BBC Robin Hood fanvid - "Scegliere l'amore"

Love this fan video of BBC's Robin Hood featuring Richard Armitage, Lucy Griffiths and Jonas Armstrong...
Every once in a while, a period drama video catches my eye and this one held me mesmerized!

Hats off to JulietD001 for doing such a beautiful job!

Upstairs, Downstairs - Casting News!

Not only will Keeley Hawes be starring in the new BBC update of Upstairs, Downstairs but we'll also see Claire Foy take on the role of her sister! I'm elated to hear this casting news about two of my favourite actresses! (Upstairs Downstairs will air in the U.S. in 2011 as part of Masterpiece's 40th anniversary season on PBS.) Check out the rest of the cast...

Keeley Hawes (Lady Agnes, lady of the house)
Ed Stoppard (Sir Hallam, master of the house)
Adrian Scarborough (butler)
Claire Foy ("temptress", sister of Lady Agnes)
Anne Reid (cook)
Ellie Kendrick (maid)
Nico Mirallegro (footman)
Jean Marsh , show creator (housekeeper)

TIFF News - July 24, 2010

Colin Firth & Helena Bonham Carter

Might be jumping the gun but one source is declaring that The King's Speech will make its premiere at the coveted opening weekend of the Toronto International Film Festival in September. (It's also being mentioned for Venice and Telluride's film fests) There's anticipated Oscar buzz for this royal biopic starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Gambon and Jennifer Ehle to name a few. (This is the time of year that I wonder why I don't visit since it's withing driving distance for me.)

Frieda Pinto as Miral
Also making its premiere, will be Miral, director Julian Schnabel's follow-up to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. It stars Freida Pinto, Willem Dafoe and Alexander Siddig. This time around, Schnabel focuses the lense on another true story. "Miral" takes a look at Hind Husseini and her quest to build an orphanage in Jerusalem in the wake of the establishment of Israel in 1948.


Although not a period drama, I loved this movie so much that I'd like to mention it here. Actually, I guess it qualifies as an entry based on the actors in it that have entertained us in previous period films.
First of all, there's Leo....ahhh, Leonardo DiCaprio (who stole countless hearts in The Titanic), as well as Joseph Gordon-Levitt (A River Runs Through It), Ellen Page (Pit Pony), Tom Hardy (Wuthering Heights), Ken Watanabe (Memoirs of a Giesha), Cillian Murphy (Girl with a Pearl Earring, Way We Live Now), Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose) and the iconic Michael Caine.

I posted more about it here on Quintessential Movies but thought I'd post this video here. They've provided a stream of Inception's movie premiere which includes interviews with the cast as well as a performance before the screening of some of the awesome music from the soundtrack by Hans Zimmer. The music gives me chills when I hear it!

It's a psychological thriller that is original and worth watching in my opinion. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!

Leo Dicaprio
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Marion Cotillard
Tom Hardy

Ken Watanabe
Ellen Page
Cillian Murphy

Webcam chat at Ustream


Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides : teaser

A teaser promo featuring Johnny Depp was released at Comic Con yesterday. I realize that Pirates of the Caribbean isn't necessarily appreciated by all period drama fans but here it is for those interested!


Hercule Poirot - Third Girl

The latest installment of Hercule Poirot airs tonight July 18 on PBS Masterpiece and along with iconic David Suchet in the title role, we'll also see two actors from Lost in Austen - Jemima Rooper as Norma Restarick and Tom Mison as David Baker.

Synopsis from PBS of episode Third Girl:
Norma Restarick, a young and tormented heiress, visits Hercule Poirot with an alarming cry — "I thought you might be able to save me!" She thinks she may have committed a murder, but before Poirot can inquire further, she's gone. Soon thereafter, Poirot and his fiction-writer friend Ariadne Oliver learn of a death — Norma's childhood nanny, apparently a suicide. But Norma, haunted by memories of her childhood and her own mother's suicide, is convinced she's committed the heinous crime. Norma's family and circle of friends fear for her sanity. But as Poirot delves into this compelling case and Norma's tragic past, he begins to fear for her life. Norma may be in imminent danger, but can Poirot devise a plot to lure a killer and save the fragile Norma? Based on the novel by Agatha Christie, Third Girl stars David Suchet as Hercule Poirot and ZoĆ« Wanamaker as Ariadne Oliver.

Jemima Rooper and Tom Mison in Third Girl
Mison and Rooper in Lost in Austen

Sherlock (2010)

From the BBC
This modern-day Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the new Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as his loyal friend, Doctor John Watson. Rupert Graves plays Inspector Lestrade.
The iconic details from Conan Doyle's original books remain – they live at the same address of 221b Baker Street, have the same names and, somewhere out there, Moriarty is waiting for them.

Steven Moffat says: "Conan Doyle's stories were never about frock coats and gas light; they're about brilliant detection, dreadful villains and blood-curdling crimes – and frankly, to hell with the crinoline. Other detectives have cases, Sherlock Holmes has adventures, and that's what matters."

On PBS Masterpiece Mystery
(3 episodes, 90 minutes each)
Oct 24 “A Study in Pink”
Oct 31 “The Blind Banker”
Nov 7 “The Great Game”

Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman)

Interview with creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss


Latest News - July 17, 2010

Upcoming Films include:

The Great Divorce
(based on novel by C.S. Lewis)
- the story of a busload of people from the grey town (a kind of purgatory/hell) that are taken on a trip to heaven. When published in 1946 it was considered by some to be a sequel to Lewis’ Screwtape Letters. To be produced by Beloved Pictures

Trilogy penned by N.D. Wilson
100 Cupboards
The first novel in a trilogy by N.D. Wilson is being adapted by Beloved Pictures. It's been compared to Harry Potter as well as the Oz series... "Twelve-year-old Henry York wakes up one night to find bits of plaster in his hair. Two knobs have broken through the wall above his bed and one of them is slowly turning . . .Henry scrapes the plaster off the wall and discovers cupboards of all different sizes and shapes. Through one he can hear the sound of falling rain. Through another he sees a glowing room–with a man pacing back and forth! Henry soon understands that these are not just cupboards, but portals to other worlds." synopsis from Amazon

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Ralph Fiennes, Colin Firth, Gary Oldman and Michael Fassbender will star adaptation of John LeCarre's bestseller tale of a spy-hunt within the highest echelons of the British Secret Intelligence Service. [Update: Tom Hardy has replaced Fassbender. Ciaran Hinds and Jared Harris have also joined cast]

J. Edgar Hoover biopic
Leo DiCaprio to be directed by Clint Eastwood

Hemingway and Gellhorn
~HBO planning film focusing on marriage of Ernest Hemingway & Martha Gellhorn with Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman cast in lead roles.
~Gillian Anderson is also planning on starring in lead role in biopic of Martha Gellhorn.

Scott Rudin has bought rights for film based on Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff with mention of Angelina Jolie possibly for lead role.

Wind in the Willows (2012)

Peter Jackson's company to adopt Kenneth Grahame's classic children's tale. Filming to begin this fall in New Zealand.

The Big Valley
Susan Sarandon possibly playing the matriarch of a ranching family in the 1870s San Joaquin Valley in this remake of Barbara Stanwyck's tv series.
Added cast members include Ryan Phillipe, Billy Bob Thornton, Bruce Dern and Richard Dreyfuss.
Jessica Lange has replaced Sarandon as the matriarch, Stephen Moyer has joined cast as Jarrod Barkley

Update: Lee Majors to play patriarch Tom Barkley, Stephen Moyer will not be in film due to scheduling conflicts

Garrow's Law
has been renewed for a second series of 4 episodes to be aired later this year. Thanks to Lights, Camera, History for heads up

The Hobbit (2012)
After various delays, the latest news is that Peter Jackson will direct the 2-part film series based on Tolkien's novel which will be shot back to back in New Zealand

In the News...
> interview with Keeley Hawes in the Telegraph
Keeley has mentioned that she will be appearing in a new period drama for BBC...

Michelle Dockery

-> Article in Daily Mail "And before the first [series of Downton Abbey] has even been shown, there's talk of a second series. It follows the Crowleys as World War I approaches and shows the last gasp before the old, grand estates were broken up." Michelle Dockery discusses her role of Lady Mary Crawley...

Sonam Kapoor
Sonam Kapoor seems to be making waves. She's completed filming Bollywood's take on Austen's Emma, Aisha, and she's currently filming Mausam in Edinburgh. She's also captured the attention of both Ben Stiller and Edoardo Ponti, (son of Sophia Loren) for their upcoming projects. She's the youngest member to join L'Oreal Paris along with Aishwarya Rai, (who starred in Bride & Prejudice).

Andrew Lloyd Webber with Danielle Hope, who will play Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz
Andrew Lloyd Webber to reunite with collaborator Tim Rice after 34 years to write new songs for The Wizard of Oz Musical (to open in London next February) Read article in Daily Mail

Two proposed projects by director Neil Marshall: The Eagle's Nest and The Sword and the Fury
Eagle's Nest ~ a World War II set action-adventure film that was first described as a hybrid of Die Hard and The Remains of the Day, which would also act as a tribute to films like Where Eagles Dare and The Eagle Has Landed. "The Eagle's Nest is my absolute dream project," answered Marshall. "That's an ongoing thing. I recently just did a new draft of the script and I'm getting the budget and schedule together. So I'm trying to package everything together to really do it justice," he explained. He finished by describing the tone of the film. "It's a little bit of Where Eagles Dare, Indiana Jones, James Bond and its kind of an espionage story set during WWII but its not really a war movie as such it's a full on action-adventure."
The Sword and the Fury, a post- Camelot film which would take place thirty-years after the death of King Arthur. "Yeah, that's another ongoing project, which I need to do a re-write of the script on. It's a medieval heist movie," Marshall explained. "It's basically a sequel to the Arthur legend because there are so many characters from the Arthur story that are still alive at the end of the story. Pretty much every society, every culture in the world has some version of the Arthur legend so everybody knows it, certainly in the western world everybody knows King Arthur but nobody knows what happens next. That's the key to it, I want to know what happens next. I want to know what happens to Guinevere and all the survivors," Marshall continued. "So I wondered what that would be like if this tyrant managed to get hold of Excalibur, which at that time is like the equivalent of having a nuclear weapon. It's the sort of power that anyone who owns it is undefeatable. (The film) is about Guinevere and the Grail Knights hiring this band of thieves to steal it back. So I'm going with that one," Marshall concluded.

War Horse (2011)
Steven Spielberg "has picked relative unknown Jeremy Irvine to play lead character Albert in the novel adaptation, with his parents played by ‘Trainspotting’ star Peter Mullan and ‘Miss Potter’ actress Emily Watson, Other talent lined up for roles in the film include Davie Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch and Stephen Graham. The book tells the tale of Albert (Irvine) and his friendship with farm horse Joey, who is sent off to fight in France during World War I. ‘War Horse’ – a novel written by Michael Morpurgo – has been adapted by ‘Billy Elliot’ writer Michael Morpurgo for the big screen and has already been adapted for the London stage by Nick Stafford." (source)

The Making of The Pillars of the Earth

Here's a 14 minute featurette put out by Starz TV with more behind the scenes and interviews for the upcoming Pillars of the Earth on July 23, 2010 on Starz in the U.S. and The Movie Network in Canada.

Based on Ken Follett's novel. Starring Matthew Macfadyen, Rufus Sewell, Hayley Atwell, Ian McShane, Eddie Redmayne, Donald Sutherland, Sarah Parish and more...


-> More information on Pillars of the Earth

Aisha - The Music from the film

For those who love soundtracks, here's a playlist on Youtube with some of the songs that will be featured in the upcoming Bollywood adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma - "Aisha".

-> Listen to songs from Aisha

-> More on Aisha

W.E. (2011)

More details regarding upcoming film which features Wallis Simpson and Edward in story of American woman years later. Written and directed by Madonna, she mentions some of the challenges in producing a film and finding period costumes. Source: Madonna's website

Based on an original screenplay, “W.E”, a film written by Madonna and Alek Keshishian is set to begin shooting July 5, 2010 in Europe (UK and France) and the US.

“W.E” tells two parallel love stories separated by more than six decades. Acclaimed actress Abbie Cornish has been cast in the role of Wally Winthrop – a young married New Yorker in 1998 who is obsessed with what she perceives as the ultimate romantic love story, King Edward VIII’s abdication for his love of Wallis Simpson. Andrea Riseborough has been cast in the role of Wallis Simpson. British star James D’Arcy will play the part of Edward VIII. Wally Winthrop”s Russian love interest Evgeni will be played by rising star Oscar Isaac and her husband William will be played by Richard Coyle. Art imitates life as the revered British acting dynasty provides father and son, James Fox and Laurence Fox in the roles of King George V and his son, Bertie.

1936 England - Wallis Simpson, an American woman, captured the heart of King Edward VIII. Already divorced and married to her second husband when she met Edward, then the Prince of Wales in London, the two fell in love. However, once crowned, Edward was told by the Church and the Prime Minister that he could not marry Wallis and remain King… He abdicated, giving up the throne to be with the woman he loved. Once married and known as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, they lived out what many considered to be the romance of the century.

1998 N.Y - Wally Winthrop has a troubled past and moves to New York from the South to work in Sotheby’s Estate department. She gives up her job to marry a successful psychiatrist but the marriage is unhappy and Wally finds herself bored, frustrated and often alone. She seeks refuge in her obsession with what she believes to be the ultimate romantic love story, King Edward VIII ‘s abdication for his love of Wallis Simpson. When Wally discovers Linkthat there is going to be an auction of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s Estate at Sotheby’s, she takes the opportunity to return to her old hunting ground to try to understand the nature of the great love affair through the artifacts that once belonged to the couple. While at Sotheby’s, Wally meets Evgeni, a Russian security guard, with a mysterious past. As she immerses herself deeper into the love story of Wallis and Edward, while spending more time away from her marriage, she finds herself falling in love.

We travel back and forth in time with Wally and Wallis, two fragile but determined women whose lives become inextricably linked. However, as the story unravels it becomes apparent that Wallis Simpson’s life was not as perfect as Wally had thought.

Images from movie
Press conference (tiff)

Abbie Cornish (Wally Winthrop)

Oscar Isaac (Evgeni)

Richard Coyle (William Winthrop)

James D'Arcy (King Edward VIII)

Andrea Riseborough (Wallis Simpson)

James Fox (King George V)

Laurence Fox (King George VI)

Natalie Dormer (Queen Elizabeth)

Judy Parfitt (Queen Mary)

Geoffrey Palmer (Stanley Baldwin)


Natalie Dormer talks of portraying Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Has Madonna's Wallis Simpson obsession gone too far?

Madonna discusses the challenges of securing the costumes for the film:
"The Duchess (of Windsor) has, like, 80 costume changes. She was dressed by Balenciaga and Christian Dior and Vionnet and Schiaparelli. A lot of the actual stuff is in museum archives (and) they're not going to give it to me."

But Madonna has found a way to get her way, she explains, "A lot of these couture houses have offered to make stuff for me.

"Just the costumes alone are pretty daunting because the Duke and the Duchess (of Windsor) were both real clotheshorses. It'll be a combination of real vintage pieces; others we'll get remade based on patterns that have been dragged out of the archives, and then new stuff we'll make.

"Next time, I'm writing a movie about one person in one place who has no wardrobe!"

Aisha - movie stills

Sonam Kapoor - L'oreal Ad

The official site for the upcoming Aisha has released more images presumably from the film set. I'm still not sure when the film will be released in North America since from what I've read, I assume the August 6th launch date refers only to India.
I already knew that Sonam Kapoor (Aisha) was the daughter of actor Anil Kapoor but I also just discovered that she has previously acted with Abhishek Bachchan, who co-starred with her father in Om Jai Jagadish. Anil was Om and Abhishek was his younger brother Jagadish. This is one of my fave Bollywood films, one I much preferred to Bride & Prejudice incidentally.
Sonam Kapoor & Abhishek Bachchan

Images from Aisha's movie set...

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