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With every step closer to production, the film Drive becomes more interesting. First it became a Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, Pusher) movie with Ryan Gosling starring. Then Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston began negotiating to join the cast. And now it looks like Carey Mulligan will be the female lead when the film goes before cameras, starting next month.

THR reports the news, and summarizes the film like so: Gosling is “a nameless Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a freelance getaway driver during robberies. When a bank heist goes wrong, he ends up on the run with a contract on his head and an ex-con’s girlfriend (Mulligan) in his car.”

The Hossein Amini script (he wrote Killshot, and one draft of the new Jack Ryan movie) is from the novel by James Sallis. I still haven’t got around to reading the novel, but at this point I can let it wait; I’m much more curious to see what Refn is going to put on screen.

This will be the director’s biggest movie to date, and his first production to be so directly affiliated with an American studio. (Universal is distributing.) That’s another reason to keep a close eye on the film. As Refn’s profile has steadily increased over the past few years, it was inevitable that he’d work with a studio, and this movie feels very much like it could be a ‘getting his feet wet’ sort of project. Wonder Woman probably won’t be next, but given that Refn has a number of non-mainstream projects he’s talked about doing next, I’m interested to see whether he stays more on the path of making smaller, stranger movies, or if he dives into the ‘one for them, one for me’ system.

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Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley’s new film Never Let Me Go will launch this year’s BFI London Film Festival on 13 October.

The drama, directed by Mark Romanek, tells the tale of former boarding school pupils who confront their sheltered pasts.

It co-stars new Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield and is based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro.

The full festival programme will be announced on 8 September.

Never Let Me Go was adapted for the screen by Alex Garland – previously known for his novels The Beach and The Tesseract, and his screenplays for Danny Boyle’s films Sunshine and 28 Days Later.

Its main characters Kathy (Mulligan), Tommy (Garfield) and Ruth (Knightley) spend their childhood at Hailsham, a seemingly idyllic English boarding school, where they discover a dark secret about their future.

The stars of the film are expected to attend the opening night screening, which will be the film’s European premiere.

Sandra Hebron, the festival’s artistic director, said Never Let Me Go combined “impeccable film making, outstanding performances and a deeply moving story”.

Director Mark Romanek added: “I think I can speak for the entire cast and crew when I say that we are deeply honoured and excited to have been selected to open this year’s festival.

“For me personally, it seems the perfect way to celebrate the conclusion of an incredible filmmaking experience in the UK.”

The film will be released in the UK on 14 January, 2011.

The London Film Festival runs from 13-28 October, 2010.

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Carey Mulligan has been placed on Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed list! Mulligan, who famously turned down an offer from Vogue’s Anna Wintour to help her choose her Academy Awards outfit, is an original. “She is a Hollywood girl who is not the typical Hollywood type,” Fine Collins said. “She’s adorable and women love her.”

INTERNATIONAL BEST-DRESSED LIST: WOMEN
HOPE ATHERTON, artist
CARLA BRUNI-SARKOZY, First Lady, France
SAMANTHA CAMERON, First Lady, U.K.
NORA EPHRON, writer, director
DIANE KRUGER, actress
H.R.H. CROWN PRINCESS MARY OF DENMARK
CAREY MULLIGAN, actress
WENDI MURDOCH, movie producer
MICHELLE OBAMA, First Lady, U.S.A.
TATIANA SANTO DOMINGO, socialite

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Actress Carey Mulligan’s stock continues to rise as she is all but set to appear in “The Cradle Will Fall.” Screen Gems is in charge of the project and is putting production of the film on the fast track.

Mulligan’s participation in the film rests in the hands of writer Jack Olsen who is polishing the script for the film. The basic story may sound familiar to moviegoers as a surrogate mother becomes obsessed with not only keeping her baby, but the husband of the woman she is carrying the child for. No director is attached to the project yet and no other major roles have been cast. Mulligan’s casting is viewed as crucial as names such as Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, and Adrien Brody have been circulated as possible parents in the film assuming Mulligan joins the cast.

Mulligan earned an Oscar nomination for her role in “An Education” and will appear in two big movies due out still this year, “Wall Street 2? and “Never Let Me Go.”

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It’s time to take Carey Mulligan’s name off the list of candidates to play Lisbeth Salander in the upcoming U.S. version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Mulligan tells EW she is not going to be playing the titular badass hacker heroine. “I’m not, I’m afraid,” she told EW yesterday. “I can officially quash that rumor once and for all. It’s not going to be me. But I’m excited to see it. I love the books and I think it will be great.”

Mulligan will next be seen in two fall movies, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and Never Let Me Go.

Yesterday, my colleague Nicole Sperling posted a great item listing a the actresses now being mentioned (like Rooney Mara, Ellen Page, and Mia Wasikowska) as in the running to play Lisbeth. With Mulligan out, who is your preferred choice?

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The British actress is having lessons on how to perfect the string instrument for her upcoming role as Florence Ponting in ‘On Chesil Beach’, which starts shooting in September.

The movie will be directed by Sam Mendes, and is based on the Ian McEwen novel about a young, newly married couple in the early 60s, who remain virgins until their wedding night.

Daily Mail columnist Baz Bamigboye reports: “Carey’s Florence is leader of a string quartet, who dreams of giving recitals at Wigmore Hall, and next week the actress will begin working with a violin teacher so at least she can look as if she knows how to handle the instrument when she’s playing her scales and arpeggios.

“She’s just the right actress to tackle Florence, a woman who comes alive when she’s performing Beethoven’s Opus 18, but who is desperate to be free of her husband’s sexual desires.”

The movie will be the first film Sam has shot in Britain, and the script has been adapted for the big screen by author Ian.

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Fox Searchlight has what appears to be a fruitful collaboration with Carey Mulligan in the upcoming “Never Let Me Go.” Now it appears the specialty division won’t let her go.

The company of “Juno” and “Little Miss Sunshine” is developing a new movie titled “Stoker,” with Mulligan in talks to star. The kicker? The project is written by “Prison Break” star Wentworth Miller.

“Stoker” tells of an eccentric teenager whose enigmatic and estranged uncle returns to the family after the death of the girl’s father. And the company is adding some more boldfaced names from across the pond: Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Productions is in talks to produce. Searchlight is also in talks with Jodie Foster to costar with Mulligan.

It’s rare for a commercial powerhouse such as Scott Free to develop boutique films (though they did work with Searchlight on the current relationship comedy “Cyrus”). And Foster has only recently taken a turn to the lower-budget (she directed and costars in upcoming quirky dramedy “The Beaver”). But Searchlight has honed populist specialty films to an art form and, apparently, Hollywood’s most commercial names don’t want to let it go either.

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited 135 filmmakers and executives — including such recent Oscar nominees and winners as Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Mo’Nique, Carey Mulligan, Jeremy Renner, Gabourey Sidibe and Christoph Waltz — to join its ranks

New members will be welcomed into the Academy at an invitation-only reception at the Academy’s Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study in Beverly Hills in September. The 2010 invitees follow:

Actors
Tobin Bell — “Saw,” “The Firm”
Vera Farmiga — “Up in the Air,” “The Departed”
Miguel Ferrer — “Traffic,” “RoboCop”
James Gandolfini — “In the Loop,” “Get Shorty”
Anna Kendrick — “Up in the Air,” “Twilight”
Mo’Nique — “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” “Phat Girlz”
Carey Mulligan — “An Education,” “Public Enemies”
Jeremy Renner — “The Hurt Locker,” “28 Weeks Later”
Ryan Reynolds — “The Proposal,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”
LaTanya Richardson Jackson — “Mother and Child,” “Losing Isaiah”
Peter Riegert — “Traffic,” “Crossing Delancey”
Sam Robards — “A.I. Artificial Intelligence,” “American Beauty”
Saoirse Ronan — “The Lovely Bones,” “Atonement”
Zoe Saldana — “Avatar,” “Star Trek”
Adam Sandler — “Funny People,” “Punch-Drunk Love”
Peter Sarsgaard — “An Education,” “Boys Don’t Cry”
Gabourey Sidibe — “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
Shaun Toub — “Iron Man,” “The Kite Runner”
Christoph Waltz — “Inglourious Basterds”
George Wyner — “A Serious Man,” “American Pie 2″

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