Apologies for the lack of new entries for a couple of weeks; I’ve been very busy, and there’s been a shortage of verified news. Yes, there have been some rumors and a lot of gaseous speculation based on one unsourced, unconfirmed Hollywood Reporter article, but I don’t dignify that sort of thing with coverage, and have no interest in following that particular Empty Juggernaut; I hope Hugo remains uninvolved, as he’s stated on many occasions that he has no interest in playing any more cartoon villains in blockbuster productions… I suspect his American agent (whom Hugo has said he rarely contacts) might be trying to to stir something up, but Hugo’s schedule would seem to make extended participation in this project impossible if the alleged filming dates stand. And that’s all I have to say about that nonsense at present.
Instead I’m thrilled to report we finally have some new stills and a lovely new teaser (featuring a brief glimpse of Hugo) for Hugo’s next-released film, Healing, which is directed by Craig Monahan and costars Dan Hany and Xavier Samuels. Pinnacle Films has posted a detailed synopsis at their website it addition to these pics and a revised version of the poster image which debuted last year.
Film Teaser (from Pinnacle’s Facebook Page):
Here are the stills featuring Hugo, starting with my favorite:
is that Grimble? 😉 Not sure who’s more starstruck.
L to R: Hugo Weaving, Don Hany, Mark Winter and Xavier Samuel
The second-most intriguing bit of recent news is that Hugo has recorded voiceovers for a video for the charity group Cambodian Childrens Trust, which “is a secular, non-profit NGO working to break the cycle of poverty in the Battambang region of Cambodia.” According to their Facebook and Twitter accounts, the video will be released soon. But in the meantime they teased us a bit with this photo:
“We’d like to send out a huge thank you to Hugo Weaving for his support and also for recording the voice-over for our new video! (Stay tuned, the video is coming soon!)” via CCT’s Facebook
Hugo has done work for and supported a wide variety of environmental, animal, arts and social justice causes over the years (in an understated, non-self-promoting way) and I’m very happy he’s still at it. This project, healing and Australian films like Mystery Road (latest festival appearance: Jameson’s Dublin Int’l Film Festival, 14 February; buy tickets here) and The Turning (which will screen at Berlinale next month) remain the norm for him, while giant genre blockbusters are, by his own reckoning, an occasional exception. Wish that entertainment websites and a lot of genre fans saw the larger picture: there’s much more to Hugo than they imagine.
Also in Hugo News: Speaking of Mystery Road and The Turning, both will be released on Australian DVD/Blu-Ray next month, with Mystery Road out February 12 and The Turning February 24. Many Australian sites are now taking pre-orders, including EZYDVD and DVD Warehouse. Please note that these are Region 4 and you’ll need a region-free player to accommodate them; if your computer has a DVD player, VideoLan offers free software that will play any region DVDs. Also, the Blu-Rays are Region B (not suitable for North American players). The Turning is available in Standard and Limited Edition DVDs. All versions of The Turning seem to include the full 180 minute cut presented in special screenings last year. Madman Video is also offering pre-orders, and features the most specifics on different DVD/Blu-Ray package options. (The Limited Edition and Blu-Ray seem identical.)
Unfortunately, US fans will have to wait awhile longer to see Mystery Road (unless you were lucky enough to catch it at one of last fall’s film festivals, as I was.) The film isn’t on Well Go USA’s slate of releases for January through March. Let’s hope they do release it properly (ie into cinemas) this spring. Also: no updates on a possible international tour for STC’s Waiting For Godot in 2015. But Cate Blanchett will reprise her role in STC’s The Maids (costarring Isabelle Huppert) at this August’s Lincoln Center Festival.
Mystery Road will also screen on ABC1 in Australian on Australia Day (26 January) at 8.30pm. There are articles about the screening (and the film’s place in the growing “Oz Noir” genre) at The Sydney Morning Herald (featuring an interview with director Ivan Sen) and The Age.
Hugo Weaving and Aaron Pedersen in Mystery Road
Several Hugo Weaving projects were cited in a variety of 2014’s Most Anticipated Films/Theatre listings at the beginning of the year, including Healing (Crikey.com.au) and Macbeth (The Sydney Morning Herald).
No additional details about Strangerland (costarring Nicole Kidman and Guy Pearce) are yet available. The project is “eyeing a spring start” according to IMDb and other sources, but Kidman has to finish working on another buzzed-about film–Queen of The Desert (they might seriously want to rethink that title…) costarring Damian Lewis– first. Hugo has much of July through September booked with STC’s unique take on Macbeth, so they’ll have to fit it in before then or significantly delay it. Also no word on The Mule’s theatrical release, through the film’s Twitter account suggests they’re knee-deep in post-production.
I’l try not to go so long between entries next time. As you can see, Hugo Weaving has plenty on his plate this year and doesn’t really need to go in for predictable villain roles in worn-out franchises. 😉