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The Hollywood Reporter has released its third and final 2019 Toronto International Film Festival daily issue, which includes a look at the fest trifecta building awards season buzz; Wonderfilm Media picking up rights to a Steve McQueen biopic; and a chat with Edward Norton about his 20-year long journey of bringing a novel to the big screen.
Major Awards Buzz
It’s been 13 award seasons since a film — Martin Scorsese’s The Departed — made it all the way to the best picture Oscar without passing through Venice, Telluride or Toronto, so it’s only reasonable that prognosticators are monitoring the three film fests. The 76th edition of Venice ran from Aug. 28 through Saturday, kicking off with Hirokazu Kore-eda’s first feature set outside of Japan, The Truth, a French-language film starring Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche. But major awards buzz on the Lido was reserved for Todd Phillips’ Joker, for which Joaquin Phoenix garnered raves that could propel him to the sort of recognition the late Heath Ledger received for playing the same part in The Dark Knight; Noah Baumbach’s semi-autobiographical divorce drama Marriage Story, with lauded turns by Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson (the last three best actress Oscar winners launched in Venice); and Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat, which pairs Meryl Streep and Gary Oldman. THR takes a look at the fest trifecta generating award buzz.
Cinema’s “King of Cool”
Wonderfilm Media has acquired Marshall Terrill’s 2010 biography Steve McQueen: The Life and Legend of a Hollywood Icon, which it is adapting as a feature film. Terrill spent 10 years doing research for the book, which follows the actor’s life from humble beginnings in the Midwest to the pinnacle of Hollywood and ultimately to his untimely death at the age of 50 in Mexico. Wonderfilm’s Jeff Bowler, Bret Saxon and Dan Grodnik will produce, with Terrill serving as an executive producer and creative consultant. Mitchell Welch also will exec produce.
20 Years Later…
When Edward Norton read Jonathan Lethem’s book Motherless Brooklyn in 1999, he says he was “immediately struck” by the protagonist, Lionel Essrog, a detective with Tourette’s syndrome. Thus began a 20-year effort to bring Lethem’s book to the big screen, thanks in part to Norton’s desire, as both writer and director on the project, to transpose the novel from 1990s-era New York to the 1950s. The result is a period drama — made for a lean $26 million — with all the trappings of a classic noir. Norton chats with THR about the upcoming film (which will screen at TIFF on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sept. 15 and will be released domestically Nov. 1 by Warner Bros.), preparing for a role in which he has Tourette’s syndrome and enlisting Radiohead’s Thom Yorke for a song in the pic.
This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter‘s Sept. 8 daily issue at the Toronto International Film Festival.
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