By Sarah Sluis
When someone's career starts to take off, you often expect them to move away from supporting parts and take on only leading roles. Not Amy Adams. She followed up her Oscar-nominated supporting role in Junebug with a mainstream Disney comedy, Enchanted, but returned for another supporting role in Doubt (Oscar nomination #2). With a romantic comedy, Leap Year, under wraps, she's signed up for another supporting role, as Mark Wahlberg's love interest in The Fighter. The biopic has been circulating for some time before it finally nailed down its two leads earlier this year. Christian Bale and Wahlberg will star as two brothers. The eldest (Bale), who has drugs and prison time on his resume, trains his younger brother to a boxing title. Melissa Leo, who was nominated last year for Lead Actress, will play Bale and Wahlberg's mother. David O. Russell is directing, and the film will start shooting in Lowell, MA, in July. With its talented cast of actors, biographical subject, and a talented director, this looks like a project angling to be one of the ten Best Picture nominees at the 2010 Oscars.
Here's an interesting combination: A 1973 teleplay as source material + the mysterious wife of Tom Cruise as star + a Guillermo Del Toro protege as director. Put it together, and you've got Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, which will begin shooting next month in New Zealand. I was disappointed that Katie Holmes didn't reprise her role as Rachel in The Dark Knight, and took it as a sign that she was swearing off the movie business, so I'm excited to see her turn up headlining another project. Never underestimate the lasting audience loyalty that can result from starring in a teen nighttime soap like "Dawson's Creek." Del Toro mentored Juan Antonia Bayona on the Spanish-language horror film The Orphanage (2007), to spectacular results, and he'll be taking on a similar role with Troy Nixey. The first-time feature director will be working from a screenplay co-written by Del Toro, and the New Zealand location was chosen for its proximity to Australia, where Del Toro is working on The Hobbit. Del Toro is also producing, ensuring he'll be able to keep a watchful eye on the film's progress. The film's plot seems fairly typical, so it will be up to Nixey and Del Toro to create that tingly atmosphere of foreboding. The plot follows a girl (Bailee Madison) who moves in with her father (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend (Holmes), only to discover demonic creatures that first enchant, and then horrify her. The girlfriend also becomes aware of their presence, but the father holds out, refusing to believe. Horror that tries to be more than just a screamer is one of my great pleasures, so I'm always happy to see projects like this in the pipeline.