First up, a film new to this blog: Amazing Grace. It has listed as one of its characters, John Newton (who wrote the hymn, Amazing Grace)—who is the subject to another upcoming film in pre-production currently under the project title Heart of Man. Amazing Grace, however, is slated for a Spring 2007 release (it’s in post-production). I found this summary on Walden Media’s web site for the film (the same company that gave us Chronicles of Narnia):
Script by Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things) will focus on Wilberforce's efforts as a member of Parliament in 18th-century England to end slavery and the slave trade in the British empire. Wilberforce was elected to the House of Commons at 21 and took on the issue of slavery, successfully assembling a diverse coalition that went up against the most powerful men of the time.I found this summary on Patricia Heaton’s web site (she’s a producer):
Amazing Grace is based on the true story of William Wilberforce, a British statesman and reformer from the early part of the 19th century. This feature film will chronicle his extraordinary contributions to the world, primarily his 20-year fight to abolish the British slave trade, which he won in 1807. He was also instrumental in passing legislation to abolish slavery in the British colonies, a victory he won just three days before his death in 1833.Worth keeping an eye on, anyhow.
Now, on to the films this blog already knows about. An Entertainment Weekly interview with John Krasinski, who will be playing opposite Mandy Moore (the bride to be) and Robin Williams (a minister who gives them pre-marital counseling) in License to Wed (which now has its own IMDB page), nets us a bit more on the plot:
I play Ben, who is about to get married to [Mandy's character], and before we get married — because her parents are sort of more the traditional Christian parents — they want us to meet the priest and basically take wedding classes. And we just go thinking it's no big deal and we meet with the priest — who is Robin Williams — and, wedding school? Not as easy as we thought.EW also asks, “What exactly does one learn in wedding school, anyway?” Kransinski responds:
I actually grew up Catholic, so I know all about it — they try to get you to understand that marriage isn't just this little thing you can offer someone as a gift. It's a really important thing to learn how sometimes it's not that easy to spend all that time with someone. They basically just make you aware of all the sacrifices you have to make before you do it.Hmm. Okay, for more on that film, see here.
The next two are just tidbits. Two more actors have been cast in Nativity (which also now has its own IMDB web site), the upcoming film focusing on Mary and Joseph in the two years prior to Jesus’ birth: Multiple outlets (including this one) are reporting that Ciaran Hinds (most recently in Munich and as John Newton in Walden Media’s Amazing Grace) has been cast as King Herod and relative newcomer Oscar Isaacs (in other words, I couldn’t find anything on the guy) as Joseph. For more on that film, see here and here.
And, finally, in an interview with About.com, John Goodman reveals a tidbit about his character in Evan Almighty (the sequel to Bruce Almighty) in which God asks Evan Baxter to build an ark: “He’s a congressman from Virginia who is not averse to making a dollar or two.” For more on Evan Almighty, see here and here.