Kristen Wiig's passion project is coming together with some unexpected choices
We’ve known about Kristen Wiig’s passion project “Imogene” for only a few weeks now, but with filming set to start this month in New York City, casting news is rolling out fast. The film, written by Michelle Morgan, sees Wiig starring as a playwright who fakes a suicide attempt in order to catch the attention of her beloved ex-boyfriend. The plan backfires quite terribly, however, as the stunt lands her in the custody of her mother. The film previously added Annette Bening to play Wiig’s mother, a sassy Jersey mom with a gambling problem. Darren Criss is (somewhat inexplicably) on board to play Wiig’s character’s ex-boyfriend.
Now Variety and The Playlist report that Natasha Lyonne and June Diane Raphael have joined the cast, rounding out some of the film’s supporting roles. Lyonne will play a “Jersey Shore girl named Allyson who works on the boardwalk.” She is also the reported love interest of Christopher Fitzgerald’s character in the film. Few people can play adorably brassy the way Lyonne can, so this sounds like a perfect fit for the raspy-voice actress. Raphael’s role has not been announced yet, but you may recognize her from small roles in “Year One” and “Going the Distance.” She also co-wrote “Bride Wars,” a sin that may be absolved by her continued work in actually good films, which “Imogene” should be.
Wiig will also executive produce the project, which she has long been trying to get to the screen. “Imogene” looks to work from a sort of “you can’t go home again” sensibility, as Wiig’s character has to deal with both her own problems, her mother’s gambling, and the issues that arise when a slightly hip New York playwright gets stuck back in Jersey.
“Imogene” is set to be directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (the pair have previously directed such varied fare as “Cinema Verite,” “American Splendor,” and “The Nanny Diaries”).
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Up-and-coming actor would play Archangel Michael to Cooper's Lucifer
Although the quick description of Alex Proyas’ “Paradise Lost” project is, at first glance, not very intriguing, the large-scale project has been slowly layering on new elements that make it sound both interesting and intelligent. The short story on the film is that it’s based on John Milton’s epic poem of the same name and will star Bradley Cooper as Lucifer, with a heavy emphasis on visual effects. And while that sounds a bit silly, Proyas’ dedication to solid effects (not ones that feel overstylized or that slip into Uncanny Valley territories), plus a commitment to installing a talented cast in the film show that “Paradise Lost” might far exceed expectations. That all said, every Lucifer needs an Archangel Michael to battle, and that’s where Proyas has again made a sage step – as
Deadline reports that Benjamin Walker is negotiating for the role.
Don’t know Benjamin Walker? You will. The up-and-coming thespian just wrapped up his first major starring role as Abraham Lincoln in Timur Bekmambetov’s film adaption of Seth Grahame Smith’s “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” Booking the role of Michael in Proyas’ film will only further show that Walker’s star is on the rise.
The film will be an “action epic battle between good and evil” that revolves around a series of battles the cast-out angel Lucifer wages against heaven and the other angels. Proyas has promised “to say as faithful as possible to Milton's text, particularly its focus on Lucifer's evolution and the birth of evil.” In Proyas’ mind, the story is “a family saga, about a group of brothers, two in particular, who are on divergent paths.” The director also reports that there are three major battles set for the film – one in Heaven, one in Hell, and one in Eden.
Even Proyas acknowledges the difficulty of the production ahead of him, saying that he’s “thought that only an insane person would want to make this movie, because it's visually audacious and has to live up to a classic poem that is so beloved.” But Proyas is also very excited about the technology now available, and believes that it, combined with the talents of Cooper and Walker, will make the film work, and work well.