THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Shailene Woodley is in negotiations to play the female lead in Oliver Stone’s untitled Edward Snowden drama.
Woodley would star opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is tackling the NSA whistleblower in the film, which will be distributed by Open Road in the U.S. The actress, who has become one of the most in-demand among the twentysomething set after a breakout 2014, is poised to play the role of Snowden’s girlfriend.
The Divergent actress has been picky about lining up her next project outside of that futuristic YA franchise (she already shot the sequel Insurgent for Lionsgate and is signed on for two more films based on the Veronica Roth books). After starring in one of the most profitable films of the year, Fox 2000’s The Fault in Our Stars, she has sat on the sidelines waiting for her next move.
The Stone-directed project is based on Luke Harding’s The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man and Time of the Octopus, the upcoming novel from Snowden’s Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena.
Harding’s nonfiction book traces Snowden’s move from Hawaii to Hong Kong, where he met with documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald and handed over top-secret NSA documents. Snowden later flew to Moscow, where he sought asylum. Kucherena’s take on the story is based on the lawyer’s time with Snowden while he waited in limbo at the Moscow airport before the Russian government decided to grant him asylum.
Wild Bunch had been preselling foreign rights to international buyers at the American Film Market last week in Santa Monica.
Stone is producing the untitled film with longtime producing partner Moritz Borman. The project is currently in preproduction in Germany with principal photography set to start in January.
Woodley is repped by Paradigm, Principato-Young and Felker Toczek.
INDIEWIRE – Gregg Araki and Shailene Woodley sat down with Indiewire’s Nigel Smith as part of AOL Build’s interview series to discuss their upcoming film, “White Bird in a Blizzard.” The film, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, stars Woodley as Kat Connors, a 17 year old girl both discovering her sexuality and dealing with the mysterious disappearance of her hauntingly beautiful mother, Eve (Eva Green).
Also starring Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Gabourey Sidibe, Thomas Jane, Dale Dickey, Mark Indelicato, Sheryl Lee and Angela Bassett, “White Bird in a Blizzard” will see a limited released in theaters on October 24.
Nils Larsen, Woodley’s manager, is good friends with Araki.
“It was at the Spirit Awards when Shailene won for ‘Descendants’ that I saw Nils again and [he said] Shailene is looking to do something, she’s been passing on everything, she’s being very particular and wants to follow up ‘Descendants’ with something super special and, you know, do you have anything? And I said I’m working on this book adaptation and Nils was like oh my god, send it and I hadn’t even finished it yet. But I finally finished it, sent it to Shailene and I guess she liked it because there she is.” – Gregg Araki
Woodley supports the film’s emphasis on teenage sexuality.
“I think it’s so refreshing to see a coming-of-age film that actually deals with sex and that has sexuality be a large theme in the film because it’s such a large part of so many adolescents’ lives right? It’s there, we just don’t really talk about and we really don’t talk about it in cinema too often with young people and you look at French films or European films and it’s not a big deal because sexuality is not something that’s sort of taboo over there. It’s more normal, it’s more accepted, it’s just a part of life and it’s part of all of our lives.”
“The image of life being so perfect with the lawn [in the film] and yet being so completely broken inside and projecting an image to others that isn’t actually the feeling that you exist within yourself I feel like is similar to sexuality in America in a lot of ways, you know, where it’s something that exists and you pretend that it doesn’t in everyday life. I thought it was really. neat. And it was truthful. It wasn’t exploitive or anything.”
But there was one element of sex was totally new for her.
“…I never had to do a sex scene looking into a camera before. That was a little bit interesting.”
Araki enjoyed the challenging of telling a story driven from the female perspective.
“…What it’s like to be a woman, what it’s like to be a young girl coming of age, what it’s like to be a mother and a wife who’s not happy and is sort of playing this role she really doesn’t want to play and the relationships between mothers and daughters…there were so many things going on in this story that I had never, even as a man, even thought about. I think that was something, as a filmmaker, that really, really excited me.”
“Divergent” pushed Woodley the most out of her comfort zone.
“It was such a big world. You know, there’s green screens and not only were you trying to act, you have to remember fight choreography and the timing of a bomb that’s going off in the corner and like make sure you don’t get hit but still be an actor. So that was probably the most challenging just in the sense that are so many elements that I had never worked with before.”
Araki loves the church of old-school cinema, but understands the wants of the generation.
“Now with VOD and Amazon and iTunes and everything, it’s incredibly cool to me that some kid in Alaska can read a tweet about ‘White Bird’ and push a button and watch it right now. The instantaneousness of that and the accessibility of that, is, as a filmmaker, super exciting.”
Just how beautiful is this? The official poster for White Bird in a Blizzard was unveiled earlier this week and has how been added to the gallery. Can’t wait to finally see this movie!
USA TODAY – Pain demands to be felt.
That’s a key line in John Green’s beloved 2012 best-seller The Fault in Our Starsand a major component in the movie adaptation (*** 1/2 out of four; rated PG-13; opens Thursday night in select cities and Friday nationwide).
Pain is at the heart of a love story about two strikingly articulate teens living in “the Republic of Cancervania.” They cope with it daily and wryly acknowledge its torment. The pain depicted is not solely physical, though that’s a significant component. Emotional agony proves to be the toughest of all.
So, those unfamiliar with the book should be duly warned: Bring plenty of tissues.
Stars is an unabashed tearjerker, though it’s also about celebrating life. The movie is well-written, well-acted, acerbic, funny and wisely observed. Fans of the book will be glad to hear it is faithful to Green’s tale.
Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) is a bright and irreverent 16-year-old. Diagnosed with cancer at 13, she has to breathe from a tube connected to an oxygen tank she must carry everywhere. But she will not allow illness to define her.
At the behest of her loving mom (Laura Dern), Hazel reluctantly attends a support group for cancer survivors. Still, Hazel’s biggest passion is losing herself in An Imperial Affliction, a novel by a mysterious Amsterdam-based author.
PARADE – Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort opened up to Parade about what they learned about each other while filming Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars, on-set habits, favorite films as kids, fame, and more.
When did you first know you wanted to be an actor?
Shailene Woodley: “I was five and it was something that was fun for me and I knew what being an actor meant.”
Ansel Elgort: “I realized I wanted to be a performer when I was about nine. I did ballet and I went out on stage for the first time as a ballet dancer and I liked being on stage and then later that turned into wanting to be an actor, but at first it was I want to be a performer.”
What was your favorite movie as a kid?
Shailene: “I loved The Goonies. It was sort of the first movie that made my eyes open up to the possibilities of the world. I think it made me want and crave adventure. Even now, I watch it and it makes me want to be an explorer of the world.”
Ansel: “My favorite movie growing up was Billy Madison. It was just really funny and crude and it had bad words in it and funny parts and I loved it!”
You two worked together on both Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars. What were some of your biggest takeaways about each other as actors?
Shailene: Oh man, Ansel and I work very similarly in the sense that as soon as the camera says action, we’re both very there, but as soon as it says cut, we’re able to bounce back into being ourselves. Neither of us spends lots of time getting into character. It’s always fun to work with different actors who do that, but there’s something really special about working with somebody where the second the camera is rolling you get to be locked in with each other. I also learned when Ansel is on set; he brings this sense of new curiosity because when we did this movie it was only your third film, right? When we worked on Divergent together it was only his second film, so there was this new sense of learning about things that some of the other people I’ve worked with don’t question anymore or act curious about anymore. It was really exciting for me to experience a film set for the first time again through his eyes.”
Ansel: “That will probably change soon!”
Shailene: “You’ll never do that. I’ll slap you if you do that!”
Ansel: “I learned that about Shailene — that she would slap me if I was bad! And I really liked that because she’s honest with people, there’s no BS and she’s not fake, she’s a real friend because of that to me. I learned a lot about her because she’s so open. She’s a totally open soul to me and I’m a totally open soul to her. And I learned, especially when seeing the movie, I was like, ‘wow, this girl is an amazing actress!’”
Shailene: “Right back at you, buddy.”
Screen captures of Shailene from the Blu-ray edition of The Spectacular Now have been added to the gallery. As much as I love the movie, the performances from Shailene and Miles, their chemistry together… it feels like it is missing the special quality that made the novel so enjoyable. The special features including some great deleted scenes (a few of which really should’ve made the final cut) have also been captured. Enjoy!