Kristen Wiig, Sally Hawkins and Maggie Smith board A Boy Called Christmas

Kristen Wiig, Sally Hawkins and Maggie Smith have all signed on to star in A Boy Called Christmas.Back in 2016, executives at StudioCanal and Blueprint Pictures announced they had tapped writer/director Ol Parker to adapt Matt Haig’s acclaimed 2015 nov…

Kristen Wiig, Sally Hawkins and Maggie Smith have all signed on to star in A Boy Called Christmas.

Back in 2016, executives at StudioCanal and Blueprint Pictures announced they had tapped writer/director Ol Parker to adapt Matt Haig’s acclaimed 2015 novel, which follows an 11-year-old boy named Nikolas, nicknamed Christmas, who must travel to the North Pole in order to save his father.

Now, film bosses have unveiled the all-star cast, with Kristen Wiig, Sally Hawkins, Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent, and Toby Jones all nabbing roles. In addition, Zoe Colletti, Michiel Huisman, Henry Lawfull, Rune Temte, and Indica Watson will appear, with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Gil Kenan to direct. It remains unclear which roles each actor will take on.

Along with StudioCanal executives, Graham Broadbent and Pete Czernin will produce, while the team at Framestore will provide visual effects.

Principal photography is now underway in Lapland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and London, though a potential release date has not yet been set.

“The origin story of Father Christmas is re-imagined in Gil Kenan’s live-action A Boy Called Christmas,” the official synopsis reads. “An ordinary young boy called Nikolas sets out on an extraordinary adventure into the snowy north in search of his father who is on a quest to discover the fabled village of the elves, Elfhelm. Taking with him a headstrong reindeer called Blitzen and a loyal pet mouse, Nikolas soon meets his destiny in this magical, comic and endearing story that proves nothing is impossible.”

StudioCanal will release the film in the U.K, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, and China, while Netflix has the rights for the rest of the world.

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Julian Fellowes hints at Downton Abbey film follow-up

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has hinted that a sequel to the upcoming film version of the hit period drama is a very real possibility.The wait for a new instalment of the beloved TV show is nearly over for Downton devotees, with the feature no…

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has hinted that a sequel to the upcoming film version of the hit period drama is a very real possibility.

The wait for a new instalment of the beloved TV show is nearly over for Downton devotees, with the feature now in its post-production stage.

It’s been more than three years since fans last checked in with the Crawley family and their servants, but Julian, who wrote the movie’s script, has now hinted that more could be on its way.

“I haven’t killed off half the cast in a (British soap opera) Coronation Street-style tram crash so a follow-up is definitely a possibility,” he coyly told The Sun newspaper.

Show favourites Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Joanne Froggatt, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville and Jim Carter, among many others, are all back for Downton Abbey the film, which is slated to hit theatres in September (19).

Talking about what fans can expect, Joanne, who has played lady’s maid Anna Bates since the show’s premiere in 2010, told The Times newspaper that cinemagoers won’t be disappointed with the movie continuation.

“The people who love the TV series are the people who are going to want to see the movie, for the most part, so I think it’s got all the things that people loved about Downton, but elevated. It looks very cinematic; there are big, beautiful set pieces,” she smiled.

She also hinted that a follow-up could be in the pipeline.

“If people still want it. One step at a time, but if we can do something really quality, then yes. Never say never,” she teased.

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Olivia Colman to be honoured with BFI Fellowship

Olivia Colman is to be honoured with the British Film Institute (BFI)’s Fellowship accolade next month (Mar18). The Favourite star will be awarded the institution’s most prestigious honour during the BFI Chairman’s dinner at the Rosewood Hotel in …

Olivia Colman is to be honoured with the British Film Institute (BFI)’s Fellowship accolade next month (Mar18).

The Favourite star will be awarded the institution’s most prestigious honour during the BFI Chairman’s dinner at the Rosewood Hotel in London on 6 March (19) in recognition of her contribution to British film and TV and her “distinctive and prodigious acting talents and the huge impact she has on audiences all over the world”.

“I’m absolutely bowled over,” the actress said in a statement. “The BFI is a wonderful organisation and that I will soon be in a Fellowship with so many of my heroes is an honour that is hard to compute. Thank you a thousand times, I really am thrilled.”

BFI Chair Josh Berger said, “I am thrilled the BFI is giving its highest honour, the BFI Fellowship, to Olivia Colman, at such an exciting point in her career. Olivia is a brilliant comic actor and one of the industry’s finest dramatic performers. Her ability to be relatable in such a diverse range of roles generates incredible warmth and admiration from audiences.

“The Favourite is firmly up there as one of the best films of recent years and showcases Olivia’s extraordinary and nuanced performance, which is fittingly being acknowledged by critics and audiences all over the world.”

The British actress follows in the footsteps of previous honorees including Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Helena Bonham Carter, Cate Blanchett, and Martin Scorsese.

Olivia, who will play Queen Elizabeth II in the upcoming season of The Crown, is currently nominated for a Best Actress Oscar and BAFTA for her portrayal of eccentric Queen Anne in The Favourite. She was beaten to the Golden Globe and SAG awards by Glenn Close for The Wife.

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Jim Carter hesitant to wait on wife Imelda Staunton on Downton Abbey movie set

Jim Carter is worried his wife Imelda Staunton will blur the lines of reality now she’s joined the Downton Abbey movie.Jim has been part of the Downton cast since the show first aired in 2010, playing loyal butler Charles Carson.He’ll be back waiting h…

Jim Carter is worried his wife Imelda Staunton will blur the lines of reality now she’s joined the Downton Abbey movie.

Jim has been part of the Downton cast since the show first aired in 2010, playing loyal butler Charles Carson.

He’ll be back waiting hand and foot on the aristocratic Crawley family in the big screen version of the period drama, while his wife of 35 years Imelda is among the newbies joining the franchise.

“We don’t actually speak to each other because she is upstairs and I am downstairs. She is harbouring the fond belief that I shall be serving her wine this week but, just in case she thinks that was going to spread into our private life, I think I will have Carson refuse,” he smiled to British newspaper Metro.

Many of the core cast are also back for the film, which series creator Julian Fellowes has written, including Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern and Hugh Bonneville.

Viewers last saw the goings on at the fictional Yorkshire country estate during the 2015 Christmas special, but Jim says it took no time for him and his co-stars to get reacquainted.

“It’s a bit like going back to school, asking how everyone is and about their summer, and then within five minutes you are back into the routine,” he shared. “I’ve been down at Highclere Castle (where Downton is filmed) all this week and it is lovely to see everybody, with the added bonus that Imelda is in it this time.”

As for what he’d like to see happen to Carson in the movie, directed Michael Engler, the 70-year-old admitted he was ready to put his feet up a bit more.

“Oh, God knows. Invent the smorgasbord so the posh people can feed themselves,” he laughed. “I think he should fit a Lazy Susan in the middle of the table so they can just spin it and pick their own dishes, and let me put my feet up and do the crosswords.”

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Kate Winslet and Diane Keaton teaming on new film – report

Kate Winslet and Diane Keaton are reportedly set to star in a movie together.The Hollywood A-listers have been recruited by director Roger Michell and will play a mother and daughter pairing in a dark family drama called Blackbird, according to Daily M…

Kate Winslet and Diane Keaton are reportedly set to star in a movie together.

The Hollywood A-listers have been recruited by director Roger Michell and will play a mother and daughter pairing in a dark family drama called Blackbird, according to Daily Mail entertainment columnist Baz Bamigboye.

While the film is to be set in the United States, shooting will apparently begin in the United Kingdom from September (18).

Should the film go ahead, it will mark the first time Kate and Diane have collaborated. However, the Annie Hall star has previously worked with Roger for 2010’s Morning Glory, in which she starred alongside Rachel McAdams and Harrison Ford.

The South African filmmaker is also the brains behind hit films including Notting Hill and Le Week-End, while also receiving critical acclaim for his most recent screen offering, Nothing Like A Dame, a documentary which follows the careers of Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright and Eileen Atkins.

Diane has recently graced cinema screens in Bill Holderman’s directorial debut Book Club, alongside Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen.

Whereas Kate’s most recent screen appearance was in 2017 when she starred in Woody Allen’s Coney Island drama Wonder Wheel. She has since lent her voice to upcoming animation Manou the Swift, while also reuniting with Titanic’s James Cameron to film the hotly anticipated Avatar 2. Additionally, she has landed a role in Naya Legend of the Golden Dolphin, as part of an all-star cast including Gerard Butler, James Franco and Whoopi Goldberg.

Between Kate and Diane, the pair has racked up nine Academy Award nominations and two wins.

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