Melissa McCarthy set to reunite with Chris O’Dowd on The Starling

Melissa McCarthy is set to reunite with Chris O’Dowd on upcoming movie The Starling.The pair previously co-starred in Theodore Melfi’s 2014 comedy-drama St. Vincent and Paul Feig’s 2011 hit Bridesmaids. Now, editors at Deadline have reported that McCar…

Melissa McCarthy is set to reunite with Chris O’Dowd on upcoming movie The Starling.

The pair previously co-starred in Theodore Melfi’s 2014 comedy-drama St. Vincent and Paul Feig’s 2011 hit Bridesmaids.

Now, editors at Deadline have reported that McCarthy and O’Dowd are in talks to appear in The Starling, with Melfi eyed to direct.

With a script from Matt Harris, the plot will follow a married couple who suffer a tragedy which puts a great strain on their relationship. The wife, set to be portrayed by McCarthy, stays home and builds a beautiful garden, though unfortunately, her tranquil space is interrupted by a sizeable black starling that has nested there. According to Deadline, the plot will be “an allegorical tale of how love can carry one through grief”.

The script for The Starling has been floating around Hollywood for several years, with Keanu Reeves and Isla Fisher attached to appear back in 2017. That version was to be directed by Dome Karukoski, but never came to fruition.

Melfi most recently directed 2016’s Hidden Figures and is in the pre-production phases of animated comedy The Fourteenth Goldfish and I am Rose Fatou, in which he serves as a writer and producer.

Meanwhile, McCarthy is coming off the back of her Oscar-nominated performance as Lee Israel in Can You Ever Forgive Me? and a role as Detective Connie Edwards in The Happytime Murders. The 48-year-old has also completed filming on Andrea Berloff’s crime film The Kitchen and action-comedy Superintelligence, which was directed by her husband Ben Falcone.

O’Dowd has been working on How to Build a Girl with Emma Thompson and Beanie Feldstein, slated to hit cinemas later in the year, and is linked to Adventures of Super Frank, about an Irishman who embarks on a road trip in search of his girlfriend.

A potential release date for The Starling is yet to be announced.

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Tolkien director was ‘lucky’ to land leading man Nicholas Hoult

Tolkien director Dome Karukoski was very “lucky” to land Nicholas Hoult as his leading man.The 29-year-old plays the famed English author, known for penning The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit novels, in the movie, with Lily Collins portraying Tolkien…

Tolkien director Dome Karukoski was very “lucky” to land Nicholas Hoult as his leading man.

The 29-year-old plays the famed English author, known for penning The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit novels, in the movie, with Lily Collins portraying Tolkien’s beloved wife and muse, Edith Bratt.

Now, Finnish filmmaker Karukoski has revealed that Hoult was his one and only choice, and even had to wrangle him away from filming commitments on superhero blockbuster X-Men: Dark Phoenix to ensure he was cast in the film.

“We actually cast Nick first. Yes, after I read the script, he came to mind immediately and I really wanted him,” he explained to Collider. “Luckily, (bosses at studio) Fox suggested him and I was so happy. We had to do a little bit of scheduling to get him away from X-Men to come shoot with us.

“It worked out, though. So much of the movie depends on who you have playing Tolkien. We were lucky to have Nick… After that we got Lily. She’s such a wonderful actress and they were great when they read together.”

The filmmaker also went on to candidly share that he had placed a self-imposed ban on making another biopic after 2017’s Tom of Finland, which told the story of artist Touko Valio Laaksonen.

“I didn’t really think I was going to be taking on another biopic. That’s the problem with biopics! They’re rigid. There’s an ending and things you have to hit along the way because those are things which actually happened. After Tom of Finland, I told myself, ‘No more biopics!’ Then I read the script and I love Tolkien’s work so very much, so I suddenly found myself doing a biopic again,” the 42-year-old confessed.

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Tolkien director thrilled to land Nicholas Hoult as his lead

No one could have played Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien better than Nicholas Hoult, according to a new biopic’s director. Dome Karukoski admits he was very impressed with the way the young Brit researched the role and portrayed the writer and…

No one could have played Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien better than Nicholas Hoult, according to a new biopic’s director.

Dome Karukoski admits he was very impressed with the way the young Brit researched the role and portrayed the writer and feels blessed that he had the chance to work with Hoult.

“The first thing that intrigued me with Nicholas is his intelligence,” the filmmaker tells WENN. “He’s very smart, which you need to be to play a genius like Tolkien. The second thing is that he’s very playful, also a quality of Tolkien, who was known to dress up as a knight and go out to scare people in Oxford!

“Nick fully embodied that. He spent months preparing, even practising how to illustrate as Tolkien did while sitting in the makeup chair for X-Men.

“Finally, Nick is an actor willing to do take after take, going for something different each time. He never stops looking for what’s best for the scene.”

And Dome also feels he lucked out when he cast Harry Gilby as the teenage Tolkien: “When I first saw Harry, I was struck by the fact that he’s almost as tall as Nick and he looks, and even walks, like Nick.

“He also had this sense of pure innocence that I felt captured something about Tolkien as a younger boy. I felt he brought out that playful, childlike quality that Tolkien always kept alive inside himself.”

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Nicholas Hoult defends Tolkien biopic after family’s criticism

Nicholas Hoult has defended his upcoming biopic of J.R.R. Tolkien after the late author’s family distanced themselves from it. The Mad Max: Fury Road actor portrays The Lord of the Rings writer in the upcoming biographical drama Tolkien, which explore…

Nicholas Hoult has defended his upcoming biopic of J.R.R. Tolkien after the late author’s family distanced themselves from it.

The Mad Max: Fury Road actor portrays The Lord of the Rings writer in the upcoming biographical drama Tolkien, which explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school.

Days before the film’s London premiere on Monday (29Apr19), the Tolkien family and estate issued a statement declaring that they didn’t endorse or approve of the project, and Hoult has now responded by defending the film on the red carpet.

“I think it’s been done very respectfully, as a fan. It’s story that stands alone,” he told the Press Association. “Such a remarkable life – his relationships, what he endured in World War One. What inspired him, hopefully, it will inspire new audiences now.”

According to London’s Evening Standard, Hoult also said he believed Tolkien’s great-grandson was attending the premiere and hoped he would like the film, which he described as “respectful and honourable”.

Director Dome Karukoski added that before the premiere, none of Tolkien’s relatives had watched their film, and offered to talk it through with them.

“It is a labour of love. It is done with respect and admiration for the professor. It’s a dramatic, beautiful, cinematic tale. It feels odd that a storyteller wouldn’t want that on the screen,” he said. “I have offered to sit with the estate and talk, and explain why some artistic choices have been made. It’s a tricky one, but I would just love to watch the film with them.”

Lily Collins, who portrays Tolkien’s partner Edith Bratt in the film, added that the author’s fans should know the man behind the books, which also include The Hobbit and The Silmarillion.

The original statement read, “The family and the Estate wish to make clear that they did not approve of, authorise or participate in the making of this film… They do not endorse it or its content in any way.”

Tolkien hits cinemas from Friday.

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