Author: Gi

Will Sharpe talks “Louis Wain” and Benedict with Empire magazine

The March 2021 edition of Empire UK magazine features a short interview with director Will Sharpe on The Electrical Life of Louis Wain in which he talks a little about Benedict. Check it out below:

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

The year’s battiest biopic? This may well be it


On the surface, it all sounds quite traditional: Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy starring in a biopic of a renowned British artist. But with an idiosyncratic title, and Will Sharpe – the creator of Channel 4’s bleak comedy Flowers – as director, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain should be anything but. Wain, played by Cumberbatch (“He’s always on and always delivers, which is exciting to watch”, says Sharpe), was a cat-obsessed oddball renowned for his fantastical, psychedelic paintings of anthropomorphised feline figures, and who suffered personal tragedy and significant success across his surprisingly long life in the late 1800s and early 1900s. What’s more, he may have had schizophrenia, possibly brought on by parasites found in, er, cat shit.

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Benedict and “The Mauritanian” team talk with Variety

Benedict and “The Mauritanian” team talk with Variety

Yesterday, Variety held an exclusive screening of The Mauritanian followed by a Q&A with the main cast and director Kevin Macdonald. Now, the 42-minutes-long talk is available for all to watch! Check it out below:

Cast, Director of ‘The Mauritanian’ Examine Themes Behind the Film: ‘It’s Beyond His Innocence or His Guilty’

By Natalie Oganesyan

The cast and director of “The Mauritanian,” based on a true story of the torture and trial of a suspected 9/11 terrorist, want audiences to take away lessons of empathy, love and justice from the film.

Academy Award-winning director Kevin Macdonald, along with stars Jodie Foster, Benedict Cumberbatch, Shailene Woodley and Tahar Rahim joined Variety film awards editor Clayton Davis in the Variety Streaming Room to discuss the difficulties of and preparation required to recount the gargantuan story of Mohamedou (Rahim), a man who unwittingly got involved with al-Qaida and was subsequently tortured at Guantanamo Bay without trial for his alleged involvement in 9/11.

For Macdonald, one of the challenges of the film was weaving the separate storylines of an ensemble cast — Mohamedou, his defense (Woodley and Foster) and military prosecutor’s (Cumberbatch) — into one cohesive story.

“How do you take these disparate stories and weave them together in a way that is compelling … and where you don’t feel like these are three completely disconnected stories,” Macdonald said.

The stars reflected on the complications of portraying real people, which they surmounted by researching the case and meeting with their respective characters. “With Nancy, you do feel that responsibility to make sure that you honor not just who she is, but her mission,” said Foster of her character Nancy Hollander, Mohamedou’s defense attorney who emphasizes the importance of the rule of law throughout the pic.

The panelists said a main driver of the film is the intellectual themes behind the story, such as the universality of humanity, the necessity of protecting civil liberties and the overwhelming power of fear and bias.

“When we look at fear, it’s easy to look at it from a very mental-based place, but I think, for [Teri,] she had a deep emotional fear, a fear of isolation, a fear of feeling neglected, a fear of being kicked out of society, in a way, because what she wants to do is right, but then she gets in her head about are the decisions she’s making right?” Woodley said of her character Teri Duncan, who is an amalgamation of the defense behind the case. “What does right and wrong even mean?”

Cumberbatch, who plays Lt. Stuart Couch, said he was attracted to the role because of the journey his character takes in unraveling the institutional issues that plague the U.S. military, particularly at Guantanamo.

“From wanting blood and then being brought to a realization that everything that he founds his belief on, from the law to the military to Christianity, and not necessarily in that order, was being undone by the actions at Guantanamo, and he couldn’t, with any conviction, square his conscious, and so he stepped away, he did that extraordinary thing of giving up the case,” Cumberbatch said.

Rahim, who plays the titular role, said his main obstacle was getting into the mental space required to depict a torture victim. To help with the reality of the scenes, he asked Macdonald to make his cell as cold as possible and be put in shackles. “It was tough. Because how could I possibly know what it is to be tortured like this?”

For Macdonald, the film serves as a lens through which audiences can understand the multiple facets of humanity beyond the realms of guilt or innocence.

“The Muslim man accused of terror is probably the least loved person in the world and the least understood person, and I think … it’s that emotional connection,” Macdonald said. “It’s a film about humanity and about why are we doing this to other human beings? What possible excuse can there be? And it’s beyond his innocence or his guilt.”

Source: Variety

SunnyMarch to co-produce movie about the life of Omoba Aina aka Sarah Forbes Bonetta

SunnyMarch to co-produce movie about the life of Omoba Aina aka Sarah Forbes Bonetta

What a week!

Deadline Hollywood just reported that SunnyMarch will co-produce a feature film based on the life of Omoba Aina, a 19th century West African princess who, after being enslaved by King Ghezo of Dahomey in the aftermath of a war with his kingdom, was ”gifted” to Queen Victoria and given the name Sarah Forbes Bonetta, becoming her protégé.

Starring Cynthia Erivo, who is also co-producing, the movie will have the the biography At Her Majesty’s Request: An African Princess in Victorian England by Walter Dean Myers as its source material. Check out the full article below:

Harriet Actress Cynthia Erivo To Star In & Produce Story Of Princess ‘Gifted’ To Queen Victoria; BBC Film, Benedict Cumberbatch’s SunnyMarch & So So Producing

By Andreas Wiseman
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First trailer and poster for “The Mauritanian” have been unveiled

First trailer and poster for “The Mauritanian” have been unveiled

It’s only Tuesday, but this week is already serving so much, folks! The very first trailer, poster and stills for The Mauritanian (formerly known as Prisoner 760) are here!

Check out the trailer in HD and with English subtitles below:

And, in our gallery, you can find the poster and screencaps of the trailer in HQ and the still of Benedict as Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch in UHQ:

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“The Gender Games” made it to the 2020 Brit List

“The Gender Games” made it to the 2020 Brit List

Variety has just announced the script for The Gender Games – the TV adaptation of Juno Dawson’s memoir of the same name which SunnyMarch is producing – has made it to this year’s Brit List, the famous annual showcase for the best unproduced screenplays as recommended by companies in the UK film and TV industries.

The 30-minute pilot written by Matthew Barry (Banana, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Death in Paradise) was recommended 9 times, being the fourth most recommended among the 14 selected out of the 246 put forward this year:

NINE RECOMMENDATIONS
“The Gender Games” by Matthew Barry (The Agency)
Producers: SunnyMarch
Form: TV Genre: Comedy Drama
Summary: Half hour comedy drama about sex and dating based on Juno Dawson’s memoir.

Dawson, Barry and the SunnyMarch team expressed their excitement over the achievement on Twitter:

Here’s hoping it won’t be long until we get more good news about this project!

Source: Variety

“Louis Wain” gets new title and still

“Louis Wain” gets new title and still

Studiocanal UK has unveiled an incredibly lovely new still for Louis Wain, now titled The Electrical Life of Louis Wain. Check it out below:

The studio has also confirmed the movie is set to released in theatres next year, date to be confirmed.

The Mauritanian gets a February 2021 release date

The Mauritanian gets a February 2021 release date

The Mauritanian (formerly known as Prisoner 760) will arrive in US theatres on 19 February 2021, thus becoming an entry into the awards race for STX Films, Variety just reported. The magazine’s Film Awards Editor, Clayton Davis, even said the movie has the potential to be a game-changer and that Benedict will be submitted in Best Supporting Actor categories.

Check out the article below:

Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim Make Late Entry Into Awards Race With STX Films’ ‘The Mauritanian’ (EXCLUSIVE)

By Clayton Davis

STX Films has decided to enter this unconventional awards season with a mighty and timely drama, “The Mauritanian,” formerly called “Prisoner 760,” from Scottish director Kevin Macdonald. The film will be released in theaters on Feb. 19, 2021, and could echo the same late-breaking awards success that past movies like “Million Dollar Baby” were able to execute. With an impressive cast that includes Tahar Rahim, Jodie Foster, Benedict Cumberbatch and Shailene Woodley, the inspiring true story could resonate with AMPAS voters, especially its large international membership.

“The Mauritanian” tells the true story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Rahim), who was held captive and tortured by the U.S. government in Guantanamo Bay detention camp for 10 years without a charge or trial. Losing faith, he finds hope in defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan (Woodley), who face countless legal obstacles in their pursuit of justice.

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Benedict voices new art installation dedicated to Romanian doctors

Benedict is the voice of Don’t Take Them for Granted, an art installation dedicated to medical staff and all those in the pandemic’s front line. Check out the video below:

The artists involved explained how and why the project came to be:

Don’t Take Them for Granted is a public project initiated by the UNFINISHED community that includes images and texts captured by artists Cristian Movilă and Capucine Gros, between March and August 2020. The photographs and writings document over 70 hours documenting the fight against COVID-19, captured right in the heart of the intensive care units of Bucharest’s main public hospitals: Institutul Național de Boli Infecțioase “Prof. Dr. Matei Balș” Hospital, Spitalul Militar ROL 2, and Spitalul Universitar de Urgență.

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Benedict talks diving with Esquire

Benedict talks diving with Esquire

October is off to a great start for this fandom! We got yet another new interview with Benedict, this time for Esquire magazine! Please check it out below:

Benedict Cumberbatch Is Diving (and Disconnecting From the Chaos) in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Newest Watch

By Nick Sullivan

Benedict Cumberbatch has been busy during the ongoing strangeness of 2020, with a number of major film projects in the pipeline, including Jane Campion’s much-awaited The Power of the Dog, filmed in New Zealand at the beginning of the country’s effective lockdown. Two-thirds through the filming, Cumberbatch took a quick break to film a short for legendary Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre, uniting filmmaking with his other love, diving.

The Jaeger on his wrist in the film is the new Polaris Mariner Memovox, the latest in a long line of very elegant dive watches from the storied brand, that surfaced just this morning. Where most classic dive watches generally err on the side of beefy, the Polaris is refined, with all the functionality of a true ISO6425-certified diver but with its unidirectional dive timer fitted inside the watch instead of on a chunky bezel, which makes for a far sleeker case. We caught up with Cumberbatch over Zoom to find out more.

Diving has long been a thing for you. Why is that?

I’ve always been interested in it, ever since watching [1988 movie] The Big Blue and, you know, trying in a vain, kind of amateur attempt to just go deeper and stay under for longer, just to get something off the ocean floor—or just for fun.

But your experience is more with a scuba tank on your back?

I’ve done a fair bit of it, yes. I just love the submersion, the quiet, the isolation, the sort of focus and sense of achievement. I’d done free diving in the way you do with it with a scuba mask, to get something on the bottom. Sometimes with flippers, but never with weights. Originally this was pitched as an idea to incorporate things that I enjoy doing and the environment that I was in at the time. So diving seemed like the natural option, but I meant scuba diving. It was misinterpreted, in fact, but I’m thrilled about that. I got to learn something new.

And then it had weirdly coincided with meeting someone in Italy who is a free diver who took me in a pool to teach me how do the breathing. Not at any great depth, but just how to maintain that kind of discipline and use it underwater. And then along came this pitch for the advert.

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Benedict talks “The Courier” with Total Film magazine

The October issue of Total Film magazine features a new interview with Benedict about The Courier! Please check the scan out below:

Here’s a transcription for those who may need it:

GENTLEMAN SPY

THE COURIER | Benedict Cumberbatch plays a real-life secret agent in amateur-espionage thriller.

Like 99.9 per cent of the buildings in London, Hornsey Town Hall has recently been converted into flats (£774,950 for a two-bed, if you’re interested). But in November 2018, the Grade II-listed modernist structure provided the perfect backdrop for Cold War story The Courier. “We did an awful lot there,” smiles director Dominic Cooke during a catch-up almost two years later. “It stood in for bits of London, bits of Moscow… we wrung every bit of juice out of that building that we could!”

Though not a space designed for filming – down a corridor no wider than an armchair, Teasers carefully tiptoes between bunched cables while admiring the original Art Deco light fittings – today Hornsey Town Hall is home to one of the world’s biggest film stars: Benedict Cumberbatch. In The Courier, he plays Greville Wynne – the real-life British businessman recruited by MI6 to transport information from Soviet double agent Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze) to London at the height of the Cold War.

“As a genre I find spy movies a bit cold,” admits Cooke. Instead the Hollow Crown director, who made his feature debut with 2017’s On Chesil Beach, was drawn to the warmth of Tom O’Connor’s script. “It’s a hybrid between a spy movie and a platonic love story,” explains Cooke of the forged-in-fire bond between Wynne and Penkovsky. “The film it reminded me of was Brief Encounter. They knew they were doing something very important together, so they were fuelled by the danger and secrecy.”

Also starring The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Rachel Brosnahan as CIA spook Emily Donovan and Jessie Buckley as Wynne’s wife Sheila – who didn’t know a thing about her husband’s unusual side hustle – the key piece of casting for Cooke was Soviet war-hero-turned-defector Penkovsky. “I really wanted a genuine Russian-speaking actor for the role, so [the producers] reluctantly allowed me to go off to Moscow,” Cooke recalls. “Merab actually came in for another part, but he was so good I said, ‘Look at Penkovsky.’ These days, you need authenticity.”

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