Red Riding Hood & Jane Eyre: CFQ Round Table Podcast 2:10

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Lost in the woods: Amanda Seyfried as Red Riding Hood, Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre

It’s another weekly round-up of news, events and reviews at the Cinefantastique Round Table Podcast. This week, Lawrence French and Steve Biodrowski hold down the fort without the missing-in-action Dan Persons (who will return soon), giving their reaction to the news that Guillermo Del Toro has (temporarily, at least) abandoned AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS for PACIFIC RIM and also offering insights and commentary on the week’s other big stories, including a discussion of how real-life disasters, such as the recent tsunami in Japan, provide a grim context that inflects one’s perception of “fantasy” films. Also on the agenda: capsule comments on two new theatrical releases, apparently at polar opposites of the cinematic spectrum in terms of popular appeal and artistic inspirations, but both offering moody, atmospheric portraits of Gothic Romance, RED RIDING HOOD and JANE EYRE.

Jane Eyre: March 11 (select theatres)

Focus features offers up a new feature film version of Charlotte Bronte’s famous Gothic tale, about the titular governess, whose employer Rochester has a mysterious, guilty secret lurking in the attic. The tale is not, strictly speaking, horror, but there is a moody aura and things do go bump in the night. Cary Fukunaga directed, from a screenplay by Moira Buffini. Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender star, with Jamie Bell and Dame Judi Dench in support.
More info: Click here

Alice in Wonderland's Mia Wasikowska to star in Jane Eyre

Focus Features and BBC Flms have just announced that Mia Wasikowska (ALICE IN WONDERLAND) and Michael Fassbender (INGLORIOUS BASTERDS) will star in a new adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel, Jane Eyre, to be directed by Cary Fukunaga. Although it’s not exactly horror, Bronte’s story has more than its share of Gothic machinery, including a vulnerable orphan girl working as a governess in a dark and foribidding mansion, whose alluring owner, Rochester, has dark and troubling secrets locked away in a tower. (Famously, the basic scenario served as the plotline for Val Lewton’s classic 1940s horror film, I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE.)
Read the complete press release below:

LONDON, March 18, 2010 – Production begins next week in the U.K. on Focus Features and BBC Films’ romantic drama Jane Eyre, produced by Ruby Films and based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel. Cary Fukunaga, whose debut feature was Focus’ award-winning Sin Nombre, is directing Jane Eyre, to which Focus holds worldwide rights. Focus CEO James Schamus made the announcement today.
Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) and Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds) will star in the lead roles of the romantic drama. In the story, Jane Eyre (Ms. Wasikowska), flees Thornfield House, where she works as a governess for wealthy Edward Rochester (Mr. Fassbender). The isolated and imposing residence – and Mr. Rochester’s coldness – have sorely tested the young woman’s resilience, forged years earlier when she was orphaned. As Jane reflects upon her past and recovers her natural curiosity, she will return to Mr. Rochester – and the terrible secret that he is hiding…
The screenplay adaptation is by Moira Buffini, who for Ruby and BBC Films adapted the upcoming Tamara Drewe. Ruby’s Alison Owen (an Academy Award nominee for Elizabeth) and Paul Trijbits (Fish Tank) are producing Jane Eyre. Christine Langan, Creative Director of BBC Films, is executive-producing for the BBC. Focus senior vice president, European production Teresa Moneo is supervising the project for president of production John Lyons.
The supporting cast includes Jamie Bell (of Focus’ September release The Eagle of the Ninth), Academy Award winner Judi Dench, Holliday Grainger (of the upcoming Bel Ami), Golden Globe Award winner Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky), Tamzin Merchant (of Focus’ Pride & Prejudice), and Imogen Poots (of the May release Solitary Man). The director of photography on Jane Eyre is Adriano Goldman, reteaming with Mr. Fukunaga following their acclaimed collaboration on Sin Nombre. Will Hughes-Jones (Survivors) is the production designer; Academy Award winner Michael O’Connor (The Duchess) is the costume designer.
Mr. Schamus said, “Cary is the ideal choice to realize this unforgettable story in its traditional setting, yet with contemporary vitality and spirit. With two of today’s most promising new stars in Mia and Michael, plus an outstanding supporting cast, this will be a Jane Eyre for the ages.”
Ms. Langan added, “We’re delighted to bring together two such fresh and impressive talents as director Cary Fukunaga and screenwriter Moira Buffini. Added to the gorgeous cast Cary has assembled, this is exactly the treatment Charlotte Brontë’s evergreen classic Jane Eyre deserves.”
Ruby Films is currently completing the aforementioned Tamara Drewe, directed by Stephen Frears. The company last produced John Alexander’s award-winning telefilm Small Island; and Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Five Minutes of Heaven, starring Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt. Ms. Owen also recently executive-produced the acclaimed telefilm Temple Grandin, directed by Mick Jackson and starring Claire Danes.