Browse Updates
Jun 25
2020

Here comes an insightful article by The Hollywood Reporter on Toni’s upcoming film “Stowaway”. Almost exactly a year ago, in what seems now a distant universe — pre-novel coronavirus pandemic, pre-lockdown — I was crouched next to a monitor as Anna Kendrick and Daniel Dae Kim floated past me and above my head. As I watch, director Joe Penna calls out to the wire technicians to adjust the cables — nearly invisible — that hold Kendrick and Kim dangling in their harnesses, 30 feet in the air. “We’re used to seeing weightlessness in space in a certain way but I think I’ve found a few new takes,” Penna says. “Throughout the film the amount of gravity shifts, from 1 G all the way down to 0 G, or completely weightless. At each stage they’re going to move differently, each stage will look different.” It’s July 12, 2019 and we’re on a soundstage at the MMC Studios in Cologne, Germany. Penna is in the home stretch shooting Stowaway, a space drama he co-wrote with his frequent collaborator, and editor, Ryan Morrison. They had the idea for the movie — a morality play set on a spaceship traveling to Mars — long before coronavirus. But with their story of a small group in isolation, cut off the rest of the world, and worried about the dangers that lurk just outside, the two may have inadvertently made the ultimate film for the pandemic. “It’s stranger than fiction,” says Aram Tertazakian from XYZ Films, which produced Stowaway and, together with CAA Media Finance, is presenting it to buyers at the Virtual Cannes Market this week. “Joe and Ryan didn’t predict the pandemic, but the themes of the movie have a particular resonance right now.” Actually, Joe and Ryan did predict the pandemic. At the Tribeca Film Festival last year they debuted a short web series, Release, about a deadly virus outbreak in the United States. “It was scary how close we got to the real thing,” says Morrison, speaking from his office in Los Angeles on June 10. “I actually had to visit a hospital at the peak of the outbreak and it looked exactly like the sets we designed for Release.” The complete article can be read over at The Hollywood Reporter.

Jun 10
2020

The Peabody Awards has named 30 programs as the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and digital media during 2019. The organization also announced “FRONTLINE” and “The Simpsons” as recipients of Institutional Awards. This distinctive honor goes to programs that have made a significant impact on media programming and the cultural landscape. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Peabody Awards Ceremony—originally slated to take place in Los Angeles for the first time on June 18—is canceled. In lieu of the live event, many recipients recorded acceptance speeches (almost all of which were recorded prior to the protests over the George Floyd killing). You can watch the acceptance speeches recorded by Ayelet_Waldman and Michael Chabon, Kaitlyn Dever, Merritt Wever, Sarah Timberman and Susannah Grant on Dropbox.

Drawing from a true story, Susannah Grant, Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon expertly pen a rape investigation for the #MeToo era, showing not just what police work should look like, but what a mediated account of rape should entail. With standout performances from Toni Collette, Merritt Wever and Kaitlyn Dever, the series serves as a model for how storytellers can implore society to believe women but also how to shift the ways we talk about rape.

Timberman-Beverly Productions, Sage Lane Productions, Escapist Fare, Katie Couric Media, and CBS Television Studios for Netflix (Netflix)

May 23
2020

According to an article by IF, David Wenham was set to fly to Vancouver to star in the Netflix drama series Pieces of Her when the producers were forced to shut down production on the day principal photography was due to start. He was to have joined Toni Collette and Bella Heathcote in the eight-part thriller based on the 2018 crime novel by Karin Slaughter from the all-female creative team led by Charlotte Stoudt, Bruna Papandrea, Lesli Linka Glatter and Minkie Spiro. Scripted by Stoudt and to be directed by Spiro, the series is set in a sleepy Georgia town where a random act of violence sets off an unexpected chain of events for 30-year-old Andy Oliver (Heathcote) and her mother Laura (Collette), a speech therapist. Desperate for answers, Andy embarks on a dangerous journey across America, drawing her toward the dark, hidden heart of her family. In a webinar with Adam Cook, head of acting at Actors Centre Australia, Wenham said Netflix has assured the cast and crew of all Netflix productions they are still contracted and filming will resume as soon as it is safe to do so. Wenham will play Jasper Queller, a character from Laura’s secret past life. It will be Wenham’s and Collette’s third collaboriation after 1996’s “Cosi” and 1998’s “The Boys”.

Apr 11
2020

As expected due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bleecker Street’s “Dream Horse”, which was supposed to release theaters on April 17, has been moved to a September 04, 2020 release date in the United Kingdom. Guillermo del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley” has also suspended production indefinitely. The decision was made on behalf of Disney, which is putting a hold on nearly all of its live-action productions at the moment, including 20th Century and Searchlight projects. Del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley” is adapted by the filmmaker and film critic Kim Morgan from the 1946 William Lindsay Gresham novel of the same name. The project is Del Toro’s first since “The Shape of Water,” which took home top Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. The ensemble cast includes Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, Rooney Mara, and David Strathairn. Del Toro kicked off production at the end of January and had been shooting the film in Toronto. “Nightmare Alley” casts Cooper as an ambitious carnival worker with a talent for manipulating people with his words. Cooper’s character uses his gift to carry out con jobs, but his life is thrown into disarray after he falls for a mysterious psychiatrist (Blanchett) who proves far more dangerous than he could ever image. The carnival cast includes carnival worker Molly (Mara), head barker Clem (Willem Dafoe), and del Toro’s “Hellboy” actor Perlman as Bruno the Strongman. Jenkins, an Oscar nominee for “Shape of Water,” stars in the part of the high society crowd as wealthy industrialist Ezra Grindle.” Disney and Searchlight never assigned a release date for “Nightmare Alley,” but many were hoping the movie would turn up on the fall festival circuit and be ready for the upcoming awards season. Those release wishes are now in jeopardy now that production is on hold indefinitely.

Mar 02
2020

Over the past weeks I’ve worked extensively on Toni Collette’s press library, adding the most recent interviews to promote “Knives Out” and “Unbelievable” and also posting lots of older articles from the early 1990s and 2000s. Included are some fantastic vintage cover stories from around the world, which you can now all find in the improved press library, hosting over 200 articles. If you have any articles or cover stories in your collection that you would like to share, please drop me a line. Enjoy reading!


Feb 27
2020

According to Deadline, Bella Heathcote (Strange Angel, The Man in the High Castle) is set to headline Pieces of Her, Netflix’s dramatic thriller series based on the 2018 book by bestselling crime author Karin Slaughter. Heathcote will star opposite Toni Collette in the eight-episode series, which comes from an all-female creative team led by Charlotte Stoudt, Bruna Papandrea, Lesli Linka Glatter and Minkie Spiro. Written by Stoudt, who serves as showrunner, Pieces of Her is set in a sleepy Georgia town where a random act of violence sets off an unexpected chain of events for 30-year-old Andy Oliver (Heathcote) and her mother Laura (Collette). Desperate for answers, Andy embarks on a dangerous journey across America, drawing her toward the dark, hidden heart of her family. Stoudt executive produces with Papandrea, Steve Hutensky and Casey Haver from Made Up Stories, and Karin Slaughter, Janice Williams, Spiro and Glatter.

A self-saboteur, Andy (Bella Heathcote) is a college dropout living in her mother’s garage apartment. Aimless and struggling for direction, she is the complete opposite of her mother, Laura, (Toni Collette) who is a poised and well-respected speech pathologist. When a life-changing incident takes place at a small-town diner, Andy is forced to fend for herself as she is plunged into a world where nothing is as it seems.