Note: This is an archived entry that’s over two years old. While I have ensured that all photos are restored, some links may no longer work. If you encounter any dead links, let me know and I’ll try to find a copy of the material.
There’s been so much breaking news this week it’s been overwhelming trying to cover it all, but I’m working on it (whenever I can get breaks from my “real job”), so please be patient.
First up, Hugo gave a brief interview to Barbara Hoffman, which was published this morning in the New York Post. You can read the online version here, and I’ll embed the print version below. Some fans have joked about the rather… simplistic questions, but for the New York Post, this is actually better than average. (And it includes a great new photo by Chad Rachman.) At first I thought Hugo was deliberately deflecting a question about whether The Hobbit will be two films or three, as the rumor mill currently has it (rumors Peter Jackson seems to be fueling)… but in reality, he probably hasn’t kept up on these rumors because he’s so busy on other projects, and there’s no indication any of the Hobbit/Rings actors who’d be needed for a third film have yet been approached to make one. We all know Hugo pays no attention to the internet . 😉
Photo: Chad Rachman, New York Post
Next comes word of a long-planned independent project Hugo had been planning with director Craig Monahan, who gave him a pair of his most provocative Australian roles in the films The Interview (1998) and Peaches (2005). The film is a prison-set drama entitled Healing; according to Deadline’s report, “Hugo Weaving and Don Hany will star in Healing, an Australian drama about a sympathetic prison warden and his efforts to rehabilitate an Iranian-born prisoner, one of four features agency Screen Australia agreed to co-finance at its board meeting today….Healing will be directed by Craig Monahan, who co-scripted with Alison Nisselle. Los Angeles-based Lightning Entertainment is handling international sales and Pinnacle is the local distributor. Producer Tait Brady tells Deadline the film is based on a true story in which the rehabilitation of the long-term prisoner involved building an aviary in the low-security prison.” (Note: LJ refuses to save my entry with the Deadline.com hyperlink, so try these: Collider, The Hollywood News, HitFix.
This has been a cherished project of Monahan’s for a long time; in 2005 (while promoting Peaches) he mentioned that his next film was in the scripting stage (Alison Nisselle is named) and might costar Weaving: “[It’s] a true story about redemption and hope. [Hugo] has expressed interest. So when I’ve raised the money, we’ll sit down and talk.”) (The Weekend Australian, 4 June 2005) It took Monahan from 1998 to 2003 to finance Peaches, and another two years to get the film released, so it’s a testament to Monahan’s perseverance and Hugo’s loyalty that Healing (called The Healing in some early reports) will finally get made– no filming schedule or release date is yet known, but I don’t imagine Hugo will be available until next year.
Of course, the most buzzed-about Hugo News (though we haven’t seen much Hugo footage yet) is the debut of the tantalizing, much-speculated-about-but-little-known Cloud Atlas. I can’t yet find an HD copy, and this version is frustratingly low-fi and glitchy, and was apparently leaked or released by the film’s Asian distributor– it isn’t on the Cloud Atlas Facebook page yet. (That will surely change). But damn.. it looks gorgeous and mesmerizing, and mainly faithful to the trajectory of the novel, though the Wachowskis and Tykwer have amped up the existing romantic subplots and seemingly added a few more. I’m particularly eager to see what they do with Sonmi, because it’s a visceral, dark scifi plot (the sort of thing the Wachowskis have excelled at in the past) and the scenes glimpsed here make it look like the directors got it dead-on. I’m only wondering how Hugo could possibly fit into that story… but what we see looks amazing. Five minutes flew by very quickly. Only a few seconds of Hugo footage (I’m in the middle of isolating some stills), probably from the 1850s-set Adam Ewing plot… Hugo is probably playing D’Arnoq or Horrox in that, given the Fezziwig hair and age of the character. (But then, who knows what supporting characters from the novel have been retained/composited, etc.) I’m just relieved it doesn’t look like Hugo is playing Boerhaave or the cannibal leader at this point. 😉
BREAKING NEWS: We have an HD version of the trailer, so far resistant to embedding, and an interview with the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer at Apple’s Movie Trailers site. I’ll add the lo-res Jo-Blo version here for the time being, and hope some non-Quicktime version in HD is available soon. [2015 update: I’ve embedded the original extended trailer and directors’ interview from Warner Bros YouTube feed.]
Here are some caps of Hugo’s little cameo:
More to come, no doubt… this has been a very busy week. I’m happy to hear other fans have made it to Uncle Vanya. Sorry about all the technical difficulties in earlier versions of this post.