On the day I am due to interview the British screenwriter Peter Morgan, the eyes of the world are turned to Zurich to find out which countries will be selected by Fifa to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
As we all now know, England’s bid to host the former tournament was doomed to failure – a situation one might imagine would appeal to this award-winning author.
Morgan, after all, is a man who – in such films as The Deal, The Queen, Frost/Nixon and The Last King of Scotland – has shown an affinity for turning the likes of Tony Blair, David Frost, Richard Nixon and Idi Amin into compelling protagonists.
He is no stranger to the beautiful game either, having brought football manager Brian Clough back to life in 2009 film The Damned United.
The last section to be finished is the Movies one. I’m redoing a lot of screen captures from the movies, so those will be added later, but most of the movies are added already. I’ll be adding upcoming movies in a few. The sections that are new/updated:
Neill Blomkamp’s ELYSIUM Set 100 Years in Future; BLADE RUNNER Production Designer Syd Mead Joins Film
Elysium, the upcoming film from District 9 director Neill Blomkamp, is continuing to gain heat. After casting Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, and Sharlto Copley, the film is currently being pitched to various studios (with the exception of Disney, which won’t make expensive R-rated movies). Deadline reports that Blomkamp is going from studio to studio with a storyboard presentation. Also, while we knew the story (which is still being kept under wraps) would take place in the distant future and on another plantet, Deadline is reporting that the film takes place 100 years into the future, is “an unabashedly big movie”, and has the same social allegory of District 9.
Hit the jump for more details on Elysium including the hiring of Blade Runner production designer Syd Mead.
Syd Mead, whose credits include not only Blade Runner but also Aliens and TRON, will design the sets for the movie. Mead doesn’t work on a lot of films these days (his only credits in the past decade are Mission to Mars and Mission: Impossible III) , but he was impressed by District 9 and that encouraged him to join Blomkamp’s follow-up.
According to Deadline, the film will begin prep in April and start shooting in Vancouver this July before moving on to shoot in Mexico City in the fall. Elysium is being set up for release in holiday 2012, but the release date decision ultimately falls to whichever studio decides to pick up the project. Considering the talent already on board, I imagine we’ll be announcing a home for Elysium in the very near future.
Sony has reportedly picked up the film for $120 million.
“I think it’s kind of a thing where enough time has passed where it won’t matter if we wait five more years and do it,” the actor admitted backstage at the Critics Choice Awards.
“We just want to make sure if we do it we do it right,” he insisted.
“There’s been a lot of pressure for us to do it, obviously because it’s successful, but that’s that moment I think where you’ve got to step back and make sure you don’t make a mistake and make it for the wrong reasons.”
Since the success of The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007, Matt says he and filmmaker Paul Greengrass have been keen not to rush into anything.
“It’s really up to Paul Greengrass because I’ve always said I wouldn’t do it without him,” Matt said.
“When it feels like the right time, I think Paul will be open to doing it.
“I think Paul’s probably going to do one or two other films that he’s got cooking but then after that, I’m sure.”
Matt was at the Critics Choice Awards to receive the Joel Siegel Award for Service to the Community. The 40-year-old was keen to talk about his charity Water.org which is helping developing countries get safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
“I see when these things are implemented and the affect that they have, that’s a great story to be able to bring back and that to me is what gives me an optimism about it.”
But even though he’s kicked, punched and shot villains in the past, Matt says his hardest task to date has been belting a teenage girl.
In a key scene in his new movie True Grit, Matt plays a boastful Texas Ranger who takes his 14-year-old co-star Hailee Steinfeld over his knee and wallops her with a stick.
A dad of four daughters, Matt has never raised a hand to a girl in real life so he and the film directors Joel and Ethan Coen took precautions to make sure Hailee was protected.
The star said: “They put a big pad on Hailee’s behind. And we practised. I said, ‘Hailee, does that hurt?’ And she said, ‘I can’t even feel it.'”
Matt is adamant it is a form of discipline he would never practise, saying: “I definitely don’t spank them.”
Newcomer Hailee was picked from a pool of 15,000 for the role. and Matt calls her performance “astonishing.”
It earned her a nod in the best actress category at the Baftas yesterday.
“This character is nothing like Hailee Steinfeld actually is in real life,” he said.
Matt loved being directed by Hollywood greats the Coen brothers in their remake of the John Wayne classic – and reckons he’s the one red-blooded male who hasn’t seen The Duke saddle up with Glen Campbell in the original movie.
Matt said: “When I found out about this one, I asked the Coen brothers if I should go see the original. And they said, ‘Actually, the book is where you should go because we’re not looking at it as a remake of that film, as much as a strict adaptation of this great book’.”
True Grit stars Hailee as a 14-year-old girl who hires a boozy US Marshal named Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to hunt down the dim outlaw (Josh Brolin) who murdered her father.
Tagging along on the manhunt is Matt’s lawman, who may be more windbag than wild west hero.
“I am,” said Matt proudly, “a true nincompoop in this movie.”
That’s not to say he doesn’t earn his spurs eventually.
His butch role is a million miles away from his life at home in New York with the five women in his life.
Baby Stella is the latest addition to his family.
There is Isabella, four, and Gia, two, and stepdaughter, Alexia, 12, his wife Luciana’s daughter from a previous marriage. He joked: “I might have to get a male dog.