Today in the film world: Woody Allen has his eye on Germany for his next European shoot, The Iron Lady fails to win over Margaret Thatcher's most ardent supporters, and Katie Couric's new show has a name you may have seen coming.
- Woody Allen has shot films in England (Match Point, Scoop, Cassandra's Dream, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger), Spain (Vicky Christina Barcelona), France (Midnight in Paris) and Italy (the upcoming The Bop Decameron) since 2005. Now The Hollywood Reporter says Allen is "already making plans to head to Germany for his next project," which would shoot next summer. According to the report, "Bavaria studios in Munich is in negotiations with Allen to play the backdrop for his next, still-untitled project" and is also "set to come on board as a co-financier for the film, said to be budgeted at around $17 million." Allen always keeps his films top-secret during pre-production stages, but according to The Reporter, the ensemble cast includes Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin and Penelope Cruz. [The Hollywood Reporter]
- Modern Family star Eric Stonestreet is attached to star in an HBO biopic about silent film comedian Fatty Arbunkle, who was one of the country's top draws until 1921, when he was accused (and later acquitted) of raping and accidentally causing the death of actress Virginia Rappe. Barry Levinson is slated to direct, assuming he's not driven batty trying to finish the ill-fated John Gotti biopic first. John Adams scribe Kirk Ellis is writing the script. [The Hollywood Reporter and Vulture]
- Katie Couric's fall 2012 daytime talk show for ABC has a name: Katie. Call it the Conanification of titling. [Entertainment Weekly]
- When we saw the trailer to Meryl Streep's Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady, it seemed like one of those uncanny, pitch-perfect performances that Streep is allowed to do unquestioned. But friends of the former Prime Minister who attended a screening of the film over the weekend in London "expressed their revulsion" and were "were aghast at the way that it mocks her frail condition in recent years," according to The Daily Mail. One viewer called it "insulting," another "the story of a granny going mad." According to the Daily Mail. Streep's Thatcher is frequently seen "having nightmares about the miners’ strike and the Falklands War, while her late husband Denis (played by Jim Broadbent) appears as a ghost in a pink turban raging at her -‘insufferable’ selfishness." The outcry is enough to make Variety's Ted Johnson wonder if the film could be headed for the same fate as CBS' 2003 mini-series The Reagans, which was pawned off on Showtime following complaints from conservatives about scenes that "depicted Nancy Reagan as controlling, and Mr. Reagan at times confused," according to CBS News. [The Daily Mail and Variety]