Part three of my posts looking at a number of films that may show up at film festivals during 2009 will focus on the continent of Asia, as well as a pair from Australia/New Zealand. Previous posts have covered France and the rest of Europe, and earlier posts about the Berlinale mentioned the new film from Chen Kaige.
Blake Williams first gave me word of the new film from Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Tropical Malady, Syndromes and a Century). You can find more information here on the director, and his latest project Primitive: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives which is going into production shortly via this link. Thanks Blake.
The latest film from Johnnie To (Mad Detective, Election) will be a French/Hong Kong co-production and filmed in English, entitled Vengeance. Filming now, Vengeance stars Johnny Hallyday, Simon Yam and Sylvie Testud. Variety reports that this is not the planned remake of Le cercle rouge, however. It is slated to be released in France on 20 May.
Following Lust, Caution, Ang Lee returns to the US for Taking Woodstock, which is set to be released in the States in August. It will be the third teaming in a row for Lee with Focus Features. Taking Woodstock stars, among many others, Emile Hirsch, comedian Demetri Martin, Liev Schreiber, Paul Dano, Kelli Garner, Imelda Staunton, Katherine Waterston, Eugene Levy, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Dan Fogler.
Like Hou Hsiao-hsien before him, Tsai Ming-liang will make his next feature in France, entitled Visage [Face]. The film explores the myth of Salomé, the biblical figure who performed the Dance of the Seven Veils which resulted in the beheading of John the Bapist. The dream cast includes Laetitia Casta as Salomé, Jeanne Moreau, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Mathieu Amalric, Fanny Ardant, Nathalie Baye and frequent actor Lee Kang-sheng. No dates set, but check this link (thanks to Nimzo!) for more information.
Hong Sang-soo's latest You Don't Even Know is currently filming. I couldn't find much information about the film, but it does star Kim Tae-woo and Go Hyun-jung from Woman on the Beach as well as Ye Ji-won from Turning Gate.
Park Chan-wook's Thirst looks to be ready in time for Cannes. The film already has distribution in France (Wild Side), the UK (Palisades Tartan), South Korea (CJ Entertainment) and the US (Focus Features) and will hopefully be out by the end of the year, before the Old Boy remake hits theatres. Thirst stars Song Kang-ho (The Host), Shin Ha-kyun (No Mercy for the Rude), Mercedes Cabral (Serbis) and Eriq Ebouaney (35 rhums).
I Come with the Rain will be Tran Anh Hung's first film since The Vertical Ray of the Sun in 2000. Produced by France, I couldn't find any substantial release dates for the film, but it stars Josh Hartnett, Elias Koteas, Lee Byung-hun (The Good, the Bad, the Weird), Simón Andreu and Takuya Kimura (2046).
No one seems to know what's going on with Wong Kar-wai's intended remake of The Lady from Shanghai after star Nicole Kidman dropped out. If I hear anything, I'll let you know.
The new film from director Mira Nair will be an American biopic of Amelia Earheart, with Hilary Swank as the doomed pilot. The film, called Amelia, will be released by Fox Searchlight in October. Amelia also stars Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston, Virginia Madsen and Joe Anderson.
John Woo's Red Cliff Part 2 was released in China on 8 January; the first installment was released last summer, though it doesn't look like any US distributor has picked up either. Red Cliff 2 stars Chang Chen, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Tony Leung.
Abbas Kiarostami's Copie conforme [Certified Copy] is currently in production and is set to star Juliette Binoche (she really does get to work with the world's best directors, doesn't she?). mk2 will release the film in France when it's completed.
The Duel will be the first American film from director Dover Koshashvili (Late Marriage). It looks to be finished filming, but I couldn't find anything further about the film.
Jane Campion will follow the terrible In the Cut with Bright Star, which examines the relationship between poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne. Pathé should release the film by the end of the year in the UK. It stars Ben Wishaw, Abbie Cornish, Paul Schneider and Kerry Fox.
The new film from John Hillcoat (The Proposition), called The Road, was bumped from last fall to sometime this year. The cast includes Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Robert Duvall, Garret Dillahunt, Michael K. Williams and Molly Parker. The Road is based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy.
As there always seems to be one, I forgot to mention the two new films from Fatih Akin (The Edge of Heaven) when doing my European post. Soul Kitchen is to be released in France on 11 November by Pyramide Distribution; the film stars Moritz Bleibtreu and Birol Ünel. The other film is a documentary entitled Garbage in the Garden of Eden.