Avan Jogia (Roman Mercer) is Danny in THE ARTISTS’ WIFE, the story of Claire (Lena Olin), whose husband, an acclaimed abstract painter (played by Bruce Dern) is diagnosed with dementia and might not be able to finish the paintings for his final show. Claire keeps her husband’s illness a secret from the art community, and tries to help him reconnect with his estranged daughter (Juliet Rylance) and her son. (Jogia is the grandson’s nanny.) As her husband’s illness progresses, Claire, once a promising painter in her own right, must decide whether to remain in the shadows. The film is now in post-production, and should be ready for release this summer.
Jogia is also bad boy musician Berkeley in the horror comedy ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP, a sequel to ZOMBIELAND (2009). Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, and Emma Stone are back as Columbus, Tallahassee, and Wichita, respectively. Berkeley (reportedly) will be romantically involved with Abigail Breslin‘s character Little Rock. (Characters are mostly named after cities. Zoey Deutch will be Madison.) Bill Murray, who died in the original film will somehow return for the sequel, as the gang moves to the American heartland to battle “evolved zombies”. ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP will be released in the US on 11 October.
Elise Gatien (Maggie Rennie) will be Daria Nichols in “Queen of Hearts” (Episode 1.3 of THE MURDERS). The eight-part series stars Jessica Lucas as rookie homicide detective Kate Jameson, whose dad was a homicide detective and who graduated at the top of her class at the police academy. Jessica’s lack of on-the-job experience causes her many difficulties, and, to complicate matters, her mother is running for mayor. Luvia Peterson (Val McGrath Dufresne) appears in seven episodes as Detective Meg Harris. Dylan Bruce (Paul on ORPHAN BLACK) and Terry Chen (Prax on THE EXPANSE) are also part of the show’s regular cast. Gatien tweeted on 15 November: “Last day on #TheMurdersTv going to miss these tattoos and #Daria’s #BadAssBraids. Can’t wait for you all to see this one” “Queen of Hearts” will air on CITY TV in Canada on 8 April.
Two short films involving Luvia Petersen will be screened at the 2019 Artemis Women-In-Action Film Festival (25-28 April in Santa Monica, California), DOG BITE, and LAST STAND TO NOWHERE. Peterson directed DOG BITE, which is about a career woman (Jennifer Spence) who retreats from the world after her face is bitten by a frightened dog. It was written by Gemma Holdway, who co-wrote episode ten of GHOST WARS, and also wrote “Black and Blue”, Episode six of THE MURDERS, which has Carmel Amit as a guest star. A trailer is available on Twitter. Petersen is Ida Clanton in Michelle Muldoon‘s short LAST STAND TO NOWHERE, an all-female re-imagining of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, which will screen at 4:15 on 27 April and 4:20pm on 28 April in the shorts block called “Future Times and Good Ol’ Days”. Vimeo has a trailer.
Sharon Taylor (Sophia Moon) is Penelope O’Brien in the pilot episode of SURVEILLANCE, a projected TV series starring Sophia Bush as NSA Director of Strategic Communications Madeline Yardley. Maddy suddenly finds her loyalties divided between protecting the government’s secrets, and protecting her own after an investigative journalist she met dies mysteriously and unexpectedly. The first season of SURVEILLANCE has a title (“Operation Blackwash”) indicating that each season will have a central storyline connecting the episodes (like CARDINAL, except not based on a series of novels). Maddy’s boss is NSA Deputy Director Barry (Dennis Haysbert), and her long time friend Natalie (Catalina Moreno) oversees all NSA operations. The pilot was filmed in Vancouver. If picked up, the series will likely air on CBS in the fall.
And Taylor is the town sheriff in EMMA FIELDING: MORE BITTER THAN DEATH, based on the Dana Cameron novel. Archaeologist Emma Fielding (Courtney Thorne-Smith) finds herself in a snow-bound hotel at a conference whose Guest of Honour has been murdered. MORE BITTER THAN DEATH will next air on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Sunday 7 April at 9am.
Phillip Granger (Winston) has an as yet unspecified role in THE GREAT BUDDHA ARRIVAL, Hiroto Yokokawa‘s reimagining of the lost 1934 classic Daibutsu Kaikoku (The Buddha Travels the Countryside). Daibutsu Kaikotu was directed by Yoshiro Edamasa, who worked quite a bit with Eiji Tsuburaya (the visual effects artist on the original Godzilla films). Neither Edamasa nor his film Daibutsu Kaikoku survived World War II. The premise of both movies is that a giant (33 meters tall) statue of Buddha comes to life, and travels through Japan. Though Daibutsu Kaikotu is considered a precursor to the Japanese monster films of the 1950s, it was not a horror film, and the giant Buddha’s wanderings are not destructive. The Buddha visited shrines, temples, and both heaven and hell before flying away at the end.
Among others in the cast of the remake are Yuki Morita (Akio’s mother in the 2014 Godzilla film), Shelley Sweeney (Susan in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II), Peggy Neal (Lisa in THE X FROM OUTER SPACE), and Akira Takarada (who has appeared as six different characters in nine Godzilla movies). A 50-minute cut was screened in Japan in December, and more scenes have been filmed, expanding THE GREAT BUDDHA ARRIVAL to feature length. A trailer for the international release is available on Twitter.