“Downton Abbey” actress Jessica Brown Findlay, Tom Wilkinson (who was Oscar nominated for “In the Bedroom” and “Michael Clayton”) and Andrew Scott (“Sherlock,” “Pride,” “Spectre”) have joined the cast of Simon Aboud’s “This Beautiful Fantastic,” which starts to shoot this week in London.
The feature project has been greenlit by AMBI Group principals Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi, with Christine Alderson and her Ipso Facto production banner.
Others in the cast include Jeremy Irvine (“War Horse,” “Now Is Good,” “The Railway Man”), Anna Chancellor (“What a Girl Wants,” “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”) and Sheila Hancock (“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” “3 Men and a Little Lady”).
“This Beautiful Fantastic” is a contemporary fairy tale revolving around the most unlikely of friendships between a reclusive young woman with dreams of being a children’s book author and a cantankerous widower, set against the backdrop of a beautiful garden in the heart of London.
AMBI will oversee global distribution of the film through its international sales division, AMBI Distribution. Medinah cashflows the U.K. tax credit, and Head Gear, LipSync Post, The Project Post and private investment complete the financing. Kami Nagdi’s Constance Media was previously involved in the script development.
After some gallery issues, we finally re built the image gallery. Sorry it took a little while. Just to remind all you UK fans, Jessica will star in The Outcast this weekend on BBC One. We have added x05 stills of her…
Downton Abbey star Jessica Brown Findlay talks about her starring role in BBC1’s emotional two-part post-World War Two drama, The Outcast. Jessica, 25, also reveals despite her success, she still has to audition for roles…
What can you tell us about BBC1’s new two-part drama, The Outcast?
“It’s not a particularly happy story! It is set in world were nobody is saying how they truly feel, and slowly those emotions start to come out. It’s very suppressed and filming was quite intense.”
What can you tell us about your character, Alice?
“She’s the second wife to Gilbert Aldridge, played by Greg Wise. His first wife Elizabeth drowned and Alice is far, far younger than any of the other wives in the village. Gilbert desperately thinks he’ll start again, almost from where Elizabeth was age-wise, but it results in Alice being very unprepared for a life in suburbia among mothers who’ve done it all and lived through World War Two with their children. Alice tries very hard to be a mother to Elizabeth’s son, Lewis, who witnessed his mother drown.”
Does traumatised Lewis warm to Alice?
“I think Alice just wants Lewis (George MacKay) to like her. But he’s so emotionally damaged from what he’s been through he isn’t able to talk about it, or get physical comfort from anyone, a hug or even someone just holding his hand. I think she takes the fact that he doesn’t immediately like her as a personal affront and it’s not. Alice finds it very difficult to communicate with Lewis and it only gets harder as he gets older.”
Does she plan to have children of her own?
“She desperately wants to be a mother and have her own child. She assumes if that becomes the case it will feel more like a family and that doesn’t necessarily work.”
Did you find it an emotionally draining role?
“It could be. I find it’s really important to shake it off. Sometimes after I’d finished a scene I wanted to go over to the other person and say ‘I didn’t mean it!’ I like to go home and cook something! “
Is Alice a lonely character?
“She is. She doesn’t really have any friends within the village. She’s lived in London and moved to this place where the other women don’t warm to her. Socially she feels she doesn’t know what to do or how to say things. She tends to put her foot in it a lot.”
How does she change as the story progresses?
“When we first see Alice she’s moving into Gilbert and Lewis’s house and is very excited. She wants to decorate it, get rid of the old things and put in the new. But slowly the house starts to feel like a prison. It’s her only place yet she’s not able to express or be herself there.”
It’s a village filled with secret troubles. What can you reveal?
“Everyone’s going through even darker things than Alice, Lewis and Gilbert, even though the Aldridges are made to feel as if they’re the only ones with problems! In the end Alice is able to accept the fact that she’s different and her family’s different, and that’s okay. It’s quiet change and self-acceptance.”
It’s another period drama for you. Did you enjoy the post-war costumes and sets?
“Interestingly, because Alice is quite different she doesn’t fit in when it comes to her physical appearance. She tries to be more glamorous than she really is, which riles a lot of the other mums! Later you see her desperately trying to conform and be like the others so she won’t be noticeable and her family will blend in. But it doesn’t work and as time goes on she lets herself go a bit!”
What would you like to do next?
“I’d love to do a comedy. That’s what I adore to watch. I think it’s the hardest thing to do but I’d love to go to work where if you trip up it can be included rather than cut. I can’t get enough of Modern Family. Ty Burrell is fantastic. But it’s a different pace so who knows?”
Given your success on Downton Abbey, Jamaica Inn and The Riot Club, do you find scripts come to you now?
“I audition for everything. But it’s changed from when I couldn’t get a job at all. It’s changed but there’s still that challenge where the bar is raised. You’re constantly a small fish in a bigger pond. But that’s where the challenge is. And as long as I learn and grow and am enjoying what I’m doing then that’s good.”
Based on Sadie Jones’s novel, The Outcast starts on Sunday July 12 at 9pm on BBC1.
The two will play Eric Draven and Shelly, respectively. Here’s some solid casting: Jack Huston and Jessica Brown Findlay will star in the upcoming remake of The Crow. As Variety reports, Huston, best known for portraying the scarred Richard Harrow in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, will play the film’s titular hero, Eric Draven. While Findlay has been cast as his ill-fated lover, Shelly.
Based on James O’Barr’s epic graphic novel, the story takes place on Devil’s Night, when Eric Draven and his fiancee Shelly are horrifically murdered at the hands of a merciless gang. A year later, Draven rises from the dead to enact his revenge upon his own killers, taking them out one by one as the crow follows near.
The original 1994 film, directed by Alex Proyas, was marred in tragedy when its leading star Brandon Lee was shot on set from what was supposed to be a prop gun. Nevertheless, the film became a cult classic and spawned several sequels and even a television series.
The upcoming reboot has been in development hell for almost a decade. Originally, it was a project for director Stephen Norington (Blade), and then Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later), and then F. Javier Gutierrez (Before the Fall). The lead role was similarly juggled around between the likes of Bradley Cooper, James McAvoy, Alexander Skarsgaard, Tom Hiddleston, Norman Reedus, and most recently, Luke Evans.
Currently, director Corin Hardy (The Hallow) and screenwriter Cliff Dorfman (Warrior) are attached to the project. Filming is to begin later this year.
Jessica Brown Findlay is to star in the Almeida Theatre’s production of Oresteia next month.
Brown Findlay, best known for her role in ITV’s Downton Abbey, joins the previously announced Lia Williams in a new version of the Greek tragedy created and directed by Robert Icke.
The cast also includes Amelia Baldock, Lorna Brown, Rudi Dharmalingam, Ann Firbank and Ilan Galkoff. They are joined by Joshua Higgott, Cameron Lane, John Mackay, Clara Read and Eve Salama.
Bobby Smalldridge, Luke Thompson, Angus Wright and Hara Yannas complete the cast.
The production, which runs at the Almeida in London from May 29 to July 18, is designed by Hildegard Bechtler, with lighting by Natasha Chivers, sound by Tom Gibbons and video by Tim Reid.
Press night for the show will be on June 5.
The pair star alongside Andrew Scott, Mark Gatiss and Jessica Brown Findlay in the latest adaptation of Mary Shelley’s novel.
We’ve long been excited about Victor Frankenstein. The new adaptation of Mary Shelley’s 19th century novel stars James McAvoy in the title role alongside Daniel Radcliffe sporting some, er, questionable hair extensions as his assistant Igor.
And that’s not all… Directed by Paul McGuigan (Lucky Number Slevin), the film boasts a plethora of British talent, reuniting Sherlock actors Andrew Scott, Louise Brealey and Mark Gatiss, plus former Downton Abbey actress Jessica Brown Findlay.
But, despite our enthusiasm, details have been scarce… until now. The new issue of Empire brings us two behind-the-scenes snaps, the first featuring McAvoy and Radcliffe dressed in some colourful threads (above).
Victor Frankenstein – the scientist behind his famous monster – looks in the throes of his creation in the second, clad in leather as McAvoy gets ready for the camera to roll.
“As much as the monster is his creation, Igor is his creation as well,” McAvoy explains to Empire. “That was quite exciting. It’s funny, the script, but also really dark, in a cool way.”
Also starring Freddie Fox and Daniel Mays, Victor Frankenstein is set for release in UK cinemas on 2nd October
According SFX Magazine, the doctor protagonist who gives the title to the film will be very similar to the one described in the pages of the novel: haunted, tormented, romantic, that’s why James McAvoy was a safe choice. “The film is about obsession, the desperate search of scientific progress, of immortality, of the attempt to replace God,” said the actor. “But it is very focused on the relationship between Igor and Victor rather than on the concept of existentialism.”
Daniel Radcliffe plays his shoulder Igor: it is through his tip of view that will be told this new iteration comes from a script by Max Landis.
The actor has in fact talked about something that will emerge over the course of the film:
At one point, the film becomes a matter of figuring out how far you can live in the shadows of those who made you who you are and if you can live a life in freedom. Or you will be forever linked to that person?
Finally, the piece highlights the component Sherlockian whole production. Besides Paul McGuiganwho directed the first two seasons of Sherlock, the cast also includes Mark Gatiss, Louise Brealeyand Andrew Scott – all actors who are part of the famous BBC television series.
For those who are asking, the trailer for #VICTORFRANKENSTEIN should be with you very soon.
— Paul McGuigan (@paul_mcguigan) February 22, 2015
Victor Frankenstein will be in US cinemas on October 2nd. To kill time, soon will come the first trailer as confirmed by the director on twitter.
Carnaby’s AFM slate includes new acquisitions Everything Carries Me To You, which has Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), Matthew Rhys, Kate Walsh and Freddie Fox attached to star.
The romantic drama, currently in pre-production, follows an ambitious young dancer whose world is turned upside down when she discovers a note suggesting her lover may be cheating.
Emma Holly Jones (Dreams Play Apart) is attached to direct with Hilary Shor (The Paperboy) on board to produce.
Director Toby Tobias’ thriller Blood Orange, starring Ben Lamb and musician Iggy Pop and executive produced by former Miramax executive Colin Vaines (Gangs of New York), is currently shooting in Spain.
While Daniel Radcliffe continues to shed his Harry Potter stardom this month by starring in the grisly horror comedy Horns, the actor has already turned his attention to another upcoming project, in which he takes on one of his most against-type roles to date. In 20th Century Fox’s Victor Frankenstein, Radcliffe will put a new spin on the hunchbacked Igor, assistant and friend to the brilliant and destructive medical student Victor von Frankenstein (James McAvoy).
That a household name like Radcliffe is taking on the part of Igor, traditionally a supporting player in adaptations of Mary Shelley’s horror classic, marks one of many ways in which Victor Frankenstein will set itself apart from the crowd. When asked during an interview for Horns how his Frankenstein would sidestep comparisons to other works, Radcliffe explained that, in addition to there being “a lot of action:”
“I think our Frankenstein is a really kind of rip-roaring, fun adventure movie version of Frankenstein. I would really struggle to class it as horror. I think there are horror elements to it and nods to previous versions of Frankenstein, but it’s much more a film about – the thing that I hope will make it stand out is the relationship between James’ character and I. Victor and Igor are two people who come to need each other very much. The thing for me of the movie is actually about creation and, you know, Igor, my character, is taken out of this horrible abused life at the beginning of the movie and James sort of saves him and gives him this new life, sort of creating him in some sense, in creating this life that he has, and so because of that and because of the life he’s been saved from, Igor feels forever that he has this sort of debt of loyalty and the film then becomes about how much can that debt be pushed? How much can that loyalty be pushed before – at what point do you have to step out from the shadows of the person that created you and go, ‘I am my own person?’ Or, do you forever defer to the person that is responsible for your life? So it’s sort of, it’s a film about relationships set against the backdrop of creating monsters.”
That’s an intriguing thought, for sure. Most Frankenstein stories tend to focus on the monster more than the man who created him, so a tale entirely devoted to the ambitious doctor and Igor could turn out to be a terrific idea. Radcliffe went a step further during the interview to confirm that Frankenstein’s monster is not a central part of the story:
“One of the biggest differences between us and other Frankensteins will be that, generally speaking, the main relationship is between Frankenstein and the monster and the monster is created in the middle of the movie, and in our version it’s created right at the end and the journey up to that is really about how we come to that eventual idea. I’ve heard other people call it kind of an origin story for Frankenstein, but it’s an origin story for a Frankenstein you have never met before, if that helps. The quote that I got in trouble with with the producers was saying, ‘If you like the book, you’ll hate the movie.’ [Laughs]”
With two skilled actors like Radcliffe and McAvoy involved, Victor Frankenstein is certainly a project to watch. That Paul McGuigan (Push) is sitting behind the camera working from a script by Chronicle scribe Max Landis is also cause for excitement, as is the fact that the supporting cast includes Jessica Brown Findlay, Andrew Scott and Mark Gatiss.
Mark your calendars – Victor Frankenstein is alive on October 2nd, 2015.