A friend and I were talking about movies where the food is one of the best parts, and I think Eat Drink Man Woman certainly fits under that. Don’t judge the Ang Lee drama by this cheesy trailer, though, please.
There’s a story about [Civil Rights activist] Fannie Lou Hamer that we’ve been trying to get off the ground with Alfre Woodard to play the lead and Harry Belafonte as one of the producers. Another is a limited series about the life of Louis Armstrong, which Charles Dutton and I took around a couple years ago. I just pitched a TV series about James Michener’s Alaska, about the history of Alaska right after the United States bought it, which people really don’t know much about and would make a great miniseries. I’ve gotten to know the sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were given the electric chair for espionage in the ’50s, and they’ve always wanted a movie or TV series about their parents’ case. So I’ve actually written the script for that already.
That’s what we can do as females. We can change the lens. We can tell old stories, but we can change the lens that these stories are told through, and we can bring them to you in a new way as audiences, and that’s why we need to do more, to make sure that women directors, women writers can be out there telling stories.
If I’m honest, I wanted to show a woman of color being loved. We don’t see it that often. I wanted to change the conversation a little bit, change the dialogue a little bit — we are loved, [and] we can be loved. Dido was valuable enough to be loved, she was worthy of being loved, and she was loved. Her challenge was showing people the right way to love her in the way that she needed to be.
Is Amazon Studios the next Netflix? Not quite, but it’s not for lack of trying and some have already called them a Hollywood threat. Lots of stuff is cooking over there: the John Goodman-starring political comedy “Alpha House,” Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Barbarella;” even the “Zombieland” series may potentially land there. “World War Z” director Marc Forster’s “Hand Of God,” starring Ron Perlman, is also nearing an official pilot green light.
One more joins the fray, this one from “Barcelona” and “The Last Days Of Disco” filmmaker Whit Stillman. Titled “Cosmopolitan” (Stillman’s first film was “Metropolitan,” for those keeping score), Stillman will write, direct and executive produce, and the show will chronicle the loves and adventures of a group of young expatriates in Paris (Stillman spent plenty of time there during his “in the wilderness” period after going more than ten years between films; ‘Disco’ in 1998 and “Damsels in Distress” in 2011). It was also recently announced that Stillman would be working on a Jane Austen-inspired book titled, “Love & Friendship: An Adaptation of Jane Austen’s Unfinished Novella Concerning the Beautiful Lady Susan Vernon, Her Loves and Friendships, and the Strange Antagonism of the DeCourcy Family.”