Director Kenneth Branagh and the starry cast of his new version of “Murder On the Orient Express” gathered in London on Friday to show off new footage from the upcoming adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic whodunit. Almost the entire ensemble cast, which includes Oscar winners Judi Dench and Penelope Cruz, “Star Wars” actress Daisy Ridley, BAFTA winner Olivia Colman and Tony winner Josh Gad, was on hand, with only Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer notable absentees.
They were later followed onstage by director Francis Lawrence, who introduced 18 minutes of footage from his upcoming spy thriller “Red Sparrow,” starring Jennifer Lawrence, which is currently shooting in London.
Branagh, who plays Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, introduced about 10 to 15 minutes of work-in-progress footage from the Fox film, saying: “This is the very first time any of this footage has been seen in this way. We’re very excited to share the promise and potential of this work.”
The footage featured four brief scenes that introduced the central characters, established the murder of one of them, and showed off the film’s epic vistas of snow-capped mountains. The footage was followed by the film’s trailer, which was first unveiled at CinemaCon in March.
Branagh and the cast spoke of the camaraderie on set, with Derek Jacobi, who plays the butler to Depp’s Edward Ratchett, describing the ensemble as having “a wonderful company feel about it.”
“What was very extraordinary was that we were all together,” added Dench, who plays Princess Dragomiroff. “It wasn’t like a film where you all do different bits. In this case we were all there all the time.”
Gad, who plays Depp’s assistant, said the backgrounds that were shot rolled by the windows of the on-set railway carriage during filming in England, “so it really felt like we were there.”
“I found myself going to the end of the train to watch the scenery go by as if I was on a real train, and I wasn’t the only one,” Branagh said, adding that the impression was so real to the cast and crew that it caused some ill effects. “Quite a few of us got motion sickness,” he said.
Gad said the production design was equally important to getting in character and into the story. “It was surreal. I just had the opportunity to go on the real Orient Express, and the detail that the production team brought is unreal, exquisite. It is so spot-on,” said Gad. “For us that intimacy really lends itself to Ken’s vision. When you’re in a confined environment, it creates a sense of unease, even if you have nothing to hide.”
The film, currently in post production and set for a Nov. 10 release, is the first big-screen treatment of Christie’s famous 1934 novel since Sidney Lumet’s 1974 version, which won a best supporting actress Oscar for Ingrid Bergman.
At the London event, Christie’s great-grandson James Prichard, who chairs the company that controls her estate, said the story was probably born of the prolific crime writer’s first trip on the legendary train in 1928 and that securing Branagh to direct and star was “awe-inspiring.” “He gets the grandeur of the work, and his vision as he first told it us made my hair stand up,” said Prichard.
Branagh said he made a conscious decision not to watch Lumet’s version, and that he had advised the cast also to avoid watching it. “Our goal is to try and find a new approach. That’s why classic stories are worth retelling,” he said, adding that “there are some surprises.”
Speaking later in the day about “Red Sparrow,” Francis Lawrence said he had about a week left to shoot on the film, which is due for release March 2, 2018.
The director said the film, which re-teams him for a fourth time with Jennifer Lawrence following the three “Hunger Games” sequels, was “definitely a hard R [rating].” He said the biggest thrill for him was working with Lawrence on a role that he described as “very brave and very different for her.”
“She was willing to take some risks in this movie I think she might not have been willing to do for someone she didn’t know,” said the director.
He also said the film’s Russian spy narrative became “more politically relevant the more we worked on it.” “One of the questions we had originally was that thematically it didn’t seem as relevant as it could, but that had completely changed in the past year. It rings very true now,” said Lawrence, who first read the book while in post production on the “Hunger Games: Mockingjay” films.
Although the film is based on the first book of a trilogy, he said there were currently no plans to do sequels. But he added: “If this were to work, it would be fantastic to do another one.”
The ‘Broadchurch’ co-stars will continue working together once the popular ITV crime drama draws to a close after the current series as they are teaming up for their very own comedy musical stage show, which Olivia, 43, says she and the 45-year-old hunk will write together and hopefully star in.
According to the Daily Star newspaper, Olivia said: “We do have plans to work together again – we think it would be fun to do something like a panto.
“We would have to put us in it to play the Ugly Sisters.”
Olivia – who portrays Detective Sargent Ellie Miller in ‘Broadchurch’ – clearly didn’t find it difficult working with David, who recently admitted he was like a “grumpy old man” when he was shooting the hit show.
The nation may be preparing itself for mourning when the third installment – the final series to ever hit screens – comes to an end next month, but David – who plays DI Alec Hardy in the crime drama – admitted he was glad it’s almost over because he was sick of having to keep the storylines and scripts under lock and key for most of the year.
He recently said: “This is it. I think we should do three and leave them wanting more.
“It’s always been the way. Anything that’s a thriller has elements you want to hold back. Being on the show gets really tiresome because everything is sent with a password. One script has one password, another has another password. I just can’t keep up. I end up being a grumpy old man saying ‘just send me some paper!'”
One of our favourite shows of 2016 will back for more as Fleabag has been renewed for a second season. The BBC comedy drama, written by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge, came off the back of her award-winning one-woman play for the Edinburgh Fringe back in 2013.
It followed the story of Phoebe, a troubled young woman navigating her way through London life with an unapologetically dark sense of humour throughout. Things were wrapped up fairly well for Phoebe in the first season, but thankfully there will be more to come, with Waller-Bridge saying at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards that she only wanted to bring it back again if she had “an idea that was good enough,” adding, “I think I have one. We are all trying to make it work and have the same team back”.
The six-part series also starred Olivia Colman, Hugh Dennis, Bill Paterson, Sian Clifford and Hugh Skinner. Phoebe told Radio Times that the current plan is to shoot in November and then hopefully broadcast Fleabag’s second season next year.
It looks like 2017 could well be the year for Phoebe Waller-Bridge with the actress and writer in high demand at the moment, having already landed a showrunner gig on BBC America’s Killing Eve, as well as a part in the upcoming Han Solo spin-off movie.
Deadline reports she’s been cast in the role of Queen Anne, who ruled Britain in the early 1700s, with X-Men‘s Nicholas Hoult, Denial‘s Rachel Weisz, and the freshly minted Oscar-winning Best Actress Emma Stone all jockeying for influence in the queen’s court as three of her closest confidantes.
Hoult will reportedly play “Harley,” which presumably refers to Robert Harley, the 1st Earl of Oxford, a noted politician and patron of the arts whose family developed the famous Harley Street district of London.
Stone will play his cousin and ally Lady Abigail Masham, while Weisz will play Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, the queen’s close friend and rumored lover.
As a period drama, The Favourite marks something of a departure for director Yorgos Lanthimos, whose previous films include 2015’s offbeat dystopian comedy The Lobster starring Colin Farrell.
Some things don’t change, however. Weisz and Colman both appeared in that film, which boasted an ensemble cast every bit as formidable as this one.
The Favourite will also represent another reunion of sorts. It’s been 15 years since Weisz and Hoult appeared together in About a Boy in 2002, playing the prospective girlfriend of Hugh Grant‘s character Will, and Will’s young friend Marcus, respectively.
We suspect all this hasn’t answered your most burning question, however, which is: What is on earth is that on Nicholas Hoult’s top lip? Well, he’s just wrapped filming on The Current War, in which he plays moustachioed electricity pioneer Nikola Tesla opposite Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison.
We think that’s what it is anyway. He’s certainly had to make some interesting hair commitments in his career, what with Marcus’s bowl cut, Beast’s hirsute chops, and now this.
His character in The Favourite, on the other hand, wore a rather lengthy wig. It starts filming later this year, and is slated for release in 2018.
The animated film We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, based on the classic children’s book by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, is now available on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S. Prime members can stream We’re Going on a Bear Hunt at no additional cost to their membership via the Amazon Prime Video app on compatible smart TVs, connected devices, mobiles devices or online — the film is also available to download to mobile devices for offline viewing.
Amazon is the first streaming platform to bring the animated special to U.S. viewers. Originally commissioned by UK broadcaster Channel 4, the 25 minute film debuted on Christmas Eve attracting 8 million viewers and taking an audience share of 23.5%, making it the Channel 4’s highest rating program of 2016.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt follows the intrepid adventures of siblings Stan, Katie, Rosie, Max, the baby and Rufus the dog, who decide one day to go on an adventure in search of bears. A tale of perseverance, optimism and the determination to confront your fears head on, the film expands the universe of the much-loved picture book and stars the voice talent of Olivia Colman (Broadchurch, The Night Manager), Pam Ferris (Matilda, Call the Midwife) and Mark Williams (Harry Potter, Father Brown) who breathe life into the brand new characters of Mum, Grandma and Dad respectively. Michael Rosen, who wrote the best-selling book, plays the Bear.
Acclaimed British singer-songwriter George Ezra wrote and recorded the theme song, penning a distinctive, sweet song called “Me & You” for the film’s soundtrack. “Me & You” marks the first time that George has composed a bespoke song for film or television.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is produced by Ruth Fielding and Camilla Deakin from Lupus Films with Norton Herrick as executive producer for Herrick Entertainment and Helen McAleer and Julia Posen as executive producers for Walker Productions. Joanna Harrison and Robin Shaw are co-directors. It was commissioned for Channel 4 by Jay Hunt, Channel 4 Chief Creative Officer, Beth Willis, Head of Drama, John Hay, Head of Specialist Factual and Commissioning Editor, Drama Liz Lewin. It is a Lupus Films Production in association with Bear Hunt Films, Walker Productions and Herrick Entertainment for Channel 4 Television Corporation with the support of Creative Europe – MEDIA programme of the European Union.
It is her second nomination for the role of Angela Burr after being put up for an Emmy.
The former Norwich High School for Girls and Gresham’s School pupil is up against Chrissy Metz, Lena Headey, Mandy Moore and Thandie Newton in the category.
Her co-stars in the show Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie have also been nominated with the drama collecting four nominations in total.
The 42-year-old is best known for playing DS Ellie Miller in the ITV drama Broadchurch, winning a host of awards for her portrayal.
Other British talent up for awards includes Charlotte Rampling, Riz Ahmed and Dev Patel.
The Golden Globes will be held on January 8 and will be hosted by Jimmy Fallon.
“Broadchurch” Season 3 is now in the works and fans are now waiting for its release date on ITV and Netflix. The British crime drama has been known for its distinctive detective story that features Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) and Alec Hardy (David Tennant).
“Broadchurch” Season 2 maintained the mystery and intense scenes that were first seen in its predecessor. With that, fans are now expecting to see the same in “Broadchurch” Season 3 or even exceed what the show first offered.
As the showrunners confirmed the return of “Broadchurch” Season 3, viewers are now waiting for the announcement of its official release date. ITV has yet to reveal the show’s airing, but many believe it will be in 2017 as it began filming in May 2016.
Netflix Life reported that after “Broadchurch” Season 3 airs on ITV, viewers can expect it to be seen on Netflix after one to six months. Of course, Ellie Miller and Alec Hardy are bound to return along with Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan, Arthur Darvill, Carolyn Pickles and Adam Wilson.
Meanwhile, it was recently reported that “Broadchurch” Season 3’s production has been spotted ongoing and behind-the-scene clips are now emerging online. David Tennant and Olivia Colman are seen in their characters as Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller.
Julie Hesmondhalgh, too, is seen in an unknown role yet for “Broadchurch” Season 3. However, it has been said that the “Corrie” star’s has a very important role in the coming new installment of the television crime drama.
In between breaks of “Broadchurch” Season 3 production, Julie Hesmondhalgh is openly mingles with her fans as she accommodates everyone for a photo opp. Evidently, fans who are on the set hold their phones and take pictures with the stars.
‘Broadchurch” Season 3 will be filmed in West Bay, Bridport and Clevedon in Dorset on the south coast of England. ITV has yet to announce the official return of “Broadchurch” Season 3 on the small screens.
Victoria Coren Mitchell is to present a new BBC Radio 4 series called Women Talking About Cars.
The BBC said the radio show would “explore of what cars symbolise to women today, including freedom, power, refuge, novelty and familiarity”.
The four-part series, which will feature a different guest every week, begins on 30 November.
Dawn French, Olivia Colman, Sarah Millican and Germaine Greer will be among the interviewees.
Coren Mitchell said: “I’m really looking forward to sitting down with some of the greatest women in modern British culture and talking about the pros and cons of the five-speed manual gearbox.”
Cars will be used “as a vehicle to share memories and take a comic look at life, love, sex, work, childhood, adulthood and adventure”, the BBC said.
The episodes will be recorded in front of a live audience at the BBC’s Radio Theatre in London.
Members of the public will be invited to take part in the programme and share their own memories, such as driving to a first job, doing the school run or picnic trips in a campervan.
French, who will appear on the first episode, said: “It will be great to get together with Victoria for a good old girly natter about the torque stats on the BMW Luxus 850.”
BBC Radio 4 comedy commissioning editor Sioned William said of Coren Mitchell: “She’s brainy, witty and – I’m reliably informed – can change a tyre in under five minutes.”
The theatre’s artistic director Rufus Norris said that he lured The Night Manager star back to the stage over a coffee.
Olivia, 42, will appear in Mosquitoes, a new play by Lucy Kirkwood, which will have its world premiere in July next year.
Announcing the new work, Rufus said: “It centres on the relationship between two sisters. One is a leading scientist at the opening of the Large Hadron Collider.
“It’s about physics and the search for Higgs boson. There’s an incredibly lively and acerbic relationship between these two sisters and Olivia is playing one of the sisters.”
He added: “I think she’s a really terrific actress.”
He worked with Olivia on the film production of London Road.
“Since then I’ve been trying to woo her back into the theatre,” he said.
“I had a coffee with her not long ago and managed to trick her into stepping back over the line.
“When actors get that kind of success in TV and film, before you know it, five or 10 years have gone by without them being on stage.
“So it’s really important to get them back to keep that side of their craft up.”
The Broadchurch actress previously starred at the National in 2009 in the play England People Very Nice.
Norris will direct the new play.
Previously announced productions at the National Theatre next year also include Imelda Staunton in Follies, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
Nathan Lane, The Amazing Spider-Man actor Andrew Garfield and Russell Tovey all star in Angels In America.
The theatre recently announced a “national listening project… a verbatim archive of conversations from across the UK” which took place in the days after the EU Referendum in June.
A performance based on the first round of material, created in collaboration with poet Carol Ann Duffy, will be entitled My Country: A Work In Progress.
Hit Phoebe Waller-Bridge comedy Fleabag is almost certain to return for a second series.
According to BBC sources, both the Corporation and the writer and star herself are keen to make a second season of the show which aired first on BBC3 and finished its BBC2 run at the end of last month.
“Although a second series isn’t officially commissioned yet, we are in discussions and there is a real desire of both sides for it to return, we’re just not sure exactly when,” said a senior BBC source.
Series one of the darkly comic tale of a mischievous and troubled young woman ended with Waller-Bridge’s eponymous Fleabag still at a crossroads in her life following a startling revelation concerning her late friend and business partner Boo (Jenny Rainsford).
Other characters in the acclaimed comedy included Fleabag’s uptight sister Claire (Sian Clifford), her emotionally needy ex-boyfriend played by Hugh Skinner, her ambivalent dad (Bill Paterson) and her passive-aggressive step-mum (Olivia Colman).
Speaking before the broadcast of the comedy, Waller-Bridge intimated that the show was written with a second series in mind.
“We cracked it open so that she would be able to have a life beyond it and also there are so many more stories and story strands and character strands come out of this series,” she said.
Fleabag originated from a one-woman stage show of the same name which Waller-Bridge is bringing back to London’s Soho Theatre later this autumn.