this could bring back the charm of some Nineties and early 2000s romcoms/comedies.

    I’m enjoying Josh O’Connor at the moment but think I need a break from Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare would be a multimillionaire based on the royalties earned from R&J if he were alive today!

    1. You know me too well, Claire! Yes, Empire Of Light seems tailored for me, I’d be first in line for that one.

      Yes I think the ‘Iron Lady of Israel’ nickname must be in comparison to Thatcher, given both are powerful female leader in a world filled with men.

      Ticket To Paradise sounds like a fun escapism movie. I believe Julia Roberts filmed Eat, Pray, Love in Bali, and one of my friends’ cousin was working at a hotel she was staying at. Sounds like they’re gonna shoot this one in Australia though.

      I hear ya about Romeo & Juliet, I mean ANOTHER one? So true that Shakespeare would’ve been a billionaire if he were alive and had royalties deal done right. Sadly most of these writers/artists never got to enjoy the fruit of their labor, same with Jane Austen. In any case, I probably will still watch this one for Josh…

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