You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bigscreen goes Dahl-crazy

A DECADE AND A HALF AFTER HIS DEATH, 2005 is shaping up as the year of Roald Dahl.

With Tim Burton‘s take on Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” due in theaters next summer, several other classic texts by this giant of Brit kid lit are speeding toward production, involving talent as diverse as Wes Anderson, Henry Selick, Robert Altman and John Cleese.

Mark Mylod (“Ali G Indahouse”) is freshly attached to direct “The Twits,” based on Dahl’s tale about a vile couple and their unhappy band of performing animals, which “Shrek” producer John Williams is developing under his Disney deal. Cleese has co-written the script with a view to star in a pic that will blend live action and animation.

Anderson and Selick (who directed the 1996 movie of Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach”) are collaborating on a stop-motion version of “Fantastic Mr Fox” for Revolution Studios and Sony, about the feud between the eponymous chicken thief and three villainous farmers.

Producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are bringing “The B.F.G.” (short for Big Friendly Giant) to the boil at Paramount, with a script by Ed Solomon (“Men in Black”).

Finally, Altman’s long-held desire to adapt some of Dahl’s macabre adult short stories into a TV series is edging closer to fruition. The project was put into turnaround at HBO but is now sparking interest among Brit broadcasters.

Altman will produce all six episodes and is apparently keen to direct three himself. Dahl’s stories were previously made for ITV in the late 1970s as “Tales of the Unexpected.”

To cap it all, next year will also see the opening of the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Center in the Buckinghamshire village of Great Missenden, where Dahl lived until his death in 1990. The black humor and mischief of his writing remain hugely popular with his pre-teen audience, but it won’t hurt to have a movie or three to help draw the crowds through the museum’s chocolate-covered (yes, really) doors.

Golden knocks on ‘Door’

Ireland is awash with cash for short films but hasn’t got much coin for features. That’s why Karl Golden notched up as many as nine shorts before he managed to scrape together $90,000 for his full-length directing debut, “The Honeymooners,” a romantic comedy that attracted some modest acclaim at festivals last year, followed by a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it release in the U.K. this spring.

But the pic served its larger purpose, snagging the Irish helmer an A-list London agent, Jenne Casarotto and now in turn his first major directing gig.

Producer Andras Hamori has tapped Golden for his long-gestating Patricia Highsmith adaptation “The People Who Knock on the Door,” which is on course to shoot early next year.

Pic is a drama set in the American Midwest, about a family riven by the hot-button issues of religion and abortion. When a father becomes a born-again Christian, his conservative views bring him into conflict with his more liberal teenage son, who rejects the church, dragging the whole family into crisis. Script is by Doug Taylor.

Danny Huston, Elizabeth McGovern and Alison Pill are in talks to star. BBC Films, which has been developing the $12 million project for several years, will co-finance with the Film Consortium. BBC topper David Thompson says, “We have to do one or two American projects each year, or else our slate is too narrow.”

More Film

  • IFFAM: Erik Matti Hatches Plans for

    IFFAM: Erik Matti Hatches Plans for ‘On The Job’ Franchise

    Filipino director Erik Matti is known for his eclectic body of work that includes “Honor Thy Father” and “Seklusyon.” His 2013 effort, “On The Job” travelled widely and won several awards including two at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, and was nominated for an SACD Prize at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. Matti is at [...]

  • Joan Chen attends the season premiere

    Joan Chen Talks Diversity in Hollywood, Welcomes #MeToo

    Chinese-American actress, writer and director Joan Chen says that she was flattered when Time magazine described her as the “Elizabeth Taylor of China.” When asked at an in-conversation event in Singapore on Saturday whether she paved the way for Chinese actresses to follow in Hollywood, Chen said, “We never go to work because we want [...]

  • Kyzza Terrazas Joins Garcia Bernal, Diego

    Kyzza Terrazas Joins Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna’s La Corriente del Golfo (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — Launching their new production house, La Corriente de Golfo, last April, Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna have tapped Mexican writer-director Kyzza Terrazas as the company’s head of development. The appointment will certainly help build the company appointing an old-rounder capable of overseeing and implementing development, writing and directing, and a longtime [...]

  • IFFAM Actress in Focus: Yao Chen

    IFFAM Actress in Focus: Yao Chen Talks Performing, Producing and Public Pressure

    Macao’s Actress in Focus is a woman who has trained as a boxer, likes British actors, especially Benedict Cumberbatch and Jeremy Irons, and is now setting out her stall as a producer. Yao Chen has built a career over 20 years thanks to TV shows including “My Own Swordsman,” and films including “If You Are [...]

  • Bradley Liew's 'Motel Acacia' Shoots After

    Cautionary Tale, 'Motel Acacia' Under Way After Four Years of Development

    Production has begun on Malaysian director Bradley Liew’s upscale horror film “Motel Acacia.” With a clearly topical message, the film features a hotel bed that eats immigrants. Actor, JC Santos called it: “A cautionary tale of what’s going to happen in the future.” Indonesian star, Nicholas Saputra said the he agreed to the role “because [...]

  • Jon M. ChuUnforgettable Gala, Inside, Los

    'Crazy Rich Asians' Honored at Unforgettable Awards: 'One Movie Every 25 Years is Just Not F—ing Enough'

    Fresh on the heels of its Golden Globe nomination, “Crazy Rich Asians” was the talk of the evening at Kore Asian Media’s 17th annual Unforgettable Awards. Saturday’s event, which celebrates Asian-American trailblazers and their achievements in the entertainment industry, honored a host of Asian actors, directors and influencers, including “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. [...]

  • (L to R) Marco Graf as

    'Roma' Named Best Film of 2018 by L.A. Film Critics Association

    Members of the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. met today to vote on the year’s best cinema accomplishments. Recent winners of the group’s top prize include “Call Me by Your Name,” “Moonlight,” “Spotlight,” “Boyhood,” “Her”/”Gravity” and “Amour.” List of winners below. Best Film: “Roma” (Runner-up: “Burning”) Best Director: Debra Granik, “Leave No Trace”(Runner-up: Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma”) [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content