There’s lots of juicy news this April…
RIP Helen McCrory
52 year old British actress Helen McCrory passed away yesterday after a long battle with Cancer. McCrory is best known for playing Narcissa Malfoy in ‘Harry Potter’ and Cherie Blair in ‘The Queen’ (2006) and ‘The Special Relationship’ (2009).
She was married to ‘Homeland’ star Damian Lewis who was the first to break the news of her passing. He broke the news on Twitter saying McCrory had died “peacefully at home”. Lewis said: “I’m heartbroken to announce that after a heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died...surrounded by a wave of love from family and friends”.
My thoughts are with the Lewis family and my mum who knew McCrory. She was a fabulous actor who bore an uncanny resemblance and impression of Cherie Blair opposite Michael Sheen as Tony.
Mads in Indiana Jones 5
Mads Mikkelsen has been cast in the fifth installment of the ‘Indiana Jones’ franchise. The report comes after ‘Fleabag’ creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge landed the role of the female lead. James Mangold will direct the sequel, but creator Steven Spielberg will still be producing and composer John Williams will still be doing the score.
The film marks another franchise this Danish icon is boarding following reports that he will replace Johnny Depp in ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’.
I’d love to see Mikkelsen in a villainous role - he’s brilliant at that on TV in ‘Hannibal’ and in ‘Casino Royale’ (2006); chewing up the scenery with typical Scandi relish. ‘Indiana Jones 5’ opens July 29th, 2021.
Virtual Academy Awards
The Academy are to set up ‘Academy Awards’ hubs for nominees based in London and Paris. It had previously come under criticism for its ‘no-Zoom’ rule which barred potential winners from zoom-calling their awards speeches.
The organizers of April 25th’s Oscar show including ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ director Steven Soderbergh had earlier said that it “would not be an option for nominees to zoom in for the show”. But, according to the Hollywood Reporter, in a group call with all nominees, the producers outlined plans to set up venues in London and Paris as uncertainty over travel restrictions prevailed.
Frankly I think this is the right step in the right direction for Oscars. The Zoom ban was toxic considering a large proportion of this year’s nominees are Brits who are still under lockdown restrictions. Having signposted venues for nominees to give their speeches might become the norm in the post-Covid world of awards ceremonies…
Lip-biting Lady Di
New photos have emerged of Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana in Pablo Larrain’s upcoming biopic ‘Spencer’ which is currently shooting in the UK.
In the pictures, Stewart smiles at the camera with a layered blonde bob along with a tartan blazer and diamond engagement ring that appears to be copies of those sported by the real princess.
Jack Farthing will star as Prince Charles and the supporting cast includes Timothy Spall, Sally Hawkins and Sean Harris.
Stewart looks unrecognizable. She certainly looks the part with her blonde locks and piercing blue eyes. But she needs to get her perpetual habit of biting her bottom lip under control. That always made her very annoying in the ‘Twilight’ movies…
Helen Mirren has been cast as the main villain in ‘Shazam’ sequel ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’. She will play Hespera - villainous daughter of the God Atlas.
Almost the entire team who starred in the 2019 film are returning for the sequel including Asher Angel and Zachary Levi. David F. Sandberg is directing again from a script by Henry Gayden and ‘West Side Story’ star Rachel Zegler also joins the cast.
Mirren is no stranger to parts in action-packed franchises. She’ll next appear in ‘F9: The Fast Saga’, returning as Queenie Shaw and she also played an assassin in ‘Red’ (2010) and its sequel ‘Red 2’ (2013).
‘Shazam’ should be honoured to have Helen onboard as the villain. She’s a national treasure and I’d love to see her lick up the scenery in a baddie part…