This sounds cool. Variety (via Dark Horizons) reports that Terry Gilliam will serve as "creative advisor" on a new film by his long-time collaborator, digital animation specialist Tim Ollive. The movie, 1884, will tell a Victorian futurist story of espionage and derring-do. It's probably best to rely on the trade's description to convey the typically unique nature of the project: "1884 imagines a film made in 1848 with steam power, narrating a tale of laughable Imperialist derring-do and espionage set in a futuristic 1884 when Europe is at war, steam-powered cars fly in the sky and man has landed on the moon." Furthermore, the trade adds that, "pic will look like animation but in fact mix live-action puppets with CGI heads and actors' filmed eyes and mouths. Backgrounds will feature collages of miniatures, film, graphics and period photography." Hm. So sort of OSS 117: Cairo Nest of Spies meets Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow meets Sherlock Holmes meets Gilliam's Brazil? Maybe? That's probably attempting to put too much of a label on it. But it sounds really cool, regardless! I love the odd conceit of making a film as if filmed in 1848 envisioning a futuristic 1884, and laughable Imperialist derring-do (the OSS 117 angle) always appeals to me. Monty Python cast members (not named) will provide the voices.
First Look At Tom Hardy In Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Dark Horizons points the way to Turkish website HT Galeri for our first glimpses (fifteen of them, in fact!) of Tom Hardy and Svetlana Khodchenkova as British agent Ricki Tarr and Russian spy Irina (repectively) in Tomas Alfredson's new film version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. The pictures also confirm the film's 1970s period setting, as appropriate cars line the streets. The fact that they were snapped in Istanbul may sound some alarm bells among fans of John Le Carré's seminal novel, as it signals that the location of Tarr's encounter with Irina has once again been moved from Hong Kong to Europe, just as it was in the 1979 Alec Guinness miniseries. (Lisbon in that version.) This doesn't really alter the story in any significant way, but I always liked how the Far East location 1) showed how the Cold War was played out all over the globe, and not just in Europe, and 2) nicely dovetailed into the second novel in the Karla trilogy, The Honourable Schoolboy (which didn't get filmed by the BBC, but which I really, really hope makes it to the screen this time around!) with mention of station chief Tufty Thessinger. Oh well. Istanbul is still a great spy location in its own right (lots of precedent for that!) and Thessinger, at least, seems to remain intact, as these pictures also appear to show Christian McKay (in suitable 70s garb) playing the role. Hardy sports a 70s wig to rival Hywell Bennett's actual hair in the miniseries, and also a number of odd tattoos. (Most of the photos depict him in a shirtless state.) For a previous look at star Gary Oldman as spymaster George Smiley, go here.
The theatrical cut of Salt (no longer definitive, apparently, but since I haven't seen either of the alternate cuts on the DVD and Blu-ray, still my only point of reference) ended with such a blatant sequel set-up that I'm not even sure it can really be considered an ending. (As I said in my original review, the credits started to roll just as the film seemed to be heading into its third act.) But Dark Horizons reports that frequent spy director Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, The Quiet American) won't be a part of any follow-up, should it ever happen. "Those three Blu-ray cuts represent just about everything I have to offer on Evelyn Salt. If there ever is a sequel, better it's directed by someone with a completely fresh take on what I believe could be a totally entertaining and complex series of stories," Noyce told Moviehole. Too bad. Personally, I found Noyce's refreshingly lo-fi style to be my favorite aspect of the film. But as we've seen with the Bourne franchise, it's definitely possible for one director to solidly lay the groundwork for this sort of character and another to take it and run with it. Even though (the first?) Salt didn't satisfy me, I'd still line up for sequels. It seems that with all the ludicrous exposition out of the way, this character could just be getting started. However, before speculating about sequels, it would be good to note that star Angelina Jolie doesn't seem to be a big fan of them. The only live-action role that she's ever reprised to date is that of Lara Croft.