Simon Beaufoy

Pretty much from the first moment that the Hunger Games movie became official, Lionsgate has been confident that it’s going to be a huge hit. The entire production of the film has been the subject of a media blitz too large to recap here. So it comes as no surprise that even before the first film has been released, work has begun on getting its sequel together. For those not in the know, Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” was the first part of a trilogy of novels whose subsequent books are titled “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay.” So what’s the news on development for Catching Fire? The Wrap is reporting that not only has Lionsgate secured Hunger Games director Gary Ross to come back and do the sequel, but they’ve also hired screenwriter Simon Beaufoy to come on and adapt the book into a screenplay. Beaufoy has an impressive resume that includes films like Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours, so I don’t really think his hiring can be seen as a disappointment, even though it might point to the notion that Collins and Ross might not be as hands-on with the writing process on this one as they were the first.

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Director Lasse Hallström’s newest picture, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, is about an eccentric sheik who loves fishing so much he’s willing to pay obscene amounts of money to create a permanent river in the deserts of Yemen, stocked with salmon. It then becomes up to his legal council to find a fisheries expert who can make it happen. And here we have the set-up for a really boring movie. Except, watching the trailer, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen doesn’t seem boring at all. Most of that probably has to do with the fact that the legal council and the fisheries expert are played by Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor, two actors with more charm in their fingernails than most people have in their whole bodies. I kind of have big crushes on both of them, so watching McGregor play nervous and proper, and Blunt playing blunt and driven, and seeing the two of them turn banter into romance…well, it all just seems to be too cute for words. Add in Kristin Scott Thomas as a sassy newspaper woman with shady motives, and this may be a movie with too much charm for its own good.

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This article is part of our Oscar Week Series, where you will find breakdowns and predictions for all of the major categories. The process of making a film involves thousands of moving parts and pieces from the actors to the director to the caterers and beyond, but arguably the most integral aspect of the process is the script. I say arguable, but I’m only being polite. The script is the most important part of a film… it’s responsible for the words coming out of the actors’ mouths, for the shifts in story, for the very tale itself. Actors bring it to life and the director makes it a visual reality, but it all starts from the script. An argument could be made that scripts adapted from a previous source have most of the heavy lifting already done for them, but the ones making that case have most likely never written a script. It may be an advantage to have the story beats clearly marked out for you in advance, but it doesn’t make the process of writing a smart, entertaining, and well crafted screenplay any easier. This year sees a mixed bag of nominees in the Adapted category, and while one film seems to be a lock to win there’s at least one nominee that just don’t belong on the same stage. I’m looking at you Toy Story 3. The nominees are listed below with my prediction for the winner in red…

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Simon Beaufoy, the writer behind Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours, is ready to change his stripes to write Sharp Teeth – based off the novel of the same name – which features a south LA gang made up of werewolves. Well, not werewolves really. They turn into giant wolves, but they can do it whenever they want (thus sidestepping the terrible curse of the moonlight and its emotional/psychological implications). Basically, these guys can’t do a drive-by without shedding on the car seats. That’s their cross to bear. Although they’ve partnered on two consecutive films, it’s unclear whether Danny Boyle will ultimately agree to adapt it, but that certainly seems to be Beaufoy’s goal. In his interview with BBC America, he claimed, “If I write it well enough, he’ll direct it.” Boyle has already done faux-zombies, so maybe faux-werewolves will be a natural next step (especially if returns to the 28 Somethings Later… franchise for one last go). At any rate, it would give audiences a pack of shape-shifting dogs of a different color than Team Jacob and Twilight. On the other hand, the idea sounds crazy – which might be another reason to love it. The best talent in the business should never be afraid to do some genre work.

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Wolverine Rumors

Like sweet manna from the heavens, movie rumors about the next Wolverine are already popping up. And you’ll love who people are claiming the screenwriter might be. Or not. I don’t pretend to know what makes you happy.

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amyadams-header

Oscar nominated screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, whose work on the 2008 sensation Slumdog Millionaire, has reportedly been tapped by Spuglass entertainment to write Leap Year, a romantic comedy vehicle for the lovely Amy Adams.

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published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C
published: 11.18.2014
B+
published: 11.14.2014
B+


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